News & Events

Minister Coveney attends OECD meeting on Responsible Business Conduct

The Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Simon Coveney TD, is in Paris today attending the OECD’s dedicated Ministerial Meeting on Responsible Business Conduct (RBC). The broad theme for this event is “Promoting and enabling responsible business conduct in the global economy”. 

The meeting provides Ministers attending the event from across the world with an opportunity to have a strategic reflection on the role of responsible business as a cornerstone of the international rules-based trade and investment system across several thematic and policy areas and as a baseline expectation for business in the global economy. 

The Minister said:

“I welcome this timely opportunity for a dedicated discussion on responsible business conduct. It is important to highlight the RBC standards in place to ensure they are fully understood, implemented and upheld by everyone.  We all have a role to play to ensure our economies prosper sustainably.      

“It is imperative that we ensure our businesses operate in accordance with responsible business standards such as those set out in the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. Society is rightfully requesting that we collectively do more, expecting businesses to do more and be held accountable if they do not act responsibly. There is an increasing drive for more mandatory measures to hold businesses accountable if they fail to operate responsibly. While we have instruments such as the OECD Guidelines which includes the unique grievance mechanism of the National Contact Point, there are calls for more action. That is why we have seen the EU introduce a number of proposals over the past two years to meet these expectations”. 

The Minister is chairing a session on “Opportunities of Responsible Digitalisation” at the meeting. Changes linked to the digital transformation of economies and rapid development of new technologies result in both opportunities and risks. 

Commenting on this role, the Minister said:

“It is a privilege to chair this session on a topic that is important to Ireland. It is our ambition to continue to be a digital leader at the heart of European and global digital developments. I understand digitalisation provides enormous opportunities, but I am also aware there are risks. That is why we must take a responsible and ethical approach grounded upon trust and safety”. 

Note to Editors:

Ministers and high-level representatives from OECD member and non-member countries will meet in Paris on 14-15 February 2023 for the Ministerial Meeting on Responsible Business Conduct (RBC). Further information on the RBC Ministerial can be found on the OECD website. Information on the OECD Guidelines and the National Contact Point for Ireland can be found on the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment website