Olivier Becht, Minister Delegate for Foreign Trade, Economic Attractiveness and French Nationals Abroad, attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, is representing France at the OECD’s Ministerial Meeting on Responsible Business Conduct (RBC) on February 14-15. France and the United States, represented by the Minister Delegate and Jose W. Fernandez, Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment, respectively, are co-chairing this meeting, which is taking place at the organization’s Paris headquarters,
France considers it particularly important to promote more sustainable trade, given that businesses have a special responsibility toward the effects of their activities on society, and specifically human rights, labor law and the environment. Since the OECD’s first dedicated ministerial meeting in 2014, France has strongly supported the organization’s efforts to develop ambitious international standards in this regard.
The Minister Delegate will underscore the pioneering role played by France and the EU, as illustrated by the 2017 adoption of the French law establishing due diligence obligations and current discussions on a European directive establishing corporate due diligence obligations with regard to sustainability. He will stress the need to expand the OECD’s effort to ensure that companies’ international investments benefit people and sustainable development, and that this is the case both for their own activities and throughout their supply chains.