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In an op-ed this week, John Ruggie, a Harvard professor and influential leader on issues related to business and human rights, identified the importance of the open letter written by members of the Global Rights-sponsored African Coalition for Corporate Accountability (ACCA).

The letter, which was released a week before the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, calls on President Obama and African leaders to include at the Summit African civil society and its human rights concerns as part of the conversation about foreign investment.

Motoko Aizawa, an expert on issues related to the sustainability and the ethical impact of investment, co-wrote the op-ed with Mr. Ruggie, in which they acknowledged the increasing demand by Africans for better mechanisms to protect human rights from violations by business entities, noting as evidence the open letter, which was signed by over 50 civil society organizations. In agreement with the ACCA, Ms. Aizawa and Mr.  Ruggie stress that government cooperation in implementing human rights protections such as UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights is essential to prevent violations that too often accompany foreign investment.