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 
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Wednesday, November 27 • 13:30 - 14:45
Advancing the business and human rights agenda in the Pacific

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Session organized by the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights in collaboration with the OHCHR for the Pacific

Webcast of the session:
Meeting link
Meeting number: 840 368 810
Password: 7KAXPwtJ

This session is part of the Forum track on discussing challenges and opportunities in promoting business respect for human rights in different regions of the world in line with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs). Considering that Pacific countries share some of the common challenges in implementing the UNGPs, a peer learning and multi-stakeholder dialogue around opportunities and lessons learned should be useful in pushing the business and human rights agenda in the region. It is hoped that this session, the first for its kind for the Pacific, will raise awareness about the UNGPs, build linkages between the SDGs and the UNGPs, and encourage Pacific government to develop National Action Plans on Business and Human Rights. This session will also provide space to showcase how other Asian regions are implementing the UNGPs, and thus reinforce a ‘race to the top’ among governments and businesses in the Pacific region.

The session aims to:
  • Identify key business and human rights challenges in the Pacific;
  • Discuss the measures taken by the Pacific governments to promote responsible business conduct in line the UNGPs and the SDGs;
  • Consider ways to encourage business enterprises to conduct human rights due diligence in consultation with civil society organisations, trade unions and human rights defenders; and  
  • Explore opportunities for the Pacific states to develop National Action Plans to implement the UNGPs.

After brief introductory remarks by a member of the UN Working Group, the sessions will feature a moderated discussion among panelists representing the governments, businesses and civil society. This will be followed with an interactive dialogue with participants.
Representatives of civil society and business will present a few case studies concerning some of the key business and human rights challenges in the Pacific, particularly in relation to the extractive sector, the climate crisis, threats faced by human rights defenders, and gender issues. The representatives of some Pacific Governments will share how they are promoting business respect for human rights, including by raising awareness about the UNGPs and the SDGs agenda, setting expectations for companies to carry out human rights due diligence, creating incentives through public procurement, and taking steps to ensure a ‘bouquet of remedies’ is available to victims. Panelists will also discuss opportunities to promote responsible business conduct in the Pacific, including by developing National action Plans in a consultative manner.

avatar for Justine Nolan

Justine Nolan

Director, Australian Institute for Human Rights
Justine Nolan is a Professor in the Faculty of Law at UNSW Sydney. She is a Visiting Professorial Scholar at NYU's Stern Center for Business and Human Rights. Justine's research focuses on the intersection of business and human rights, in particular, corporate responsibility for human... Read More →

avatar for Katharine Bryant

Katharine Bryant

Manager- Global Research, Walk Free Initiative
avatar for Surya Deva

Surya Deva

Member, UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights
Mr. Surya Deva is a WG Member and Associate Professor at the School of Law of City University of Hong Kong.  He holds BA (Hons), LLB and LLM from the University of Delhi and a PhD from Sydney Law School, and has taught previously at the University of Delhi and at the National Law... Read More →
avatar for Leonard Chan

Leonard Chan

Pacific Business Resilience Network (PBRN)
Chair of the Pacific Business Resilience Network (PBRN) and Vice Chair of the Fiji Business Disaster Resilience Council (FBDRC)Affiliated with Fiji Commerce & Employers Federation (FCEF) since 2010 in various capacities including that of Council Chair & Vice Chair and Board Member.Affiliated... Read More →
avatar for Auiluma Lotoala

Auiluma Lotoala

Member, Tuvalu Association of Non-Government Organization (TANGO)
As a community-based organization, TANGO's principal concern is encouraging and assisting NGOs in their work to enable human development within Tuvalu. TANGO encourages this to be undertaken in a sustainable manner, ensuring the long-term survival of its own organization and any projects... Read More →

Wednesday November 27, 2019 13:30 - 14:45 CET