In Memory of John G. Ruggie: Tribute by Christine Kaufmann, Chair of the OECD Working Party on Responsible Business Conduct
20 September 2021
We are deeply saddened by the news that Professor John Ruggie passed away on 16 September 2021. He shaped the business and human rights discourse like no other with his vision and his relentless efforts to turn the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights into actions to improve peoples’ lives. He inspired leaders in politics, business, civil society and academia to push the business and human rights agenda to the next level and to engage in a dialogue across countries, disciplines and cultures. We were fortunate at the OECD to meet with John Ruggie on many occasions to discuss the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and the UN Guiding Principles and benefit from his insights. He used to say that he was offering his comments, including the critical ones, not only as the author of the UNGP, but as an ally and a friend of the OECD Guidelines. Indeed, his comments always served a single purpose: making the business and human rights principles work in the real world for real people and ensuring that the standards remain coherent across different organisations. As we are now moving into the next decade for the UN Guiding Principles and the OECD Guidelines, the voice of John Ruggie will be sorely missed, but his legacy will be with us on this journey.