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