To support state delegates to the OECD Working Party on Responsible Business Conduct in choosing among options for action following the stocktaking on the Guidelines, OECD Watch sets out here our own recommendations on topics of focus for update.

As background, the stocktaking on gaps in the Guidelines has highlighted – from the perspective of diverse stakeholders and delegates alike – that the Guidelines’ standards are neither fully up-to-date nor fully complete, and that the baseline expectations for National Contact Points (NCPs) are too vague. These gaps are causing the standards to lose relevance and utility as a guide on responsible business conduct (RBC), and promoting increasing divergence in the effectiveness and accountability of NCPs. The most impactful way to close these gaps is to update the standards and Procedural Guidance directly, rather than issue separate interpretative guidance or trainings. OECD Watch does not believe a wholescale update is necessary. Instead, we set out here our suggestions on what, where, and why targeted updates should be made to achieve most impact in raising RBC.

Our own guiding rule is to focus foremost on updates to issues a) of high importance to civil society, that are b) particularly inadequately clarified in the Guidelines, and that will c) have broadest and deepest impact in improving business conduct.

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publication cover - OECD Watch briefs on topics for update in the OECD Guidelines