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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 
Wednesday, November 27 • 13:30 - 14:45
Strengthening regional “races to the top” on business and human rights – the role of regional organizations

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Session organized by the European Union External Action Service and the Council of Europe

Brief Description of focus and objectives:
Regional organisations can play an important role to foster progress at national level on the implementation of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs), by facilitating the exchange of good practice, promoting peer learning, and harmonising regulation among others. This session will present recent efforts made by several regional organisations to encourage races to the top on business and human rights amongst their member states, alongside initiatives sharing experience with other regions in the world and supporting National Action Plans. It will also offer a discussion on how regional organisations can best work with their members and partners in the pursuit of a race to the top.

Format of the session:
The session will feature speakers from regional organisations and national governments in two rounds of discussion:
  1. Highlighting recent initiatives and the lessons learned in fostering regional and national developments;
  2. Exchanges on how best to mutually support one another in a regional race to the top.
The session will also call business and NGOs/trade unions representatives to share their perspective on achieving a “race to the top” and their relationship with regional organisations. It will also provide an opportunity for partners of EU-supported regional projects (OECD, ILO, OHCHR, UN Working Group, UNDP as well as countries in Latin America and Asia) to share their experience.

Speakers of the session:
  1. Developments at the Council of Europe and presentation of the online platform on human rights and business: Christophe Poirel, Director, Human Rights Directorate, Directorate General Human Rights and Rule of Law (DGI), Council of Europe
  2. Developing a Business and Human Rights Policy Framework at Regional level, Mr Ikubaje John Gbodi, Senior Political Officer, African Union Commission, Department for Political Affairs
  3. EU level initiatives promoting races to the top in Europe and supporting races to the top in other regions, EU supported projects in Asia and Latin America, Hilde Hardeman, Director - Head of Service, Service for Foreign Policy Instruments, European Commission
  4. Lessons learned from the European regional peer learning exercise on the implementation of the UNGPs, Jochen Anthierens, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belgium
  5. Perspective for future actions at regional level based on national experiences, Dr. Kent Wilska, Commercial Counsellor, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland ( EU presidency)

Moderators
avatar for Marc Giacomini

Marc Giacomini

Deputy Managing Director for Human Rights, Global and Multilateral Affairs, European External Action Service

Speakers
avatar for Hilde Hardeman

Hilde Hardeman

Director-Head of Service, European Commission Service for Foreign Policy Instruments (FPI)
Dr Hilde Hardeman, Head of the European Commission's Service for Foreign Policy Instruments (FPI).Hilde has spent twenty-five years working for the European Commission, covering external relations and economic and competitiveness issues. From 2014 to 2017, she served as Deputy Head... Read More →
avatar for Christophe Poirel

Christophe Poirel

Director, Human Rights Directorate, Directorate General Human Rights and Rule of Law (DGI), Council of Europe
Christophe Poirel, LL.M., has worked as the Director of Human Rights in the Council of Europe since his appointment in July 2018. During his long career path, he has gained solid expertise in the field of human rights.Prior to his current position, Mr Poirel has served in several... Read More →
avatar for Ikubaje John Gbodi

Ikubaje John Gbodi

Senior Political Officer (Democracy, Governance, Human Rights and Elections), African Union Commission
Ikubaje John Gbodi. Is a British Chevening Scholar. He holds M.Sc. in Political Science from the University of Ibadan, in Nigeria and MA in Governance and Development from the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), University of Sussex, Brighton, United Kingdom. Mr. Ikubaje was the... Read More →
avatar for Jochen Anthierens

Jochen Anthierens

Human Rights and Democracy Service, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belgium
Jochen Anthierens is currently the Deputy Director of the Human Rights Department of the Federal Public Service Foreign Affairs of Belgium. He previously served as Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of Belgium in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (2013-2017) and as First Secretary at the... Read More →
avatar for Kent Wilska

Kent Wilska

Commercial Counsellor, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland
Works at Trade Policy Unit of the Department for External Economic Relations. Responsibilities i.a. trade and development, aid for trade, trade and labour rights, business and human rights, responsible business conduct, EU-Mercosur negotiations.Dr. in International Economics and Business... Read More →


Wednesday November 27, 2019 13:30 - 14:45
Room XIX