Occidental Colombia, LLC is a subsidiary company of Occidental Petroleum, an international oil and gas exploration and production company with operations in the United States, Middle East and Latin America. The Company has been present in Colombia for more than four decades and it has been strongly committed to promote and respect human rights. The Company has been working on different strategies to implement international guidelines and best due diligence practices. These strategies include human rights risk and impact assessments, communication and training for employees and contractors, due diligence measures regarding our value chain, institutional strengthening projects, peace building and social initiatives, and participation in multi-stakeholder initiatives.
In 2015, the Colombian Government launched the National Action Plan for Human Rights and Business (NAP). This Action Plan is a three-year public policy tool that aims to implement the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. Considering Colombia's current context, this instrument provides a very interesting framework to engage Companies in peacebuilding and sustainable development initiatives.
Supporting the National Government to implement the NAP in the region of Arauca was identified by the Company as a strategic opportunity to promote dialogue and to improve institutional strengthening and stakeholder engagement in its areas of operation.
The following paper presents the dialogue process carried out under the project known as "Arauca: Right to the Future" in order to create a territorial agenda that promotes human rights and supports strategic development initiatives in the region of Arauca. Two products were built among all the participants in this process: 1) a protocol that provides guidelines and principles for a dialogue and joint action among stakeholders; and 2) an action plan that is currently being implemented in the territory with specific tasks for institutional strengthening and a responsible citizen and business participation. Finally, the paper presents the best practices and lessons learned from the process as well as the challenges and next steps for the initiative.
For Occidental Colombia, LLC, this project has represented an excellent opportunity to strengthen the relationship with its stakeholders, particularly with national and regional authorities and the Araucan civil society. In addition, it has been an opportunity to gain new insights and perspectives about our operational settings and our process for strengthening our human rights and impact assessments.
A new version of the Colombian NAP will be launched this year (2019), updated with the lessons that have been gathered during the last three years of implementation. The new version will include the main strategic actions in terms of business and human rights in order to respond to the new context and challenges that the country is facing nowadays. The Company plans to continue supporting this project under the new guidelines and promoting new initiatives that can contribute to create an environment that stimulates social and business development in the territory.