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SOURCE SOCO International
LONDON, February 14, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --
The UK National Contact Point ("NCP") has issued an initial assessment explaining the context in which it will examine certain issues raised in a complaint made by WWF last October. It is made very clear that the initial assessment does not mean that the NCP considers SOCO has acted inconsistently with the voluntary Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises or that the NCP has reached any negative conclusion about the Company's activities. SOCO understands the NCP's initial assessment and the Company will cooperate with the process. Points raised in the assessment are summarised below.
The NCP rejected many of WWF's allegations:
Several important points were acknowledged by the NCP:
The issues which have been set aside by the NCP for further examination relate to:
1. A limited issue regarding access to information contained in the 'Environment Impact Assessment' (or Plan d'Attenuation et Rehabilitation, 'PAR'), in view of the document not being publicly accessible. (It has been noted that SOCO does not have a title over the document.)
2. The level of human rights due diligence that is appropriate to the context of SOCO's operations.
3. How the Company should interpret its obligation to contribute to sustainable development.
The NCP has confirmed that the next step of "further examination" is for a facilitated mediation process between the SOCO and WWF. We recognise that WWF is a campaigning organisation, but we would hope that they will still respect the process and allow the NCP to facilitate the mediation outside the media spotlight in this instance.
The Company looks forward to positively engaging on these issues with the aim of reaching an agreement. We respect the complaints process provided under the OECD Guidelines and take the matter extremely seriously. SOCO's policy remains one of openness, transparency and cooperation.
Notes to editors:
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