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SAVE THE DATE!


2014 UNITED NATIONS FORUM ON BUSINESS AND HUMAN RIGHTS
1 to 3 December 2014


Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland

Business and human rights has become an issue that States and businesses worldwide cannot ignore. Business enterprises contribute in important ways to the realization of human rights, including by providing access to decent work and improved standards of living. At the same time, business activities may also involve adverse impacts on human rights, as underlined by tragedies like the Rana Plaza factory collapse, recurring reports of migrant worker exploitation, environmental impacts affecting people’s rights, and the many cases that never  attract international attention. Meanwhile, as the post-2015 development agenda is being crafted, there is a growing worldwide recognition of the human rights aspects of sustainable development and of the role business enterprises can and should play in addressing global challenges such as climate change, poverty and inequality. It was against this back ground that the Human Rights Council in 2011 unanimously endorsed the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. A growing number of States and business actors are taking real steps to put into practice the Guiding Principles’ three pillars: the State duty to protect human rights, the corporate responsibility to respect human rights, and the right of victims to access an effective remedy. Important implementation challenges, however, remain.

The United Nations Forum on Business and Human Rights was established to serve as a key global platform for stakeholders to take stock of such challenges and discuss the way forward, and the first two Forums, held in 2012 and 2013, have been the largest global gatherings for multistakeholder dialogue on business and human rights to date.

Building on the previous two events, the third Forum, to be held from 1 to 3 December 2014 in Geneva (Switzerland) and guided by the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights, will focus on the following main areas:

  • Strengthening multi-stakeholder dialogue and engagement
  • Discussing national action plans to implement the Guiding Principles
  • Exploring access to effective remedy
  • Identifying current and good practice

The Forum is open to all relevant stakeholder groups including States, the wider United Nations system, intergovernmental and regional organizations, business enterprises and associations, labour unions, national human rights institutions, non-governmental organizations, academics, indigenous peoples and affected communities.

For online registration 2014, click here.

Proposals for side events, new developments to be featured at the Forum and potential speakers can be made online via this link.

The preliminary Forum agenda will be posted on the web in September 2014.

Nomination of the Chairperson of the UN annual Forum on Business and Human Rights, 1-3 December, 2014
 
The 3rd UN Forum on Business and Human Rights, due to be held from 1 to 3 December 2014, will focus on the following main areas:

  • Strengthening multi-stakeholder dialogue and engagement;
  • Discussing national action plans to implement the Guiding Principles;
  • Exploring access to effective remedy; and
  • Identifying current and good practice.

The chairperson is nominated by members and observers of the Human Rights Council* and is responsible for the preparation of the summary of the Forum discussions. The 2012 and 2013 Fora were chaired by Mr John Ruggie (USA) and Mr Makarim Wibosono (Indonesia) respectively.

The Forum is open to all relevant stakeholder groups including States, the wider United Nations system, intergovernmental and regional organizations, business enterprises and associations, labour unions, national human rights institutions, non-governmental organizations, academics, indigenous peoples and affected communities

*Members and observers include: the Permanent Missions to the United Nations Office at Geneva, the specialized agencies, other intergovernmental organizations and national human rights institutions, and NGOs in consultative status with ECOSOC.

The deadline to submit a nomination is: 10 October 2014

Note verbal in English and French dated 9 September 2014.

Background

The annual UN Forum on Business and Human Rights is the largest global gathering for multi-stakeholder dialogue on business and human rights. Established by the Human Rights Council, and guided by the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights, it was created to “discuss trends and challenges in the implementation of the Guiding Principles and promote dialogue and cooperation on issues linked to business and human rights.” The Forum is a space for representatives and practitioners from civil society, business, governments, international organizations and affected stakeholders to constructively engage on substantive issues, share lessons of good practice and ongoing challenges, assess the state of play on implementation of the Guiding Principles, and identify opportunities and priorities for further action.

The second annual Forum was held in Geneva on 2-4 December 2013. Around 1,500 persons registered from more than 100 countries. More information, including the summary report can be found on the second Forum’s webpage.

Details about registration, logistics and other information about the Forum will be made available on this page in due course. Queries can be directed to forumbhr@ohchr.org