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2009 Annual Review on NCPs available

The OECD Guidelines for MNEs: Are they ‘fit for the job’?

Sep 01, 2009

Each year in preparation for the Annual Meeting of National Contact Points (NCPs) in June, OECD Watch evaluates the functioning of the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises (Guidelines) and NCPs and their effectiveness in enhancing responsible business conduct.

The crisis has brought to light the question of whether the vast number of existing international policy tools are adequate for promoting responsible business conduct. There appears to be consensus at the international level that more needs to be done to achieve the long overdue transition from the current excessively profit-oriented global economy to a world economy that is centred on human development and managed sustainably. The political momentum for change exists, but there is an urgent need to act swiftly and undertake fundamental policy changes before economic recovery changes the mood back to a short-term-profits, business-as-usual agenda. We must act now to ensure that economic recovery is effective, equitable and sustainable.

While the global economic crisis may provide the political space to address some longstanding imbalances between the rights and responsibilities of global economic actors, the crisis is nothing less than a disaster for many of the world’s poorest. Workers, communities and organisations in the South are faced with a worsening of the adverse effects of inexistent or ineffective regulation of corporate conduct. It is within this context that OECD Watch calls upon the OECD Investment Committee and NCPs to consider how the content and implementation of the OECD Guidelines can be improved in order to contribute effectively to the broader OECD agenda and its support for global responsible business practice.

This year's review of the functioning of the OECD Guidelines and NCPs focuses on three key questions:

  • Have the OECD Guidelines contributed to resolving conflicts between MNEs and communities in which they operate?
  • Are the OECD Guidelines an effective grievance mechanism?
  • What reforms of the text, commentaries and Procedural Guidance are needed to make the instrument more effective?


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