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 www.oecd.org/daf/investment/guidelines.
©OECD Observer No 251, September 2005