Internet Governance Forum (IGF)

The Internet Governance Forum (IGF) is a multistakeholder space that facilitates the discussion and dialogue of public policy issues pertaining to the Internet. The IGF was convened in 2005 by the United Nations General Assembly.

With the renewal of its mandate by United Nations in December 2015, the IGF consolidates itself as a platform to bring people together from various stakeholder groups as equals. While there’s no negotiated outcome, the IGF informs and inspires those with policy-making power in both the public and private sectors. At their annual meeting delegates discuss, exchange information and share good practices with each other.

The IGF facilitates a common understanding of how to maximize Internet opportunities and address risks and challenges that arise. The IGF is also a space that gives developing countries the same opportunity as wealthier nations to engage in the debate on Internet governance and to facilitate their participation in existing institutions and arrangements. Ultimately, the involvement of all stakeholders, from developed as well as developing countries, is necessary for the future development of the Internet.

The twelfth annual meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) will be held in Geneva, Switzerland, from 18 to 21 December 2017.

2017 USCIB International Leadership Award Dinner

USCIB is delighted to honor Ajay Banga, president and chief executive officer of MasterCard. Each year this gala event attracts several hundred industry leaders, government officials and members of the diplomatic community to celebrate open markets and the recipient of USCIB’s highest honor.

Established in 1980, USCIB’s International Leadership Award is presented to a senior business executive who has made significant policy contributions to world trade and investment, and to improving the global competitive framework in which American business operates. Join us for what will be a truly memorable evening!

Many USCIB Members Ranked “Best Corporate Citizens”

Talk in GreenAs USCIB prepares for its bi-annual Corporate Responsibility and Labor and Employment Committee meetings on May 2-3, USCIB would like to congratulate many of its members who were honored by Corporate Responsibility Magazine in its release of the 18th annual list of Best Corporate Citizens last week. USCIB members that made it into the top 10 rank include Intel, Microsoft, Cisco and Lockheed Martin, with many others ranked in the top 100 as well. CR Magazine is America’s leading voice on corporate responsibility, providing case studies, analyzing best practices and tracking trends in the five primary segments of corporate responsibility: energy and environment, risk management, governance and compliance, employee relations, and human rights.

Next week’s USCIB Committee meetings will touch on all five of these segments. The Committee meetings, which will be hosted by Foley and Lardner LLP in Washington DC, will include a presentation from Melike Yetken, a senior advisor for corporate responsibility with the U.S. Department of State, touching on the U.S. National Action Plan and work of the U.S. national contact point for the OECD. Yetken will also participate on a panel at the meeting with Hanni Rosenbaum of Business at OECD (BIAC) to brief USCIB committee members on the draft OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Business Conduct.  Additional agenda highlights include an update on the ILO program on decent work in global supply chains, the Customs Tariff Act of 1930, the upcoming UN Forum on Business and Human Rights, and an update on conflict minerals. For more information on this two-day Committee meeting, please contact Gabriella Rigg Herzog.

The unique value of the USCIB Corporate Responsibility and Labor Affairs Committee is its leadership position advancing the global interests of U.S. business with global policy makers in the area of responsible business conduct, and the broad and diverse nature of its members who represent multiple business functions and industries and who participate actively through the sharing of insights and experiences.

USCIB Welcomes New Vice President for Labor Affairs and Corporate Responsibility

Gabriella Rigg Herzog
Gabriella Rigg Herzog

USCIB welcomed Gabriella Rigg Herzog as its new Vice President for Labor Affairs and Corporate Responsibility yesterday, April 17. Herzog will be based in USCIB’s New York office.

Most recently, Herzog served as Senior Manager for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) at Hess Corporation and actively participated in the USCIB Corporate Responsibility Committee.  She worked with her predecessors Adam Greene and Ariel Meyerstein and knows many of the company representatives on the committee including the Chair, Laura Rubbo.  At Hess she handled CSR and human rights issues and was active in a wide-range of internal and outside activities that led to Hess being recognized as one of the 100 Best Corporate Citizens.

