Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Anniversaries: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is 60

... well, it's still only 59. But we got an email from Mary Robinson (former Prime Minister of Ireland, and currently the head of the Ethical Globalization Initiative)and Chris Avery (Director, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre) asking for our ideas about how the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 2008 might be marked.

We couldn't resist but to suggest that the 60th Anniversary should be the year of transparency. How can things start to change if we don't even have a good understanding of what is happening, the cause and effects, and the roles and responsibilities?

Worldwide, the human rights agenda has reached a cross-roads. Stakeholders agree that human rights are a core necessity – but the roles and responsibilities of governments, business, and civil society towards achieving these goals remain less defined.

At the global level, Professor John G. Ruggie was appointed Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General on Business & Human Rights in 2005. Under this mandate, extending until 2008, Professor Ruggie is convening a multi-stakeholder process for the UN-High Commissioner for Human Rights to draw out the current “state of play” on stakeholder responsibilities on human rights. This process will result in a set of recommendations on the roles different groups play towards achieving human rights.

The GRI’s own multi-stakeholder approach is part of the current global dialogue on human rights and will make a contribution to the greater understanding by business, civil society and governments about expectations, roles, and responsibilities.

Human rights disclosures in the G3 Guidelines will need to evolve in step with these changing expectations. We are just starting with the process to evolve the indicators, so if you want to get involved, please do!

No comments: