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Public event

Invitation Discussion on Promoting Conflict Sensitive Business Practice: Reflections on Experience

Events

Promoting conflict sensitive business practice:

Reflections on experience

Date: Monday 22 June 2015

Time: 12:30 - 14:00

Venue: Auditorium A1B, Maison de la Paix, Chemin Eugène Rigot 2, Geneva

Speakers

  • Jason Tower, Quaker International Affairs Representative Beijing, AFSC

Civil Society Engagement with Asian Business Stakeholders on Conflict Sensitivity: Experiences from China and Southeast Asia

  • Andreas Graf, Program Officer, Business and Peace, swisspeace

Working with companies on the development of conflict sensitivity due diligence practices: Lessons learnt from recent swisspeace mandates

Moderator

Diane Hendrick, Representative, Peace and Disarmament, Quaker United Nations Office (QUNO)

Background

Over the past years there has been increasing attention paid to the impact of business practices, particularly large scale investment, on contexts where high inequality, fragility and latent or actual conflict are present. Key approaches to mitigating potential negative effects of such investment have included promotion of conflict sensitivity due diligence on the part of companies and the strengthening of civil society engagement with businesses.

Jason Tower of AFSC will focus on the impact of Investors from Northeast Asia, who are the largest source of investment capital in the least developed countries of Southeast Asia. While such investments in infrastructure, natural resource and real estate stand to benefit Southeast Asian LDCs, Northeast Asian business interests traditionally have not engaged community stakeholders. As such, investment projects are increasingly a driver of conflict throughout the region. This presentation will discuss civil society efforts to engage businesses on the impacts of investment on conflict, and provide analysis of changing approaches of Northeast Asian business stakeholders, particularly from China.

Andreas Graf of swisspeace will reflect on the business and peace program at the Swiss Peace Foundation, which has been collaborating with a number of companies on the development of conflict sensitivity due diligence practices in recent years. This presentation will provide some reflections on practical and methodological challenges with regards to conflict sensitive business practices and offer food for thought on how to better integrate conflict sensitivity into business risk management and corporate responsibility programmes.

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