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Monday, November 22

09:00 GMT+12

[Closed Session] Capacity Building National Hubs
Pacific countries face both common and unique challenges in implementing the United Nations Guiding Principles (UNGPs) and harnessing the power of businesses to contribute to the 2030 Agenda. It is with this background that participants from selected countries in the Pacific will come together to gain a basic understanding of the UNGPs and linkages with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) before delving into discussions on specific business and human rights challenges they face in their respective settings and on opportunities and action points moving forward.

Key reflections from each of the hubs will be shared on 23 November 2021.

Monday November 22, 2021 09:00 - 15:15 GMT+12
Tuesday, November 23

09:00 GMT+12

Opening Session
For the session recording: Click Here

The official start of the 2nd UN Pacific Forum on Business and Human Rights with speakers representing different sectors building on past business and human rights related events and providing an outlook on the innovative sessions that will take place in the next two days.

avatar for Heike Alefsen

Heike Alefsen

Regional Representative for the Pacific, Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
Ms. Heike Alefsen has almost 30 years of human rights, legal, political and development work experience with the United Nations, the Council of Europe and civil society. Until 2020, she was Senior Human Rights Adviser to the UN Country Team in Bangladesh and to the UN Development... Read More →

avatar for Filimon Manoni

Filimon Manoni

Deputy Secretary General, Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS)
Dr. Filimon Manoni was appointed Deputy Secretary General at the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat on May 21, 2020. Dr Manoni also held the position of International Legal Adviser at the Forum Secretariat from December 2018 and was responsible for providing legal policy advice and... Read More →
avatar for Jaap van Hierden

Jaap van Hierden

Resident Coordinator, UN Micronesia covering Palau, FSM, RMI, Nauru and Kiribati
Mr. Jacob C. van Hierden of the Netherlands has devoted about 30 years to development, peacebuilding and humanitarian assistance. From 1991 to 2016 he worked with the United Nations system, after which he headed the international NGO Cordaid in Afghanistan before taking up the position... Read More →
avatar for Surya Deva

Surya Deva

member, UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights
Mr. Surya Deva is a Professor at the Macquarie Law School, University of Macquarie, Sydney. He researches in the areas of business and human rights, India-China constitutional law, international human rights law, and sustainable development. Deva has published extensively in these... Read More →
avatar for Kameli Batiweti

Kameli Batiweti

Chief Executive Officer, Fiji Commerce and Employers Federation
Born in Vanuatu, Mr Kameli Batiweti has over 25 years’ experience in Human Capital Management and Corporate Services Management having held senior executive positions in the Tourism, Manufacturing and Agricultural Sectors in Fiji.Kameli was one of the founding members of the Fiji... Read More →
avatar for Emeline Siale ILOLAHIA

Emeline Siale ILOLAHIA

Executive Director, Pacific Islands Association of Non-Government Organizations (PIANGO)
Ms. Emeline Siale Ilolahia has a strong history of over 10 years of experience and track record in promoting sustainable growth and social development in the pacific region and a reputation for developing strong partnerships within the civil society sector. She has exposure in regional... Read More →

Tuesday November 23, 2021 09:00 - 10:00 GMT+12

10:15 GMT+12

Reflection from Capacity Building National Hubs
Capacity Building Country Hubs share key discussions that took place on 22 November 2021, highlighting  challenges and opportunities for business and human rights-related issues in the specific country setting.

Tuesday November 23, 2021 10:15 - 11:15 GMT+12

11:30 GMT+12

Mandatory human rights due diligence: Implications for key Pacific challenges
For the session recording: Click Here

Human rights due diligence is a crucial tool to fulfil the corporate responsibility to respect human rights in line with the United Nations Guidance Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs). Mandatory human rights due diligence (mHRDD) regimes refer to legislative regimes requiring business enterprises to carry out human rights due diligence. These regimes, most of which are emerging in Europe for now, open way for a wide range of legal and regulatory possibilities, allowing a “smart mix” of regulatory measures to be instigated in order to effectively foster business respect for human rights.

