Panel on the Tenth Anniversary of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights

Panel on the Tenth Anniversary of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights

U.S. Written Statement
June 29, 2021

On June 16, the tenth anniversary of the endorsement of the UN Guiding Principles (UNGPs), the U.S. government renewed its commitment to advancing business and human rights under the UNGPs. Secretary of State Blinken’s statement marking the tenth anniversary included a commitment to update and revitalize our National Action Plan on Responsible Business Conduct, first issued in 2016. There is a need for a whole-of-government process to improve and expand our efforts to promote Responsible Business Conduct as we look ahead to the next decade.

We must go further in shaping the business and human rights agenda in concert with business, civil society, and governments. Businesses in the rapidly evolving emerging technology sector have a particular opportunity to shape its deployment and establish guardrails against misuse. There needs to also be more positive attention on the leverage wielded by investors, including private equity, venture capital firms, and multilateral development banks, to address human rights violations and abuses, including those committed against environmental defenders.

As we look to the next decade under the UNGPs, much work remains. The success of future efforts to build upon the UNGPs will depend upon maintaining the multistakeholder and consensus-based approach that has made them such a success. We stand ready to engage in any such process constructively and in good faith.