The Ministry for Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation marks achievements of the Global Compact Network Russia and considers the importance of continuing the work together for its development

On January 18, the regular meeting of the Business Council under the auspices of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs dedicated to the issue of business and human rights was hosted at the Russian Foreign Ministry's Reception House. One of the key presentations of the meeting was the report of the Steering Committee member of the Global Compact Network Russia, Chair of the Board of the inter-regional public organization “Committee for Fighting Corruption” A.Y. Golubev.

Opening the meeting, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation S.V. Lavrov stressed that the stated issue had been one of the priorities of the international economic authorities for a long time, and noted the high level of social corporate practices of the of Russian business in relation to human rights.

S.V. Lavrov said that in case of positive evaluation of the business sector, trade unions and business associations in the area of corporate social responsibility it is important to join effort and set up a working group with the participation of relevant ministries and authorities of the Russian Federation, large Russian companies, non-governmental organizations and academic institutions.

“At the same time we will continue to promote our approaches to the issue of business and human rights at international platforms, including the concept of social responsibility of business”, - the minister said, adding that the Russian Federation makes part of its financial voluntary contribution to the United Nations activities in this area that goes towards the budget of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

In this regard, S.V. Lavrov paid special attention to the importance of promoting the UN Global Compact principles and values in Russia. “In general, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation supports effort aimed at promotion of sustainable development principles in our country, expansion of cooperation between the Russian private sector and non-governmental organizations and the UN agencies within the framework of the Global Agreement on common values and principles, which was approved by the UN on the initiative of the Secretary-General in 2000 (the UN Global Compact), - the minister said. - For 15 years, this initiative has become a leading multilateral dialogue platform and a key mechanism in the promotion of corporate social responsibility principles”.

Presenting the Global Compact Network Russia, A.Y. Golubev recalled the objectives and tasks of the international initiative, informed about the activities of the Network on the territory of the Russian Federation and proposed implementation of joint projects and programs on business and human rights as well as other key issues in the area of corporate social responsibility and sustainable development.

In particular, it was proposed to carry out examination of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights in relation to the Russian legislation, analyze public opinion, and launch the partnership education program as well pay special attention to the resumption of collaboration on implementation of the public non-financial reporting in the Russian Federation.

“We have developed a draft strategy for development of the Global Compact Network Russia, which includes, in addition to many other things, the launch of working groups on key issue areas of the Global Agenda (e.g. the Working Group on Human Rights, the Working Group on Environmental Responsibility and the Working Group on Anti-corruption ), - added A.Y. Golubev. – This will be a new productive stage in the history of the Global Compact Network Russia, and we offer companies to join us. Every participant will find here the relevant working formats, and together we will contribute to the modernization of the Russian economy and creation of a positive image of Russia as a country actively involved in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and demonstrating the highest standards of socially responsible business. We call everyone to pay attention to the opportunities and resources of the United Nations Global Compact”.

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia G.M. Gatilov, Vice-Chairperson of the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Chair of the International Law Commission at the United Nations Association of Russia A.H. Abashidze, Chief Executive Office of Sakhalin Energy Investment Company Ltd. R.Y. Dashkov, Vice-president of MMC Norilsk Nickel A.E. Bugrov, Commissioner for Human Rights of Entrepreneurs under the President of Russia B.Y. Titov, Vice-president of Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP) D.V. Kuzmin, Managing Director of Corporate Social Responsibility, Sustainable Development and Social Entrepreneurship at the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, Deputy Chair of the Global Compact Network Russia E.N. Feoktistova participated in the discussion of the agenda.

The following issues were presented and discussed – the contribution of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in shaping civilized relations between business and human rights, the RSPP activities related to promotion of corporate responsibility principles in the Russian business community, the practical application of the UN Guiding Principles (experience of “Sakhalin Energy”), as well as the activity of the UN Global Compact, which is the landmark in the areas of human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption.

Participants of the meeting paid special attention to the fact that integration of the UN Global Compact principles into the corporate system of values is a recognized indicator of responsible business practice, necessary for getting access to the international level of activity and partnership, effective and fair way to minimize risks and monetize respectable reputation.

Following the meeting, the Minister for Foreign Affairs S.V. Lavrov suggested establishing the Working Group on Corporate Social Responsibility and implementation of the public non-financial reporting in the Russian Federation under the Business Council as well as bringing back the practice of hosting events with the participation of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

It is expected that the next meeting of the Business Council under the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Russia will focus on corporate environmental responsibility in connection with the adoption of the Paris climate agreement, including the discussion of a special status of the Arctic region and the role of business in its environmental protection and development.

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