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G7 Leaders Agree to Improve Textile Supply Chains After Rana Plaza Tragedy

The world’s G-7 leaders have agreed to work toward more responsible global supply chains, namely in the textile and ready made garment sectors.

At the meeting in Bavaria, Germany this Sunday and Monday, the leaders noted in their declaration, “Given our prominent share in the globalization process, G7 countries have an important role to play in promoting labour rights, decent working conditions and environmental protection in global supply chains. We will strive for better application of internationally recognized labour, social and environmental standards, principles and commitments (in particular UN, OECD, ILO and applicable environmental agreements) in global supply chains. We will engage with other countries, for example within the G20, to that end.”

Taking action to enhance transparency and accountability will also be a high priority on the future agenda, and countries headquarter in the G7 nations (The United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom) will be encouraged to implement due diligence procedures that promote responsibility.

“We welcome international efforts, including private sector input, to promulgate industry-wide due diligence standards in the textile and ready-made garment sector,” the declaration noted. “To promote safe and sustainable supply chains, we will increase our support to help SMEs develop a common understanding of due diligence and responsible supply chain management.”

The leaders also agreed to establish a fund that would help improve workplace conditions and prevent workplace disasters like the Rana Plaza building collapse that killed 1,137 people in Bangladesh.

As outlined in the meeting, the Vision Zero Fund, which will be established in cooperation with the International Labour Organization (ILO), is expected to help prevent and reduce workplace-related deaths and serious injuries by strengthening public frameworks and establishing sustainable business practices.

“Access to the Fund will be conditional: the Fund will support those recipients that commit themselves to prevention measures and the implementation of labor, social, environmental and safety standards,” the declaration noted.

The group said they would continue supporting relevant global initiatives and better coordinate bilateral cooperation to foster sustainable economic development.

“We will strengthen multi-stakeholder initiatives in our countries and in partner countries, including in the textile and ready-made garment sector, building upon good practices learned from the Rana Plaza aftermath,” the leaders noted.