For further information on the UN Forum on Business and Human Rights please visit https://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Business/Forum/Pages/2019ForumBHR.aspx

For further information on the work of the Working Group on Business and Human Rights please visit https://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Business/Pages/WGHRandtransnationalcorporationsandotherbusiness.aspx 
Back To Schedule
Tuesday, November 26 • 11:40 - 13:00
Regulating for corporate governance that respects human rights. Achieving a step-change in business and society relationships

Log in to save this to your schedule, view media, leave feedback and see who's attending!

Session organized by Shift, the Polish Institute for Human Rights and Business, and the Centre for Human Rights at the University of Pretoria

Discussion Handout: Leadership and Governance Indicators of Rights-Respecting Culture (beta version)

Interpretation provided in English, French and Spanish by DOCIP.

Webcast of the session:
Meeting link
Meeting number: 841 119 422
Password: Fy2ggiUD

Focus and Objectives
Governments have a critical role to play in setting the regulatory framework for effective corporate governance. But there is still limited understanding of the place of respect for human rights in these frameworks. In recent years there has been growing recognition that profit-making is not, properly understood, the purpose of the corporation, but rather a means by which companies deliver their true purpose, which should contribute to broader society.
This understanding has significant implications for the role of corporate governance. The independent King Committee in South Africa has observed that “good corporate governance requires an acknowledgement that an organization doesn’t operate in a vacuum, but is an integral part of society and therefore has accountability towards current and future stakeholders.” The UK’s most recent Corporate Governance Code states that “[t]o succeed in the long-term, directors and the companies they lead need to build and maintain successful relationships with a wide range of stakeholders. These relationships will be successful and enduring if they are based on respect, trust and mutual benefit”.
This session will explore:
  • The role of governments, alongside independent regulatory bodies, in defining principles and rules of corporate governance that duly reflect the importance of respect for human rights for society and its most vulnerable communities, as well as for the ability of companies to create long-term value. 
  • What, in practice, should company directors and business leaders be doing to lead the way in the company establishing authentic relationships with affected stakeholders, and building a corporate culture of respect and empathy for those stakeholders.

The session will proceed in two-parts.
Part One will engage representatives of government and independent regulators of corporate governance from the global north and south. The discussion would explore the ways in which corporate governance regulations already and do can incentivize companies to address and account for how they create value for society by operating with respect for people’s human rights, and how regulatory frameworks could evolve further to meet this objective.
Part Two will be a more applied, interactive engagement with participants to discuss some draft indicators of rights-respecting corporate governance that Shift has been developing through the Valuing Respect project.

The discussion will focus on the sub-set of indicators pertaining to senior leader’s modelling values of empathy, authenticity and respect when engaging affected stakeholders. The draft indicators have been developed via expert and multi-stakeholder consultations in Europe, N. America, Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia. The workshop-style dialogue in part two of this session will be a further chance to stress-test the appropriateness and utility of these indicators, and use the feedback and insights gained to shape their further refinement and finalization.

avatar for Mark Hodge

Mark Hodge

Senior Associate / Advisor, Shift / OHCHR B-Tech

avatar for Filip Gregor

Filip Gregor

Purpose of the Corporation Project, Frank Bold
Filip Gregor represents Frank Bold in the Steering Group of the European Coalition for Corporate Justice. Filip co-founded and helps to run the Purpose of the Corporation Project, a strategic open-source platform for a debate on the role of the corporation in society and the future... Read More →
avatar for Mathilde Mesnard

Mathilde Mesnard

Deputy Director, Directorate for Financial and Enterprise Affairs, OECD
Deputy Director since 2016, Ms Mesnard provides intellectual leadership for the OECD on a range of topics including anti-corruption, corporate governance, competition, financial markets, investment and insurance. Ms Mesnard was previously the coordinator of the OECD’s New Approaches... Read More →

Paul Druckman

former board member, UK Financial Reporting Council, and Chair, World Benchmarking Alliance

Nor Azimah Binti Abdul Aziz

Deputy CEO of Corporate Services; former Deputy CEO (Regulatory and Enforcement), Companies House, Malaysia
avatar for Marte Johnsen Stensrud

Marte Johnsen Stensrud

Vice-President Human Rights, Equinor
I am a legal practitioner from Nigeria with 9 years post call experience.

Tuesday November 26, 2019 11:40 - 13:00 CET
Room XXI