On March 23, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will deliver remarks to the annual Voluntary Principles (VPs) on Security and Human Rights Plenary Meeting, a multi-stakeholder forum comprised of companies, governments, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) working to improve respect for human rights in the extractives sector, particularly in areas of conflict and civil strife.
Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Michael Posner chairs the two-days of meetings on March 22nd and 23rd. This year marks the 11th anniversary of the VPs. The Voluntary Principles meetings are closed to the media.
Since its launch in 2000, the VPs has provided guidance to extractives companies on maintaining the security of their operations in a manner that respects human rights and fundamental freedoms. Currently there are seven member governments, 18 companies, nine NGOs, and three observers.
The United States is a founding member of the VPs and served as Government Chair of the organization this past year. As chair, the United States has worked to strengthen this multi-stakeholder effort, comprised of governments, companies and civil society organizations, and has led efforts to enhance its accountability and effectiveness.
The United States will remain committed to deepening the implementation of the VPs, broadening the participant base, and seeking more opportunities to expand dialogue and exchange implementation experiences among participants.
The United States publishes the Voluntary Principles text on the Department of State’s website at: http://www.state.gov/g/drl/lbr/vp/.