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Debates concerning corporate social and environmental responsibilities at the intergovernmental level have a long and complex history within the United Nations. The latest chapter in that history is the 2005 creation of an expert mandate on business and human rights. The mandate is emerging as the focal point for shaping thinking and potential future action in this field. This article examines recent developments on the subject of business and human rights and reflects on possible future actions that could be taken in this area over the coming years.