Businesses face a range of different expectations for responsible practice from investors, consumers, employees, civil society organizations, the general public, and governments. To provide a coherent and comprehensive approach to responsible business conduct, the 38 member governments of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and 13 non-member governments have endorsed the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.
The OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises
In 1976, the OECD established its Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises (“the Guidelines”), a comprehensive set of recommendations by governments to multinational enterprises (MNEs) to voluntarily adopt to minimize and resolve impacts which may arise from their operations in foreign jurisdictions and to encourage positive contributions to economic, social and environmental progress. The Guidelines cover issues such as corporate governance, human rights, employment and industrial relations, the environment, combating bribery and corruption, consumer interests, competition and taxation. They have received broad support internationally, and are the only multilaterally agreed and comprehensive code of responsible business conduct that governments have committed to promoting. The Guidelines are not intended to override local law or expose MNEs to conflicting expectations. MNE compliance with the laws of the country in which they operate is a fundamental principle of the Guidelines.
Useful links: Explanation of the Guidelines: OECD Brochure “The OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises – Responsible Business Conduct Matters”
National Contact Points for Responsible Business Conduct (NCP)
The OECD Guidelines were established in 1976 as part of the OECD Investment Declaration. Latvia and all states who have signed up to the OECD Declaration and the OECD Guidelines are committed to having an implementation mechanism of National Contact Points (NCPs) - agencies established by adhering governments - to promote the Guidelines and considering complaints brought against businesses for not observing them. The NCPs can assist enterprises and their stakeholders to take appropriate measures to further the implementation of the Guidelines. They also can provide a mediation and conciliation platform for resolving practical issues that may arise.
To get an impression of what NCPs do, please have a look at the video "Meet the National Contact Points" on the OECD website.
Latvian National Contact Point for Responsible Business Conduct (LVNCP)
The Latvian NCP (LVNCP) is a dispute resolution and mediation resource that can assist companies and stakeholders when responsible business conduct issues may arise in a company’s operations. The LVNCP was established in 2004 and it`s Secretariat is located in the OECD and economic relations division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Latvia, staffed by one part-time civil servant who works on the priorities of the LVNCP.
The LVNCP has a tripartite structure: it includes representatives of government, as well as representatives from business, trade unions and one independent expert:
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Secretariat of the LVNCP);
- State Chancellery;
- Ministry of Economics;
- Ministry of Finance;
- Ministry of Justice;
- Ministry of Education and Science;
- State Education Content Centre;
- Ministry of Welfare;
- State Labour Inspectorate;
- Employers' Confederation of Latvia;
- Free Trade Union of Latvia;
- Latvian Chamber of Commerce and Industry;
- Institute of Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility.
Below you can find information about the two main tasks of the LVNCP:
- Promote awareness and encourage implementation of the OECD Guidelines with business, labor, NGOs and other members of civil society and the general public, through presentations, replying to email enquiries, and meeting with interested parties; and
- offering a “Specific Instance” mediation process to be used when a party raises allegations of non-observance of the Guidelines against an MNE’s operations, focusing on finding a resolution between the parties through mediated dialogue in line with our established procedures.
The LVNCP reports on its activities to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) on an annual basis.
Secretariat of the Latvian National Contact Point for the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises
OECD and economic relations division of the Ministry of Foreign affairs
Phone: +371 67016 114