A round table discussion with MPs took place on Monday 13 February concerning progress on the International Responsible Business Conduct (IRBC) agreements. The round table was organised at the request of the House Committee on Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation and the Standing Committee on Economic Affairs.
The Netherlands has a worldwide diplomatic network of ambassadors, permanent representatives and consuls. Once a year, they meet to discuss developments in the Netherlands, the Dutch Government’s policy, and the main events and items to consider in the new year. This ‘ambassadors’ conference’ plays an important role in ensuring that these diplomatic representatives speak with a single voice when promoting Dutch interests abroad.
The Dutch insurance sector, the Dutch government, trade unions and NGOs have undertaken to work together in the months ahead on an agreement promoting International Responsible Business Conduct (IRBC).
On 30 November 2016, a delegation headed by SER president Mariëtte Hamer visited the House Committee on Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation. The purpose of the visit was to explain the agreements on International Responsible Business Conduct (IRBC) that had recently been concluded in the banking industry and the garments and textile sector, and to update the committee about IRBC negotiations in various other sectors.
Dutch banks, unions, NGOs and government are joining forces by signing an agreement on international responsible business conduct regarding human rights in the banking sector.
This morning, 55 businesses, their representative organisations VGT, Modint and INretail, Solidaridad, UNICEF Netherlands, the India Committee of the Netherlands, the Stop Child Labour Coalition, Four Paws Netherlands, Dutch trade unions FNV and CNV and the National Government of the Netherlands signed the Agreement on a Sustainable Garment and Textile Sector. This is the first in a series of agreements on international responsible business conduct that aim to improve the sustainability of international production and supply chains. Together, the participating businesses represent more than a third of the revenue generated in the Dutch market (EUR 3.5 billion). A broad coalition has joined forces in this agreement. The aim is for at least 50% of the Dutch garment and textile sector to sign the agreement by 2018, and 80% by 2020. The Netherlands is the first country to embark on the transition to a sustainable garment and textile sector in this manner.