USCIB Pleased With Many of the Outcomes of International Telecommunication Union Meetings

The UN International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Plenipotentiary (PP-22) wrapped up on October 14 with several Resolutions, “Final Acts,” many of which are both supported by and important to business. These Resolutions determine the direction of the Union, its finances and its activities for the next four years. Some of the Resolutions that were of keen interest to USCIB members were centered around Internet Protocol (IP)-based networks, the role of multistakeholder engagement and Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies.

Of major relevance to the U.S. business community was the election of new leadership posts – mostly notably the new ITU Secretary General Doreen Bogdan-Martin, who USCIB actively supported. The other elected positions included Deputy Secretary General and the new Directors of the Standardization, Development, and Radiocommunication Bureaus.

Resolution 101 on Internet Protocol (IP)-based networks ultimately recognized the importance of ITU cooperation with the Internet Society, the Internet Engineering Task Force, UNESCO and other UN entities to ensure appropriate coordination on IP network issues. USCIB did not support any modifications to previous text, believing that this Resolution was sufficiently broad and flexible to address a range of issues. According to USCIB VP for ICT Policy Barbara Wanner, who attended the Plenipotentiary in Bucharest, U.S. negotiators were able to hold the line on more ambitious proposed changes to this resolution.

The ITU’s role with respect to international public policy issues pertaining to the Internet and the management of Internet resources, including domain names and addresses was addressed in Resolution 102.

“USCIB supported greater emphasis on the importance of multistakeholder engagement, including opening the Council Working Group on International Internet Public Policy to Sector Members, and elevating the reference to organizations involved in the technical aspects of the Internet (e.g., ICANN, IETF, RIRs) into the body of the Resolution.”

The Union recognized the importance of the private sector role in expanding development of the Internet and the need for greater reciprocal collaboration and coordination between the ITU and the aforementioned organizations. Throughout the resolution, the Union also acknowledged the need for stakeholder input concerning the management of Internet resources. Ultimately, however, ITU members stopped short of opening the CWG-Internet to Sector Members.

According to Wanner, there is also a new resolution on AI technologies and telecommunications/information and communication technologies.

“USCIB has been wary of efforts to expand the ITU work program to include AI and other emerging technologies on grounds that, if not appropriately scoped, the policy outcomes could stifle innovation and not be technology-neutral,” said Wanner.

“Recognizing the keen interest of many ITU members in AI, however, we supported an approach that would examine how the application of AI to telecommunications/ICTs has the potential to make telecommunications/ICTs more efficient and to facilitate universal access to telecommunications/ ICT,” added Wanner. “We felt this was within the mandate and core competencies of the Union related to telecommunications/ICTs. We are especially grateful for the effective advocacy of the U.S. Government on this topic.”

USCIB Attends WTO Public Forum, Meets with WTO Director General

Stacy Dieve (Cisco), Megan Funkhouser (ITIC), Alice Slayton Clark (USCIB)  with WTO Director General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (center) with WTO Deputy Director-General Anabel González

USCIB was in Geneva for the WTO Public Forum last week, advocating with USCIB members and other industry associations for the launch of a new round of tariff eliminations under the Information Technology Agreement (ITA-3) and for permanent extension of moratorium on customs duties on electronic transmissions.

The meetings with WTO officials, including Director General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, and WTO missions made progress in laying the ground work for member objectives, but also provided important insights into how USCIB and member companies can navigate the challenges ahead.

USCIB member companies also met with Representative Director of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in Geneva Crispin Conroy to discuss the WTO landscape and USCIB/ICC international trade priorities. USCIB is working closely with ICC on WTO workstreams including with respect to the Joint Statement Initiative on Electronic Commerce, the e-commerce moratorium, the Trade and Environmental Sustainability Structured Discussions (TESSD) and WTO reform.

USCIB and ICC remain strong advocates for a more formal role for business and civil society input at the WTO, especially as the forum becomes one more focused on policy discussion.

USCIB Comments on China’s WTO Commitments: Urges Protection of IP, Voices Concern Over 301 Tariffs

USCIB submitted comments to the U.S. Trade Representative regarding China’s WTO compliance with its World Trade Organization commitments, raising a broad array of concerns including in the areas of digital, intellectual property rights (IPR), regulatory policies, competition, transparency and standards.

