Keynote address by John Ruggie at Shift & EU conference

Author: John Ruggie, Published on: 17 December 2019

"Keynote Address by John Ruggie at the Conference 'Business & Human Rights: Towards a Common Agenda for Action'", 2 December 2019

I am pleased that Finland chose business and human rights as the focus of its EU Presidency and... this conference. It leads us to address... the people and planet challenges faced by all humanity... For governments, business and human rights is at the core of new social contracts they need to construct... This includes decent work and living wages, equal pay for work of equal value, social and economic inclusion, education... and effective social safety nets to buffer unexpected shocks to the economy or the person... [A]ll firms, including the suppliers of goods and services within global value chains, have the same responsibility to respect [human rights]. But parent companies... should also use whatever leverage they have in relation to their subsidiaries, contractors, and other actors... [L]everage can play into effective implementation at the EU level.. by reinforcing positive trends already underway in the business community, but which need strengthening... [B]usiness and human rights... is a domain that requires horizontal vision and cross-functional collaboration – whether within companies, governments, or the EU... [I]f [the Binding Treaty] were to “succeed” in... being adopted by some minimum required number of states, it would be by locking in lower expectations and fewer incentives for innovative practical approaches than exist today.

 

 

 

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Related companies: Shift