Promoting Private Standards for Responsible Investment

At their Summit in Seoul in 2010, G20 members agreed to identify and promote the best existing standards (developmental, social and environmental) for responsible investment in value chains, as well as voluntary investor compliance with such standards.

An Inter-Agency Working Group (IAWG) was formed to support G20 efforts in this area and includes representatives from UNCTAD (coordinating organisation), UNDP, ILO, OECD, the World Bank and other invited organizations.

For the Cannes Summit in November 2011, the IAWG submitted a report on "Promoting Standards for Responsible Investment in Value Chains".

The Report,

  • takes stock of existing standards of sustainable business conduct;
  • identifies key issues within the current universe of standards;
  • draws lessons for the further development, promotion and implementation of these standards; and
  • outlines policy approaches for their promotion and implementation.

The Report also provides examples of initiatives that have demonstrated success in protecting rights and environmental resources. It concludes that capturing these gains, building capacity and scaling up successful initiatives are important goals to pursue, and that policies must be devised to ensure that these measures remain inclusive and that they provide appropriate grievance mechanisms.

The Report calls for further consensus on meaningful performance indicators and proposes a framework to assess the applicability of specific measures for development priorities, to guide national policymaking in this area. It also calls for careful consideration of the international impacts of national decisions.

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