The global marketplace marketplace is becoming ever more connected, with firms searching for customers, sourcing materials, and investing around the world. The OECD’s Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises (MNEs) offer the most comprehensive, government-backed recommendations on responsible business conduct (RBC) today. The Guidelines provide a voluntary framework to help governments, businesses, and civil society promote sustainable economic development that respects human rights. The Guidelines are arranged around 11 chapters, including chapters on human rights, labor and employment, environment, corruption, disclosure, and supply chain management.
Unique among international standards on RBC, the Guidelines establish a network of National Contact Points (NCPs) dedicated to promoting adoption of the Guidelines and offering mediation in cases where a specific instance has been raised regarding behavior or a situation that runs counter to these principles. The U.S. National Contact Point is Melike Yetken, who can be reached at:
U.S. National Contact Point
Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs
U.S. Department of State
2201 C St. NW
Washington, DC 20520
The OECD Investment Committee established the Working Party on Responsible Business Conduct to expand the reach and effectiveness of the Guidelines. This is conducted, in part, through a “proactive agenda” that encourages responsible conduct through an inclusive, multi-stakeholder approach. The Working Party is currently developing guidance on how the Guidelines apply specifically to due diligence in extractive industries, the financial sector, the textiles sector, and agricultural supply chains. The Working Party also hosts an annual Global Forum on RBC in June.