The comments urge the U.S. government to continue to press for a complete suspension of all existing and proposed measures involving trade-restrictive requirements in the digital sector, where China has enacted and enforced a variety of trade-restrictive and overly prescriptive requirements on information technology (IT). In the area of intellectual property, USCIB urges the U.S. government to continue to press for increased protections, as well as enhanced and efficient enforcement options, better coordination and enforcement by Chinese authorities, and more severe penalties for infringement of IPR. The comments add that concerns about Chinese behavior even extend beyond WTO compliance issues to areas such as government procurement.

USCIB also raises concerns over the Section 301 tariffs imposed against Chinese imports, noting that these tariffs have caused harm to domestic industry and done little to date to change Chinese behavior. The tariffs cover over $370 billion in goods, raising the cost of doing business in the United States and increasing prices for U.S. families and workers, a hardship exacerbated by today’s inflationary environment. According to USCIB Director for Investment, Trade and China Alice Slayton Clark, “as these tariffs continue, they create uncertainty for businesses and negatively impact U.S. companies’ ability to invest in their companies to innovate new products, hire more American workers, and remain competitive globally.” It is essential that the United States adopt a robust strategy that does not only rely on the use of punitive tariffs to achieve its objectives with China.

“Engagement with China can be challenging but China’s importance in the global economy provides a strong incentive for the United States to engage on all fronts to find solutions and foster stability and growth in the relationship,” according to Clark. The United States must not only continue to promote U.S. interests in the WTO rules-based international trading order, but also work with allies to address common concerns with respect to China, and work bilaterally with China to resolve challenges.

USCIB at UNGA77: Perspectives and Summary of Key Events

As the United Nations opened its 77th Session of the General Assembly, USCIB was on hand to inform the deliberations.  USCIB convened several high-level meetings, which delivered impactful and informative dialogues and practical next steps.  Throughout, USCIB highlighted the private sector’s commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the UN Secretary General’s visionary Our Common Agenda, and to effective and resilient multilateral institutions, led by the UN. Below, we are pleased to share perspectives by USCIB’s leadership—USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson and USCIB Board of Trustees’ Sustainability Champion and Novozymes CEO Ester Baiget—on UNGA77 and the private sector’s role, as well as summaries of USCIB events during UNGA77. Finally, we also include a look-ahead at USCIB’s ambitious plan for UN engagement and advocacy for 2023 and beyond by USCIB SVP Norine Kennedy.

Table of Contents:
  1. USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson shares his perspectives on UNGA77 opening
  2. Statement by USCIB Board of Trustee’s Sustainability Champion and Novozymes CEO Ester Baiget
  3. USCIB Launches New Initiative Moving the Needle (MTN): Advancing our Common Agenda with Business
  4. High-Level Business Roundtable on Achieving Ambition and Action Across the Life Cycle of Plastic Pollution
  5. IOE-SHRM-USCIB Global Business Town Hall: A Business Agenda for Action, A Human-Centric Approach
  6. USCIB Hosts Centro Regional del Sector Privada (CR/SP) for a CEO Discussion of SDGs and Supply Chains
  7. Looking ahead to 2023 and beyond by USCIB Senior Vice President for Policy and Global Strategy Norine Kennedy
Peter Robinson
Peter Robinson shares perspectives on UNGA77 opening

No longer on the Sidelines, Committed Business Part of the Main Event during the 2022 UNGA Opening Week

Since its inception, the annual UN General Assembly High-Level opening in New York has provided a platform for world leaders to declare their shared aspirations for the future, and earlier this month, it returned in person for the first time since the pandemic shutdown.  Even during these challenging times, UNGA opening continues to be a show of solidarity where willing nations work together on world problems, despite the diversity of views and realities.  In addition to government representatives, the annual UNGA gathering has provided an opportunity to forge collaborations for action with non-state actors.

When it comes to such collaborations for action, the landscape for UNGA opening has dramatically changed, especially since the introduction of the 2030 Agenda and Paris Agreement. There is increasing interest from stakeholders across the board to actively engage, not just in side-meetings, but in the room and at the table – civil society, business, academia among many others.

If we take a step back and consider what this increasingly mainstreamed presence of representatives of the private sector and civil society really means, it is a testament to what the UN has achieved: it has succeeded in raising awareness and sparking commitment, notably from business (and other societal partners) around issues beyond “just talk.” Sustainability considerations across the entire spectrum of SDGs are now integrated into business strategies, targets and objectives.

The perfect formula for success in international cooperation has not yet been discovered.  There is room to improve, but an overabundance of good will is not a bad problem to have, especially in light of recent disruptive events.  That is why USCIB launched its campaign “Moving the Needle: Advancing Our Common Agenda With Business.” This campaign will advance practical private sector solutions, tools, resources and partnerships across the UNGA 77th session’s thematic pillars: Sustainability, Science and Solidarity.

The UN Secretary-General has stated that the international community faces a momentous choice: “will we break through or break down?” This question is more urgent than ever and a strong, resilient and inclusive UN is essential to that breakthrough. For all the challenges that the UN faces, there is no other institution that can bring together 193 countries alongside other non-governmental interests to advance shared goals and objectives towards a better future, and there is no more necessary partner than the business community.   

Business is ready to work with the UN. Why? Because the UN’s success and resilience are critical to the private sector’s ability to operate, create jobs, mobilize resources, and deploy solutions. Time and again, business has leaned into international cooperation for our shared interest. As the only U.S. business group in consultative standing to the UN ECOSOC, USCIB is dedicated to inclusive practical multilateralism, involving business for impact. No longer a side show, the business community is committed to do its part, working with and through the UN system, towards the UN Summits for SDGs in 2023 and for the Future in 2024.

Statement by USCIB Board of Trustees Sustainability Champion and CEO, Novozymes Ester Baiget:

USCIB has released a statement by Ester Baiget, chief executive officer of Novozymes and USCIB Board of Trustees Sustainability Champion.

We are inspired by the UN Secretary General’s Report, Our Common Agenda, and embrace its objective to supercharge implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its innovative ideas for action.  We share the concern of lost progress towards the objectives of the SDGs, and see the urgency of pursuing systemwide change to tackle climate change, plastics pollution and threats to biodiversity.

 

USCIB Launches New Initiative: Moving the Needle (MTN): Advancing Our Common Agenda with Business – September 15
L-R: HE Ambassador Chris Lu and Peter Robinson

On Thursday, September 15, USCIB launched its new initiative called “Moving the Needle (MTN): Advancing Our Common Agenda with Business” with a first roundtable focused on “Tracking Progress, Identifying Gaps.” The session highlighted business innovation, initiatives and partnerships related to information, data and metrics relevant to accelerate the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and delivering on proposals laid out in the UN Secretary-General’s report, Our Common Agenda (OCA). USCIB member Microsoft generously hosted the event at Microsoft UN Affairs Offices located at One Dag Hammarskjold Plaza in New York. High-level speakers included the new President of the UN General Assembly (PGA) H.E. Ambassador Csaba Korosi, President of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) H.E. Ambassador Lachezara Stoeva, as well as U.S. Representative for UN Management and Reform H.E. Ambassador Chris Lu. The main panel featured speakers from USCIB members Deloitte, LinkedIn, Google and RELX who shared their perspective on practical private sector approaches that can fast track the SDGs to accomplish key OCA proposals.

MTN will result in a white paper titled “Business and the UN 2.0,” that will offer proposals on how to enhance private sector interfaces with the UN as integral to practical, networked and inclusive multilateralism. For more information, and to express interest to contribute to the white paper, please contact Agnes Vinblad at avinblad@uscib.org

High-Level Business Roundtable on Achieving Ambition and Action Across the Life Cycle of Plastic Pollution – September 16

On Friday, September 16, USCIB, with the International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA) and American Chemistry Council (ACC), convened a High-Level Business Roundtable on Achieving Ambition and Action Across the Life Cycle of Plastic Pollution. This off-the-record roundtable focused on how business can play an active and supportive role in the development and deliberations of a legally binding international agreement on plastics pollution, which will begin to be negotiated in November of this year. CEO’s and C-suite executives were able to exchange views with UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director Inger Andersen, as well as Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs Monica Medina. This roundtable was complemented by a limited industry roundtable organized by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) the following Monday, September 18.

