Implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) was a central issue discussed during the international conference
Speeding up implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights for sustainable recovery in the war setting
March 29, 2023
Kyiv, 29 March 2023 — With support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Ukraine and the Government of Japan, at the initiative of Mamutov Institute of Economic and Legal Research of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, and in partnership with the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights, an international conference was held entitled: “Ukraine’s Development under the Military Influence: Social, Legal, Economic and Environmental Aspects”.
The event brought together academics, representatives of international organizations, civil society organizations, business associations, and business and human rights experts to discuss the most pressing issues concerning implementation of the UN Guiding Principles, as well as challenges associated with, barriers to and opportunities for responsible business conduct and implementation of human rights due diligence standards.
Welcoming the participants, UNDP Resident Representative to Ukraine Jaco Cilliers said at the workshop that, in the war setting, responsible businesses that respect human rights are extremely important for the country’s further rapid recovery.
“Now is the time to create the foundations for a sustainable, just and inclusive economic recovery that leaves no one behind. Implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights will catalyse implementation of Ukraine’s strategic goals and will speed up achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and Agenda 2030,” he emphasized.
Yana Liubymova, Deputy Chief of the Secretariat of the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights, stressed that academic research in the field of business and human rights in the war setting contributes to the search for practical solutions to further successfully implement the UN Guiding Principles.
"Such workshops help to identify better planning solutions for Ukraine’s reconstruction and recovery from the devastating consequences of war. By investing knowledge and resources in the research, we contribute to our state’s economic stability and endurance,” she said.
At the event, UNDP experts presented the results of study: “Responsible business conduct in the war setting in Ukraine”. This study analyses the potential and actual human rights risks of doing business in wartime, and identifies tools and ways to effectively manage these risks.
The study found that before the full-scale invasion on 24 February 2022 many large companies, both international and national, had started paying attention to human rights issues, developing human rights policies and signing documents adopted by international human rights organizations.
However, focus group discussions conducted in 2022 as part of this study revealed that most corporate policies were rather formal and their effectiveness had not been proven.
The study findings and recommendations can be found here.
The event was organised by the UNDP Project “Human Rights Due Diligence in Global Supply Chains: Leveraging the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights for a Just Recovery”, financed by the Government of Japan. It was held in partnership with the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights.
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