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2 Dec 2020

Dante Pesce, Vice-Chair, UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights

Remarks by the Vice-Chair of the UN Working Group at the International Forum on Sustainable Mineral Supply Chains

Thank you to CCCMC for the invitation. We need China and Chinese business to be part of the solution to societal challenges. There will be no lasting solutions if China is not part of them. That is why we welcome this invitation, and I would like to congratulate you for convening this important forum. It is needed and timely on an urgent issue.

I address you in my capacity as Vice-Chair of the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights...

The theme of our session is “Rule Change and Governance Improvement in New Era”. It makes no doubt that the unanimous endorsement of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights by the UN Human Rights Council in 2011 was a landmark moment for business respect for human rights but also for better business...

The 16th of June next year will mark the 10th anniversary of the UN Guiding Principles. This anniversary provides us with an opportunity to reflect on progress and challenges and, more importantly, to make a renewed push for scaled-up global implementation over the next decade.

This is why we launched the project "Business and human rights: towards a decade of global implementation" on 7 July this year. It is better known as the UNGPs10+ or Next Decade BHR project...

And I should be absolutely clear that we need the perspective of actors such as CCCMC. These voices, coming from outside of Europe, are essential. This is why I want to take the opportunity of this Forum to invite CCCMC – and its peers – to explore with the Working Group similar opportunities to incorporate the UNGPs. Of course, a starting point is setting a clear expectation to your members to respect human rights, in your overseas investments and operations, and apply it in your business relationships and across your extensive supply chains. You have in your hands the opportunity to lead a much-needed cultural transformation for how to do business, by fully embedding the UNGPs and respect for human rights in the day-to-day practices of your members...

As we build a roadmap for the next decade, we seek to practise what UN Secretary-General Guterres has called “inclusive multilateralism”. We are trying our best to expand the “tent” of ownership, both of the process and its outputs. We aim to build a true global coalition of the willing.