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Ambassador Harper: Implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights
March 21, 2016

Item 8 General Debate

Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America
31st Session of the Human Rights Council

As Delivered by Ambassador Keith Harper

March 21, 2016

Geneva, Switzerland


Mr. President,

The United States supports implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and appreciates the work the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, together with the UN Working Group on the issues of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises.

 The United States implements our business and human rights-related commitments through legal and regulatory regimes and ongoing engagement with businesses, NGOs, governments, and international organizations.  We are currently developing a comprehensive National Action Plan on Responsible Business Conduct to promote and incentivize responsible business conduct, consistent with the Guiding Principles.  We also encourage responsible investment and transparency by U.S. companies abroad and participate in initiatives consistent with the Guiding Principles, including the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights and the International Code of Conduct for Private Security Service Providers’ Association.

 The UN Guiding Principles provide an effective set of guidelines for avoiding and ameliorating adverse human rights impacts that involve business activity.  The work being done by companies, governments, and other stakeholders – including through partnerships and multi-stakeholder initiatives – is innovative, constructive, and bearing fruit.  The Guiding Principles represent a creative consensus-based approach to solving problems presented to non-State actors and States.  As we move forward we believe this consensus approach is necessary for continued progress.

 Thank you.