Item 3: BHR

Item 3: Interactive Dialouge with the Working Group on Business and Human Rights. Statement, 25 June 2018

 Check against delivery   

 As delivered by Minister Counsellor Herborg F. Alvsaaker

 Mr. President,

The Norwegian delegation welcomes the Report from the WG with focus on Pillar I of the UNGP.  The role of the State is indeed diverse.

 From the Norwegian side we have a clear statement of expectation, and a growing awareness of the impact of our Human Rights responsibilities on business.  The Government’s consultative body on matters relating to CSR, named Kompakt, is recently being replaced by a new Coherence Forum for sustainable development. 

 The report refers to the Norwegian Export Credit Guarantee Agency (GIEK)  as one of the first to incorporate human rights due diligence into their screening procedures. GIEK as well as other governmental business support agencies have established a net portal. This portal informs business what criteria for due diligence are required for the various support arrangements that the State make available to them.  The Portal is managed by the Norwegian Contact Point for Responsible Business – which also reflects Norwegian responsibility for Pillar III as well as I.

We would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge and applaud the outreach work of the Working Group in order to promote the implementation of Human Rights through the UNGP.  Norway was pleased to note the influence of a successful visit and follow-up work of the WG to Thailand.  We also encourage further collaboration with the OECD through their Working Party on Responsible Business Conduct.

The recommendations in the report are extensive, and fit well with the ongoing debate in Norway.  In applying the State responsibilities for Human Rights in accordance with Pillar I in the UNGP, we emphasise the importance of stakeholder dialogue and predictability as well as transparency.  We also need to keep the level playing field in mind. 

Thank you.