Wednesday, November 29 • 11:40 - 13:00
Progress and opportunities to strengthen BHR in Middle East and North Africa Region

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(Version française ci-jointe)
(Version in Arabic below)

Session co-organized by the Working Group on Business and Human Rights and UNDP

Interpretation provided in Arabic, Chinese and English.

Brief description of the session:
The UNGPs have gained increased recognition among various stakeholders in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, including governments, businesses, national human rights institutions (NHRIs), civil society actors, academia and the legal community. However, despite the growing awareness, there are significant challenges in translating the UNGPs into effective frameworks for protecting and addressing human rights and environmental issues in the region.

This session will build upon the discussions from last year’s annual forum session on the region to delve into the progress that has been achieved in advancing the business and human rights agenda, and to identify areas where further progress is needed and where gaps in protection persist. The session will also examine the implementation of the UNGPs, with a particular emphasis on government initiatives and the development of National Action Plans (NAPs) on Business and Human Rights.

Key objectives of the session:
  • Examine the utilization of the UNGPs to enhance human rights and environmental protection in the MENA region.
  • Identify obstacles, drivers, and priorities crucial for realizing the UNGPs in the MENA region.
  • Discuss practical measures to raise awareness and promote the implementation of the UNGPs throughout the MENA region.
  • Explore strategies for enhancing the capacities of all stakeholders to effectively leverage the UNGPs as a tool for States and businesses to fulfil their respective duties and responsibilities to protect and respect human rights and the environment.

Key discussion questions:
  • What are the primary drivers and priorities that must be addressed to fully realize the UNGPs in the MENA region?
  • How are human rights due diligence processes developing in the region to assist businesses in identifying and mitigating risks across their operations and supply chains? How will the global developments in human rights due diligence, such as the EU CSDDD, France’s Duty of Vigilance Law, Germany’s Supply Chain Due Diligence Act, impact the implementation of UNGPs in the MENA region?
  • What valuable insights can be learned from the progress made in advancing the implementation of the UNGPs in the MENA region, and how can these lessons guide future efforts?

avatar for Damilola Olawuyi

Damilola Olawuyi

Chairperson, Working Group on business and human rights
Damilola S. Olawuyi, is a Professor and UNESCO Chair on Environmental Law and Sustainable Development at the Hamad Bin Khalifa University in Qatar. He is also the director of the Institute for Oil, Gas, Energy, Environment and Sustainable Development at the Afe Babalola University... Read More →

avatar for Krystel Bassil

Krystel Bassil

Senior Consultant, Ksapa
Krystel is senior consultant, contributing to Ksapa’s consulting and advocacy missions, on the topic of business & human rights and more generally sustainability. Previously she was a Senior Legal Officer of the Human Rights and Business Unit at the Syrian Legal Development Programme... Read More →
avatar for H.E. Sabri Bachtobji

H.E. Sabri Bachtobji

Ambassador Sabri BACHTOBJI was appointed Permanent Representativeof Tunisia to the United Nations Office and other Organizations in Genevain March 2020. He joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1989.Posted to Rome (Italy) and Madrid (Spain), he was appointed in March2010 as Consul... Read More →
avatar for Takoua Tayari

Takoua Tayari

Business and Human Rights National Analyst, United Nations Development Programme
Takoua Tayari is the Business and Human Rights National Analyst at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Tunisia. During the past four years, she has played a pivotal role in establishing Tunisia as a pioneer in promoting Business practices that respect human rights.Beyond... Read More →
avatar for Aude-Solveig Epstein

Aude-Solveig Epstein

Aude-Solveig Epstein is Tenured Assistant Professor of Law at Paris Nanterre University and Visiting Assistant Professor at NYU Abu Dhabi. Her research deals with environmental law, animal law and economic law, and how they intersect with one another. She is currently leading a research... Read More →
avatar for Maryam Abdullah Al Attiyah

Maryam Abdullah Al Attiyah

Chairperson, National Human Rights Committee
Maryam was born on 1 July 1975.She holds a bachelor’s degree in Arts and Education - Qatar University, 2000.Maryam started working in the National Committee for Human Rights (NHRC) since its inception, aiming to spread a human rights culture, educate the community about human rights... Read More →
avatar for Nedal Al-Salman

Nedal Al-Salman

Director, Bahrain Center for Human Rights
Nedal Al Salman  from Bahrain  is a women human rights defender  who has worked  with covers human rights issues but extensively with women’s and children's rights and discrimination.Nedal is one of few human right defenders who still work from the ground in Bahrain.Nedal is... Read More →

Wednesday November 29, 2023 11:40 - 13:00 CET
Room XIX