Pacific countries face several business-related human rights absues such as irresponsible exploitation of natural resources including logging, land grabbing, environmental pollution and deep sea mining, which are exacerbated by specific challenges such as corruption and gender-based violence. This session will explore the implications of mHRDD regimes for business and human rights issues in the Pacific region, where awareness of international standards remains lows.

This session aims to:
  • Highlight how human rights due diligence could respond to business and human rights challenges in the Pacific such as logging, land grabbing and deep sea mining;
  • Discuss ways to facilitate an active engagement of affected communities in HRDD processes of businesses;
  • Explore the role of human rights defenders in conducting meaningful HRDD, in line with the UN Working Group’s guidance on human rights defenders; and
  • Examine implications of mHRDD regimes for businesses operating in the Pacific region or part of the supply chains of regime host countries.

Session organized by UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights and Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Pacific Regional Office 

avatar for Anita Ramasastry

Anita Ramasastry

miembro, Grupo de Trabajo sobre las empresas y los derechos humanos
Sra. Anita Ramasastry es la profesora Roland L. Hjorth de Derecho y Directora del Programa de Posgrado en Desarrollo Internacional Sostenible en la Escuela de Derecho de la Universidad de Washington. Investiga y enseña en los ámbitos de la justicia y el desarrollo, la lucha contra... Read More →

avatar for Francesco Ponzoni

Francesco Ponzoni

Programme Manager (Civil Society, Gender, Human Rights, Health), Delegation of the European Union for the Pacific
Mr. Francesco Ponzoni is a Programme Manager (Civil Society, Gender, Human Rights, Health) in the Delegation of the European Union for the Pacific. He has extensive experience in the international field including: Program Manager at the EU Delegation in Central African Republic, Somalia... Read More →
avatar for Tevita Naikasowalu

Tevita Naikasowalu

Human, Ecological and Indigenous Rights defender, Human, Ecological and Indigenous Rights defender, Fiji
Mr. Tevita Naikasowalu is currently in the Working Group for Pacific Human Rights Defenders Network, specifically focusing on Indigenous Peoples and the Environment and Ecology. He is also the Coordinator for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation for the Columban Mission Society... Read More →
avatar for Dawn Anderson

Dawn Anderson

Economic Justice Lead, Oxfam in the Pacific
Dawn is an experienced community development practitioner with health, governance, economic justice and extractives industry expertise. This has seen Dawn working across Africa, Asia, Australia and more recently, the Pacific, with a strong interest in outcomes related to strengthened... Read More →
avatar for Winifereti Nainoca

Winifereti Nainoca

Environmental Specialist and Department Team Leader, Resilience & Sustainable Development (RSD) Team, UNDP Pacific
Since Jan 2012, Winifereti Nainoca has been at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Pacific Office, Fiji. She is currently the Environmental Specialist & Team Leader a.i. for Resilience & Sustainable Development Team, RSD (covering Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation... Read More →

Tuesday November 23, 2021 11:30 - 12:45 GMT+12

13:45 GMT+12

The role of NHRIs in business and human rights – sharing of experiences, challenges and good practices
For the session recording: Click Here

The session on the role of National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) is envisioned to bring together NHRIs in the Pacific region for discussion on good practices, challenges, lessons learned, and outlook for NHRIs in the Pacific region regarding its role and work in business and human rights.

This session aims to:
  • Bring NHRIs in the Pacific together to share their experiences and insights on their work in addressing business and human rights issues;
  • Consider the Report of the Working Group on the issues of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises on the critical role of NHRIs in facilitating access to remedy for business-related human rights abuses; and
  • Identify lessons learned and good practices, including how NHRIs in the Pacific can collaborate and work together to address business and human rights issues.

