Remarks at a Third Committee Interactive Dialogue on the Issue of Human Rights and Transnational Corporations and other Business Enterprises (via VTC)

Jordyn Arndt
ECOSOC Advisor
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York, New York
October 27, 2020


Thank you, Madame Chair.

Let me begin with a question. Ms. Ramasastry, what steps can our countries take to increase coordination with the Working Group to continue to highlight and address the linkages between business and human rights and the anti-corruption agenda?

The United States thanks the Working Group, and you as its Chair, for its continued commitment to disseminating and promoting implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. The UN Guiding Principles represent an important global consensus on the state’s duty to protect human rights and corporate responsibility to respect human rights. We support efforts to strengthen the implementation of the Guiding Principles by states and businesses, including a focus on pillar three – access to remedy. We remain opposed to the treaty process based on its substance and the process around its development.

We are pleased to see the Working Group’s report tying together business and human rights and corruption. When business-related human rights abuses occur, corruption is often present, and is used, at times, to facilitate abuses or cover them up. Working together to encourage businesses to build business and human rights into their anti-corruption programs can help them meet their responsibility to respect human rights in a structured way and will help embed the issue into corporate culture.

We also look forward to the Working Group’s new project on “Business and Human Rights: Towards a Decade of Implementation.” This is an opportune time to establish a roadmap to make further advances.

We will continue working with other governments and the Working Group to measure and strengthen implementation of the Guiding Principles across sectors. One sector the U.S. government has focused on in particular involves products or services with surveillance capabilities. On September 30, the State Department released guidance on implementing the UN Guiding Principles for Transactions Linked to Foreign Government End-Users for Products or Services with Surveillance Capabilities. We encourage the Working Group to explore this issue further.

Thank you, Madame Chair.