USCIB will continue to engage in these negotiating processes and will be on the ground for INC-1 in Uruguay. For more information, contact Chris Olsen at colsen@uscib.org

IOE-SHRM-USCIB Global Business Town Hall: A Business Agenda for Action, A Human-Centric Approach – September 21
Emily Dickens (SHRM)

On Wednesday, September 21, USCIB joined with partners, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the International Organization of Employers (IOE), to hold a Global Business Town Hall. The Town Hall, attended by nearly 300 people from across 44 countries, tackled some of pressing priorities outlined in the UN Secretary General’s report Our Common Agenda, which seeks to foster a human-centric recovery for the global workforce in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Panels centered around four critical areas from Our Common Agenda, including resetting the multilateral system, rethinking education to close the skills gap, reforming global response to future health crises, and reinforcing human rights through the role of governance and the rule of law. Other high-level speakers and panelists included International Labor Organization (ILO) Director-General Elect Gilbert Houngbo, UN DESA Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development Navid Hanif, IOE Secretary-General Roberto Suarez Santos, President UN Human Rights Council Federico Villegas, and SHRM Chief of Staff, Head of Government Affairs and Corporate Secretary Emily M. Dickens, who served as keynote, and USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson who gave concluding remarks.

This town hall was a second in a series, following one organized by USCIB, SHRM and IOE during the UN High-Level Political Forum in July.

USCIB Hosts Centro Regional del Sector Privada (CR/SP) for a CEO Discussion of SDGs and Supply Chains

USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson welcomed a group of CEOs and UN and business leaders to USCIB offices on September 20 to focus on the relationship and synergy between the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and business supply chains.

Lead-off presentations from UN Assistant Secretary General Nikhil Seth, Executive Director of the UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), and U.S. Ambassador John Negroponte, former U.S. Representative to the UN, and former Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans, Environment and International Science, highlighted the importance of business in advancing the SDGs, which have demonstrated noteworthy staying power, and have taken on even greater relevance than when they were developed and agreed in 2015.

Subsequent presentations from C-suite representatives of AB InBev, Enel, Millicom Tigo and Walmart provided examples of initiatives to promote circular economy, economic empowerment and inclusion and climate-friendly SDG-oriented energy investments both in the Latin American region and globally.

Based in Colombia, CR/SP is an UN-private sector initiative launched in 2009 to build Latin American capacity and strengthen the pursuit of sustainable development action in the Latam region in line with the SDGs and through the active engagement of the private sector.

Looking Ahead: Norine Kennedy, USCIB SVP, Policy and Global Strategy
Norine Kennedy

The UNGA opening week may be over, but the work is just getting underway. USCIB’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Working Group will again be following and weighing in with USCIB members’ views on UN deliberations, including the customary suite of SDG-related sessions:

In 2023: 

  • The ECOSOC Partnerships Forum
  • The UN Multistakeholder Science, Technology and Innovation Forum
  • The Finance for Development Forum (FFD)
  • The UN High-Level Political Forum

In addition, USCIB will be tracking and informing further work on recommendations set out in the UN Secretary General’s Report, “Our Common Agenda.”

We will also follow and bring the voice and engagement of our members to preparations for influential mandated UN meetings and summits taking place in 2023 – 2024, including: 

  • The 5th UN Conference on Least Developed Countries (LDCs)
  • UN High-Level Dialogue on FFD
  • UN High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage
  • UN High-Level Meeting on pandemic prevention, preparedness and response
  • Preparatory Ministerial for the Summit of the Future
  • The UN SDG Summit
  • The UN Summit for the Future

USCIB Applauds Historic Election of Doreen Bogdan-Martin to ITU Secretary General

Doreen Bogdan-Martin
Source: US Mission to Geneva

New York, NY, September 29, 2022–The U.S. Council for International Business applauds the resounding victory today of Doreen Bogdan-Martin to serve as the new Secretary General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). ITU member states made history by elevating Ms. Bogdan-Martin to lead the organization the next four years — the first-ever female to serve as ITU Secretary General. Ms. Bogdan-Martin garnered 139 votes; Rashid Ismailov, a former Russian telecom official, secured 25. The vote was taken by secret ballot at the 21st meeting of the ITU Plenipotentiary (PP-22), September 26-October 14, in Bucharest, Romania.

“After 150 years, we shattered the glass ceiling,” Secretary General Bogdan-Martin said after the results were announced. The full text of her acceptance speech is available at this link.

