Ambassador L. Purevsuren attends UN human rights forum
Ambassador of Mongolia to Switzerland L. Purevsuren participated in the seventh United Nations Forum on Business and Human Rights, which concluded on November 28 in Geneva.
At the forum, Ambassador L. Purevsuren presented a speech to the forum’s attendees and pointed out that a number of countries have announced that they are eradicating the death penalty, torture and inhuman treatment, and the number of such countries has notable increased over the past two decades, however, the production and trade of goods used for torture and punishment is still ongoing.
The ambassador noted that last year Mongolia initiated the Alliance for Torture-Free Trade jointly with the European Union and Argentina in order to end the trade of torture tools, provide the public with information, exchange experience, improve the legal environment of member states and create a joint database.
He also pointed out that over 60 countries joined the alliance over the past year, which has been of crucial importance to promoting the initiative through joint efforts, and announced that an international legal document to ban the trade of torture tools will be issued soon.
The forum has become the world's largest annual gathering on business and human rights with more than 2,000 participants from government, business, community groups and civil society, law firms, investor organizations, UN bodies, national human rights institutions, trade unions, academia and the media.
During the event, the delegates shared their experiences and learn about the latest initiatives to promote corporate respect for human rights.
In the forum’s opening remarks, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet pointed out that a number of companies and business organizations are leading the way in acknowledging their human rights responsibility, and taking steps to identify, prevent and address adverse human rights impacts.
He stated that business enterprises are one such organ of society, and they play a particularly important role -- not only in respecting the human rights of workers and of people affected by business operations, but also in influencing and leveraging others to uphold human rights.
Bachelet said, “Public commitments to respect human rights need to be accompanied by practical steps, which enable businesses to know and show that they respect human rights throughout their supply chains. That is, they are expected to exercise human rights due diligence, which first and foremost is about preventing negative impacts on people.”
He added that states are primarily responsible for setting up effective policies and regulation of business activities, to protect human rights.
“We will be looking at how companies have walked the talk and learning from emerging practice. We will be discussing what can be done to speed up the pace and address gaps, including what legal and policy measures governments need to take to incentivise corporate respect for human rights. We will also see how well governments themselves are performing, in their role as economic actors,” noted the UN high commissioner.