Session organized by Asia Pacific Forum of National Human Rights Institutions (APF).

avatar for Kieren Fitzpatrick

Kieren Fitzpatrick

Director, Asia Pacific Forum (APF) of National Human Rights Institutions

avatar for Sa'aga Talu Teafa

Sa'aga Talu Teafa

Chief Ombudsman, Tuvalu Ombudsman Commission
avatar for Justine Nolan

Justine Nolan

Director, Australian Institute for Human Rights
Justine Nolan is a Professor in the Faculty of Law at UNSW Sydney. She is a Visiting Professorial Scholar at NYU's Stern Center for Business and Human Rights. Justine's research focuses on the intersection of business and human rights, in particular, corporate responsibility for human... Read More →
avatar for Saunoamaali’i Karanina Sumeo

Saunoamaali’i Karanina Sumeo

Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner, New Zealand Human Rights Commission
Saunoamaali’i Karanina Sumeo is the Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner at the New Zealand Human Rights Commission.She is of Samoan descent and a mother to three children.Saunoamaali'i has worked as a public advisor, consultant, and social worker, advocating for the rights... Read More →
avatar for Ashwin Raj

Ashwin Raj

Director, Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission (Fiji)
avatar for Loukinikini Vili

Loukinikini Vili

Director of Human Rights, Samoa Office of the Ombudsman/National Human Rights Institution
Mrs Loukinikini Vili-Lewaravu, Director of Human Rights of the Samoa Ombudsman/NHRI Office.She is a lawyer by profession for more than 10 years.She worked as a barrister & solicitor for the Office of the Attorney General of Samoa for 6 years before she joined the office of the Ombudsman/NHRI.She... Read More →

Tuesday November 23, 2021 13:45 - 15:00 GMT+12

15:15 GMT+12

Climate change, the environment and reaching net zero – realizing the right to a healthy environment
For the session recording: Click Here

The interlinkages between human rights and the environment are increasingly recognized both globally and nationally. On 8th October the UN Human Rights Council last night adopted a resolution that – for the first time in history - recognizes the human right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment. This a watershed moment for international environmental law, and environmental justice. While 80% of Member States already recognize the right at the national level, the resolution elevates this to the international level. It formally places the right alongside other universal human rights recognized under international law. This resolution will serve as a catalyst in helping the world to address the triple planetary crisis. It can embolden and support governments, legislators, courts, and citizen groups around the globe to take further actions to implement their right to a healthy environment. It helps crystalize the legal entitlements of rights holders, clarify obligations of duty bearers and trigger accelerated environmental actions. It anchors the work of environmental defenders squarely in the human rights framework, and the legitimacy it confers can help protect those persecuted for the activism. Recognition of this right has implications for business and the way in which business activities are carried out to ensure that the right to a healthy environment is upheld. The private sector play an important role as duty bearers to uphold and respect environmental rights, especially for vulnerable groups including children, including in formal, informal, and transboundary business activities. While there is now strong momentum within the global business community towards an emphasis on embedding the principles of Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) into business planning and operations, work still needs to be done on conveying the urgent collective actions by businesses to address the triple planetary crises of climate change, pollution and biodiversity loss in line with international human rights standards.
Many businesses are stepping up their actions recognizing the need for a fundamental shift, for action to tackle the planetary crises. Such actions also need to address human rights and the environment. This session will explore the interlinkages between business activities and the realization of the human right to a healthy environment. It will also explore the fundamental importance of the role of individuals and groups who work to protect the environment and the relationship between the private sector and these groups including environmental human rights defenders.

This session aims to:
  • Provide space for discussion on the role of business in realising the right to a healthy environment;
  • Showcase good examples of businesses leading the way in adopting businesses practices that tackle the planetary crises with human-rights and gender equality objectives; and
  • Explore the shared vision of a healthy planet for current and future generations and opportunities for collaborative action between the private sector and other stakeholders, including EHRDs, to achieve this vision.

Session organized by United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

avatar for Georgina Lloyd

Georgina Lloyd

Regional Coordinator (Asia and the Pacific) of Environmental Law and Governance, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
Dr. Georgina Lloyd Rivera is the Regional Coordinator (Asia and the Pacific) of Environmental Law and Governance for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Georgina’s works cover the areas of environmental rights, environmental crime, technical assistance in environmental... Read More →

avatar for Jacki Johnson

Jacki Johnson

Advisor for Climate and Sustainability, Insurance Australia Group
Jacki is passionate about the role finance can play in ensuring a sustainable and resilient Australia. Jacki recently retired from her Group Executive role with Insurance Australia Group and is now an advisor to the Group on Climate, Sustainability and Resilience. In this capacity... Read More →
avatar for Lavetanalagi Seru

Lavetanalagi Seru

Climate Justice Activist, Pacific Islands Climate Action Network/ Alliance for Future Generations - Fiji
Lavetanalagi Seru is a climate justice activist, and has a background in youth development, gender, human rights & SOGIESC inclusion in disaster risk reduction & humanitarian action. He is currently the Climate Justice Project Officer for the Pacific Islands Climate Action Network... Read More →
avatar for Noelene


Executive Director, Diverse Voices and Action for Equality (DIVA)
Noelene Nabulivou, Executive Director, DIVA for Equality, Convenor, Women Defend Commons Network, Pacific Feminist Activist.Noelene is a lesbian feminist community organiser, analyst, educator and activist working for socio-economic, ecological and climate justice and universal... Read More →

Tuesday November 23, 2021 15:15 - 16:30 GMT+12

16:45 GMT+12

Resource Extraction and Climate Change in the Pacific: Double Exposure
For the session recording: Click Here

This session examines the intersection of natural resource extraction and climate change in the Pacific.

The Pacific is at the frontline of a ‘double exposure’ to climate change and the consequences of global demand for natural resources. The region is exposed to rising sea levels and catastrophic cyclones and droughts, and unmitigated climate change impacts will have dire effects. The region also has a long history of large-scale extraction of natural resources, including metals, oil and gas. Evidence shows that extraction has generated profound human rights abuses in the Pacific, including displacement, conflict, environmental degradation, and rampant inequality.

At the global scale there is an urgent push to transition to clean energy-systems to reduce the consequences of climate change. Paradoxically, this will require increased extraction and supply of ‘energy transition metals’ – such as cobalt, copper and nickel among many others – needed for new technologies. The Pacific contains enormous undeveloped deposits of these resources. Global demand for energy transition metals will translate into increased pressure on Pacific nation states and communities to approve and enable extraction of these metals. It is imperative the Pacific does not become a social and environmental sacrifice zone in the name of an urgent global energy transition.

This session therefore considers the human rights consequences of increased resource extraction under conditions of climate change in the Pacific. Speakers will consider these future pressures from three different perspectives: governance, community, and industry.

This session aims to:
  • discuss the intersection of resource extraction and climate change in the Pacific;
  • generate awareness on the human rights dimensions of increased extraction under conditions of climate change in the Pacific; and
  • inform policy discussions on extraction and climate change, emphasising human rights dimensions.

Session organized by Associate Professor Nick Bainton, Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining, The University of Queensland.

avatar for Nick Bainton

Nick Bainton

Principal Research Fellow at Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining, Sustainable Minerals Institute (senior extractives and Pacific specialist), The University of Queensland

avatar for Dr John Burton

Dr John Burton

Principal Research Fellow, Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining, The University of Queensland
Dr John Burton has 30 years of research experience on the social impacts of resource extraction, including a cumulative four and a half years of consultancy fieldwork at extractive industry sites in PNG, New Caledonia, Solomon Islands and West Papua, as a private consultant, as a... Read More →
avatar for Robyn James

Robyn James

Gender and Equity Advisor, The Nature Conservancy
Robyn James is the Gender and Equity Advisor for The Nature Conservancy’s Asia Pacific division. Over a 20+ year conservation career, Robyn has developed deep experience in gender, equity and social justice, community based conservation, philanthropy, and government policies and... Read More →
avatar for Alex Herman

Alex Herman

Seabed Minerals Commissioner, Cook Islands Seabed Minerals Authority
avatar for Krista Jacob

Krista Jacob

Mines Officer, Solomon Islands Ministry of Mines
Krista is the head of the Tenement Section in the MinesDivision since joining the Ministry of Mines, Energy and Rural Electrificationin 2005. Currently, she holds the position of Acting Director of Mines. Kristahas experiences in issuance of Minerals Rights Licences contained in the... Read More →