Barbara Wanner, USCIB’s Vice President of ICT Policy, who participated in the PP-22 as a member of the U.S. Government delegation, concurred that the election represented a truly historic development. “The sheer breadth of support for Ms. Bogdan-Martin reflected a recognition across the Union that she is the right person for the job as the information and communication technology (ICT) landscape continues to evolve,” Wanner said.

July 13, 2022 reception in NY during UN HLPF. Left to right: Barbara Wanner, Doreen Bogdan-Martin, Peter Robinson

USCIB was one the earliest organizational supporters of Ms. Bogdan-Martin’s candidacy. “It was readily apparent to our members that she possesses both the substantive knowledge and leadership skills to place the ITU at the forefront of global efforts to drive meaningful connectivity for the unconnected, broaden and deepen partnerships to accelerate digital transformation, and support greater organizational accountability,” Wanner noted. Thanks to members’ generous support, USCIB boosted Ms. Bogdan-Martin’s candidacy by hosting a special reception on July 13 in New York to enable her to engage informally with many UN delegates and share her leadership vision for the ITU.

In addition to electing the Secretary General and other key leadership positions, the ITU Plenipotentiary, which is held every four years, enables the ITU’s 193 Member States to conclude key agreements on the ITU’s strategic and financial plans and determine the direction for ICT issues under its remit for the next four years.

Other highlights of the first week of the PP-22 included:

  • An announcement by the U.S Government that it plans to increase its assessed contribution rate to the ITU from 30 contributory units to 35 contributory units, which would represent an additional 1.59 million Swiss francs per year to support the work of the ITU; and
  • Establishment of numerous ad hoc committees and informal consultations to build consensus on proposed resolutions on cybersecurity, Internet-related issues, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and space policy issues of priority interest to USCIB members.

About USCIB: USCIB promotes open markets, competitiveness and innovation, sustainable development, and corporate responsibility, supported by international engagement and regulatory coherence. Its members include U.S.-based global companies and professional services firms from every sector of our economy, with operations in every region of the world. USCIB is the U.S. affiliate of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the International Organization of Employers (IOE) and Business at OECD. More at www.uscib.org.

USCIB at UNGA77: Business Roundtable on Action Across the Life Cycle of Plastic Pollution 

On the margins of the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA77), USCIB, the International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA) and American Chemistry Council (ACC) convened a High-Level Business Roundtable on Achieving Ambition and Action Across the Life Cycle of Plastic Pollution. This roundtable focused on the UN decision earlier this year to launch negotiations on a global treaty on plastics pollution, and how business could play an active and supportive role in the deliberations. 

The message from CEO’s and C-suite executives was clear: U.S. business to work with governments and the international community to develop an ambitious and effective plastics pollution agreement that will accelerate the transition to a circular economy, while reflecting a lifecycle approach. President and CEO of USCIB Peter Robinson declared, “The key to achieve a truly implementable and successful global plastics pollution agreement will be animating all business sectors, while developing partnerships and regionally relevant win-win solutions for communities around the globe.” 

High level speakers included Under Secretary General of the United Nations, Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Inger Andersen, Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs Monica Medina as well as Permanent Representative to the UN for the International Organization of Employers (IOE) Shea Gopaul.  

The roundtable discussion explored key issues, such as how the private sector and government can act jointly to accelerate the shift to a more circular plastics economy and increase the availability of recycled plastic while promoting infrastructure critical to enable efficient recycling and waste management. Some of the key solutions to solve plastics pollution will be found through unlocking private sector financing and innovation, and providing capacity building for regulators, communities, and Small and Medium Enterprises. 

USCIB Launches Initiative During UNGA: “Moving the Needle: Advancing Our Common Agenda with Business”  

L-R: HE Ambassador Chris Lu and Peter Robinson

On the opening week of the United Nations General Assembly’s 77th session, USCIB launched its new initiative called “Moving the Needle (MTN): Advancing our Common Agenda with Business” with a first roundtable focused on “Tracking Progress, Identifying Gaps.” The session highlighted business innovation, initiatives and partnerships related to information, data and metrics relevant to accelerate the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and delivering on proposals laid out in the UN Secretary-General’s report, Our Common Agenda (OCA). USCIB member Microsoft generously hosted the event at Microsoft UN Affairs Offices located at One Dag Hammarskjold Plaza in New York.  

