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IOE Contact

Mr Roberto Suárez Santos
Acting Secretary General
Direct line: +41 22 929 00 27

Mr Peter Hall
Direct line: + 41 22 929 00 21


In June 2011, The Human Rights Council unanimously endorsed the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, implementing the UN “Protect, Respect and Remedy” Framework elaborated by the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General, Professor John Ruggie, after six years of multi-stakeholder consultations, including the IOE’s full and active involvement. A joint IOE/BIAC statement was issued in support of this endorsement and the IOE made an oral intervention before the Council during the debate.

To date, the UN “Protect, Respect, Remedy” framework has enjoyed important uptake, interacting with a range of processes well beyond the United Nations itself. These include the ISO 26000 guidelines on social responsibility, the updating of the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, as well as the International Finance Corporation revision of their Performance Standards.

The UN Human Rights Council is now moving forward with the follow-up, which includes a “UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights” consisting of five persons (nominations October 2011).

Whilst the financing of this group and its mandate are not yet clear, it seems certain that they will have a role in promoting the principles, acting as a collection point for good practice and sustaining the multi-stakeholder character of Prof. Ruggie’s work by convening an annual forum to discuss progress made. There is no complaints mechanism in the follow-up; the focus will rather be on, in Prof. Ruggie’s words, “knowing and showing”, rather than “naming and shaming”.

The IOE will continue to monitor the follow-up and provide practical guidance for members on the principles to assist them with their own member engagement.