Ministerial Meeting on Responsible Business Conduct

Draft Agenda

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Day

1 : February 14, 2023
08:30 - 09:00
Registration and Networking Coffee
09:00 - 09:30
Opening of the Ministerial Meeting
Welcome addresses and opening speeches
09:30 - 11:00
Plenary session 1 – How can RBC promote a resilient, sustainable, and inclusive global economy that benefits all
In a changing geopolitical context, and in view of fundamental shifts in the economy and corporate conduct linked to responses to global challenges, the importance of responsible business conduct (RBC) as a baseline for open, inclusive and sustainable rules-based trade is expected to continue to grow. Wider implementation of RBC standards in the market will be essential to align private sector action with policy goals, among others, on climate change, digital transformation, the SDGs, COVID-19 recovery, quality infrastructure investment and response to the consequences of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. The session would discuss effective and scaled implementation of practical RBC instruments in global supply chains. It would also set the scene for thematic discussions that follow. Ministers will be invited to discuss the following questions: ● What role does RBC play in fostering sustainable and resilient supply chains? How can Adherents work collaboratively to advance RBC’s role in contributing to a resilient, sustainable and inclusive global economy? ● What immediate actions could be taken to accelerate effective and scaled implementation of and alignment of practical RBC instruments in the current context of significant shifts? ● How can governments further leverage RBC in the medium and longer term to ensure inclusive growth, which benefits and reduces barriers and potential risks for groups experiencing particular vulnerability such as women, children, indigenous peoples, youth and people with disabilities? What policies can be introduced that would ensure RBC commitments are met with actions? How can governments support implementation?
11:00 - 11:15
Family Photo
11:15 - 13:00
Lunch Break
13:00 - 14:30
Breakout session 1a - Reinforcing global supply chains through RBC
Ministers will be invited to discuss the following issues: • The importance of alignment around international standards on RBC to ensure clear expectations for business and effective implementation. • Current challenges in building resilient, sustainable and inclusive supply chains including labour standards and the challenge of addressing forced labour • Recognising the role of International Organisations in working together to encourage coherence through their capacity building, training and technical support activities
Breakout Session 1b - RBC and climate change : Defining the role of business in supporting global climate objectives and pursuing a just transition
Ministers will be invited to discuss the following issues: • Instrumentalising RBC standards and tools to promote responsible transitions to net-zero and exploring business responsibility regarding mitigation and adaptation. • Considering the role of business in supporting a Just Transition promoting consideration of human rights, labour rights, and stakeholder partnerships (e.g. supply chains, NGOs, employee groups, affected communities).
14:30 - 15:00
Coffee Break
15:00 - 16:30
Breakout session 2a - Supporting sustainable finance through mainstreaming RBC standards
Ministers will be invited to discuss the following issues: • Role of RBC standards in supporting ESG risk management and sustainability objectives in institutional investment and finance • Promoting RBC standards in development and infrastructure finance • Applying RBC standards to support and track uptake of climate-related due diligence in the financial sector • Integrating RBC into metrics, ratings and disclosures to drive meaningful sustainable finance.
Breakout session 2b - Opportunities of responsible digitalisation
Ministers will be invited to discuss the following issues: • Responsible development and use of data and tech • Open and rights-respecting digital economies • Benefits for all from responsible global supply chains through the use of tech • Opportunities to increase transparency and accountability of companies’ alignment with RBC standards.
16:30 - 18:00
Cocktail
18:00 - 20:00
Dinner for Ministers and Heads of Delegation

Day

2 : February 15, 2023
08:00 - 09:30
Plenary session 2 – Recovery and growth for all through coherence, alignment, and harmonisation of RBC standards
In recent years, key market economies have introduced a smart mix of regulatory actions regarding due diligence including some mandatory due diligence requirements. In a context of growing focus on RBC standards, and in view of the OECD’s continued leadership in the field, governments are increasingly invited to respond to calls for policy coherence and alignment of RBC policies and market-based mechanisms, to avoid a multitude of different standards and resulting obligations for business. This plenary session would start by reflecting on the outcomes of discussions during the 1st day of the Ministerial Meeting. The session would then focus on discussing key ways of incentivising RBC at national and international levels through a ‘smart mix’ of policies, regulations, and practice in the market. Ministers will be invited to discuss the following questions: • How can governments promote coherence across wide-ranging policies in different sectors and geographies to promote responsible business practices? • How can governments ensure greater cross-collaboration and interoperability between RBC due diligence policies, regulations, and market practices? • How can governments work towards ensuring coherence in standards and resulting reasonable obligations for business in order to promote and support effective implementation in practice? • How can the OECD and member states support these efforts?
09:30 - 10:00
Coffee break
10:00 - 11:30
Plenary session 3 – Implementation of the Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises through National Contact Points
National Contact Points (NCPs) for Responsible Business Conduct are key to the implementation of the OECD Guidelines. They play a key role in promotion of RBC, including in policy development, and in providing a non-judicial grievance mechanism for resolving RBC issues. As a result of the low barriers to using the specific instance mechanism, a wide range of actors have sought the support of NCPs in relation to corporate impacts in the past 22 years. Meanwhile, other grievance mechanisms are emerging in the field of remedy, including for example, national human rights institutions and ombudspersons. RBC matters are also increasingly subject to judicial proceedings. This plenary session would look at this broader landscape. Ministers will be invited to discuss the following questions: ● What is the added value of NCPs in a changing RBC landscape and in particular as a unique non-judicial grievance mechanism with a broad scope and global reach? How is their role impacted by the increasing introduction of regulation or specific policies on due diligence? ● What are the main barriers in facilitating resolution of RBC issues globally? What contributions can the NCP network, including through cooperation with other mechanisms, make in facilitating the resolution of RBC issues? ● What commitments can adherent countries make to increase the effectiveness of the system at the national level and at the level of the NCP network?
11:30 - 12:00
Break
12:00 - 13:30
Ministerial Working Lunch: Discussion
13:30 - 14:00
Plenary session 4 - Conclusions and adoption of the draft RBC Declaration
14:00 - 15:00
Communications and visibility point
15:00 - 16:30
Global Forum on Responsible Business Conduct