For further information about the 9th UN Forum on business and human rights, please visit the Forum webpage

Register for the Forum on business and human rights here
Monday, November 16 • 14:00 - 16:00
High level plenary

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Session organized by the UN Working Group on business and human rights

Interpretation in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish will be available

The annual Forum on Business and Human Rights is the UN’s platform for multi-stakeholder dialogue to assess the progress made by states and business in moving the three pillars of “Protect, Respect and Remedy” of the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) from paper to practice.

The plenary of the UN Forum will provide leadership perspectives on the main theme of the Forum: renewed emphasis on a fundamental focus of the UNGPs, namely better prevention to safeguard people in the context of business activities.

Among the objectives, the opening plenary seeks to provide inspiration and help set the tone for constructive and solution-oriented dialogue over the three Forum days.

This year’s plenary session convenes senior leaders from the UN and international organizations working to promote responsible business conduct. A key goal is to reinforce calls on Governments and businesses to implement their respective human rights duties and responsibilities in the current crisis and beyond, and to demonstrate how international organizations are supporting them to advance in the current context.
It will also involve senior representation from Governments from different regions to share the experiences and lessons learned from their efforts to implement the UNGPs, including in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic response and recovery efforts.

The plenary 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.

This year’s Forum feeds directly into the Working Group’s ongoing project to take stock of the first ten years of the Guiding Principles (with the anniversary coming up in 2021) and design a roadmap for the next decade (“UNGPs10+ project”).

The Plenary will consist of the following segments:
  • Opening remarks
  • Remarks by Heads or senior representatives of International Organizations
  • Ministerial panel
  • Reflections from heads of other organizations

Video statements:

avatar for Michelle Bachelet

Michelle Bachelet

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
On September 1, 2018 Michelle Bachelet assumed her functions as the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights was established in 1993 and Ms. Bachelet is the seventh Commissioner.Ms. Bachelet was elected President of Chile... Read More →
avatar for Elisabeth TICHY-FISSLBERGER


President, Human Rights Council
Ambassador Elisabeth Tichy-Fisslberger has been serving as Permanent Representative of Austria to the United Nations Office at Geneva since December 2017. Prior to her appointment to Geneva, from 2007 to 2017, Ms. Tichy-Fisslberger served as Director General for Legal and Consular... Read More →
avatar for Anita Ramasastry

Anita Ramasastry

Special Repesentaitive to Chair on Combatting Corruption, OSCE
Anita Ramasastry is the Henry M Jackson Professor of Law and the Director of the Sustainable International Development Graduate program at the University of Washington. She researches in the fields of business and human rights, anti-corruption, law and sustainable development. From... Read More →
avatar for Mary Robinson

Mary Robinson

Chair, The Elders
Mary Robinson is Adjunct Professor for Climate Justice in Trinity College Dublin and Chair of The Elders.She served as President of Ireland from 1990-1997 and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights from 1997-2002. She is a member of the Club of Madrid and the recipient of numerous... Read More →
avatar for Guy Ryder

Guy Ryder

Director-General, International Labour Organization (ILO)
ILO Director-General Guy Ryder took office on 1 October 2012. He sees the ILO as central to promoting decent work for all and to working through tripartism and social dialogue to make a positive difference in the working lives of people everywhere, including and particularly in the... Read More →
avatar for Sanda Ojiambo

Sanda Ojiambo

CEO & Executive Director, UN Global Compact
Sanda Ojiambo is the Executive Director of the United Nations Global Compact. Launched in July 2000, the United Nations Global Compact is the Secretary‑General’s strategic policy and advocacy initiative calling for the alignment of business operations and strategies with 10 universal... Read More →
avatar for Asako Okai

Asako Okai

UN Assistant Secretary General, UNDP Assistant Administrator and Director of the Crisis Bureau, UNDP
Ms. Asako Okai officially began her role as UNDP's Assistant Administrator and Director for the Crisis Bureau on August 22, 2018. In this role, she leads UNDP's corporate crisis-related work and drives UNDP's vision and priorities for crisis prevention, response, and recovery.Ms... Read More →
avatar for Sanjay Wijesekera

Sanjay Wijesekera

Director of Programmes, UNICEF
Mr. Sanjay Wijesekera is currently the Director of Programmes at UNICEF Headquarters in New York. Prior to this, he was UNICEF Representative in South Africa. Before that he was serving as the Chief of Section for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), and Associate Director of Programmes... Read More →
avatar for Christine Kaufmann

