London, England - Today, the United States assumed the Chairmanship of the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights (VPs) Initiative at the closing of this year’s Annual Plenary Meeting in London. In the VPs Initiative, governments, companies and non-governmental organizations work together to guide oil, gas, and mining companies in minimizing the risk of human rights abuses involving security providers when companies extract resources in some of the toughest parts of the world.
At the VPs Plenary Meeting, participants formally launched verification frameworks that will provide a credible and practical system to assess implementation of the Principles. These frameworks will help ensure that companies maintain high standards in their security operations when they do business in difficult parts of the world. Ensuring successful use of the verification frameworks will be a key priority for the U.S. Government as we enter our chairmanship.
The VPs Initiative consists of 28 oil, mining, and gas companies; nine governments; and 10 non-governmental organizations. U.S. participation in the VPs Initiative is an example of this Administration’s practical approach to partnering with corporations, other governments, and civil society groups to address human rights problems that none could solve alone.
In line with the U.S. government’s commitment to help make the VPs Initiative as transparent as possible, the United States released its public VPs report in advance of the Plenary Meeting in London. This is the third year the report is available online, and it can be found at http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/vprpt/2014/239362.htm.