Tuesday November 23, 2021 16:45 - 18:00 GMT+12
Wednesday, November 24

09:00 GMT+12

Prioritizing Gender Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
For the session recording: Click Here


Human rights are basic rights and freedoms that protect us all. They are based on dignity, fairness, equality and respect. Businesses have a significant impact on the way we live our life and enjoy these human rights, whether it’s as an employee, a customer or simply living alongside companies that share our cities and towns. Aside from it being the right thing to, it also makes good business sense to respect human rights. Businesses can find themselves involved in lawsuits, suffering reputational harm and missing out on business opportunities and investments as well as the chance of recruiting the best new employees.[1]

Businesses are increasingly focused on the impact they have on individuals, communities and the environment. It is clear that one of the central measures of a company's social responsibility is its respect for human rights. And while most companies recognize the moral imperative to operate consistent with human rights principles, recognition is growing that respect for human rights also can be a tool for improving business performance. [2]

Business Case for Gender Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Human rights and business are not mutually exclusive – businesses that are diverse and recognize rights do better:
  • Highly gender-diverse executive teams are 21% more likely to outperform on profitability.
  • Gender-diverse companies that are also in the top-quartile for gender-diverse executive boards are 27% more likely to have superior value creation.
  • 85% of CEOs with diverse and inclusive cultures notice increased profits.
  • Companies with equal men and women earn 41% more revenue.
  • Racially and ethnically diverse companies are 35% more likely to perform better.
  • Diverse teams are 70% more likely to capture new markets.
  • Diverse teams are 87% better at making decisions.
  • Inclusive companies are 1.7x more innovative.
  • Companies that have a highly inclusive culture have 2.3x more cash flow per employee.
  • Inclusive companies are 120% more likely to hit financial goals.
Companies with a wide representation of people of different races, genders, ages, and religion have a leg up on the competition. And the data above supports that point.[3]

Session Detail

This session will present a case for why Gender Equity, Diversity and Inclusion needs to be an essential priority for governments and business enterprises. The goal of this informative session is to increase awareness and understanding of why there is a need and how business can progress further towards mainstreaming Diversity, Gender, and Inclusion to create and sustain safe, equitable, inclusive, and enabling workplaces for everyone.

The session aims to:
  • Raise awareness on why Diversity, Gender and Inclusion in workplaces matters;
  • Highlight the key challenges, opportunities, and progress in reference to Diversity, Gender, and Inclusion in workplaces; and
  • Recommend approaches for mainstreaming Gender Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in workplaces.

Equality and Human Rights Commission . (2019, August 16). Human rights and business. Retrieved from Equality and Human Rights Commission : https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/advice-and-guidance/human-rights-and-business
[2] OHCHR. (2000, January). Business and Human Rights: A progress Report. Retrieved from https://www.ohchr.org/documents/publications/businesshren.pdf
[3] Perry, N. (2020, December 16). 20 Diversity in the Workplace Statistics to Know for 2021. Retrieved from Fundera: https://www.fundera.com/resources/diversity-in-the-workplace-statistics

Session organized by United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women)

avatar for Sandra Bernklau

Sandra Bernklau

Representative, UN Women Fiji Multi-Country Office

avatar for Sachiko Soro

Sachiko Soro

Director, VOU Dance Company
Sachiko is a graduate of the University of Auckland with a Bachelor of Music in Composition, a Bachelor of Performing Arts in Dance and a Postgraduate Honors in Dance studies. Sachiko founded the VOU dance company in 2007 to pursue her passion and spread the magic of music and dance... Read More →
avatar for Maria Ronna Luna Pastorizo-Sekiguchi

Maria Ronna Luna Pastorizo-Sekiguchi

Founder and Director, The Greenhouse Studio
Maria Ronna Luna Pastorizo-Sekiguchi is an advocate for positive change, life by design, and doing business adhering to the principles of the triple bottom line - people, planet and profit. She is passionate about social entrepreneurship, design thinking, and empowering women and... Read More →
avatar for Dr Akanisi Kedrayate

