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[PDF] Keynote address at the Civil Society Consultations of the UN Secretary General’s Special Representative on Business and Human Rights, Palais des Nations, Geneva, 11 October 2010

Author: Irene Khan, board member of the Institute for Human Rights and Business, Published on: 11 October 2010

I think it is important for us to begin by looking back. Think back to 2004. The business and human rights debate was at a stalemate...Six years later, we are in a very different place, thanks to [UN Special Representative on Business and Human Rights] John [Ruggie]’s leadership...The Special Representative has established a good common ground from which he is now embarking on the drafting of Guiding Principles...[which] could set the direction on corporate accountability, and be the precursor to further international law development. That is an exciting prospect but it is not without its challenges and risks...[There is] considerable scope for creating a gold standard through creative drafting, astute diplomacy and skilful advocacy. Civil society has an important role to play in that process.

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