Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America in the Third Committee, UN Business and Human Rights Working Group

John Giordano
Public Delegate
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York, New York
October 29, 2019


Thank you, Mr. Chair.

The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights represent an important global consensus on both the state duty to protect and the corporate responsibility to respect human rights. We stand behind efforts to strengthen and improve the implementation of the UN Guiding Principles by states and businesses, including focus on pillar three access to remedy.

We look forward to seeing the Working Group’s report regarding actions states and businesses can take to safeguard and support human rights defenders in line with the Guiding Principles. This work is more relevant than ever given global restrictions on civic space, both within countries’ borders and through limiting civil society’s participation in international fora such as the UN system. The U.S. government supports this initiative.

We are pleased to see the Working Group’s continued efforts to encourage sovereign governments to develop National Action Plans on business and human rights, known as “NAPs.” As mentioned in the Working Group’s most recent report, NAPs are an important tool that governments can use to strengthen the rule of law and strengthen policy coherence around business and human rights-related issues. We are seeing more governments around the world develop NAPs, including several in Southeast Asia and Africa.

We look forward to continue working with other members to measure and strengthen implementation of the Guiding Principles across sectors and regions.

Mr. Chair, what steps can our countries take to increase coordination with business to protect human rights defenders working on business and human rights-related issues?