USCIB and ILO Hold Dialogue on Disabilities in the Workplace

USCIB Senior Counsel Ronnie Goldberg facilitates panel at the joint USCIB-ILO-AT&T event on Disability Inclusion in Washington DC

U.S. companies are increasingly sensitive to the importance of enhancing workplace diversity, particularly for people with disabilities. In an effort to promote U.S. company membership in the ILO Global Business and Disability Network (GBDN), USCIB, AT&T and the ILO held an event at the AT&T Forum in Washington DC on June 20 for business leaders, “Promoting disability inclusion globally.”

The GBDN is a network of multinational enterprises, employers’ organizations, business networks and disabled persons’ organizations who share the conviction that people with disabilities have talents and skills that can enhance virtually any business and can be a powerful tool for sharing global best practices and accessing relevant networks around the world. In addition to hosting the event, AT&T was also a featured speaker and has a strong corporate commitment to employing persons with disabilities.

USCIB Senior Counsel Ronnie Goldberg gave opening remarks and facilitated a panel on “Best Practices in the Employment of Persons with Disabilities in the Global South,” which also featured speakers from L’Oreal, Repsol, Accenture and Cisco.

Panelists discussed some of their company initiatives such as Cisco’s Project Life Changer and Accenture’s Tech4Good, which support employees with disabilities through technological and work culture integration. Many of the companies discussed the importance of building an employable skill-set while others, such as Cisco, go even further to alter the recruitment process, placing more emphasis on internships and experience.

“Smart companies have known for some time that there is a robust business case for workplace diversity in general and for hiring people with disabilities in particular,” said Goldberg. “All the data suggests that people with disabilities are productive, reliable and highly motivated employees.  They can also constitute a significant market, and some companies have prospered by developing products and services for people with disabilities, their families and friends.”

Goldberg noted that USCIB members are global enterprises, with employees and customers in every part of the world.  “The network and opportunities for best practice and information sharing provided by the ILO GBDN can be an important resource for MNEs as they devise and implement their human resource, product development, and marketing strategies in diverse communities across the globe,” she said.

The event also featured USCIB members from Deloitte, Boeing and Accenture.

Celebrating 80 Years of the ICC Marketing Code

ICC Marketing & Advertising Commission members met in Paris on June 16.

USCIB and others in the International Chamber of Commerce family are celebrating this year’s 80th anniversary of the ICC Consolidated Code of Marketing and Advertising Communication Practice.

Earlier this week, ICC presented the Code during a networking cocktail hosted in partnership with the French Association of the Communications Agencies, at the French Camp Cannes held on the margins of the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. The event followed the semi-annual meeting of ICC’s Commission on Marketing and Advertising, which took place in Paris on June 16 and was chaired by Brent Sanders, associate general counsel with Microsoft and chair of USCIB’s Marketing and Advertising Committee.

During the celebratory event in Cannes, Ximena Tapias Delporte, vice chair of the ICC Commission on Marketing and Advertising and president of the Colombian Commission on Advertising Self-Regulation, joined Stéphane Martin, director general of the French self-regulatory organization ARPP and chair of the European Advertising Standards Alliance, to share perspectives on the Code and its broader application at international level as the foundational instrument of advertising self-regulation.

The ICC Code was also presented at the International Advertising Association (IAA) cabana in Cannes, where Carla Michelotti, vice chair of USCIB’s Marketing and Advertising Committee and vice president of the IAA, interviewed Martin on using the Code to ensure best practices in the advertising industry and to build trust with consumers.

“Over the past 80 years, the ICC Code has played a key role in providing principles that help build trust with consumers, assuring them of advertising that is honest, legal, decent and truthful,” Martin said during the interview.

According to USCIB Vice President Jonathan Huneke, at the ICC commission meeting in Paris, members discussed possible revision of the Code in the coming years to more fully reflect changes in technology and advertising practice, and finalized a draft ICC guide on responsible mobile marketing communications. The latter document is expected to be finalized and issued by ICC in the coming weeks.

USCIB Urges Administration to Push Anti-Bribery Agenda in G20

USCIB joined with the Coalition for Integrity, the International Corporate Accountability Roundtable and the AFL-CIO in a June 13 letter to President Donald Trump urging the administration to push aggressively for other leading global trading nations to match U.S. efforts against international bribery and corruption.  Specifically, the group urged the administration to press all of the 41 signatory countries to the OECD’s Anti-bribery Convention to take concrete steps to strengthen their implementation and enforcement of their foreign bribery laws.

In the context of the G20, USCIB joined in urging the administration to press for all G20 countries to become signatories and full partners in that OECD convention by the end of 2018.  Currently four G20 members (China, India, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia) have not signed the OECD Anti-bribery Convention.

The G20 Summit meeting will be held July 7-9 in Hamburg, Germany.

 

 

USCIB Hosted Experts Discuss UN Treaty on Business and Human Rights

USCIB hosted a webinar on the UN Treaty on Business and Human Rights on June 13, featuring Robert McCorquodale, director of the British Institute of International and Comparative Law and Douglass Cassel, professor of law at Notre Dame Law School. The webinar discussed the treaty background, its current status, and possible next steps in advance of the third session of the Intergovernmental Working Group (IWG) in October 2017.

The treaty process began on June 26, 2014, when the Human Rights Council adopted resolution 26/9 by which it decided “to establish an open-ended intergovernmental working group on transnational corporations and other business enterprises with respect to human rights, whose mandate shall be to elaborate an international legally binding instrument to regulate, in international human rights law, the activities of transnational corporations and other business enterprises.” The first two sessions of the open-ended IWG were to “be dedicated to conducting constructive deliberations on the content, scope, nature and form of the future international instrument.” The first session of the IWG was held in July 2015, and the second session in October 2016. The summary documents from the second session can be found here.

Prior to October’s third session, the Ecuadorian chair of the IWG has been tasked with drafting proposed elements for a treaty, and these points will be presented to the states in advance of the October meeting.  The webinar discussed three possible outcomes for the treaty: a relatively modest treaty with reporting and due diligence requirements to establish a level playing field, with an international monitoring system for the states’ obligations; a “maximalist treaty” with international courts, international legal requirements for business, due diligence reporting, and other requirements, as argued for by some human rights groups; or no treaty at all resulting from this process.

If USCIB members would like to access a recording of the webinar, please contact Elizabeth Kim (ekim@uscib.org).

SDG Business Forum Will Report on Private Sector Achievements

Following the success of last year’s inaugural forum, the second annual SDG Business Forum will take place at the United Nations on July 18, 2017 during the ministerial segment of the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development. Co-hosted by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN-DESA), and the UN Global Compact, and organized in collaboration with the Global Business Alliance (GBA) for 2030 – including USCIB, the SDG Business Forum will convene leaders from business and government, together with the heads of UN agencies, key international organizations, and civil society groups to delve into the role business will play in delivering the 2030 Agenda.

Featuring a showcase review of business engagement on the 7 goals in focus at this year’s HLPF, as well as individual sessions examining investment, partnerships, and monitoring, this event will foster robust dialogue between governments and the private sector on critical issues and the way forward. The Forum will report on significant achievements and commitments undertaken by business and gauge private sector efforts to catalyze sustainable growth and development during this critical implementation phase. Ranging from SMEs to multinational corporations, the global business community is committed to contribute to the success of the 2030 Agenda and the realization of a long-lasting, prosperous future for all.

For more information and registration please visit: http://www.sdgbusinessforum.com/

USCIB Emphasizes Government Role in Labor Migration Policy at ILC

USCIB Vice President for Corporate Responsibility and Labor Affairs gives remarks during the International Labor Conference in Geneva, Switzerland

USCIB Vice President for Corporate Responsibility and Labor Affairs Gabriella Rigg Herzog was among approximately 6,000 delegates who attended the 106th session of the International Labor Conference (ILC) in Geneva, Switzerland (June 5-16). The ILC touched upon pressing global issues such as the application of labor standards, peace and stability, women in the workplace, immigration and climate change. Herzog attended the ILC as a member of the U.S. Employers Delegation, headed by Ed Potter, USCIB senior counsel and U.S. employer spokesperson to the International Labor Organization (ILO) Governing Body.

Herzog gave remarks at the Committee for Labor Migration, emphasizing the important role the ILO has to play in ensuring that labor migration policies are grounded in sound facts in order to assist governments in devising and implementing policies in ways that work for both employers and workers.

“Labor migration is a necessary and important phenomenon,” said Herzog in her remarks. “It can help fulfill personal aspirations, balance labor supply and demand, spark innovation, and develop and transfer skills.  But for workers to be able to move of their own volition, where and when their labor is needed and valued, and with their rights protected, governments must have clear, transparent and efficient migration policies.”