High-level speakers included the new President of the UN General Assembly (PGA) H.E. Ambassador Csaba Korosi, President of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) H.E. Ambassador Lachezara Stoeva, as well as U.S. Representative for UN Management and Reform H.E. Ambassador Chris Lu.    

According to USCIB Senior Vice President for Policy and Global Strategy Norine Kennedy, the Presidents of the General Assembly and ECOSOC both emphasized the importance of next year’s SDG Summit, which will mark the halfway point in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Private sector and all stakeholders are encouraged to actively engage in the lead up process, as it presents an opportunity for a reality check on what the world has collectively achieved since the SDGs were first launched in 2015 and how to maximize the time left.  

Daniel Altman, Public Policy, Artificial Intelligence & Emerging Tech, Google

The main panel featured speakers from Deloitte, LinkedIn, Google and RELX who shared their perspective on practical private sector approaches that can fast track the SDGs to accomplish key OCA proposals. USCIB and its members also reiterated its commitment to the UN by bringing business solutions into the multilateral system that can contribute to a better understanding of a stronger, more resilient, and effective United Nations for all.  

USCIB’s MTN initiative will be a series of roundtables, all of which will contribute to a final “Moving the Needle Roadmaps for Results” report that will provide the foundation for elaborating options towards a more systematic engagement with business in targeted practical areas aligned with the theme of the 77th session of the UN General assembly: Solutions for Sustainability, Science and Solidarity. 

Looking to the SDG Summit taking place in 2023 and the Summit of the Future in 2024, MTN will leverage upcoming opportunities to bring together representatives of UN Missions and Agencies, and business leaders to identify hands-on solutions to deliver on OCA proposals and advance the SDGs.  Based on the learnings outlined in the “Moving the Needle Roadmaps for Results,” USCIB will develop a white paper on “Business and the UN 2.0,” that will offer proposals on how to enhance private sector interfaces with the UN as integral to practical, networked and inclusive multilateralism.   

Eric Loeb (Salesforce) Elected Chair of USCIB

Left to right: Eric Loeb, Peter M. Robinson

Eric Loeb of Salesforce was elected to serve as the Chair of the United States Council for International Business (USCIB) for the 2022-24 term. Loeb, executive vice president of global government affairs and public policy at Salesforce, Inc. succeeds Harold “Terry” McGraw III, former chairman, president and CEO at McGraw Hill Companies, who served as USCIB chair since 2010.  In addition, USCIB board member Charles “Rick” Johnston, managing director, global government affairs at Citi and chair of Business at OECD (BIAC), was elected a vice chair, joining vice chair Michele Parmelee, Deloitte deputy CEO and chief people and purpose office and president of the International Organization of Employers (IOE).

“We are thrilled to announce the election of Eric Loeb as chair of USCIB. Eric has been a champion of USCIB for many years and has regularly demonstrated his commitment to business leadership in the multilateral arena,” said USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson. “I would also like to express my personal gratitude to Terry McGraw for his outstanding and dedicated stewardship, which has spanned over a decade.”

Loeb has an extensive track record of leadership roles at USCIB, including as a member of the Board of Directors. Prior to joining Salesforce to lead global government affairs and public policy, Loeb was senior vice president of international external affairs at AT&T and served as chair of the USCIB Information, Communications and Technology (ICT) Committee. As ICT chair, Loeb oversaw the committee’s development and delivery of business views on information technology and Internet policy worldwide. He also co-chaired the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Task Force on Internet and Telecoms Infrastructure and Services.

“I am honored to be entrusted with this opportunity to support the mission of USCIB, an organization I have worked with and admired for over two decades,” said Loeb. “USCIB has impactful members across all U.S. industry sectors, a talented policy staff and a unique position as the U.S. business representative to the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the International Organization of Employers (IOE), Business at OECD (BIAC) and the United Nations Economic and Social Council (UN ECOSOC). Together, we will be inclusive, substantive and focused on strengthening cooperation for the most important issues for our global stakeholders.”

Through Loeb’s direction, Salesforce has also been an active supporter of The USCIB Foundation, including as a member of the Business Advisory Council of the USCIB Foundation’s, Business Partners to CONVINCE initiative, which is a global movement of employers of all sizes that seeks to build vaccine confidence and support uptake among employees.

