LSE IDEAS' UN Business and Human Security Initiative participated at the 8th UN annual Forum on Business and Human Rights, the global platform set up to advance the implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. The theme of 2019 was 'Time to act: Governments as catalysts for business respect for human rights'. From 25-27 November in Geneva UN Headquarters, over 2,000 delegates representing governments, multilateral organisations, civil society, academia, grassroots movements and business discussed how governments can step up their activities to implement state’s duty to protect and accountability as stipulated by the UN Guiding Principles and show by example their commitment to implementing the Principles.
The UN Business and Human Rights Initiative at LSE IDEAS was extended an invitation by the UN Global Compact to participate in the workshop on 'Business for Peace: Bridging the gap with human rights - advancing responsible business to promote peace, stability and prosperity', organised as one of the Forum’s side events. Violent conflict is the biggest obstacle to sustainable development, with the impact of violence on the global economy more than $14.1 trillion last year. Conflicts also drive 80% of all humanitarian needs and reduce GDP growth by two percentage points per year, on average.
The Business for Peace event addressed the role of responsible business in areas facing multi-dimensional risks and in areas of conflict. The focus was on identifying the common and divergent aspects of the business and human rights and the business for peace agendas with an aim to think creatively and strategically about how the private sector, in particular Global Compact Local Networks, can positively contribute to the building of peaceful societies. Vesna Bojicic-Dzelilovic presented the Human Security Business Partnership Framework as an innovative model which incorporates human rights and social responsibility norms within a a more expansive concept of human security that promotes protection and empowerment of those affected by adverse impacts of business activity. To read more about the Human Security Business Partnership Framework, read this report which presents the Framework and proposals for the private sector.