As an increasing number of multilateral organizations consider proposals to keep business out of policy deliberations, USCIB met with Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Organizations (IO) Affairs Nerissa Cook on June 26 to encourage the administration to implement a consistent pro-business access policy in multilateral forums and to build on existing positive interactions between the UN and U.S. business.
The State Department has the lead for managing U.S. government engagement with international organizations, including many in the UN system which take decisions impacting U.S. business interests from the standpoint of regulations, norms and standards in the global marketplace. USCIB members have voiced concerns about several of these bodies, such as the World Health Organization (WHO), whose rules limit engagement with some private sector interests and set business-discriminatory precedents across the UN system.
“We appreciate the strong efforts across the State Department, IO and EB to advance and protect U.S. business interests,” said Mike Michener, USCIB’s vice president for product policy and innovation, who leads USCIB work in the health, agriculture, and chemicals policy. “American business strongly supports continued U.S. government engagement in multilateral forums particularly where decisions are being made that impact U.S. business bottom lines. Moreover, business brings its commitment, innovation, know-how, and investment to solving the very problems that these UN agencies seek to address via the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. UN agencies stand to benefit from employing the inclusive multi-stakeholder partnership approach used by the UN Environment Program (UNEP) in the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) and the Montreal, Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm treaties.”
In concluding the discussion, USCIB President and CEO, Peter Robinson, highlighted the practical importance of good governance principles throughout the UN, stating, “access, transparency and accountability to the U.S. private sector are prerequisites for business engagement in implementation of UN initiatives and policies.”