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29 Jul 2015

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights urges member states to include corporate accountability in final post-2015 development agenda

This process...has generated an important final draft oucome document that promises to break down the old silos of the past, integrating attention to the economic, social, environmental and human rights imperatives of sustainable development...The current draft is replete with references to the role of the private sector in the new agenda.  Notably absent, however, is a corresponding level of accountability for private sector actors as well as safeguards and due diligence standards to ensure that private sector harms to human rights, labour, the environment, and sustainable development are prevented and, where they do occur, remedied.  This lacuna is evident with all private sector activities referenced in the draft, including business, trade, investment, and public and private partnrships.  This is a fundamental weakness in the draft, and I strongly urge member states to correct it, including with a reference to the UN's own Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the labour standards of the ILO, and UN treaties in the field of human rights, labour, and the environment.