Seminar on business and human rights held

MNHRC Chair U Win Mra and participants pose for a documentary photo at the Seminar on Business and Human Rights in Nay Pyi Taw. Photo: MNA

A seminar on business and human rights was jointly held by the Myanmar National Human Rights Commission (MNHRC)and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) at Park Royal Hotel in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday morning.
First, MNHRC Chair U Win Mra delivered an address, saying local and foreign investment is needed to develop the nation, and that it is necessary for business ventures to adhere to enacted laws and human rights standards. He said the forum will cover the implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, as well as the good practices and challenges faced concerning it. He added that it will also support understanding the issues concerning business and human rights.
Next, UNDP Departmental Director Mr. Peter Batchelor delivered the opening speech, saying that in considering the history of setting business ethics for international corporations, the difficulties faced, the priority for each sector, and of human rights can create opportunities in Myanmar’s sustainable development
programmes.
The forum then commenced with various individuals leading discussions on various topics, including: Deputy Minister for Planning and Finance U Sett Aung on ‘The role of Special Economic Zones in promoting responsible investments and Myanmar’s sustainable and balanced development goals’; UNDP’s Chief Technical Advisor Mr. Scott Ciment on ‘Rule of Law and the UN’s guiding principles; UN Technical Expert Mr. Livio Sarandrea on ‘UN’s guiding principles, understanding the contents of the guiding principles, challenges and effectiveness’ and ‘National level corporate strategies on business and human rights’; a representative from The Heineken Company on ‘How businesses require government support in respecting human rights’; and Ms. Claire Kirkham, the Head of Economic and Prosperity from the British Embassy in Yangon, on ‘Considerations and views from the diplomatic community on promoting investments in Myanmar that are in accord with responsible ethics’.
Next on the agenda, the expert panel discussion on businesses and human rights commenced with Mr. Sean Lees, UNDP’s Business and Human Rights Specialist, acting as moderator.
The topic of the panel was ‘Opportunities and Challenges in Myanmar’ and was discussed by MNHRC member U Nyunt Swe, International Labour Organization, Myanmar’s Liaison Officer Mr. Rory Mungoven, UMFCCI General Secretary Daw Khine Khine Nwe, and Director Vicky Bowman of Myanmar Centre for Responsible Business. The panelists also replied to questions from the attendants.

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