Better businesses

OECD Observer

The OECD’s Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, the only comprehensive government-backed instrument in the field of corporate social responsibility, received a boost in September when governments reaffirmed their commitment to help further promote their usefulness among multinational enterprises.

Adhered to by some 39 countries, the latest being Romania in April 2005, the guidelines provide voluntary recommendations to global business in areas like human rights, supply chain management, labour, environment, consumer protection and the fight against corruption. Their effectiveness is helped by the fact that the countries adhering to the guidelines provide 85% of international investment flows, as well as being home to scores of major multinationals.

The guidelines have been translated into at least 28 languages, including Arabic, Chinese, Hebrew and Indonesian. In the last five years, the guidelines have been promoted widely and have even been featured on television. In five years, some 106 requests for mediation have been received by National Contact Points, which oversee the guidelines, from trade unions, NGOs and businesses, a new report shows. Some 72 have been acted on, and 44 cases have been concluded. RJC

OECD (2005), Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises: 2005 Annual Meeting of the National Contact Points, Report by the Chair, available at

©OECD Observer No 251, September 2005

Economic data


Stay up-to-date with the latest news from the OECD by signing up for our e-newsletter :

Twitter feed

Suscribe now

<b>Subscribe now!</b>

To receive your exclusive paper editions delivered to you directly

Online edition
Previous editions

Don't miss

  • How do the largest community of British expats living in Spain feel about Brexit? Britons living in Orihuela Costa, Alicante give their views.
  • Brexit is taking up Europe's energy and focus, according to OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría. Watch video.
  • OECD Chief Economist Catherine Mann and former Bank of England Governor Mervyn King discuss the economic merits of a US border adjustment tax and the outlook for US economic growth.
  • Africa's cities at the forefront of progress: Africa is urbanising at a historically rapid pace coupled with an unprecedented demographic boom. By 2050, about 56% of Africans are expected to live in cities. This poses major policy challenges, but make no mistake: Africa’s cities and towns are engines of progress that, if harnessed correctly, can fuel the entire continent’s sustainable development.
  • OECD Observer i-Sheet Series: OECD Observer i-Sheets are smart contents pages on major issues and events. Use them to find current or recent articles, video, books and working papers. To browse on paper and read on line, or simply download.
  • How sustainable is the ocean as a source of economic development? The Ocean Economy in 2030 examines the risks and uncertainties surrounding the future development of ocean industries, the innovations required in science and technology to support their progress, their potential contribution to green growth and some of the implications for ocean management.
  • The OECD Gender Initiative examines existing barriers to gender equality in education, employment, and entrepreneurship. The gender portal monitors the progress made by governments to promote gender equality in both OECD and non-OECD countries and provides good practices based on analytical tools and reliable data.
  • They are green and local --It’s a new generation of entrepreneurs in Kenya with big dreams of sustainable energy and the drive to see their innovative technologies throughout Africa.
  • Interested in a career in Paris at the OECD? The OECD is a major international organisation, with a mission to build better policies for better lives. With our hub based in one of the world's global cities and offices across continents, find out more at .

Most Popular Articles

OECD Insights Blog

NOTE: All signed articles in the OECD Observer express the opinions of the authors
and do not necessarily represent the official views of OECD member countries.

All rights reserved. OECD 2017