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“The overwhelming interest in this Forum is a sign of the imperative felt by all sides, including business, to prevent and address adverse human rights impacts linked to business activities. Our discussions here in Geneva reflect the actual challenges, good practice and lessons learned on the ground”
–UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, UN Forum on Business and Human Rights, 2012.
Around 1,500 people from more than 100 countries registered to attend the second United Nations Forum on Business and Human Rights in Geneva from 2 to 4 December 2013. Among the participants were people who have been adversely affected by business, many of them from indigenous communities, and business representatives from major multinational corporations, as well as representatives of Governments, national human rights institutions, international and regional organizations, civil society and other stakeholders.
The Forum was established by the Human Rights Council and is under the guidance of the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights. The Forum provides a global platform for the promotion and implementation of the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. These Principles, unanimously endorsed in 2011 by the Council, are the first globally accepted standards on the responsibilities of States and businesses for preventing and addressing business-related human rights abuse.
The programme is available here. Chairperson of the second annual Forum was Mr. Makarim Wibisono.
For preliminary list of registered participants, click here
Pursuant to Human Rights Council resolution 17/4, the objective of the Forum is to discuss trends and challenges in the implementation of the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights: Implementing the United Nations “Protect, Respect and Remedy” Framework, available in the six official languages of the United Nations, and to promote dialogue and cooperation on issues linked to business and human rights.
Participants from all relevant stakeholder groups, sectors and disciplines are encouraged to attend the Forum and share perspectives and information about experiences, challenges, practices, tools and initiatives for advancing the business and human rights agenda and the implementation of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
Pursuant to Human Rights Council resolution 17/4, paragraph 13, participation in the Forum is open to States, United Nations mechanisms and entities, intergovernmental organizations and regional organizations and mechanisms national human rights institutions, business enterprises and associations, labour unions, academics and experts, representatives of indigenous peoples and non-governmental organizations.
Prior to the Forum, the Secretariat issued a non-exhaustive and evolving list of different tools and guidance documents that may be relevant to Forum participants.
Single stakeholder pre-Forum sessions, 2 December, 3-6 pm. - Civil Society
Civil society statement to the opening plenary
Single stakeholder pre-Forum sessions, 2 December, 3-6 pm. - Business
Business Stakeholder Meeting
At the invitation of the UN Working Group on business and human rights, the UN Global Compact, the International Organisation of Employers, the International Chamber of Commerce, the Global Business Initiative on Human Rights, and Business for Social Responsibility are convening a Business Stakeholder Meeting on the afternoon before the Forum to facilitate peer exchanges and learning. The Business Stakeholder Meeting will be interactive, providing the opportunity for participants to share and discuss the key challenges and opportunities they are encountering in seeking to implement the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. The results of the 2013 Corporate Questionnaire on business and human rights will also be shared during the meeting. Business representatives are invited to register for the Business Stakeholder Meeting by emailing [email protected].
- Summary report prepared by UN Global Compact, International Organisation of Employers, International Chamber of Commerce, Global Business Initiative on Human Rights, and Business for Social Responsibility
Single stakeholder pre-Forum sessions, 2 December, 3-6 pm. - Indigenous Peoples
Single stakeholder pre-Forum sessions, 2 December, 3-6 pm. - National Human Rights Institutions
“Brown-bag lunch”: Regional focus on UN Guiding Principles dissemination and implementation (Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, Eastern Europe, Western Europe and others) hosted by the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights, 2 December, 12.30-2.30 pm.
E, F, S (TBC)
Platform for tools, innovation and capacity building
Hosted by OHCHR and UNWG
E, F, S (TBC)
Presentation of selected national cases, research and good practice
Hosted by OHCHR and UNWG
Presentation of some projects supported by the UNWG
Hosted by the UNWG
E, S, F
Land and human rights defenders in danger
World Organisation Against Torture, International Federation for Human Rights, Peace Brigades International, Center for International Environmental Law, EarthRights International, Friends of the Earth International, Global Witness, International Land Coalition, International Union for Conservation of Nature National Committee of the Netherlands, International Service for Human Rights, Forum Asia
International legal roundtable: mobilizing lawyers to advance the business and human rights framework
American Bar Association with Shift Project, International Bar Association, Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe, Union Internationale des Avocats, Association International des Jeunes Avocats, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, Human Rights Resource Centre – ASEAN, International Corporate Accountability Roundtable
Consultation on the feasibility of a global fund to support capacity building on the UN Guiding Principles
(Human Rights Council resolution 21/5)
Hosted by OHCHR
Shared space: Human rights due diligence
Shared space: Cases in the extractive sector
Shared space: Legal trends shaping corporate behavior
Access to Remedy: Opportunities and challenges for judicial and non-judicial grievance mechanisms
Moderator: European Centre for Constitutional and Human Rights
Please visit the webpages of the first annual United Nations Forum on Business and Human Rights, 3-5 December 2012 for documentation and highlights of the first Forum.
For other oral and written statements made at the Forum click here...
In preparation for the second annual Forum the Working Group on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises invited States, business, civil society and other stakeholders to submit their suggestions on topics and modalities for the Forum. In particular the Working Group asked for suggestions on:
The following submissions were received:
United Nations entities and mechanisms
National human rights institutions
Business enterprises, associations, consultancies and professional bodies
Civil society organizations
Academics, think tanks, individuals
Ongoing contributions to the Forum represent the views of the submitting organizations only. Submitting organizations should address the Forum's mandated focus in their contributions and statements: to discuss trends and challenges in the implementation of the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.