In Memory of John G. Ruggie: Tribute by BankTrack
20 September 2021
We at BankTrack are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Professor John Ruggie. As the architect and author of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, Prof. Ruggie’s work has been at the heart of BankTrack’s human rights campaigning, which has for the last ten years focused on advocating for banks to acknowledge their responsibility to respect human rights when conducting their business, and to fully implement the Principles he established.
We had the privilege to meet Prof. Ruggie a handful of times, from the time when the UNGPs were still being drafted to the years when we painstakingly worked for their adoption by the banking sector. We always felt his genuine support for our ongoing efforts to hold banks to account for their human rights obligations.
This was most evident in 2017 when he gave a powerful address to the conference of the Thun Group of Banks, arguing passionately against what he saw as a misconstruing of the UNGPs by the banking sector in an influential intervention that will not be forgotten by those who witnessed it.
John Ruggie leaves a legacy of tremendous impact that will continue to inspire our work. Our thoughts are with his loved ones at this time.