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Role of government in promoting Responsible Business Conduct

The past decade has seen an increased demand that businesses meet international standards on RBC to contribute to sustainable development and prevent and avoid harm to people, the planet, and society. OECD RBC instruments, including the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, have captured this demand, focussing on business actions. 

In recent years, however, there has been a growing recognition that governments play a key role in supporting the effective implementation of RBC standards by providing an enabling policy environment, creating incentives, and exemplifying RBC in their own activities. 

To address this need, the OECD Council adopted the Recommendation on the Role of Government in Promoting Responsible Business Conduct and the OECD Declaration on Promoting and Enabling Responsible Business Conduct in the Global Economy as guidelines for governments on how to promote responsible business conduct by companies in their territory and abroad. 

The recommendation lays out a set of 21 principles and policy recommendations to assist governments, other public authorities, and relevant stakeholders in their efforts to design and implement policies that enable and promote responsible business conduct. A total of 51 countries have adhered to the recommendation.