New York City and Geneva, 15 July 2019: The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and its Global Network partners have launched the Spanish edition of the CEO Guide to Human Rights on the sidelines of the United Nations’ High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development currently being held in New York.
Developed by WBCSD in collaboration with Acción Empresas, CentraRSE and Forética – WBCSD’s Global Network partners respectively in Chile, Guatemala and Spain – the Spanish edition of the guide provides business leaders with a narrative and a set of arguments to engage peers in a dialogue on the role of business in ensuring respect for human rights and contributing in positive ways to social development in a Spanish-speaking context.
"Around the world – including in Latin America – a new trend is driving companies to be more transparent about their challenges and efforts to respect human rights, as well as engaging in an honest discussion on this matter" said Germán Granda, Director General, Forética, underlining the need for translating WBCSD’s CEO Guide to Human Rights so as to maximize the voice of its call to action for business leadership.
WBCSD’s CEO Guide to Human Rights – launched in English on 19 June and a week later in Portuguese – brings to life the business drivers for action and the tangible steps CEOs can take to ensure their companies go beyond compliance and drive transformative change in people’s lives.
In the introduction of the CEO Guide, dozens of business executives from across the world call for urgent business leadership on respect for human rights. The Spanish edition complements the original call for business leadership with a local perspective and a further call to:
- Advance respect for human rights in business operations and relationships,
- Promote respect for human rights as a key business contribution to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs);
- Share experiences, knowledge and tools with other businesses, to accelerate the implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights; and
- Collaborate with stakeholders to jointly improve the protection and respect for human rights.
This call is brought forward by the Chairs of 12 WBCSD Global Network partners in Latin America and Spain, all of whom lead businesses in their respective countries:
- Miguel Ángel Gutiérrez, Chairman, CEADS (Argentina)
- Matías Verdugo, Chairman, Acción Empresas (Chile)
- Franco Pacheco, Chairman, AED (Costa Rica)
- Augusto Solano, Chairman, Cecodes (Colombia)
- Jorge Baigorri López, Chairman, CEMDES (Ecuador)
- Raúl Grijalba, Chairman, Forética (Spain)
- Federico Barquero, Chairman, CentraRSE (Guatemala)
- Bruce M. Burdett, Chairman, FundahRSE (Honduras)
- Ariel Granera, Chairman, UniRSE (Nicaragua)
- Stanley Motta, Chairman, SumaRSE (Panama)
- Luis Torres Mariscal, Chairman, Perú 2021 (Peru)
- Daniel Laino, Chairman, DERES (Uruguay)
Collectively, the top executives of 35 member companies of WBCSD and 12 local business organizations across Latin America and Spain are sending a strong message to raise the bar on respect for human rights, embed human rights in corporate culture, set clear expectations of suppliers and business partners and drive meaningful engagement and collaborations with peers, governments as well as civil society. Juan Pablo Morataya, Executive Director at CentraRSE emphasized “Managing business with a human rights lens represents an enormous opportunity for businesses to show their commitment to and positive impact on sustainable development.”
CEO leadership plays a crucial role in ensuring that human rights are taken seriously across their own companies and the companies they have commercial relationships with. To support this, the CEO Guide highlights actions that executives can take to advance respect for human rights:
- Know the most important human rights for your company;
- Lead from the top;
- Engage transparently with stakeholders;
- Collaborate beyond your comfort zone.
Marcela Bravo, Managing Director at Acción Empresas welcomed the Spanish version as “a valuable and timely call to action for business leadership that aligns with and supports growing efforts from government, business and civil society in Latin America.”
“We are delighted to join forces with our WBCSD Global Network partners across Latin America and Spain to raise the voice of business leaders in support of the business responsibility and opportunity to respect human rights,” said Filippo Veglio, Managing Director of the People Program at WBCSD. “We look forward to continuing to work with WBCSD members and Global Network partners to support and strengthen business leadership on this important issue.”
The CEO Guide to Human Rights can be downloaded via this link in English, Spanish and Portuguese. A French edition will be published in the coming weeks, and more translations are being explored.
For more information, please contact Kitrhona Cerri, Director, Social Impact, WBCSD.