Dr Akanisi Kedrayate

Teacher and Teacher Trainer, The University of the South Pacific
Dr Kedrayate is trained as a Teacher and Teacher Trainer. Taught for several years in schools in Fiji and involved in Curriculum writing and in-service training for Teachers. She joined USP in 1987 and taught courses in Social Sciences and Non-formal, Adult and Community Education... Read More →

Wednesday November 24, 2021 09:00 - 10:15 GMT+12

10:30 GMT+12

Labour law, social dialogue and human rights in the Pacific
For the session recording: Click Here

This session will highlight the importance of strong labour laws as a basis to protect human rights and promote economic development. It will highlight the essential role of social dialogue among Governments, trade unions, and employer and business membership organizations in this field. The session will introduce participants to ILO core standards in the field of business and human rights, and to some of the key characteristics and challenges faced in building them into national labour law.

Social dialogue dialogue includes all types of negotiation, consultation or information sharing among representatives of governments, employers and workers or between those of employers and workers, on issues of common interest relating to economic and social policy. Across the Pacific, social dialogue is mandated at the national level, and typically takes the form of a national tripartite council or committee. Social dialogue is also a mandated feature of dispute resolution and labour arbitration in a number of countries, including at the local level. Social dialogue in the Pacific is strengthened by the cultural practice of talanoa, or inclusive and transparent dialogue. As a process for participatory decision making and key stakeholder consultation through representative membership based organizations, social dialogue also presents a vehicle for the wider UN system to engage with workers and employers on social and economic development issues.

Through social dialogue, and underpinned by the practice of talanoa, worker and employer representatives provide policy guidance and recommendatios to governments in the area of labour law. Beyond this, the contribute to policy advice related to the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work (1998), which applies regardless of whether ILO member States have ratified the core labour standards that underpin it. The UNGPs specifically refer to the 1998 Declaration in identifying the human rights that business should respect. Ratified ILO conventions also apply regardless of business model. For its part, the ILO Tripartite Declaration of Principles concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy, as revised in 2017, echoes the framework of the UNGPs.

The key objectives of this session are to:
  • Explain the concept of social dialogue in the Pacific and the contribution it makes to the design and enforcement of comprehensive labour laws that protect human rights.
  • Explain the particular relevance and role of ILO standards, given the UNGPs require State action.
  • Share insights on the characteristics and challenges of labour law and its role in promoting economic development and human rights.
  • Consider insights from the world of labour for human rights due diligence more generally.

Panelists will reflect on the following questions:
  • How does social dialogue contribute to business and human rights issues in the Pacific?
  • What is the value add of ILO standards and the work of the Office to help their implementation?
  • How is labour law instrumental in promoting human rights and economic development?
  • How can due diligence complement national and international labour regulation?

Session organized by International Labour Organization (ILO).

avatar for Robert Vaughan

Robert Vaughan

Human Rights Officer (Focal point for Climate and Business and Human Rights in the Pacific), The Office of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
Robert Vaughan is a human rights officer at the United Nations Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), with over 13 years experience in human rights. Robert specializes in a unique blend of climate, environment, business and human rights.As a human... Read More →

avatar for Matt Coghlan

Matt Coghlan

Financial Sector Engagement Manager, Walk Free
Matthew Coghlan is the Financial Sector Engagement Manager at Walk Free. He coordinates the Secretariat of the Investors Against Slavery and Trafficking Asia-Pacific (IAST APAC) initiative. Matt also supports the delivery of other Walk Free Business Engagement team projects, such... Read More →
avatar for Ingrid Landau

Ingrid Landau

Lecturer in the Department of Business Law and Taxation, Monash Business School
Dr Ingrid Landau is a Lecturer in the Department of Business Law and Taxation at Monash Business School. Ingrid teaches Employment Law, and Human Rights and Global Business. She researches in the areas of Australian employment law, and comparative and transnational labour regulation... Read More →
avatar for Colin Fenwick

