Late last week Professor John Ruggie passed away, our thoughts are with his family and friends.
Not many people become synonymous with a set of international principles, but among the many achievements and influence John Ruggie had during his lifetime being the steward of a process that gave birth in 2011 to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs), must surely stand out as one of his finest.
Prior to the launch of the UNGPs there was no coherent and widely accepted framework for how business should engage with the human rights agenda. International conventions typically apply to nation states, national law is not always suitable for a globalised economy, yet the actions or inaction of business can fundamentally impact the rights of workers, communities and wider society.
John Ruggie's genius was in his approach and insight. To patiently consult a wide set of stakeholders and create not only a robust framework but also a language that made that framework both acceptable and powerful.
While still young, just ten years old, the framework has become common parlance in the world of responsible business, a number of governments have created programmes in line with the UNGPs, the OECD has created widely respected guidance and most importantly we have seen benefits for both affected people and business through their application.
The best tribute we can
all pay to John Ruggie, is to realise his vision - by redoubling our efforts to ensure the principles to Protect, Respect and Remedy, which he inspired, are a norm for business everywhere.
Peter McAllister and the ETI Secretariat