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22 Sep 2021

Richard Howitt

In Memory of John G. Ruggie: Tribute by Richard Howitt

John Ruggie will be remembered in history as the remarkable change-maker who made the breakthrough in establishing the global framework through which businesses could apply and be held accountable for respecting human rights. Personally, I am proud to call him a friend, partner and a mentor. It is with unspeakable sadness that I heard of his passing. As a generation and as a movement, I am simply one of huge numbers of people around the world, with whom it was a privilege to work, to learn and to be inspired by John. As a politician, I once said to him that he was a better politician than me. As an economist, he was the best of human rights lawyers. As someone who strode the United Nations with great humility and a fine sense of humour, he was quite simply a wonderful human being. John’s legacy isn’t just in fond memories, but in doing something which has changed the world for good.