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Background & History of Guiding Principles

Find out how the UN Guiding Principles came to exist

The UN Human Rights Council's resolution on 16 June 2011 endorsing the Guiding Principles also established the UN Working Group on business & human rights – see our issue area on the UN Working Group.

The Guiding Principles were drafted by UN Special Representative on business & human rights John Ruggie during his 2005-2011 mandate – click here for our portal on the work of UN Special Representative Ruggie, including background materials prepared in connection with the Guiding Principles and the UN “Protect, Respect and Remedy” Framework.

History of the UNGPs

In 2005, the United Nations appointed John Ruggie Special Representative of the Secretary-General on human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises. Six years later, the UN Guiding Principles were unanimously endorsed by the UN Human Rights Council. This lecture tells the story of how they came to exist.