Colin Fenwick

Decent Work and International Labour Standards Specialist, International Labour Organization (ILO)
Colin Fenwick is the Decent Work and International Labour Standards Specialist in the ILO Country Office for Pacific Island Countries in Suva. Before taking up this role in July 2021, Colin worked in ILO Headquarters in Geneva for 12 years. He was most recently Head of the Labour... Read More →

Wednesday November 24, 2021 10:30 - 11:45 GMT+12

12:00 GMT+12

Human rights Defenders, Access to Remedy and Solidarity
For the session recording: Click Here

This session will draw out some of the experiences from human rights defenders in the Pacific working on issues of business and human rights. There will be a focus on experiences from two specific countries, Papua New Guinea and Fiji, the two largest economies of the Pacific.

The panellists will focus on issues around access to remedy, the challenges of approaching companies directly, and of using litigation and the courts to hold companies accountable. They will reflect on the value of international human rights standards and mechanisms and the importance of solidarity in seeking remedy.

This session aims to:
  • Bring out the challenges facing human rights defenders working on BHR issues in the Pacific
  • Share some examples of how the courts are responding to BHR cases/concerns of communities/human rights defenders
  • Highlight the need to build understanding of international frameworks and laws that provide clarity on the responsibilities of businesses to respect human rights and to provide remedy
  • Explore the role that UN human rights mechanisms could play in promoting and enabling access to remedy
  • Emphasise the need to build solidarity at the national level, across the Pacific and internationally

Session organized by Diplomacy Training Program (DTP) and Citizens Constitutional Forum (CCF). 

avatar for Patrick Earle

Patrick Earle

Executive Director, Diplomacy Training Program (DTP)
Since 2003, Patrick has been the Executive Director of DTP (www.dtp.unsw.edu.au) - an NGO affiliated with the Faculty of Law at UNSW, Sydney. Patrick has over two decades experience of working with others to defend and advance human rights.  Working with Amnesty International, Patrick... Read More →

avatar for Anita Ramasastry

Anita Ramasastry

miembro, Grupo de Trabajo sobre las empresas y los derechos humanos
Sra. Anita Ramasastry es la profesora Roland L. Hjorth de Derecho y Directora del Programa de Posgrado en Desarrollo Internacional Sostenible en la Escuela de Derecho de la Universidad de Washington. Investiga y enseña en los ámbitos de la justicia y el desarrollo, la lucha contra... Read More →
avatar for Emmanuel Peni

Emmanuel Peni

Human Rights Defender and Co-ordinator, Project Sepik (PNG)
Author of a book called ‘Sibona’, Manu mostly worked in the Not for Profit Sector. He graduated in the area of Applied Science but mostly worked as a Social Worker and in Management. Manu set up a Community Based Micro Financing Organisation in West Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea... Read More →
avatar for Louchrisha Hussain

Louchrisha Hussain

Chief Executive Officer, Citizens' Constitutional Forum (CCF)

Wednesday November 24, 2021 12:00 - 13:15 GMT+12

14:15 GMT+12

Safeguarding human rights through an inclusive digital economy
For the session recording: Click Here

This session examines the challenges and opportunities posed by an era of unprecedented technological growth.

New technologies, like artificial intelligence, can improve our lives. But there are also profound threats. We should approach new technologies by being inclusive, consultative and accountable, and by embedding robust human rights safeguards. National strategies that advance human rights in the development and use of new technologies can support these objectives. National strategies should contain practical measures focussed on regulation, education and training, funding and investment.

States and businesses have a responsibility and opportunity to embed human rights into their development and use of new technologies. Speakers will consider examples from the Australian Human Rights Commission’s work in this area and good practices from business to build inclusive digital economies.

