USCIB’s Vice President for Corporate Responsibility and Labor Affairs Gabriella Rigg Herzog is attending this week’s Intergovernmental Working Group on transnational corporations and other business entities with respect to human rights (IGWG) in Geneva. This is the third meeting of the IGWG.
USCIB participated in each of the first two IGWG sessions in 2015 and 2016, which entailed general discussions on issues including the scope and applicability of a proposed binding instrument. On this point, business and key governments stated clearly their view that focusing solely on transnational corporations was not appropriate, and that any future instrument should cover all business entities – in particular national companies. The expectation was set that the third session would entail a discussion of proposed “elements” of what might get included in a binding instrument.
Just three weeks prior to this 3rd meeting, Ecuador released “draft elements” for a binding instrument. In response, Business at OECD, the International Organization of Employers (IOE), the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the Foreign Trade Association have produced a final joint business statement, found here. USCIB, as the U.S. affiliate of IOE, Business at OECD and the ICC, was able to provide substantive input. This statement was shared with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, other business groups abroad, governments and other stakeholders, and it serves as the basis of business’ interventions during the IGWG session this week.
Rigg Herzog will be part of the IOE delegation and will participate in a panel on corporate liability on Wednesday.