Meeting of the Network of National Focal Points for Responsible Business Conduct in Paris

    Between 29 June and 1 July 2022, a meeting of the Network of National Contact Points (NCPs) for Responsible Business Conduct was held to discuss updates regarding the Network of National Contact Points (NCPs), the development of promotional plans of HCVs, scenario mapping and challenges regarding HCV coordination in specific cases, launch of an online HCV training tool, introduction of regional networks of HCVs, bringing companies to the table and a training course on labor issues and responsible business conduct.The event took place at the OECD Headquarters in Paris, where Heads of National Contact Points from around the world were invited.

      On the first day of the meeting, National Contact Points were invited to share recent updates on their structures and activities over the last period. In particular, NCTs were invited to report on promotional activities and relevant developments at national level, as well as any matter of interest to the Network. In the second part of the event, an additional confidential meeting was organized for support and coordination of current affairs in the active NKT. Stakeholders had the opportunity to participate in the first session of the event.

    The second session which is development of NCT promotional plans aims to facilitate and support proactive promotion by NCTs to fulfill the aspect of their mandate. The session covers development of promotional plans, different promotional activity models, best practice suggestions and a Network discussion including their practical observations from past promotional activities. This session also included perspectives from stakeholders who were invited to share their views on the promotion of responsible business behavior by NCTs, as well as a presentation by the secretariat, and a discussion among NCT delegates.

    Also discussed was the Action Plan for Strengthening the ICT (2022 – 2024), which envisages activities to improve the coordination of ICT in specific cases, which has been identified as a challenge for timely and effective production. The main objective of this session is to contribute to the mapping of scenarios requiring coordination by NCTs and the identification of challenges in this regard. According to this action plan, the NCT online tool was presented at the meeting, according to the Action Plan for Strengthening NCT, jointly developed by the OECD Secretariat, in collaboration with NCT. The purpose of the tool is to onboard new NCT staff and as a repository for information about the mandate of the NCT in the respective country.

      The meeting of the Network of National Contact Points continued on 30 June, and one of the topics discussed was related to the OECD Secretariat’s support for the establishment of regional networks covering the entire NCT network. The last session, which was held on the same day, brought together NCT and companies for a dialogue on promoting the participation of companies in case studies related to specific cases. The discussion was aimed at gathering the experience of companies and NCTs on situations that have caused companies to refuse to participate in the entire process related to specific cases and to identify factors that can lead to such decisions. The meeting concluded with a discussion on stimulating exchange between NCTs on strategies and concrete practical measures that could be put in place to maximize the chances of companies participating in the case-specific process.

         During the last day of the meeting, the training course was held by the International Labor Organization (ILO), with the support of the European Union, which is for training on labor issues and responsible business behavior. The course is designed to help NCTs improve their knowledge and skills in labor-related human rights and the essential elements of a human rights due diligence document. It will provide information on ILO standards, tools and networks and the promotion of policy coherence, synergies and cooperation at the national level between NCTs and the ILO on issues related to decent work and responsible behaviour. The training ended with an examination of emerging issues such as non-standard forms of work.