Statement on the Adoption of the Guidelines on Respect for Human Rights in Responsible Supply Chains by the Government of Japan
September 15, 2022
On behalf of UNDP, I warmly welcome and congratulate today’s adoption of the Guidelines on Respect for Human Rights in Responsible Supply Chains by the Government of Japan. This sends a powerful message to companies, suppliers, and partners in Japan, on the leading role that the private sector is asked to play in developing a more equitable and sustainable society.
The approval of these guidelines, along with the adoption of a National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights in October of 2020 demonstrates a dedication to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and firmly positions Japan as a global leader for responsible supply chains.
With these steps, the Government of Japan also reaffirms its pledge to support sustainable development. Preventing and addressing adverse impacts across business activities and value chains is the most significant contribution companies can make toward the achievement of the targets of the 2030 Agenda.
I applaud the scope of these guidelines which underscore the importance of heightened human rights due diligence in conflict-affected contexts and I commend the Japanese government and industry for their commitment to human rights and conflict sensitivity when assessing the impacts of supply-chain operations in crisis context.
Given the global nature of supply chains, policy directions of this nature are crucial to encouraging positive, transformative change with impact beyond the country from which they originate. The guidelines adopted by the Government of Japan will directly and indirectly influence business operations of thousands of companies and suppliers across the region and the globe.
UNDP believes in both the moral imperative and practical value of upholding human rights in all that we do. With human rights at their center, these guidelines provide a valuable roadmap for advancing sustainable development for people, planet, and business.
Now, business leaders must follow through. I call on private industry to embrace these recommendations and drive change from within through knowledge sharing, capacity building, stakeholder engagement, and systematic implementation of human rights standards throughout their operations.
UNDP is proud to be partnering with the Government of Japan to offer support in this regard. Training and guidance sessions on Human Rights Due Diligence are being delivered in Japan and 17 countries where the supply chain of Japanese businesses is based. Such effort will intensify in the months to come and include notions of the provisions contained in the recently issued guidelines.
The content of the Guidelines will be introduced by Mr. Gen Nakatani, Special Adviser on Human Rights of the Prime Minister of Japan during a session of the UN Responsible Business and Human Rights Forum for Asia Pacific, organized by UNDP and dedicated to Policy Changes in Japan. The session will take place on 22 September at 9:00. Those interested in participating to the event, in person or virtually, can register at the Forum website.