This session aims to:
  • Discuss the importance of national strategies to help protect and promote human rights in the development and use of new technologies
  • Provide human rights analysis on the risk of harm of new technologies
  • Give examples of how to embed human rights safeguards when designing, procuring or using new technologies

Session organized by United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC). 

avatar for Zoe Victoria Tate

Zoe Victoria Tate

Technical Specialist for the Solomon Islands, United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF)
Zoe Victoria Tate is a Technical Specialist for the Solomon Islands under UNCDF’s Pacific Digital Economy Programme. Her area of expertise includes start-up incubation and acceleration, inclusive innovation, and private sector development.

avatar for Harpreet Kaur

Harpreet Kaur

Business and Human Rights Specialist, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Harpreet Kaur is a Business and Human Rights Specialist at the UNDP’s Regional Bureau of Asia and the Pacific, where she oversees a regional project aiming at promoting responsible business practices through partnerships in Asia. She provides technical and advisory support to governments... Read More →
avatar for Zoe Paleologos

Zoe Paleologos

Senior Policy Adviser, Australian Human Rights Commission
Zoe Paleologos is a Senior Policy Officer in the Human Rights and Scrutiny Team. With legal and scientific qualifications, she has professional experience in human rights law, advocacy, research and community capacity building. Zoe has worked for NGOs, and in the private and public... Read More →

Wednesday November 24, 2021 14:15 - 15:30 GMT+12

15:45 GMT+12

Closing Session
For the session recording: Click Here

This session will not only reflect on the past two days of the Forum, but will also set a futuristic agenda for the Pacific region, highlighting the opportunities and instigating the process towards developing national action plans on business and human rights.

avatar for Surya Deva

Surya Deva

member, UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights
Mr. Surya Deva is a Professor at the Macquarie Law School, University of Macquarie, Sydney. He researches in the areas of business and human rights, India-China constitutional law, international human rights law, and sustainable development. Deva has published extensively in these... Read More →

avatar for Ambassador Nazhat Shameem Khan

Ambassador Nazhat Shameem Khan

President, Human Rights Council
Ambassador Nazhat Shameem Khan was elected to the 2021 presidency of the Human Rights Council on 15 January 2021. Ms. Khan was appointed to Fiji’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations and other International Organisations in Geneva, when it first opened in April 2014.Ms. Khan... Read More →
avatar for Jonathan Curr

Jonathan Curr

New Zealand High Commissioner to Fiji, New Zealand Foreign Affairs & Trade
Jonathan is New Zealand’s High Commissioner to Fiji, where he has been posted since 2018. Jonathan will shortly conclude his assignment in Fiji and return to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Wellington as the Head of the Middle East and African Division. Jonathan... Read More →
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Livio Sarandrea

Global Adviser, Business and Human Rights, UNDP
Mr. Livio Sarandrea, is UNDP’s Global Lead on Business and Human Rights and the Team leader of: “Business and Human Rights in Asia promoting Responsible Business practices through regional partnerships (B+HR Asia)”. A Human Rights lawyer with 20 years of field experience in... Read More →
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Vanessa Zimmerman

Chief Executive Officer, Pillar Two
Vanessa is a recognised global and domestic corporate sustainability expert focusing on human rights.Originally an anti-trust lawyer, Vanessa specialised in business and human rights, working for five years as a Legal Advisor to the UN Special Representative on Business and Human... Read More →
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Lucielle Paru

Executive Director, Papua Native Landowners Association Inc (PNLA)
I am an Activist from Papua New Guinea and for the past decade have raised issues, awareness and lobbied with the Government and Opposition of our Country PNG. At current the major issues I work on are: the Papuan People Want for Freedom from PNG, Papuan Land Grabbing issues and Environmental... Read More →
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Sagufta Salma Janif

Executive Director, The Fusion Hub
Ms. Sagufta Salma Janif is the Founder/Director at The Fusion Hub (Social Enterprise) & BulaLance. She won the 2020 regional commonwealth youth award and is one of the recipients of the MaiLife 30 Under 30 award. She is also a member of the Alliance for Future Generations Fiji. She... Read More →
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Paul Wilson

Australian Deputy High Commissioner to Fiji, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT)
Mr Paul Wilson is a senior career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and is currently the Deputy High Commissioner to the Republic of Fiji. Mr Wilson was previously the Australian Consul-General to New Caledonia, French Polynesia, and Wallis and Futuna, in addition... Read More →

Wednesday November 24, 2021 15:45 - 16:45 GMT+12