OECD Week Addresses Global Challenges with Business Input

 

Peter M. Robinson at OECD Week in Paris

USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson was in Paris last week for OECD Week, which tackled issues such as international tax rules, globalization challenges and anti-trade rhetoric. Addressing Ministers of Finance and Foreign Affairs at the OECD Ministerial Council Meeting on June 7, Business at OECD (BIAC) Chair Phil O’Reilly called on governments to address the challenges of strengthening growth and boosting economic participation, emphasizing that ultimately societies can only support economic openness, when it is accompanied by appropriate domestic policies to prepare people for change, with better skills and more opportunities for economic participation.” O’Reilly drew upon principles highlighted in the recently released Business at OECD 2017 Statement to Ministers, which contains the core business recommendations to strengthen open economies and inclusive societies. This paper is a call to action for OECD governments to implement a comprehensive competitiveness agenda, and also better engage with the public, especially regarding the opportunities that come with trade and investment.

In a similar statement, Business at OECD Secretary General Bernhard Welschke encouraged governments to better address an increasing anti-trade rhetoric in OECD countries, highlighting that “both business and trade unions have a responsibility to communicate in a fair, balanced, and responsible manner.” Also speaking at the session on International Trade and Investment for the Benefit for All, Business at OECD (BIAC) Vice Chair and USCIB Board member Charles R. Johnston (Citi) encouraged governments to counteract on protectionist action in the form of growing non-tariff barriers, and pointed to areas where new OECD work would help better inform this debate. Business also emphasized that governments should fully use the OECD Investment Restrictiveness Index and implement the Policy Framework for Investment.

On international tax policy, Business at OECD (BIAC) was present at the official signing ceremony for the Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures (MLI) to Prevent Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS), which took place at the OECD Ministerial Council Meeting. The MLI opens the door to changes in the tax treaty process, and to a number of key international tax rules, that are significant. Concurrently, USCIB and the OECD were holding their 12th annual international tax conference in Washington DC, which brought together over 300 tax policy experts.

Robinson Signs B20 Recommendation on Investment in Africa

The B20 recommendations Boosting Investment in Africa- Towards Inclusive Compacts in Africa have been signed in Berlin by the majority of the B20 taskforce and cross-thematic group Chairs and Co-Chairs, including USCIB President and CEO Peter M Robinson, who serves as Co-Chair of the B20 Employment and Education Taskforce. Robinson also recently attended the B20 Summit in Berlin in May. The Partnership with Africa is one of the key priorities in the German G20 presidency, as well as in the B20.

The B20 Secretariat offered these recommendations to the press and B20 Chairman Jürgen Heraeus introduced the recommendations at the G20 Africa Partnership – Investing in a Common Future Conference. BDI, the pre-eminent German business group, hosted the event as a partner within the framework of the Sub- Saharan Africa Initiative of German Business (SAFRI) on June 12 in Berlin.

The “African Economic Outlook” is an annual report produced by the African Development Bank (AfDB), the OECD Development Centre and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Speakers at the African Economic Outlook will include President of the Republic of Rwanda S. E. Paul Kagame, State Secretary in the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development Thomas Silberhorn and Secretary-General of the OECD Ángel Gurría.

Rigg Herzog Attends 2017 International Labor Conference

Secretary General Guy Ryder at 2017 ILC

USCIB Vice President for Corporate Responsibility and Labor Affairs Gabriella Rigg Herzog is among approximately 7,000 delegates currently attending the 106th session of the International Labor Conference (ILC) in Geneva (taking place June 5-16). The ILC will touch upon pressing global issues such as women at work, application of labor standards, peace and stability, migration and climate change. Rigg Herzog is attending the ILC as a member of the U.S. Employers Delegation, headed by Ed Potter, USCIB senior counsel and U.S. employer spokesperson to the International Labor Organization (ILO) Governing Body.

Rigg Herzog will be participating in the Committee for Labor Migration, while Potter will participate in the Committee for Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, which is a follow-up to the ILO’s Social Justice Declaration. Adopted in 2008 by the representatives of governments, employers and workers from all ILO member States, the Social Justice Declaration expresses the contemporary vision of the ILO’s mandate in the era of globalization.

This year’s conference also includes a Committee on Employment and Decent Work for the Transition to Peace, as well as the Committee on the Application of Standards.

Upcoming Event: USCIB to Sponsor Reframing Human Rights Symposium

USCIB is sponsoring the second annual Reframing Human Rights Symposium, “Shared Value through Global Corporate Citizenship” by Skytop Strategies on June 28-29, hosted by Bard College. This two-day program will assess the connection between human rights, human capital development and operational opportunity for resiliency and return on investment. Several USCIB members will be featured speakers, including representatives from Chevron, Intel, Marriott International, Pirelli, Dell, Bechtel, AT&T and GE. The full agenda is available here.

USCIB members will receive a 25% discount on the registration fee. If you would like to attend, please contact Joshua Galow (jgalow@skytopstrategies.com).