The European Union would like to thank the Working Group for the presentation of its report to which we have actively contributed. This report provides a valuable overview of the challenges, lessons learned and ways in which stakeholders addressed the business and human rights related abuses during the pandemic.
In this regard, it is worthy of note that the EU adopted further measures to address the challenges brought up during the pandemic crisis such as a proposal for a Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive, and a business guidance on forced labour. Additionally, in February the European Commission presented a proposal for a Directive on corporate sustainability due diligence requiring companies to identify, prevent, mitigate and remedy their adverse human rights and environmental impacts across their value chains and activities, and presented a Communication on Decent Work Worldwide to ensure an inclusive, sustainable and resilient recovery from the pandemic. The European Commission and the European External Action Service published guidance on existing international due diligence standards to assist EU companies in addressing forced labour risks. Finally, the European Commission is preparing a strategy for sustainable textiles that will look into the complex and diverse human rights challenges in the textile value chain, including child labour and the gender equality dimension.
Could you elaborate on the call for a new social contract, as one of the recommendations to be applicable to the UN system, and further on whether the new social contract could contribute in fostering policy coherence within the UN system to be better prepared for the next crisis?
Thank you, Mr President.