Prior to her work with Hess, Herzog was a Policy Advisor at the U.S. Department of State in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, where she led the Bureau’s global CSR policy and program practice.  She also worked at the U.S. Department of Labor developing and implementing labor cooperation programs to help labor ministries improve enforcement capacity.

“We are excited to have Gabriella join the USCIB team and fortunate to be able to bring in someone who has worked with us in her previous roles,” said Rob Mulligan, Senior Vice President for Policy and Government Affairs. “She brings a strong background in CSR and Labor issues to the role at USCIB with the added advantage of already being very familiar with the work of the committees she will manage.”

ILO Endorses Revised MNE Declaration

United FlagsThe International Labor Organization (ILO) held the 329th Session of its Governing Body (GB) from March 9-23 in Geneva. The session’s landmark outcome was an endorsement of the revised Tripartite Declaration of Principles concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy (MNE Declaration), which offers guidelines to multinational enterprises, governments, and employers’ and workers’ organizations in such areas as employment, training, conditions of work and life and industrial relations. This guidance is founded substantially on principles contained in international labor conventions and recommendations.

While the original MNE Declaration was adopted forty years ago, the revised version responds to new economic realities across international trade and supply chains, addressing decent work issues, forced labor and guidance on “due diligence” processes, which are consistent with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

USCIB and its members Coca-Cola, Disney, IBM and Littler Mendelson, among others, worked closely with the International Organization of Employers (IOE) to provide comments to the Tripartite Working Group.

Ed PotterUSCIB international labor counsel and member of the GB, was nominated by USCIB to serve as the U.S. employer representative to the ILO and represent U.S. business in the Working Group. Potter noted, “This is the most extensive update of the MNE Declaration since it was first negotiated in 1977. It is a forward looking tripartite agreement that applies in all countries wherever large or small MNE’s operate or have business relationships.”

“We are grateful to Ed for his tireless work on behalf of business,” said USCIB’s President and CEO Peter Robinson. “Multiple employers expressed their appreciation to me for Ed’s continuous leadership on these issues during the GB last week.”

The revised MNE Declaration can be found here.

Global Partnerships Week Launches With Focus on SDG-17

(L-R) Kathy Calvin, President & CEO, UN Foundation, Trevor Davies, Global Head, International Development Assistance Services Institute, KPMG and Claus Stig Pedersen, Head of Corporate Sustainability, Novozymes
(L-R) Kathy Calvin, President & CEO, UN Foundation, Trevor Davies, Global Head, International Development Assistance Services Institute, KPMG and Claus Stig Pedersen, Head of Corporate Sustainability, Novozymes

Global Partnerships Week (GPW) kicked off yesterday, March 6, to celebrate the role of public-private partnerships in promoting global development and advancing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The two-week, annual event is organized by Concordia, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Secretary’s Office of Global Partnerships, and PeaceTech Lab and engages experts from the public and private sectors, as well as foundations and multilateral institutions.

The U.S. Institute of Peace hosted GPW’s day-long Global Practitioners Forum yesterday, which focused on engaging practitioners in achieving what many consider to be the most imperative and interconnected SDG, Goal 17. Devex President and Editor-in-Chief Raj Kumar moderated the opening panel titled “Goal 17 in 2017: Partnerships for the Global Goals,” which featured USCIB members KPMG and Novozymes, as well as UNESCO, UN Foundation and New America. The panel aimed to explore the role of partnerships in addressing challenges presented by inequality, poverty and governance to ensure the achievement of a comprehensive 2030 development agenda.

