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20 Sep 2021

Chris Avery

In Memory of John G. Ruggie: Tribute by Chris Avery

I am very sorry to hear about the passing of John Ruggie, an icon whose intellect, diplomatic skills and persistence led to the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. One anecdote: When John began his tenure as UN Special Representative on business and human rights, he asked whether we could create a new section of our Business & Human Rights Resource Centre website to be the main place for posting all his future writing on the subject, including his drafts of the Guiding Principles – so that his work would be available quickly to a broad international audience, including civil society and business. I responded that we would be glad to do so, with one condition: that we would post positive and negative feedback and comments from across the world alongside his documents. To John’s credit, he agreed to that condition without hesitation – which led to a healthy interchange at each stage of his work on the Guiding Principles.