USCIB-SHRM-IOE Town Hall During UNGA Discusses Critical Priorities of UN’s Our Common Agenda

New York, NY, September 21, 2022—As the second week of the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly got underway, the United States Council for International Business (USCIB) joined with partners, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the International Organization of Employers (IOE), to hold a Global Business Town Hall on September 21. The Town Hall tackled some of pressing priorities outlined in the UN Secretary General’s report Our Common Agenda, which seeks to foster a human-centric recovery for the global workforce in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Panels centered around four critical areas from Our Common Agenda, including resetting the multilateral system, rethinking education to close the skills gap, reforming global response to future health crises, and reinforcing human rights through the role of governance and the rule of law.

“Business is a full partner and, together, we have the capacity to respond to these pressing global challenges,” asserted USCIB President and CEO Peter M. Robinson during his closing remarks.

Other high-level speakers and panelists included International Labor Organization (ILO) Director-General Elect Gilbert Houngbo, UN DESA Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development Navid Hanif, IOE Secretary-General Roberto Suarez Santos, President UN Human Rights Council Federico Villegas, and SHRM Chief of Staff, Head of Government Affairs and Corporate Secretary Emily M. Dickens, who served as keynote.

Emily Dickens (SHRM)

“The report mentions that we truly are at an inflection point in history,” Dickens told the audience of over 300 attendees, which consisted of representatives from business and UN officials. “I submit to you today that this inflection point touches no other place like it does the workplace—the location where people spend the majority of their time, the mechanism that allows people to take care of themselves and their families, the incubator for innovation that impacts how well we live.”

This town hall was a second in a series, following one organized by USCIB, SHRM and IOE during the UN High-Level Political Forum in July.

About USCIB: USCIB promotes open markets, competitiveness and innovation, sustainable development, and corporate responsibility, supported by international engagement and regulatory coherence. Its members include U.S.-based global companies and professional services firms from every sector of our economy, with operations in every region of the world. USCIB is the U.S. affiliate of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the International Organization of Employers (IOE) and Business at OECD. More at www.uscib.org.

USCIB Launches Advocacy Campaign on OECD Accession Process

USCIB launched its advocacy campaign on the OECD accession process last week, co-hosting with the U.S. Chamber “The OECD Accession Process: Why it Matters for U.S. Business,” a high level dialogue featuring OECD legal counsel, Business at OECD (BIAC) and leaders of U.S. industry. The event featured Gita Kothari, OECD deputy director for legal affairs, Ali Karami Ruis, BIAC senior director, and Rick Johnston, chair of BIAC and the USCIB Trade & Investment Committee, who provided guidance on the accession processes and on how American companies can play a role in leveraging business interests. Norine Kennedy, USCIB senior vice president for policy and global strategy, and Gary Litman, U.S. Chamber of Commerce senior vice president for global initiatives, provided welcoming remarks.

Starting this fall, dozens of OECD committees will undertake detailed technical reviews of candidate country practices relating to a wide array of issues such as tax, environment, good governance and trade. The committees will consider the willingness and ability of the candidates to adopt OECD standards and recommend changes to laws and practices, a process that can take up to eight years, advancing at different paces depending on the candidate. Reforms must be adopted before a country is invited to accede.

“OECD accessions provide a unique opportunity for USCIB member companies to change policy and reform laws never thought possible before in candidate countries,” asserted Alice Slayton Clark, USCIB director for investment, trade and China. BIAC is distinctively placed to advance industry interests because it is authorized to participate in the work of the OECD and its committees. It also can activate its global business association members to coordinate advocacy strategies and provide high level access and engagement with the thirty-eight OECD ambassadors in Paris.

USCIB, through its unique affiliation to BIAC, offers its members a special avenue to influence this process. USCIB policy managers have already started engaging members at the committee level on priority issues to advocate through BIAC and with relevant Biden Administration officials.

“The OECD is a business friendly environment, bringing cooperation over the accession process to a new level and yielding tangible benefits for countries and companies,” stressed Clark.  “Now is the time for business to get involved and maximize results.”

USCIB has also released an OECD fact sheet on the advocacy campaign, which can be accessed here.