Senior UAE business leaders met today to discuss the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and how they might use these to help inform their business practices.
The Guiding Principles were adopted by the UN Human Rights Council in June 2011 and are an authoritative reference point to help states, companies and civil society organizations to manage the impacts of business activity on human rights.
The workshop was organized by the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and facilitated by the Global Business Initiative on Human Rights (GBI).
Participants included business leaders from the UAE as well as representatives of a number of major multinational companies.
Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Minister of State for Federal National Council Affairs, Dr Anwar Gargash, commented: "The UAE is committed to promoting good human rights practice. This workshop was more than anything an opportunity for businesses to learn from each other about how best to manage these important issues." As UAE businesses continue to expand their operations in other countries and manage long supply chains, understanding what policies and procedures they can follow to help maintain standards is increasingly important.
Director of GBI, Kathryn Dovey, said: "I was impressed by the commitment of the business leaders at this event to thinking carefully about their responsibility to respect human rights, what human rights due diligence means for them and how to manage the human rights impacts of their investments and operations." Members of the World Economic Forum's (WEF) Global Agenda Council on Human Rights also attended the dinner and informed the workshop participants about the discussions they had at the WEF's Summit on the Global Agenda, which took place in Dubai earlier this week.