WASHINGTON, July 7, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Silicon Valley giant networking company Cisco is being challenged to show it is committed to the Ruggie Principles by signing the Holy Land Principles.
The Ruggie Principles ("The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights") were proposed by Special Representative John Ruggie and endorsed by the UN Human Rights Council in June 2011.
The Holy Land Principles — a corporate code of conduct for the 545 American companies doing business in Palestine-Israel— were launched by Fr. Sean Mc Manus on International Human Rights Day, December 10, 2012. The Holy Land Principles are based on the Mac Bride Principles, which Fr. Mc Manus also launched on November 5, 1984.
Fr. Mc Manus said: "The Ruggie Principles cannot exist in a vacuum; they must be particularized: applied concretely in a particular location or country. That is why we claim that signing the Holy Land Principles is a practical and efficacious way, among other things, of implementing the Ruggie Principles. Moreover, we have the precedence and experience of the Mac Bride Principles to back up our claim. Indeed, we are the only group that has that precedence and that experience to make this claim. Others may make theoretical assumptions, but we have, from November 5, 1984, over 30 years of on- the- job experience. We know, and made possible, the huge difference the Mac Bride Principles created in Northern Ireland. We know— and hope to make possible — the huge difference the Holy Land Principles can make in Israel-Palestine. And here's the key point in this: It is not the difference (or, indeed, the similarities) between Northern Ireland and the Holy Land, but, rather, the way the American companies react to these sets of Principles. The Northern Ireland precedence has proved that it was only when the American companies doing business in Northern Ireland signed the Mac Bride Principles—upon which the Holy Land Principles are based— that real progress began to be made. The same holds true for the American companies doing business in Israel/Palestine-Palestine/Israel. It took five years tor the first American company to sign the Mac Bride Principles, but eventually 116 companies signed on. The same will happen with the Holy Land Principles. The companies will play hard ball for a time, but eventually fairness and reason will prevail because the Holy Land Principles are compellingly fair and reasonable— and are pro-Jewish, pro-Palestinian and pro-company."
Fr. Mc Manus explained: "It is the conduct of the American companies that the Mac Bride Principles and the Holy Land Principles are seeking to change — not the situation per se in Northern Ireland and the Holy Land. That is our focus; that is the leverage; and that is the power and dynamism of fair employment. We simply cannot understand — nor do we wish to entertain— any chatter that fair employment is too limited or not sufficiently substantial to help effect meaningful change. That was the nonsense we had to listen to at the beginning of the Mac Bride Principles campaign. Fair employment is, in and of itself, a stand-alone good, never to be dismissed or devalued as it goes to the heart of the matter (while, of course, not solving all problems) in every troubled area in the world. Furthermore, fair employment by American companies in the Holy Land is the one demand, above all, that American investors, consumers, stakeholders and people of conscience can make of the 545 American companies in the Holy Land. Additionally, the Holy Land Principles are perfectly consistent with environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues."
Fr. Mc Manus concluded: "Indeed, the real question should be: Why was the fair employment record of these 545 companies not raised long before? How could such an obvious duty and responsibility have been avoided for so long? Why did investors and the SRI community allow it to escape under the radar? Now that the Holy Land Principles campaign is filling the vacuum that was crying out to be filled (our only modest claim), we look forward to the support of all Americans of good will who recognize the centrality of fair employment by the 545 American companies doing business in Israel-Palestine. And, in particular, we ask all concerned to vote for the Holy Land Principles resolution we have filed with Cisco, whose Annual Meeting will be later in the Fall."
Fr. Sean Mc Manus
Holy Land Principles, Inc.
P.O. BOX 15128
Washington, DC 20003-0849
SOURCE Holy Land Principles, Inc.