New members of Norway’s OECD National Contact Point appointed

On 19 February, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs appointed the new head of Norway’s National Contact Point for the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, and two other new members.

The new head of the National Contact Point (NCP) is Professor Ola Mestad, who will take over from Professor Hans Petter Graver on 1 March 2015 for a term of four years. The other new members, who have been appointed for a three-year period from the same date, are Synne Homble, Chief Officer Legal and Corporate Functions in Cermaq, and Frode Elgesem, lawyer and partner in the law firm Thommessen. Gro Granden, lawyer and representative of the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions (LO), has been reappointed for a three-year period from 1 March.

‘The Government attaches great importance to human rights,’ commented Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende. ‘Corporate social responsibility is a key part of this work. We have made it clear that we expect Norwegian businesses to comply with the principles adopted by the OECD and the UN.

 

‘The composition of the NCP from 1 March will ensure both continuity and renewal. I am confident that the NCP will continue to work systematically and professionally, drawing on its members’ extensive legal expertise and knowledge of corporate social responsibility.  

‘I greatly appreciate the substantial work that the head of the NCP and its members have  carried out since the NCP was established in a more independent form in 2011,’ said Mr Brende.

All members of the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) are required to establish a National Contact Point to promote and implement the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, but they are at liberty to decide themselves how their NCP should be organised. The Norwegian authorities reorganised the NCP to make it more independent from 1 March 2011. The head is appointed for a four-year period, and the other members for three years. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs appoints the members, administers the mechanism and provides a secretariat. The Confederation of Norwegian Business and Industry (NHO), the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions (LO) and the Norwegian Forum for Development and Environment (ForUM) propose candidates.

Professor Ola Mestad has broad legal experience and currently works at the Scandinavian Institute of Maritime Law at the University of Oslo. He chaired the Council on Ethics for the Government Pension Fund Global up to 1 January this year. Synne Homble is a lawyer and Chief Officer Legal and Corporate Functions in Cermaq ASA, with responsibility for corporate social responsibility (CSR), and is a member of the Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise ethics committee. Frode Elgesem advises major Norwegian companies on matters relating to corruption. He has previously been a member of the Norwegian Bar Association Human Rights Committee and chair of the Association’s legislative committee on international law and constitutional law. Gro Granden is a long-standing member of the NCP, and has worked with corporate social resonsibility for many years.

The outgoing members of the NCP are Elin M. Myrmel-Johansen, Communications Director in Storebrand (deputy head of the NCP), and Jan Erik Korssjøen, former President and CEO of the Kongsberg group.

For more information about the Norwegian NCP, see its website.