11th Annual Engaging Business Forum on Business and Human Rights

Engaging Business Forum on Business and Human Rights

September 12-13, 2019

Atlanta, Georgia

Hosted by The Coca-Cola Company

This year’s 11th annual Engaging Business Forum on Business and Human Rights will be held on September 12-13 in Atlanta at Coca-Cola’s headquarters. This event is organized by USCIB, the International Organization of Employers, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

There is no fee to attend the forum; however, all participants must register here. Space will be limited, and registration is first-come, first-serve.

If you would like more information on this event please visit www.engagingbusiness.org or contact Daniella Goncalves (dgoncalves@uscib.org)

Preparing for the Future of Work: A USCIB Foundation Dialogue


The future of work is already here. As policy makers continue their efforts to define the future of work and its impacts, business leaders are rolling up their sleeves to prepare their organizations for a future that is increasingly hard to predict. What is clear is that as the key player for creating jobs and skills, employers are putting in place policies to encourage retraining and life-long learning to respond to technological advances, demographic shifts and globalization.

Join us for an important conversation with your peers on initiatives underway, what works and what doesn’t and come away with clear and practical steps your company could be taking to address the challenges facing you today – and to prepare for the future.

Key topics include:

  • Defining the Future of Work and implications for business
  • Case Studies: What are companies doing right now?
  • Measuring progress: What do stakeholders expect, what does business need, and what does “good” look like?
  • How to effectively communicate about your efforts on the Future of Work

Participants will gain practical insights and resources for companies to bring back to their own organizations, supplemented by a report of the workshop and detailed case studies.

The 1-day dialogue is hosted and facilitated by the Wilton Park USA Foundation at the beautiful Evermay Estate in Georgetown.  There is no charge to attend but space is limited. To register click here, and if you have any questions please contact Kendall Thibeadeau.

Corporate Responsibility and Labor Affairs Spring Committee Meeting

When: April 10-11th

Where: White&Case DC Office (701 13th St NW # 600, Washington, DC 20005)


  • The Honorable Michelle Bachelet Jeria, United Nations, High Commissioner for Human Rights
  • Martha Newton, Deputy Undersecretary, International Labor Affairs Bureau, U.S. Department of Labor (TBC)
  • Bob Shepherd, Director, Office of International relations, International Labor Affairs Bureau, U.S. Department of Labor
  • Joan Barrett, Chief, Multilateral and Global Affairs, International Labor Affairs Bureau, U.S. Department of Labor
  • Caroline Reese, President, and Co-Founder, Shift


  • Managing International Labor & Business & Human Rights standards
  • Handling Evolving Non-Financial Reporting and Disclosure
  • Labor and NGO Engagement Strategy
  • Business & Human Rights Policy & Strategy Discussion
  • 2019 International Labor Conference Overview

Please send your RSVP to Kendall Thibeadeau at kthibeadeau@uscib.org

Workshop on the New Center for Sports & Human Rights

Please join us for an exciting workshop with the Center for Sports and Human Rights. Please see below for more information about the event and how to RSVP.

RSVP for April 9th Workshop on the new Center for Sport & Human Rights

Together with the Institute for Human Rights and Business, USCIB will co-sponsor a full-day workshop to highlight the newly launched Center for Human Rights and Sport. The goal of this convening is to raise awareness to U.S. companies of the role of the new center, understand the connection between sport and human rights, and share ways companies can engage. Confirmed speakers include representatives from the U.S. Department of State, former Olympic athletes, and private sector companies. An agenda can be found here.

  • Date/time: April 9, 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
  • Venue: Offices of White & Case LLP, Washington DC
  • RSVP : www.ihrb.org/uscib-rsvp

USCIB Urges Wider Business Role at UN Financing for Development Forum

The second UN Financing for Development (FfD) Forum took place May 22-25 at UN headquarters in New York, serving as follow-up to the inaugural FfD Forum in 2015. The 2017 Forum provided impetus for the implementation of FfD outcomes and the delivery of means of implementation of the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, which includes the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The event featured expert segments on the seven action areas of the Addis Agenda, as well as other specific issues that UN member states mandated the FfD Forum to address. It also featured a dedicated dialogue with stakeholders, including business and industry.

Numerous business representatives took part both as panelists and speaking from the floor, including John Danilovich, secretary general of ICC and Ariel Meyerstein, senior vice president, corporate responsibility, Citi. USCIB Vice President for Energy and Environment Norine Kennedy gave remarks during the segment on trade, capacity building, technology and innovation,  noting the increasing role the private sector has been taking with regards to mobilizing finance, investment, solutions and expertise for sustainable development, as well as the increasing role of business in the evolution to an SDG-guided international framework of cooperation and implementation.

“Trade is a powerful vehicle for development, and it also creates a network for broad deployment of innovative technologies and knowhow,” Kennedy said. However, she acknowledged that much remains to be done to deliver practical results and to implement programs and enabling environments that will allow the business community to contribute more significantly, noting, “the level and scope of engagement need to be radically scaled up from business communities in developing countries.”


