Marking the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the 12th UN Forum on Business and Human Rights (held on 27-29 November 2023 in Geneva, Switzerland) provided an important opportunity to engage with and hear from key stakeholders, and take stock of the UN Guiding Principles implementation.
The Ipieca secretariat and 18 representatives from 10 member companies participated alongside over 2,000 representatives from UN bodies, government, businesses, community groups, civil society, law firms, investor organizations, national human rights institutions, trade unions and academia.
Prior to the forum, and as part of its engagement with the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights (UNWG), Ipieca provided feedback to two consultations in 2023:
- Extractive sector, just transition and human rights - view Ipieca's response
- Investors, ESG and human rights - view Ipieca's response
Ipieca also contributed to the Global Business Initiative on Human Rights’ Compendium of practice of business organisations’ human rights work, providing reflections on the ongoing response in this fast-evolving landscape.
The forum’s sessions reflected this year’s theme, ‘Towards effective change in implementing obligations, responsibilities, rights and remedies’. Some topics emerged as key themes:
- All actors, especially representatives from Indigenous groups, emphasised the importance of a human rights-based approach to the energy transition
- Human rights should be considered beyond the S of ESG (environmental, social and governance). Better integration of environment and climate concerns in human rights due diligence is needed.
- The continuing importance of advancing principles on fair and ethical recruitment, strengthening the voice of workers to prevent issues and improve the recruitment system, and including workers in the remedy process.
- Meaningful partnerships and engagement with all actors (including governments, business, civil society, industry associations, investors) are key to making human rights due diligence in the supply chain successful.
Alongside the forum’s general sessions, Ipieca organized bilateral meetings with several key stakeholders and members to discuss recent and emerging human rights legislations, expectations from stakeholders, and upcoming priorities for Ipieca.
Through its knowledge sharing and opportunity to engage with key stakeholders, the forum helps Ipieca’s ongoing work to raise awareness and support for the UNGPs, aligned with the fifth Ipieca Principle.
Ipieca provides global leadership on the interaction between the industry, people and communities by acting as a unique forum to promote high standards and share good practice. Ipieca works to advance a people-centred just transition. Find out how here.