Collaboration and partnerships with international organizations

The ILO collaborates and partners with other international organizations on the basis of the guidance provided by the MNE Declaration. The ILO Governing Body reviews on a regular basis the collaboration and partnerships with:

OHCHR and Working Group on Business and Human Rights

The ILO regularly meets with the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Working Group on Business and Human Rights on the Guiding Principles implementing the UN “Protect, Respect and Remedy” Framework on Business and Human Rights. The ILO provides inputs for the Working Group country visits and thematic reports to the UN General Assembly and Human Rights Council. The ILO participates in the Annual Forum on Business and Human Rights, with specific sessions, and as speakers in panel discussions. The Working Group welcomed the revised MNE Declaration, stating that it “provides a key international reference for collective efforts to ensure that labour rights are protected and respected in transnational business operations. The revision represents a significant contribution toward greater normative coherence in this area …”

The ILO provided technical inputs upon request to the open-ended intergovernmental working group on transnational corporations and other business enterprises with respect to human rights, which has the mandate to elaborate an international, legally-binding instrument to regulate, in international human rights law, the activities of transnational corporations and other business enterprises.The ILO and OHCHR also collaborate in the context of the EU-ILO-OECD-OHCHR “Responsible Business Conduct in Latin America and the Caribbean” project.

Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

The ILO provided technical assistance to the OECD during the 2011 update of its Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, and on the development of OECD general guidance on due diligence and sector-specific guidance for the agriculture, garment and footwear, mineral and extractive industries. The ILO provides expertise to the OECD National Contact Points upon request and participates in OECD-organized events. The revised ILO MNE Declaration includes a reference to the 2011 OECD MNE Guidelines. The ILO and the OECD also collaborate in the context of the EU-ILO-OECD “Responsible Supply Chains in Asia” project and the EU-ILO-OECD-OHCHR “Responsible Business Conduct in Latin America and the Caribbean” project.

United Nations Global Compact (UNGC)

The ILO has been actively collaborating with the UN Global Compact since its launch in 1999. The initiative invites business to commit to ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. The ILO’s participation in the UNGC has been focusing on the promotion of the four labour principles derived directly from the ILO Declaration on fundamental principles and rights at work.

The UNGC recently adopted a new strategy which aims to “amplifying existing work around the Ten Principles as well as embracing new directions including driving business action in support of the Sustainable Development Goals”. The ILO is a partner in the time-bound action platform on decent work in global supply chains. The ILO Director-General participated in the UNGC Academy Session on Decent Work in Global Supply Chains. The ILO also co-chairs the Global Compact Expert Network as one of the core agencies in the initiative.

UN Women

ILO and UN Women have a long-standing collaboration. In the area of women’s economic empowerment through responsible business conduct, both organizations jointly implement, with the support of the European Union, the “Promoting women’s economic empowerment at work through responsible business conduct in G7 countries” programme. It aims to support sustainable, inclusive and equitable economic growth by promoting women’s economic empowerment in public and private sector in G7 countries. The project is guided by the Women’s Economic Empowerment Principles and the MNE Declaration.

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

The ILO–UNDP Global Framework of Action, signed in 2020, prioritizes collaboration on responsible business conduct (RBC) based on the promotion of the MNE Declaration and the United Nations Guiding Principles on business and human rights at the global, regional and national levels. Examples of this collaboration include the UN Responsible Business and Human Rights Forum, Asia and the Pacific; the South Asia Forum on Business and Human Rights; as well as collaboration in the development process of national action plans on business and human rights.

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)

The ILO and the UNCTAD signed a Memorandum of Understanding to support the development of joint research and policy advice on trade and employment and increased inter-agency operations for more coherence and impact at the national and regional levels.

During the 2014 UNCTAD World Investment Forum, the ILO and UNCTAD jointly organized a session on “Creating More and Better Jobs through Investment;” for the 2018 WIF, ILO and UNCTAD have teamed up with WAIPA to organize a similar session. At the WTO Forum 2019, ILO and UNCTAD organized a session entitled "Strengthening Support for Trade Through Decent Work" to present the findings of the ILO-UNCTAD report “Enhancing the contribution of export processing zones to SDG 8, decent work and economic growth” and discuss the implications for government policies and practices impacting decent work in EPZs.

The ILO also provides technical inputs to UNCTAD’s investment policy reviews. Collaboration is based on UNCTAD’s Investment Policy Framework for Sustainable Development that reference ILO standards and the MNE Declaration.

World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (WAIPA)

The ILO and WAIPA have signed a cooperation agreement to support investment promotion agencies in attracting foreign direct investment that leads to the creation of quality jobs and decent work, sustainable enterprises and more inclusive growth, particularly in developing countries. The agreement includes a joint commitment to raising awareness among governments of the importance of incorporating the SDGs, in particular Goal 8 as well as other decent work-related goals, into their investment policies and strategies. The ILO is a member of the WAIPA Consultative Committee, participates in WAIPA’s World Investment Conferences and provides training support for investment promotion agencies, based on the promotion of the principles of the MNE Declaration.

Over the past 5 years, the ILO and WAIPA have collaborated in jointly designing and delivering successful programmes to build the capacity of investment promotion agencies on investment facilitation for sustainable development and decent work to achieve the SDGs as outlined in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development Agenda. Special attention goes to capacity building of IPAs in Least Developed Countries (LDCs) to help them attract FDI that will support the country’s socio-economic development and decent work priorities and the SDGs. ILO and WAIPA are working together in this area with UN-OHRLLS, UNCTAD and UNIDO in contribution to the Istanbul Programme of Action on LDCs. ILO’s work with WAIPA and IPAs complements the promotion of responsible business – promoting the alignment of corporate policies and practices with the recommendations of the MNE Declaration to achieve inclusive economic growth and decent work for all in host countries of MNEs.

CSR Roundtables

The Inter-agency Round table on CSR is a joint initiative co-organized by ILO, UNCTAD and OHCHR, bringing together CSR experts from international organizations and their development partners to explore current topics in CSR, share experiences and identify opportunities for collaboration. Participants are members of United Nations agencies and other relevant international organizations, along with national development agencies, and invited subject matter experts.

Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Tokyo 2020)

The ILO and Tokyo 2020 have signed an agreement to promote decent work in the preparations for, and operation of the Games. Socially responsible labour practices will be promoted taking guidance from the ILO MNE Declaration. 

More information on the partnership with Tokyo 2020 and on Company practices developed with Tokyo2020.

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