UN High Level Political Forum Countdown: Ending Poverty

This year’s United Nations High-Level Political Forum (UN HLPF) on sustainable development will be held from July 10-17 under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council. The theme for the forum will be “Eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world” focusing in part on Sustainable Development Goal 1: ending poverty in all its forms everywhere.

As part of USCIB’s countdown to the UN HLPF, USCIB is highlighting some initiatives that its member companies are working on to end poverty in all its forms, while subsequently meeting the SDG targets set by the UN. These examples can be found on USCIB’s Business for 2030 website and highlight initiatives by DuPont, MasterCard and Qualcomm.

Tune in for next week, when we will highlight company initiatives on Goal 2: ending hunger, achieving food security and improving nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.

2nd Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Forum

Launched in 2016, the annual collaborative STI Forum is meant to bring partners together to examine technology needs and gaps, regarding scientific cooperation and innovation, in addition to technology transfer, facilitation and development for the sustainable development goals. The Forum will involve representatives from civil society, the private sector and the scientific community.

USCIB SDG Series: Countdown to the High-Level Political Forum

This year’s United Nations High-Level Political Forum on sustainable development will be held from July 10-17 under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council. The theme for the forum will be “Eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world” focusing on the following Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):

  • Goal 1.End poverty in all its forms everywhere
  • Goal 2.End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
  • Goal 3.Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
  • Goal 5.Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
  • Goal 9.Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
  • Goal 14.Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development

USCIB is deeply engaged in all aspects of the 2030 Development Agenda, advocating for good governance and the rule of law, economic growth, investment in infrastructure, enabling environments to foster innovation, strong public-private partnerships and above all, an open channel for business input into policy negotiations and implementation.

USCIB believes that good governance and rule of law, infrastructure, enabling environments and private-public partnerships are the building blocks of success in achieving prosperity and eradicating poverty. While much work remains, USCIB members are already doing their part to ensure the realization of these goals. Each week, we will feature one of these goals in this publication. Additionally, we refer you to USCIB’s “Business for 2030” website which showcases the private sector’s contributions to the SDG’s. Stay tuned!

USCIB Convenes Multistakeholder Roundtable on Business and Infrastructure for SDGs

L-R: USCIB Vice President, Strategic International Engagement, Energy and Environment Norine Kennedy, USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson, and Ambassador Lisa Kubiske from the U.S. State Department

As the UN gears up for its annual high-level political forum (HLPF) to review progress on the sustainable development goals (SDGs) in July, the international community is turning its attention to SDG 9—building resilient infrastructure, promoting inclusive and sustainable industrialization and fostering innovation. The extensive role of infrastructure in achieving all 17 SDGs prompted USCIB to organize a ‘Business for SDGs’ roundtable on Infrastructure last Friday, April 21, hosted by Covington LLP in Washington DC.

Norine Kennedy, USCIB’s vice president for strategic international engagement, energy and environment and the lead for USCIB’s work on the sustainable development goals opened the meeting and served as the event’s master of ceremonies.  “USCIB’s SDG Working Group realized that no SDG can be delivered without the right ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ infrastructure, such as education, financial inclusion, food systems and healthcare, in place. The pipeline for bankable projects for both has to accelerate to broadly deploy and leverage business resources and know,” said Kennedy.

The event, held on the margins of the UN Financing for Development Infrastructure Forum, drew participants from government and business, including USCIB member companies AT&T, Bechtel, Citi, KPMG, MasterCard, and Monsanto as well as the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, NGO groups such as the Global Infrastructure Basel Foundation, and U.S. government representatives, notably Ambassador Lisa Kubiske from the U.S. Department of State who gave closing remarks.

The roundtable discussed obstacles to and best practices in public private partnerships for infrastructure projects, challenges in removing barriers or dealing with corruption, and the importance of scaling U.S. business investment, and the role of business in developing and utilizing SDG-relevant metrics. “There’s a huge financing gap, especially in terms of development and sustainable infrastructure projects around the world,” said Kubiske before citing U.S. government resources and initiatives that to de-risk and support U.S. companies competing for infrastructure projects, such as Power Africa.

“Investment in infrastructure is key to achieving a successful implementation of the SDGs,” emphasized Peter M. Robinson, USCIB’s CEO and president in discussing key takeaways from the roundtable. “We must actively search for ways to discourage governments from crowding out private investment; the implementation imperative requires scaling up business involvement and commercial opportunities. A first priority is to knock down obstacles to infrastructure investment, which can take the form of formal barriers to foreign investment in specific sectors or burdensome regulation affecting both foreign and domestic firms,” he said. Robinson’s remarks can be found here.

USCIB will host another roundtable on Innovation and SDGs in May in conjunction with the Financing for Development Forum.  Please see USCIB’s Businessfor2030 website for more information on the roundtable and other USCIB actions and engagement on the SDGs.