On September 24, the Kharkiv International Online Forum was held with the participation of the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights. It was attended by representatives of Central and Eastern European countries, including Georgia, Ukraine, Poland and Croatia. Amongst the invited speakers was the Head of Global Compact Network Georgia Salome Zurabishvili.
The forum took the form of a panel discussion, which examined the interfaces between business and human rights in Central and Eastern Europe. Speakers outlined the progress in, and challenges of, implementing the UN Guidelines on Business and Human Rights. The conversation also touched on the importance of involving all stakeholders [business, civil society, government, academia] to help raise business and human rights awareness and set standards at local level.
The Head of GCNG spoke about Georgia’s achievements in this direction and the challenges it faces. Zurabishvili stressed the importance of active cooperation with the government, especially with the Human Rights Secretariat, which in 2016 supported CIDA’s initiative to integrate business and human rights issues into the National Human Rights Action Plan.
As a conclusion, she recommended to the Government of Georgia that it should strengthen work in this direction and incorporate relevant goals and activities in the National Human Rights Strategy and Action Plans for 2021-2030.