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Helping States promote responsible business - Forum on Business and Human Rights 2019
26 Nov 2019 -  Plenary: Helping States promote responsible business - toward greater coherence at the multilateral level?
Focus and objectives:
Under the title “Helping States promote responsible business - toward greater coherence at the multilateral level?”, this plenary session convenes senior leaders from the UN and international organizations working to promote responsible business conduct and sustainability.

The panel aims to reinforce the message that business respect for human rights must be at the heart of corporate contributions to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

A key objective is to signal alignment on the importance of State action to protect human rights in a business context and foster responsible business conduct. This includes the need for policy coherence in State action to foster responsible business in line with international human rights standards, including at the multilateral level, as highlighted by Principle 10 of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. It sets out that States, when acting as members of multilateral institutions that deal with business-related issues (e.g. private sector development, trade, finance) should seek to ensure that they do not restrain the ability of States to meet the duty to protect or hinder business enterprises from respecting human rights.

The participating international organizations will share lessons from efforts to support States in promoting responsible business, take stock of recent progress as well as remaining gaps and challenges, and call on States to step up leadership and concrete measures.

It builds on a panel convened at the 2018 Forum, that addressed “Building coherence and reaching scale on human rights due diligence – International organizations' leadership perspectives”.

• Dante Pesce - Member, UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights

• Michelle Bachelet - United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, OHCHR
• Guy Ryder - Director-General, International Labour Organization (ILO)
• Asako Okai - UN Assistant Secretary General, UNDP Assistant Administrator and Director of the Crisis Bureau, UNDP
• Charlotte Petri Gornitzka - Assistant Secretary-General and Deputy Executive Director, Partnerships, UNICEF
• Christine Kaufmann - Chair of the OECD Working Party on Responsible Business Conduct, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

(Forum on Business and Human Rights)