UN to produce Rule of Law framework for global business

Tuesday, 1 July, 2014

A little late perhaps, we turn your attention to a press release last month from the UN Global Compact, Announcing a Steering Group to Mobilise International Business Support for the Rule of Law.

Early days, of course - the release announces the creation of a framework which may well be a useful resource for countries operating globally, but which won’t be available till 2015. 

Otherwise, the steering group is set up to do pretty much what you’d expect, so rather than rehash - there’s not a lot of comment to add here other than the obvious one that we’re in favour of the rule of law, and this is a Good Thing -- here are excerpts from the release, which can be read in full here

The philosophy underpinning Business for the Rule of Law is to provide business with practical guidance on how to respect and support the rule of law, and encourage collaboration between business and Governments in advancing the rule of law as the universal standard for economic and social development,” said Dr. Huguette Labelle, Chair of the Board at Transparency International, member of the UN Global Compact Board, and Co-Chair of the Business for the Rule of Law Steering Group.

“From a global business perspective, companies cannot properly function in environments where legal norms are not guaranteed to be carried out with impartiality, fairness, predictability, or indeed, at all. I am delighted to be working with the UN Global Compact and other esteemed partners to drive this important initiative forward,” said Prof. Pierre Sane, President of Imagine Africa International, member of the UN Global Compact Board, and Co-Chair of the Business for the Rule of Law Steering Group.

Led by the UN Global Compact, the Business for the Rule of Law Steering Group comprises individuals with expertise from business, the legal profession and civil society committed to advancing the role of business in supporting the rule of law. 


“The rule of law is essential for sustainable and inclusive economic growth,” said Ursula Wynhoven, General Counsel and Chief, Governance and Social Sustainability, UN Global Compact.  “The rule of law fosters economic investment by increasing the security of contracts, lowering levels of corruption, and allowing for fair, timely, transparent and predictable resolution of disputes. It provides the foundation for respecting and supporting human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption considerations — consistent with the UN Global Compact’s ten principles.”

The Business for the Rule of Law Steering Group will provide guidance, leverage their networks, and facilitate consultation sessions to arrive at a formal framework that is expected to be released in late 2015.

Business for the Rule of Law is expected to include a framework on the business case, business actions and examples, and an interactive technology platform to promote how companies from diverse regions and sectors can take action – independently or collectively – to support the rule of law in their business operations and relationships, serving as a complement to, rather than a substitute for, Government action.

To learn more about Business for the Rule of Law, please contact rol@unglobalcompact.org.