This three-day long conference successfully served as a platform for a broad selection of stakeholders in the ASEAN context to share experiences and insights on how to promote both business and human rights. Among the 130 participants there were representatives from all the ASEAN member states, several UN agencies, EU’s Fundamental Rights Agency, Australia Human Rights Commission, and representatives from various NGOs and CSOs.
Ambassador janis Bjørn Kanavin was invited to deliver a speech during the opening of the conference. He highlighted that this comprehensive regional dialogue is not only of importance for ASEAN, but also to the world.
-I am here to let you know that your discussions matter to us. (...) Your discussions matter because human rights are a global concern. They matter because business is a global concern.
Furthermore, he touched upon how the Norwegian Government appreciates the ASEAN-Norway Sector Dialogue Partnership, and the close relationship that has been established between Norway and ASEAN.
-Norway values the ASEAN-Norway Sectoral Dialogue Partnership, which is gaining importance for us since the invitation was extended in 2015. In fact, the third joint commission meeting took place in Jakarta last week, and our Foreign Minister looks forward to participate in the ASEAN Foreign Ministers meeting next month.