In September, President Obama said the administration would develop a U.S. National Action Plan (NAP) to promote responsible business conduct abroad consistent with the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
As part of the consultative process leading up to the development of the action plan, U.S. officials will attend a series of open dialogues hosted by independent organizations where stakeholders can provide input on the NAP process and content.
USCIB and New York University’s Stern School of Business hosted the first event in this series on December 15 on the NYU campus.
Ambassador Elizabeth Cousens, U.S. Representative to the UN Economic and Social Council, speaking at the NAP dialogue on December 15 at NYU Stern’s campus.
U.S. government representatives from the Department of Labor, Department of State and the U.S. Mission to the United Nations came together at the open dialogue to gather input from the private sector and other stakeholders that promote respect for human rights internationally.
“There is in fact a huge new appreciation for the role of the private sector and business generally,” said Ambassador Elizabeth Cousens, U.S. Representative to the UN Economic and Social Council. “And what business can do, together with communities and civil society, to contribute to development and human rights.”
The dialogue began with a plenary session, where Ariel Meyerstein, USCIB’s vice president for labor affairs, corporate responsibility and corporate governance, moderated a panel with representatives from the State and Labor Departments on the development of the U.S. National Action Plan. The plenary was followed by small workshop discussions on a range of topics related to responsible business conduct.
The NAP will aim to unify government efforts in promoting best practices in the areas of human rights, labor rights, corruption and transparency abroad, with clear and predictable guidelines.
More about the National Action Plan can be found in the White House’s fact sheet and on the Business and Human Rights Resource Center website.