The Permanent Missions of Austria, Liechtenstein and Mexico to the United Nations, together with the Rule of Law Unit on behalf of the UN Rule of Law Coordination and Resource Group, held an informal briefing to Member States and interested UN entities on Business for the Rule of Law on Thursday 10 September 2015 in New York.
The briefing was delivered by the leaders of the United Nations Global Compact’s Business for the Rule of Law (B4ROL) initiative and focused on a presentation of the Business for the Rule of Law Framework (Framework). Representatives from LexisNexis and Ace Group also provided examples of how businesses have actively supported, and continue to actively support, rule of law efforts on both a global and local level.
In addition to discussing the history of the Framework, the briefing emphasized key sections of the Framework including the business case, i.e. how the rule of law provides an enabling environment for responsible business to operate in by improving governance and peace and security as well as increasing contractual certainty and allowing for transparent and predictable dispute resolution. The briefing made the important distinction between business’ obligation to respect the rule of law and voluntary actions that business can take to support the rule of law, and discussed the variety of actions that business can take in the countries in which they operate, as a compliment to, not a substitute for, government action. The discussion of the Framework ended with a call to action for both business and government in respect of creating a strong legal framework and more accountable institutions, and a description of plans for implementation of the B4ROL initiative at the grassroots level.