Norway plays a central role in promoting the issue of business and human rights in the Human Rights Council, and was the main sponsor for the resolution renewing the mandate of the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General on business and human rights, Prof. John Ruggie. The resolution was adopted by consensus.
"The broad support for the work of the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General, Professor Ruggie, is a good foundation for further concretization of commitments and opportunities concerning business and human rights,"says Ambassador Angell-Hansen.
To fill the normative gaps in the field of business and human rights is a central component of the Special Representative's mandate, and to this end, he is asked to seek the input of relevant stakeholders. The consultations held in Geneva on the 5th and 6th of October 2009 accordingly brought together representatives of states, transnational corporations and other business enterprises, as well as non-governmental organizations and representatives of victims of corporate abuse.
The OHCHR Consultation on the issue of business and human rights aimed to discuss ways and means to operationalize the "Protect, Respect, Remedy" framework on business and human rights put forward by the Special Representative. Professor John Ruggie and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navanethem Pillay, made opening statements for the consultations.
"The consultations have been an interesting meeting point for states, business, non-governmental organizations and victims," says Ambassador Angell-Hansen.
Norway's statement in the consultations emphasized how the Special Representative's work has informed the Norwegian Government's decision to submit a report to the Norwegian Parliament on corporate social responsibility (CSR) in both the private and the public sector. The purpose of the white paper, which is the first of it's kind, is to raise awareness about CSR and to strengthen the commitments of Norwegian companies.
Read the full statement here
Opening remarks of the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General on business and human rights, Prof. John Ruggie
Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights' website on business and human rights
Norway's White Paper "Corporate social responsibility in a global economy"