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UN Forum on Business & Human Rights 2012 - Coverage & commentaries

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Author: Maria Prandi, Instituto de Innovación Social

[Durante el] Foro sobre Empresa y Derechos Humanos que tuvo lugar en la sede de Naciones Unidas en Ginebra...se hizo palpable que no existían...datos contrastados acerca de cómo los Principios Rectores habían prevenido, mitigado o reparado los impactos negativos de las empresas en los derechos humanos...[A]lgunas ONG reiteraron...cómo persistía una clara impunidad hacia algunos responsables de abusos a escala internacional. Las diferentes temáticas analizadas en sesiones paralelas...impidieron desafortunadamente los debates y el intercambio cruzado entre los principales stakeholders...[F]ue más que notoria la ausencia de representantes de países africanos o asiáticos...El consenso y el entusiasmo iniciales no escondieron...El Foro mostró...la necesidad de aterrizar los Principios Rectores en función del sector empresarial y del país en el que se opera y la necesidad...de llevar a cabo alianzas sectoriales.

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Article
19 December 2012

Making human rights a priority for business

Author: Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

Puvan Selvanathan, Chairperson of the Working Group, said that the Working Group had sought to ensure a broad and balanced participation of stakeholders in the Forum in order to maximize its potential for creating spinoffs at the wider international, regional and national levels. He added that the discussions at the Forum will not only contribute to the effective implementation of the Guiding Principles by States and businesses, but also help to bring new actors into the broader business and human rights agenda such as, small and medium enterprises, as well as promote dialogue and cooperation between stakeholders....Laura Dupuy Lasserre, President of the Human Rights Council, added that the two-day Forum served as a unique opportunity for the global community to exchange information and explore the challenges of implementing the Guiding Principles.

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Article
12 December 2012

UN Forum on Business & Human Rights 2012 - Coverage & commentaries

Author: compiled by Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

[commentaries & coverage by Centre Europe - Tiers Monde, BSR, Foley Hoag, Fundación Ideas para la Paz, Pensamiento Caribe, Le Temps, US State Dept.]

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Article
12 December 2012

UN Forum on Business and Human Rights - Presentations & discussions at first annual Forum

Author: compiled by Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

Opening session: From Business and Human Rights Principles to Implementation in Practice...The State Duty to Protect - Panel Discussion...The Role of Public Finance in advancing implementation of the Guiding Principles - Panel Discussion...Access to Judicial Remedy - Panel Discussion...Challenges in implementation - the State Duty to Protect - Panel discussion...Challenges in Conflict Zones - Panel Discussion...Closing Session: The Way Forward: Opportunities and Priorities for Action by Relevant Actors...Closing remarks by the Chairperson & reflections by from the Working Group

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Article
11 December 2012

John Ruggie gives opening address at U.N. Forum on Business and Human Rights

Author: Sarah A. Altschuller, Foley Hoag

On December 4 and 5, more than 1,000 participants from 85 countries gathered for the first U.N. Forum on Business and Human Rights in Geneva, Switzerland. The Forum focused on “trends and challenges” in the implementation of the U.N. Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (the “Guiding Principles”), which were formally endorsed by the U.N. Human Rights Council in June 2011. The Forum includes discussions of a broad set of key issues in the business and human rights space, ranging from access to remedies to indigenous peoples’ rights.

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Author: Armando Pérez Araújo, Pensamiento Caribe [blog]

Aprovechemos lo escuchado en el Foro de las Naciones Unidas sobre Derechos Humanos y Empresas...nuestro aprendizaje a partir de este Foro no podrá ser otro que enfocarnos, principalmente, a plantear que se desarrollen de diferentes maneras las estrategias relacionadas con "el acceso a vías de reparación mediante mecanismos de reclamación a nivel operacional"...Este interesante tópico será uno de los tantos asuntos que deberá constituir un avance como resultado de este privilegiado escenario de diálogo y cooperación multilateral de factores y actores. Adicionalmente, concluyamos que tanto los Estados como las Empresas coinciden teóricamente en "la necesidad de mejorar el acceso de las víctimas de abusos cometidos por empresas a vías de reparación, tanto judiciales como extrajudiciales".

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Article
10 December 2012

Human Rights Day: A Call to Respect Human Dignity

Author: Faris Natour, Director - Human Rights, BSR

At last week’s inaugural UN Forum on Business and Human Rights in Geneva, I was struck by the sheer size of the event—about 1,000 participants—and by the number of companies openly discussing challenges, collaborating on solutions, and engaging in constructive dialogue with stakeholders. Yet, among all the discussions about due diligence, grievance mechanisms, and reporting, it is easy to forget the most important idea behind human rights: the concept of dignity...We launched the BSR Human Rights Working Group, where 24 companies from eight sectors and six countries collaborate on human rights management challenges...we have also seen many grave reminders that human rights impacts involving business remain a significant challenge

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Article
10 December 2012

Protecting human rights in a globalized economy

Author: Andreas Zumach, Deutsche Welle [Germany]

When the UN Human Rights Council passed the [Guiding Principles on Business & Human Rights] in June 2011, that was only the first step...But which concrete measures have been taken over the last 18 months to implement the guidelines? Experts gathered in Geneva during a global forum for the economy and human rights to discuss such questions...Debbie Stothard, human rights activist...could not think of any concrete example among Southeast Asian nations where the new UN guidelines had already been implemented...[b]ut [is] still hopeful that they could prove an effective instrument in the future at least to improve human rights protection...There have...been instances where national courts have taken on cases alleging human rights violations against multinational corporations ...which [gives] reason to hope that protecting human rights will be improved. [Refers to Sakhalin Energy (joint venture Shell, Gazprom, Mitsui, & Mitsubishi), Nestlé]

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Author: Centre Europe - Tiers Monde (CETIM)

Resultado de una resolución del Consejo de los Derechos Humanos, este Foro reunirá con los gobiernos, las ONG y las instituciones nacionales de derechos humanos, las empresas transnacionales tales como ABB, Chevron, Shell, BP, Repsol, PepsiCo UBS ... como si todas estas entidades estuvieran en pie de igualdad ! El mandato de este Foro esencialmente se limita al censos de las « buenas prácticas » de las empresas transnacionales y a la promoción de los « Principios Rectores relativos a las Empresas y a los Derechos Humanos », elaborado en 2011 por John Ruggie en 2011, ex Representante Especial del Secretario General de las Naciones Unidas y consultor entre otras funciones de Barrick Gold Corporation. ¡Presidirá, además el Foro de las Naciones Unidas !. El problema es que este foro no ha sido habilitado tampoco para examinar quejas que conciernen a las violaciones de los derechos humanos, cometidas por las empresas transnacionales.

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Author: Centre Europe - Tiers Monde (CETIM)

Issu d'une résolution du Conseil des droits de l'homme, ce Forum réunira, aux côtés des Etats, ONG et institutions nationales des droits humains, les représentant-e-s des STN (sociétés transnationales) telles que ABB, Chevron, Shell, BP, Repsol, PepsiCo, UBS...comme si toutes ces entités étaient sur un pied d'égalité ! Le mandat de ce Forum se limite essentiellement au recensement « des bonnes pratiques » des STN et à la promotion des « Principes directeurs relatifs aux entreprises et aux droits de l'homme », élaborés par John Ruggie en 2011, ancien Représentant spécial du Secrétaire général de l'ONU et consultant entre autres de Barrick Gold Corporation. Il présidera d'ailleurs le Forum de l'ONU ! Le problème est que ce Forum n'a pas été habilité non plus à traiter des plaintes concernant les violations des droits humains commises par des STN.

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