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OECD Consults on Guidance to Support Firms Implement its Guidelines for MNEs

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is consulting on general Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Business Conduct and supplemental advice to provide practical support to companies on the implementation of the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.

This general guidance builds on the sectoral guidance already published or being developed by the OECD. Currently due diligence guidance covers the extractive sector, mineral supply chains and agricultural supply chains. Guidance on garment supply chains will be published in 2017 and financial sector guidance is also under development.

The OECD said that this latest general guidance is not intended to reinterpret the guidelines but sought to provide practical support to enterprises on their implementation by providing a plain language explanation of the due diligence recommendations and associated provisions in the guidelines. The OECD said that this guidance can also serve as a reference for stakeholders to understand the measures businesses  are recommended to take with regard to managing their impacts.

Responses requested for OECD consultation

The guidance may be used by National Contact Points (NCPs) for the OECD Guidelines to promote the guidelines, the OECD said.  This guidance may also be relevant for other parties, such as sector-wide and multistakeholder initiatives, that facilitate collaboration on some or all steps of the due diligence process, the OECD suggested.

The OECD marked 40 years of the guidelines in 2016 at the end of the year with a roundtable discussion on their role and impact in Paris. The guidelines were strengthened in 2011 when provisions were added that recommending that companies apply due diligence in global supply chains to identify, address and mitigate risks. The guidelines are binding on the 46 countries that have signed up to them and the  NCP system, established in 2000, aims to give them more weight within countries.

The deadline for the consultation is 9th February 2017 and comments can be sent to investment@oecd.org.


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