Ms. Yanti Triwadiantini: Speech at the Regional Workshop on Business and Human Rights: Moving ahead with National Action Plans in ASEAN

Yanti Speech

June 01 2017, Bangkok

- HE Mr Leo-Herrara Lim, Chair of AICHR and his colleagues
- Mr Pitikan Sithidej, Director-General, Department of Rights and Liberties
- Keynote Speaker, Dr Michael Addo, Chair of the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights
-Ms Anne-Charlotte Malm, Counsellor, Head of Regional Development Cooperation in Asia, Regional Asia, from the Embassy of Sweden
-Ms Valerie Cliff, Deputy Regional Director of UNDP in Asia and the Pacific
-Ms Susan Stone, Director of Trade, Investment and Innovation Division of UN ESCAP

Excellencies, Honourable guests, ladies, and gentlemen,

A warm welcome everyone on behalf of the ASEAN CSR Network. This Regional Workshop, convened with our partners - Ministry of Justice Thailand, AICHR Thailand, UNDP and UN ESCAP - is not a standalone effort, but is a continuous effort to elevate the importance of the Business and Human Rights cause in our agendas.

We have shared again the ASEAN Regional Strategy on CSR and Human Rights. It captures the spirit of what we all endeavour for ASEAN – a shared vision for a sustainable, equitable and inclusive ASEAN community.

 

This Regional Strategy came about from two key events:

 

 

The first was a 2014 baseline study on CSR and Human rights in ASEAN. It was a Thematic study initiated by AICHR and written by Mr Thomas Thomas from ACN and Dr Alexandra Chandra from the Habibie Centre. One key recommendation was the need for ASEAN to have a region-wide CSR-Human Rights Guideline which is aligned to internationally-adopted principles, and contributes to the realisation of the ASEAN Blueprint.

 

 

The second event was the AICHR seminar held last year (November 2016) in Singapore, to take the recommendations further. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs Singapore, UNDP and ACN organized this event on behalf of AICHR. More than 130 participants from all sectors met. The outcome of those discussions - a 3-and-a-half-page document, on the Regional Strategy for CSR and Human Rights. Six months later, today, we want to review and look at how to operationalise this Strategy.

 

A lot of hard work has gone into this and we have come a long way. For us at ACN, we started championing the Business and Human Rights cause when we were formed 6 years ago. We have laboured hard alongside our partners, many of whom are present today. And to get this boat moving in the right direction, it needs convergence from all of you.

 

Distinguished ladies and gentlemen,

 

I want to commend in particular, the Thai government, for their strong leadership. Just yesterday, there was a Declaration on the Cooperation in Implementing the UNGPs for Thailand, signed by key personnel including the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Commerce, Minister of Justice, the National Human Rights Commission of Thailand (NHCRT), the Thai Chamber of Commerce, and many other stakeholders. Just reflect on the kind of multi-stakeholdership needed for this national commitment.

 

I wish to congratulate Thailand, and they, and other ASEAN countries progressing with formulating NAPs - like Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines, deserve our support and encouragement.

 

We hope this match lit by Thailand will spark a fire across ASEAN. We need to see this level of commitment regionally.


Dear distinguished guests and friends

ACN, now a newly-minted ASEAN accredited entity, is fully committed to business and human rights. Our strength lies in our collective dialogue platform which enables businesses, network members, and various ASEAN bodies to understand and address responsible business issues.

 

As such, we remain fully-committed to coordinating the implementation and operationalizing of this Regional Strategy. I am a dreamer - like many of you in this room, - and this dream of a responsible business community that makes ASEAN a better place to live for all, need to come true, with your commitment. I trust that we all share the same aspirations.

Before I end my time on stage, I would like to express our sincere gratitude to all our friends who have contributed significantly to this conference:

To the Government of Sweden, our thanks for your generous support.

 

To our co-organisers, AICHR Thailand, Ministry of Justice Thailand, UNDP and UN ESCAP, thank you for labouring with us to make this event possible.

 

Special thanks as well to Oxfam, the Global Compact Network Thailand and the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights, for your continuous support.

 

Very special thanks to the panelists and speakers, many who made their journey here from abroad,  for sharing their insights and experiences.

 

Last but not least, thank you to our participants many who also flew into Bangkok specifically to join the conference.

 

I am sure many of you are very busy people, and the value we can add is the effort we put into participation today and tomorrow. Your discussions will be captured in an Outcome Document which will be shared. Here’s wishing all of us a productive outcome for this Conference, and let’s continue to dream big dreams.

Thank you