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First Public Meeting on White House Plan for Responsible Business Conduct Announced

Event on U.S. National Action Plan to be hosted by NYU Stern Center for Business and Human Rights and the United States Council for International Business

Michael Posner and Sarah Labowitz_article
The first open dialogue on a White House plan to promote responsible business conduct abroad will take place on December 15, 2014 and will be co-hosted by the NYU Stern Center for Business and Human Rights and the United States Council for International Business. The public event is the first in a series in which administration officials will hear from businesses, advocates, academics and others. They will outline current U.S. initiatives and plans to develop an effective U.S. National Action Plan on Responsible Business Conduct in line with international standards.

“As the first human rights center at a business school, the NYU Stern Center for Business and Human Rights is a unique partner in this important process,” said Sarah Labowitz, the Center’s co-director. “The plan represents an opportunity for the United States to demonstrate leadership in promoting respect for human rights in business operations. If done well, the development of a U.S. plan could serve as a model for other countries.”

Ariel Meyerstein, Vice-President for Corporate Responsibility, Labor Affairs and Corporate Governance at USCIB, added that “U.S. companies across sectors have demonstrated real leadership globally by implementing the UN Guiding Principles in policies and business practices and welcome this opportunity to share their experiences with the government and provide their input into developing the National Action Plan.”

President Obama announced in September 2014 that the United States will develop a National Action Plan to promote responsible business conduct abroad, which will further cement the brand of U.S. businesses as reliable and accountable partners internationally and promote the protection of and respect for human rights. During the process, the U.S. government will work closely with external stakeholders, including U.S. businesses and civil society. U.S. officials will attend a number of open dialogues hosted by independent organizations, where stakeholders will be able to exchange ideas on the National Action Plan process and content. The White House has announced additional events in 2015 in California, Oklahoma and Washington, D.C.

In October, the NYU Stern Center for Business and Human Rights submitted a letter to President Obama calling for the plan to include assistance for industry in developing countries and consequences for violators, as well as other key recommendations. The letter discusses the United States’ unique role: “The power of the U.S. example is especially important in the emerging field of business and human rights.”

What: First open dialogue on the U.S. National Action Plan on Responsible Business Conduct
When: December 15, 2014, 12:30 pm
Where: New York University Stern School of Business, 44 West 4th Street, New York, NY
Media RSVP: Media interested in covering the event should contact Meredith MacKenzie, meredith@westendstrategy.com; (202) 427-2007

About the NYU Stern Center for Business and Human Rights:
The NYU Stern Center for Business and Human Rights is the first center to focus on human rights at a business school. Visit www.stern.nyu.edu/bhr and follow @NYUSternBHR on Twitter to learn more.

About New York University Stern School of Business:
Founded in 1900 and located in the heart of Greenwich Village, New York University Stern School of Business is one of the world’s premier institutions of management education. With its more than 300 faculty and three Nobel Prize winners, NYU Stern offers a broad portfolio of academic programs at the graduate and undergraduate levels that use New York City and global hubs around the world as classroom environments for learning. Visit www.stern.nyu.edu and follow @NYUStern on Twitter to learn more.

About United States Council for International Business:
USCIB promotes open markets, competitiveness and innovation, sustainable development and corporate responsibility, supported by international engagement and prudent regulation. Its members include top U.S.-based global companies and professional services firms from every sector of our economy, with operations in every region of the world. With a unique global network encompassing the International Chamber of Commerce, the International Organization of Employers and the Business and Industry Advisory Committee to the OECD, USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide, and works to facilitate international trade and investment. More information is available at www.uscib.org.