Christine Kaufmann

Chair, OECD Working Party on Responsible Business Conduct
Christine Kaufmann is the Chair of the OECD Working Party on Responsible Business Conduct, the intergovernmental committee overseeing the implementation of the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, the comprehensive international framework for Responsible Business Conduct... Read More →
avatar for Didier Reynders

Didier Reynders

Commissioner for Justice in charge of Rule of Law and Consumer Protection, European Commission
A father of four, Didier Reynders was born in Liège on 6th August 1958. In 1981, he obtained a degree in law at the University of Liège. Guest lecturer at the universities of Liège and Louvain, he has never really left the academic life until he became on 1th December 2019 European... Read More →
avatar for Sigrid A. Kaag

Sigrid A. Kaag

Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Netherlands
Sigrid Kaag is Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation (2017). Previously, she served as, among other positions, Under-Secretary-General in Lebanon with responsibility for all UN activities in the country; as UN Under-Secretary-General leading the mission to eliminate... Read More →
avatar for Silvia Lara Povedano

Silvia Lara Povedano

Vice-Minister of the Presidency of Costa Rica, Goverment of Costa Rica
Silvia Lara studied at the University of Costa Rica, where she obtained a Master's degree in Sociology. In her professional and personal career she has distinguished herself for his commitment and specialization in human rights, social inclusion, the fight against poverty and inequality... Read More →
avatar for Valeria Kolomiets

Valeria Kolomiets

Deputy Minister on European Integration, Ministry of Justice of Ukraine
Coordinates the activities of the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine in the spheres of:European integration and policy coordination, donors coordinationhuman rightsfree legal aid systeminternational legal cooperationbankruptcyrepresentation of the state interests in the courts of Ukr... Read More →
avatar for Lolwah Rashid AL-KHATER

Lolwah Rashid AL-KHATER

Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs, Qatar
Her Excellency, Lolwah R M Al-Khater was appointed as the Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the State of Qatar in 2017. Her Excellency was appointed as Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs per HH the Amir Decision No 56 of 2019, in addition to her duties as Official... Read More →
avatar for Bärbel Kofler

Bärbel Kofler

Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Assistance, Federal Foreign Office, Germany
Bärbel Kofler has been the Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Assistance since 2016. Her mandate includes advising the Federal Government on Germany’s human rights and humanitarian aid policies. She liaises closely with a wealth of institutions... Read More →
avatar for Takashi Uto

Takashi Uto

State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (MOFA)
Mr. Uto was appointed as State Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (MOFA), in September 2020. He belongs to the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan (LDP) and is a member of the House of Councilors.Previously, he served in various positions including... Read More →
avatar for Sharan Burrow

Sharan Burrow

General Secretary,, International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC)
  Sharan Burrow was elected General Secretary of the ITUC at its Second World Congress in Vancouver, June 2010. Prior to this, she held the position of ITUC President since its Founding Congress in Vienna (November 2006) and the position of ICFTU President since its 18th World Congress... Read More →
avatar for Alice Mogwe

Alice Mogwe

President, International Federation for Human Rights and Director, DITSHWANELO – The Botswana Centre for Human Rights
Alice Mogwe has been a human rights activist since the 1990s. Her academic background is in law, public policy, African studies and mediation. Her work has included active engagement domestically, regionally and internationally with civil society, governments and regional and international... Read More →
avatar for Roberto Suarez-Santos

Roberto Suarez-Santos

Secretary-General, International Organization of Employers (IOE)
Roberto Suárez Santos fue nombrado Secretario General de la Organización Internacional de Empleadores (OIE) el 26 de octubre de 2018, tras haber ejercido como Secretario General Adjunto desde diciembre de 2012. Tras un exitoso periodo como Secretario General Adjunto, durante el... Read More →
avatar for John W. H. Denton AO

John W. H. Denton AO

Secretary General, International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)- The World Business Organization
John W.H. Denton AO is the Secretary General of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). He is a global business leader and international advisor on policy and a legal expert on international trade and investment.He is also a Board member of the United Nations Global Compact and... Read More →
avatar for Joseph Wilde-Ramsing

Joseph Wilde-Ramsing

Director of Advocacy, Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO) and OECD Watch
Joseph is SOMO’s Advocacy Director and has a broad experience and expertise in corporate accountability across a wide range of sectors, including energy, extractives, manufacturing and finance. After leading the OECD Watch network for 15 years between 2005-2020, he now serves as a Senior Advisor to the network. He frequently assists communities and workers in documenting human rights and environmental violations, asserting their rights and seeking remedy for corporate abuse. Joseph serves as an Independent Advisor... Read More →

Monday November 16, 2020 14:00 - 16:00 CET
Plenary Room