Claus Stig Pedersen, head of corporate sustainability at Novozymes, presented participants with anecdotes and insights around partnership challenges, as companies look to align both longer-term strategies and growth opportunities with the SDGs. “It’s not just about partnerships for the sake of doing partnerships, it’s an investment in the future, but it takes time,” stated Pedersen. Pedersen cited several examples including Novozymes’ leadership in the Sustainable Energy for All initiative (SE4ALL), first launched by the United Nations and World Bank at the Rio+20 Summit in 2012, where it subsequently helped establish a coalition of partners aimed at developing and deploying sustainable bio-energy solutions. “Although the partnership was first launched in 2013, we [Novozymes] have continued to stay engaged, establishing concrete projects and cases that are driving the initiative forward.” While many stakeholders increasingly subscribe to the idea of partnership, Pedersen noted some of the success factors behind this effort. “We all really need to do our due diligence and build up good relationships together, as well as learn to draw on each other’s strengths as we look to partner to achieve greater positive impact.”

Additional information on Novozymes public-private partnerships can be found on USCIB’s Business for 2030 website, which serves as an important tool to showcase business’s past and continuing contributions to sustainable development through the prism of the SDGs.

Internet Governance Forum 2016

The Internet Governance Forum (IGF) is a multistakeholder space that facilitates the discussion and dialogue of public policy issues pertaining to the Internet. The IGF was convened in 2005 by the United Nations General Assembly.

With the renewal of its mandate by United Nations in December 2015, the IGF consolidates itself as a platform to bring people together from various stakeholder groups as equals. While there’s no negotiated outcome, the IGF informs and inspires those with policy-making power in both the public and private sectors. At their annual meeting delegates discuss, exchange information and share good practices with each other.

The IGF facilitates a common understanding of how to maximize Internet opportunities and address risks and challenges that arise. The IGF is also a space that gives developing countries the same opportunity as wealthier nations to engage in the debate on Internet governance and to facilitate their participation in existing institutions and arrangements. Ultimately, the involvement of all stakeholders, from developed as well as developing countries, is necessary for the future development of the Internet.

USCIB Helps Lead Dialogue on Private Sector and the SDGs

un_headquarters_lo-resNew York, N.Y., September 15, 2016Peter M. Robinson, president and CEO of the United States Council for International Business (USCIB), will help lead a high-level dialogue on the private sector and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at this year’s Concordia Summit, which takes place September 19-20 in New York City.

Agreed by all UN member states last year, the SDGs encompass 17 broad goals and numerous targets to be achieved by 2030 through concerted efforts by governments, with the support of the private sector, including both business, philanthropy and civil society.

“The 2030 Agenda is a visionary and ambitious agenda for global development, one that the business community will need to play an instrumental role in achieving,” said Robinson. “This timely dialogue will provide an opportunity for the private sector to demonstrate the central role it plays in society, and to examine the management expertise and technical know-how that companies can lend to achieving the Global Goals.”

Last year USCIB launched Business for 2030, an ambitious effort to catalogue and catalyze company efforts to support the SDGs. The site has quickly become a go-to resource for all stakeholders interested in the SDGs to learn about what the global business community is doing to help achieve them. Business for 2030 now showcases 165 initiatives from 47 companies that cover 81 of the 169 SDG targets. These activities cover both philanthropic corporate responsibility initiatives as well as core business operations that all contribute to achieving one or more of the 17 Goals’ targets.

At the dialogue, which will take place the morning of September 20, Robinson will be joined by an array of experts, from the private sector and elsewhere, to explore ways in which companies can help advance the Global Goals. USCIB member companies represented at the dialogue are expected to include Novozymes, Walmart, Citi, Coca-Cola, Deloitte, PwC, Pfizer, MasterCard, Bechtel, Johnson & Johnson and GE (Africa).

In addition, John Danilovich, secretary general of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), will participate. USCIB serves as the U.S. affiliate of ICC as well as the International Organization of Employers (IOE) and BIAC, the Business and Industry Advisory Committee to the OECD. Each group is actively contributing to discussion of the SDGs at the global and national levels.

The dialogue’s other partners include the U.S. State Department Office of Global Partnerships, the USAID Global Development Lab and the U.S. Institute of Peace’s PeaceTech Lab. This year’s Concordia Summit will be held at the Grand Hyatt New York. More information is available at https://www.concordia.net/the-summit-2016/. The Strategic Dialogue will be live-tweeted from @bizfor2030, #bizfor2030.

