Finance & Trade Watch Austria et al. and ANDRITZ HYDRO GmbH agreed to continue their cooperation after closing of the mediation proceedings before the Austrian NCP.
In the proceedings concerning the complaint raised by NGOs under the lead of Finance & Trade Watch Austria against ANDRITZ HYDRO GmbH, the parties were able to reach a consensus and signed a Joint Statement.
The Austrian NCP commends the parties for reaching an agreement.
The issues raised in the complaint refer to a potential breach of the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises with regards to human rights and environmental standards in connection with the construction of the Xayaburi hydropower project in Lao PDR by ANDRITZ HYDRO GmbH.
The reached agreement foresees the continuation of the efforts of both parties for improving the situation of the local communities in the Mekong region. The company acknowledges its obligation to respect international human rights and environmental standards, as laid down in particular in the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, in its due diligence procedures for all future projects. ANDRITZ HYDRO GmbH has also committed to develop its policies and procedures in relation to the implementation of human rights and environmental standards in accordance with internationally recognised principles, such as the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.
The parties will issue follow-up statements on recent developments within the next twelve months to the Austrian NCP. The established basis of mutual trust will be maintained by continuing the positive dialogue between the company and civil society. The Austrian NCP serves as a platform for the follow-up process.
The OECD and the Steering Committee of the Austrian NCP, which is composed of Representatives of relevant Ministries in Austria, the social partners, civil society and a legal expert will be accordingly informed about the results of this specific instance procedure.
OECD-Guidelines and the Austrian NCP
The OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises are currently the only multilaterally agreed code of responsible business conduct for multinational enterprises. The Guidelines contain recommendations addressed by governments to multinational enterprises operating in or from adhering countries. They provide non-binding principles and standards for responsible business conduct in a global context. The recommendations inter alia include provisions with regards to human rights, environmental standards, anti-corruption and taxation. 35 OECD countries and 13 other countries (Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Egypt, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Morocco, Peru, Rumania, Tunisia, Ukraine) have committed themselves under international law to promote and implement these principles and standards for responsible business conduct consistent with applicable laws and internationally recognised standards.
The Guidelines are supported by a unique implementation mechanism of National Contact Points, mediation and conciliation platforms that address difficulties in the implementation of the Guidelines, e.g. in case of complaint proceedings. The Austrian National Contact Point is located in the Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy.
Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy
Austrian NCP for the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises
Telephone: +43(0)1 711 00/805240 or 805050
Fax: +43 1 71100 - 8045050
Vienna, 13 July 2017