2014-04-07 Information Session on the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises (MNEs)


On April 7, 2014, the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFATD) hosted its third Information Session on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises (MNEs), bringing together approximately 70 stakeholders from industry, civil society, industry associations and Government of Canada representatives. Canada’s National Contact (NCP) is responsible for promoting awareness of the OECD Guidelines, and assisting in resolving issues that arise concerning responsible business conduct relating to the OECD Guidelines. The half-day event featured an overview of the OECD Guidelines and Canada’s NCP, an update on the OECD Proactive Agenda, and a panel discussion on Bangladesh, the textile and ready-made garment (RMG) industries, and their supply chains. The following panelists presented: Peter MacArthur, Director General of the South, Southeast Asia and Oceania Bureau (GSD) of DFATD; Maylis Souque, General Secretariat of France’s NCP for the OECD Guidelines; Bob Chant, Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs and Communication of Loblaw Companies Limited; Dan Rees, Director, Better Work Programme of the ILO; and Lucien Royer, Director, International Department of the CLC. These presentations covered current discussions and growing expectations, and tools being elaborated for these industries.


  • Opening Remarks
  • Overview of the OECD Guidelines for MNEs
  • Update on OECD Proactive Agenda
  • Panel Discussion on Bangladesh, the textile and RMG industries, and their supply chains
  • Closing Remarks

PowerPoint Presentation - Overview of the OECD Guidelines for MNEs

The following information is taken directly from the PowerPoint presentation delivered by Julia Cloutier, Secretariat of Canada’s NCP.

Canada Encourages Responsible Business Practices

  • Guidance to companies to integrate responsible practices across operations  
  • Work with government partners and broad range of stakeholders
  • Build networks, encourage dialogue
  • Sector-specific CSR Strategy for Extractives

OECD Guidelines

  • Government-endorsed framework of voluntary standards and principles for responsible business conduct
  • Canada is a member of the OECD and a signatory to the Guidelines since inception in 1976
  • Periodically reviewed – latest in 2011
  • 46 adhering countries
  • The OECD Guidelines are not a substitute for, nor do they override, Canadian law or any other country’s laws
  • The OECD Guidelines represent supplemental standards and principles of behaviour
  • Guidelines provide recommendations on the conduct of MNEs in:
    • General Policies
    • Disclosure
    • Human Rights
    • Employment and Industrial Relations
    • Environment
    • Combating Bribery, Bribe Solicitation and Extortion
    • Consumer Interests
    • Science and Technology
    • Competition
    • Taxation  
  • Guidelines also contain a Procedural Guidance chapter relating to  NCP procedures

2011 Guidelines Update

  • Updates Guidelines adopted at OECD Ministerial Council Meeting on May 25, 2011
  • Key New Sections
    • Human Rights
    • Supply Chains and Due Diligence
    • Stakeholder Engagement
    • Strengthened Procedural Guidance Section

Human Rights

  • New chapter
  • While it is ultimately government’s responsibility to protect human rights, businesses have the responsibility to respect human rights, and avoid causing or contributing to human rights abuses

Supply Chains and Due Diligence

  • Companies to carry out risk-based due diligence
  • New text outlining a company’s responsibility in relation to their Supply Chains
  • If an enterprise identifies a risk of causing an adverse impact, then it should take the necessary steps to cease or prevent this impact

Stakeholder Engagement

  • Recommendation sponsored by Canada
  • Absence was a significant gap – did not reflect best practice
  • “Engage with relevant stakeholders in order to provide meaningful opportunities for their views to be taken into account in relation to planning and decision making for projects or other activities that may significantly impact local communities.”

Procedural Guidance

  • New procedures clarify and provide more guidance
  • Greater emphasis on transparency in NCP activities
  • Proposed timeframes
  • Additions will increase uniformity across NCPs (promote functional equivalence)

Other Guidelines Updates

  • Employment and Industrial Relations chapter now aligned with the ILO Tripartite Declaration
  • Environment
  • Anti-Bribery
  • Consumer Interests
  • Competition
  • Taxation

Role & Responsibilities of the NCP

  • Promoting awareness of the Guidelines and making them available, and responding to enquiries about the Guidelines
  • Contributing to the resolution of issues that arise relating to the implementation of the Guidelines in specific instances
  • Reporting annually to the OECD Investment Committee

NCP – Institutional Structure

  • Interdepartmental Committee
  • Seven member departments: AANDC, DFATD, EC, Finance, IC, Labour Program/ESDC, and NRCan
  • Chairperson (DFATD)
  • Vice-Chairperson (NRCan)
  • Secretariat (DFATD)


  • Confidentiality
  • Public Reporting

Specific Instances

  • Since 2000 the Canadian NCP has received 13 submissions 
  • Who can file a request for review?
  • Who can be the subject of a request for review?
  • Supporting information
  • What are the powers of the NCP to respond to a request for review?

Specific Instance Procedures Guide

  • Phase 1: Initial Assessment
  • Phase 2: Facilitated Dialogue
  • Phase 3: Statement

Social Partners

  • Canadian Chamber of Commerce (CCC)
  • Canadian Labour Congress (CLC)
  • Confédération des syndicats nationaux (CSN)

For more information, please visit Canada’s National Contact Point website:  www.ncp-pcn.gc.ca

OECD Guidelines:  mneguidelines.oecd.org