About USCIB:

USCIB promotes open markets, competitiveness and innovation, sustainable development and corporate responsibility, supported by international engagement and regulatory coherence. Its members include U.S.-based global companies and professional services firms from every sector of our economy, with operations in every region of the world. With a unique global network encompassing leading international business organizations, including ICC, USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide, and works to facilitate international trade and investment. More information is available at www.uscib.org.

Contact:
Jonathan Huneke, VP communications, USCIB
+1 212.703.5043 or jhuneke@uscib.org

Business Asks for Realistic Approach on OECD Corporate Governance Principles

During February’s meeting of a key steering group of the 30-nation Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, negotiations on the newly revised OECD Principles on Corporate Governance reached a crucial stage.  The principles are to be finalized for adoption at May’s OECD ministerial meeting in Paris.

Commenting on the negotiations of the government experts, members of the OECD’s Business and Industry Advisory Committee(BIAC) asked their governments to sustain the notion that “one size does not fit all” in corporate governance standards.

Every national regulatory system has to find its own balance between regulation by governments and self-regulation, BIAC members said.  A level of diversity is necessary for the maintenance of an internationally competitive environment, and companies welcome the new emphasis given to the effective enforcement of existing corporate governance rules.  Business believes, however, that having clear, concise and understandable OECD principles is necessary for their effective enforcement.

The 38 business federations from all the OECD countries belonging to BIAC – and the companies they represent – will continue to take the discussions on corporate governance seriously and participate actively in the elaboration and revision of corporate governance laws and codes in their countries.

Staff contact: Ariel Meyerstein 

BIAC website

More on USCIB’s Corporate Responsibility Committee

More on USCIB’s Trade and Investment Committee

New editor takes over ICC corporate governance website

Paris, June 11, 2003 – ICC’s Corporate Governance website moved into top gear today with up-to-the-minute coverage of developments of vital interest to companies across the world.

Stories include moves by the European Commission to set new rules billed as “a model for the rest of the world” as well as a report from New Delhi about controversial new government proposals to strengthen the role of independent directors.

Also on the site is an account of the implications for Australian companies of new disclosure rules introduced by the Australian stock exchange and a report under a London dateline about heightened public interest in boardroom pay – and the repercussions for companies.

With more than 8,000 member companies in over 140 countries, ICC is the largest, most representative private sector association in the world. It is represented in the U.S. by the United States Council for International Business (USCIB), its American national committee based in New York.

From Manila comes a story on efforts by the Asian Development Bank and the OECD to bring about swift improvements in corporate governance across Asia. An OECD White Paper just issued maintains that the most serious corporate governance challenge facing the Asian region is the “exploitation of non-controlling shareholders”.

The ICC Corporate Governance website was introduced a year ago with a mission to assist companies, and especially small and medium-sized enterprises, in achieving the highest standards of corporate governance. At the same time, it seeks to keep abreast of relevant government and private sector initiatives.

Taking over as the site’s editor is Australian writer and broadcaster Colin Chapman, a former Director of Television for the Financial Times. In the last 18 months, Mr Chapman has been course director on financial and political reporting for the Commonwealth Press Union, the British Council, and USIS. He has also acted as a visiting lecturer at the University of Beijing, where among other subjects he lectured on corporate governance.

Julian Kassum, site manager, said: “The site takes a strong ‘how to’ approach and will be especially useful to companies that are overhauling their corporate governance provisions.”

One of the big issues that will shortly be analysed in a full-length feature is whistle-blowing, and safeguards for employees who draw attention to irregularities.

USCIB promotes an open system of global commerce. Its membership includes some 300 leading U.S. companies, professional services firms and associations whose combined annual revenues exceed $3 trillion. As American affiliate of the leading international business and employers organizations, USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide and works to facilitate international trade.

Contacts:
Bryce Corbett, ICC Communications
(011-33-6) 20-47-32-52 or bryce.corbett@iccwbo.org

Jonathan Huneke, USCIB Communications
(212) 703-5043 or jhuneke@uscib.org

The ICC Corporate Governance Website

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