Arne Hoel, World Bank

United Nations Conference

CAO Participating in the 'UN Forum on Business and Human Rights'

November 27, 2017 - CAO is actively participating in the 2017 United Nations Forum on Business and Human Rights being held in Geneva, Switzerland November 27 – 29. The UN Forum on Business and Human Rights is the world’s largest platform for yearly stock-taking on efforts to move the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights from paper to practice. The Forum was established in 2011, and this year it is expected to attract more than 2,000 participants from government, business, civil society, academia, and UN agencies. Participants will discuss current business-related human rights topics such as how to ensure effective community remedy and supply chain transparency, and share lessons on how to better respect and protect human rights in a business context.

On Tuesday, November 28th, CAO will co-host the policy dialogue session “The Road to Remedy: Challenges and Opportunities for Communities Accessing Remedy in International Development Projects” in conjunction with the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, the Independent Accountability Mechanisms Network, and several advocacy CSOs such as the Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations. Panelists from these and other organizations will discuss the main challenges and opportunities faced by communities when using Independent Accountability Mechanisms to obtain remedy, and will explore which possible reforms, actions, or good practices would help ensure effective remedy. CAO will also present its Grievance Mechanism Toolkit—which is a practical guide for implementing grievance mechanisms in different sectors— within the Forum’s ‘Snapshot Presentations’ venue.

On Wednesday, November 29th, CAO will host the session “The Role of Effective Mediation in Achieving Sustainable Development”, which will feature a short film about an effective company-community mediation process that has helped sugar cane workers, the private sector, and inter-governmental agencies in Nicaragua address particular issues related to chronic kidney disease. The film will be followed by a broader discussion on the role of mediation to support sustainable development and achieve redress through collaborative problem solving. The session will be facilitated by CAO’s Principal Ombudsman and include panelists from a mining company, advocacy CSO, and a professional mediator.