Business leaders assist Ruggie with his ongoing deliberationsNovember 2008
A leadership group has been set up by the United Nations to advise John Ruggie, its special representative for business and human rights.
The 15-strong body will include former United Nations secretary-general Kofi Annan, ex-president of the Irish Republic Mary Robinson, and Cyril Ramaphosa, a former secretary-general of the African National Congress.
Ruggie, a professor at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, received a UN mandate in 2005 to explore how businesses can be persuaded to respect internationally recognized human rights standards. This summer he was given three more years to consider the matter.
The leadership group will be a key source of advice to Ruggie, who will continue his extensive consultations via workshops and face-to-face meetings with interested parties around the world.
Members of the group will provide their services free and in a personal capacity only. They will not be asked to endorse or be bound by any of Ruggie’s submissions to the UN Human Rights Council, to which he reports. The group is drawn from business, trade unions and civil society. Corporate input will come from John Browne (UK), BP’s former chief executive, Neville Isdell (US), chair of Coca-Cola, Narayana Murthy (India), chair of Infosys Technologies, and Marjorie Yang (China), chair of the cotton and textile manufacturer Esquel Group.
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