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Monday, November 26 • 3:00pm - 4:20pm
Are States making progress on the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights? Challenges, innovations and lessons learned from implementation

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Organized by the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights

Brief Description:
This Forum session led by the Working Group will provide an opportunity for States to share updates on progress in implementing the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and for all relevant stakeholders to engage in open dialogue on ways forward.

Under the 2018 Forum’s central theme “Business respect for human rights –building on what works”, the Working Group invites States to share information about:

(a) Regulatory and policy developments to provide guidance, incentives and/or requirements for business enterprises to carry out human rights due diligence in order to identify, prevent, mitigate and account for how they address their adverse human rights impacts across operations and value chains;
(b) Updates on national action plans on business and human rights (in line with Human Rights Council resolution 26/22, paragraph 4), including assessments of impact of the implementation of existing plans.

The Forum’s regional track will provide further opportunities for exchange about such initiatives and stakeholder perspectives on the ways forward.

Part I – Government leadership to drive business respect for human rights – Lessons learned from around the world and ways forward 
  • Opening remarks by Dante Pesce, Chairperson of the UN Working Group on Business & Human Rights – Government action to drive business respect – what is the current state of play?
  • Government panel to share experiences on new developments and commitments for moving the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights from paper to practice [broad focus: legislation, regulation, national action plans and other policy frameworks]
  • Open dialogue: Government action to drive corporate human rights due diligence: what works? Lessons from regulatory and policy action 
    • Interventions by other states from the floor 
    • Interventions by other stakeholders from the floor

Background to the discussion:
In its  2018 report to the General Assembly (A/73/163), the Working Group highlights how States are performing in promoting corporate human rights due diligence. It notes that the human rights due diligence standard set out in the Guiding Principles is increasingly reflected in government policy frameworks and legislation, including mandatory disclosure of risks of modern slavery in supply chains. In the 20 national action plans on business and human rights that have been issued to date, Governments have reaffirmed the expectation that business enterprises exercise human rights due diligence.

The report also highlights gaps: A lack of government leadership in addressing governance gaps remains the biggest challenge. A fundamental issue is that host Governments are not fulfilling their duty to protect human rights, either failing to pass legislation that meets international human rights and labour standards, or failing to enforce legislation that would protect workers and affected communities.

 While some home Governments have introduced due diligence or disclosure legislation, such efforts also remain patchy or uncoordinated. Governments are not providing enough guidance on human rights due diligence and support tailored to national business audiences, including small and medium-sized enterprises. A lack of policy coherence in government practice is part of the overall picture, and Governments are not leading by example in their own roles as economic actors.
The key message to Governments is that they should use all available regulatory and policy levers, such as: policy tools and frameworks, including national action plans in order to enhance policy coherence overall; legislation, regulation and adjudication; economic incentives in “economic diplomacy” and public procurement; leadership by example in their role as economic actors; provision of guidance (including for SMEs); and promotion of multi-stakeholder dialogue.
The Forum provides an opportunity for States and other stakeholders to engage in dialogue on the emerging practices, shortcomings and solutions highlighted by the Working Group.

How to participate:
States that wish to share their experiences and perspectives are invited to pre-register by sending an email to wg-business@ohchr.org  with cc to bhrforum@ohchr.org including in the subject line:
“Forum GOVT. ACTION – [country name]”.
Although speaking time is limited (3 minutes for statements), all States will be able to submit statements to be posted on the Forum webpage. States should indicate whether they would like to speak in part I or part II, or both.
States are encouraged to participate with representatives from across relevant Government ministries, departments and agencies.

Other participants wishing to join the multi-stakeholder dialogue on lessons learned and ways forward are also invited to sign up in advance by sending an email to: wg-business@ohchr.org  with cc to bhrforum@ohchr.org including in the subject line: “2018 Forum GOVT. ACTION session – Multi-stakeholder dialogue - [name of organization]”. Interventions should be no more than 2-3 minutes in order to allow time for as many stakeholder perspectives as possible. Written statements may be submitted for posting on the Forum web page. Those signing up for the speaker list should indicate whether they wish to speak in part I or part II, or both.

Moderator/ Introductory Remark...
avatar for Dante Pesce

Dante Pesce

Chairperson, UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights
Mr. Dante Pesce holds a Masters in Political Science from the Catholic University of Chile and a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard University. He is the Founder and Executive Director of the VINCULAR Center for Social Responsibility and Sustainable Development at the... Read More →

avatar for Francisco Barbosa

Francisco Barbosa

Presidential Adviser on Human Rights, Government of Colombia
avatar for Meo Beyan

Meo Beyan

Assistant Minister for Economic Affairs, Ministry for Economic Affairs, Liberia

Somn Promaros

Director-General of the Rights and Liberties Protection Department, Ministry of Justice, Thailand
avatar for Maylis Souque

Maylis Souque

Secretaria General del Punto Nacional de Contacto de la OCDE, Direccion General del Tesoro del Gobierno Frances
Maylis SOUQUE is the Secretary General of the French OECD NCP for Responsible Business Conduct (RBC) and Senior Advisor on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) at the Directorate General of the Treasury of the French Ministry for the Economy and Finance. She organizes the work of... Read More →
avatar for Matias Rodriguez Urrutia

Matias Rodriguez Urrutia

Subsecretaria de Derechos Humanos, Ministerio de Justicia y Derechos Humanos de Chile
Matías Rodríguez Urrutia es el coordinador, desde enero de 2019, del Plan de Acción Nacional de Derechos Humanos y Empresas de Chile, política pública que lleva adelante la Subsecretaría de Derechos Humanos, del Ministerio de Justicia y Derechos Humanos.De profesión periodista... Read More →

Monday November 26, 2018 3:00pm - 4:20pm CET
Room XX