Tag Archive for ‘United Nations’
Christine Bader’s new book – “The Evolution of a Corporate Idealist: When Girl Meets Oil” – chronicles her work for oil giant BP, managing the community impacts of big projects in the developing world, and her later role as an advisor to a United Nations initiative on human rights abuses linked to business. Her hope, she says in an interview, is that someday corporate idealism “doesn’t seem like the oxymoron that it does to so many people today.”
While sustainability is increasingly “appearing on the radars and agendas of companies around the world,” a clear gap exists between corporate “words” and “action,” according to the newly-released Global Corporate Sustainability Report 2013 from the United Nations Global Compact.
According to the United Nations, the so-called “Rio+20 Conference”—officially the UN Conference on Sustainable Development—is a new attempt in a new millennium to “lay the foundations of a world of prosperity, peace and sustainability.” The event will take place June 20-22 in Rio de Janiero.
In July 2011, the United Nations Human Rights Council endorsed a set of principles designed to address human rights abuses by business. In an interview, the man who led development of those principles – Harvard professor John Ruggie – discusses their implications and explains why he thinks the newly-coined term “human rights due diligence” has already become a permanent entry in the lexicon of international business.
The UN’s endorsement of the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights marks not just a successful end to the mandate of UN Special Representative John Ruggie. It also signals a new beginning for business and human rights as companies around the world begin to implement the principles to ensure respect for human rights in all their operations.
In July 2010 the United Nations agreed to a new resolution declaring the human right to “safe and clean drinking water and sanitation.” While the resolution itself carries no regulatory weight, backers view it as important to raising awareness of the problem and engendering support for solutions.
A new measure designed to combat corruption in resource-rich countries by requiring mining and energy companies to disclose payments to foreign governments was highlighted this week by U.S. President Barack Obama in a speech at the United Nations Millennium Development Goals Summit in New York. The requirement is a provision of the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill signed into law by Mr. Obama in July.
Our oceans are in a terrible state, thanks primarily to unrestrained commercial and industrial activity. Overfishing and pollution have decimated once abundant stocks of fish and other marine life, and the damaging practices continue to this day despite international agreements outlawing them.
In response to the threat of a public campaign by a U.S.-based lobbying group, Ingersoll-Rand joined Caterpillar, General Electric, Huntsman and Siemans in agreeing to halt sales of products to customers in Iran even though the sales are apparently legal and in compliance with U.S. laws that severely restrict exports to Iran.
In the current state of emergency and disaster following Haiti’s earthquake, donations of cash and vital resources are imperative for humanitarian relief. The bigger question, says writer Bill Baue, is whether this effort will leave room for self-empowered Haitians to identify and redress systemic, symptomatic problems.