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2 December 2013 3 pm – 6 pm Geneva, Switzerland

Civil Society Pre-Forum Dialogue on the occasion of the Second Annual United Nations Forum on Business and Human Rights

Hosted by:


Dialogue Description In 2011, the United Nations Human Rights Council (“UNHRC”) endorsed the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (“UNGPs”), meant to operationalize the “Protect, Respect, Remedy” Framework adopted in 2008. The UNGPs set forth a three-pillar framework focused on the State duty to protect human rights, the corporate responsibility to respect human rights, and access to remedy for those affected by business-related human rights abuse. Through the resolution endorsing the UNGPs, the UNHRC also created the UN Working Group on the Issue of Human Rights and Transnational Corporations and Other Business Enterprises (“Working Group”), with a mandate to facilitate the effective and comprehensive dissemination and implementation of the UNGPs. The Annual Forum on Business and Human Rights was established by the UNHRC to serve as a platform, under the guidance of the United Nations Working Group on business and human rights (“Working Group”), to discuss trends and challenges in the implementation of the UNGPs and to promote dialogue and cooperation. The first forum was held on 3-5 December 2012 in Geneva. This Civil Society Pre-Forum Dialogue (“Dialogue”) is intended to provide an opportunity for civil society participants to identify key trends, needs and challenges for effective implementation of the UNGPs and advancement of respect for human rights in the context of business activities, and to identify strategies to harness and communicate civil society perspectives in the specific panels organized during the Second Annual Forum.

Dialogue Methodology Given the short time frame, participants will be asked to concentrate on the discussion questions provided instead of pursuing their own agendas. Display tables will be made available for organizations to distribute materials amongst the participants for work streams and efforts not covered in this Dialogue. As part of their registration for this Pre-Forum Dialogue, participants will have responded to a short survey seeking to capture trends, needs and challenges for the effective realization of the state duty to protect human rights and the corporate responsibility to respect human rights and effective access to remedy for victims. The results of these surveys will provide input in the most pressing implementation issues for civil society participants, and be used to kick-off and guide strategy discussion during the Pre-Forum Dialogue. This survey will also clarify which specific Forum panels each participant will attend, in the hopes of helping set shared strategy to ensure civil society perspectives are present and communicated in each panel of the Second Annual Forum.


The Civil Society Dialogue is composed of two Sessions. In the first Session, focused on key trends, needs and challenges for effective realization of business respect for human rights, the Facilitators will highlight and call upon select respondents (selection based on review of the survey results, taking into account both geographic and substantive diversity) to share 3-5 minutes each about their perspective and responses to the questions provided in the survey. Respondents will be asked to structure their contribution using the discussion questions provided below. In the second Session, focused on identifying strategies to harness and communicate civil society perspectives in the specific panels organized during the Second Annual Forum, Facilitators will highlight and call upon select respondents (selection based on review of survey results, taking into account both geographic and substantive diversity) who have stated their intention to participate in specific panels during the Second Annual Forum via the online survey. These individuals will share 35 minutes about what they hope to gain from their specific panel, and key interventions they hope to make. These individuals will also be asked to serve as points of contact for other civil society members for the particular panels they have selected to attend, in order to enable participants to prepare and strategize in advance of the session. If facilities allow, all participants will be able to share thoughts and responses on a real time basis by means of a Twitter stream that will be simulcast on large screens. We will attempt to find people from our networks that are willing to perform simultaneous translation services using UN facilities (translator booths/ earphones). Organizations and individuals unable to attend the Dialogue will be able to complete the online survey. All responses derived from the survey will be made anonymous when shared with the Working Group in the hopes of communicating the trends, challenges and needs for effective realization of business respect for human rights from a civil society perspective in this Dialogue.


Dialogue Agenda 3:00 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. - Introduction Welcoming remarks, review agenda and discuss survey questions 3:15 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. – Session 1: Trends, Challenges and Needs for Effective Realization of Business Respect for Human Rights Participants will discuss responses to general survey questions 4:30 p.m. – 5:45 p.m. – Session 2: Strategies for the Second Annual Forum Participants will discuss and strategize around individual panels during Annual Forum 5:45 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. - Close Discussion of next steps

Dialogue Facilitators International Corporate Accountability Roundtable (ICAR) Amol Mehra, Director Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO) Mariëtte van Huijstee, Senior Researcher International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH) Elin Wrzoncki, Director of Globalization and Human Rights Business and Human Rights Resource Centre Mauricio Lazala, Deputy Director


Discussion Questions Session 1: Key Trends, Needs and Challenges for Effective Realization of Business Respect for Human Rights 1. Currently, what do you see as the biggest challenge to prevention, mitigation and remediation of actual or potential corporate-related human rights abuses? 2. In your experience, how have the UNGPs caused a significant change in the human rights impacts of businesses? Please provide specific examples. 3. In your experience, how have the UNGPs caused a significant change in governments’ policies on businesses and their human rights impacts? Please provide specific examples. 4. Currently, what do you see as the biggest need for effective prevention, mitigation and remediation of actual or potential corporate-related human rights abuses?

Session 2: Strategy Session for Second Annual Forum 1. What are you expecting from the panel(s) you will attend? 2. What are you specifically hoping to say in the panel(s) you will attend? 3. How do you intend to contribute to the realisation of a constructive dialogue with other stakeholders in the panel(s) and what follow-up from the panel(s) could you envision?


UN Forum on BHR: Civil Society Pre-Forum Dialogue