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Promoting responsible investment in Myanmar - Norway National Contact Point for the OECD Guidelines on Multinational Enterprises
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Promoting responsible investment in Myanmar - Norway National Contact Point for the OECD Guidelines on Multinational Enterprises

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This presentation by the Norway NCP was made during the Promoting Responsible Investment in Myanmar Conference (4 March 2014, Yangon) at the session the opportunities for RBC in Myanmar. …

This presentation by the Norway NCP was made during the Promoting Responsible Investment in Myanmar Conference (4 March 2014, Yangon) at the session the opportunities for RBC in Myanmar.

Find out more at http://mneguidelines.oecd.org/2014-conference-promoting-responsible-investment-myanmar.htm

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  • Goodafternoon.KHK – NCP Norway. Priveleged to be herewithyoutoday.FOCUS: OECD GLs and thNCPs – whyarethey relevant for Myanmar? Alreadytouchedupon by my colleagues from Italy and the UK, butaddsomereflectionsalso from Norway.Title could also be “Why is Myanmar relevant for OECD and NCP Norway?” Huge interest for Myanmar in Norway and many other countries - not onlyinterested in politicaldevelopment, alsofollowwhat is goingon in the area of businessStart withsome slides from recent Norwegian media articles
  • This slide shows two articles:David against Goliath in Myanmar – biblical references – a small man (David) fought a giant (Goliath) – this is about the Myitsone Dam projectSecond article has the heading “From peace negotiator to investor” and refers to growing number of Norwegian companies that are interested in doing business in Myanmar. One of them is mentioned – Telenor….. Brings me over to next slide
  • Might not recognise the face, but in Norway he is verywellknown – the CEO of Telenor – a Norwegian telecommunicationscompanythat has just entered an agreementwith Myanmar for a nationwide telecommunications license. Many in and outside of Norway are following Telenor’s project here – and I will back to Telenor later. COMMENT below picture: from Institute for Business and Human RightsThis is to show there is a strongcivilsocietythatarefollowingNorwegainbusinessesabroadExpectations: Not only to make profitsbut to contributepositively to democraticdevelopment
  • Then a slide from an upcoming vent – Norway Asia Business Summit in April Thatwillgather Norwegian business leaders with a focus on Asia and government, embassy staff and others – BKK and then MyanmarOn the agenda is also “responsible business” – the Norwegian government expects Norwegian companies abroad to act responsibly….
  • SO….. All these expectations from: Our own government. Host government – in laws, guidelines, contracts, licences. InvestorsCivil societyFrom other businesses – supply chain. Norwegian business would like to use local companies in Myanmar – will have expectations regarding responsible business conduct
  • Quickrepetition: Statkraft is a Norwegian energy company - operating in several countries: Laos, Sweden, interested in Myanmar. Must follow the laws in the different countries and they may differ - in addition expected to follow standards on responsible business conduct. OECD GLs are important. Negotiated by governments, trade unions and business. Business want clearer expectations and a levelplaying field- same expectations regardless which country you come from.  Can reduceconflictwhenexpectationsareequal and relativelyclear.Businesseswant peace, stability and predicatability – not conflictNCPs….. Next slide re NCP Norway
  • The Norwegian NCP is in substanceindependentofthegovernment, and comprisesfourexpertmembers and a secretariat (background NCP and secretariat)Expert membersAppointed by theMinistryof Foreign Affairs and theMinistryof Trade and Industry basedonproposals from theConfederationof Norwegian Enterprises (NHO), the Norwegian Confederationof Trade Unions (LO) and the Forum for Environment and Developement (ForUM)Hans Petter Graver, Gro Granden, Elin M. Myrmel-Johansen and Jan Erik KorssjøenThe SecretariatThe Secretariat is recruited by and belongsadministratively to theMinistryof Foreign Affairs, but has a separate budget and is in substanceindependentoftheGovernmentKamilla Halvorsdatter Kolshus, Mari Bangstad and Amelie Lied Haga
  • Promote the GLs – preventive effectResolving complaints is the core activity – focus on resolving conflict. Not a legal court with a verdictCooperate with other NCPs to ensure that the NCPs develop similar practice, and participate in workshops on topics relevant to the GuidelinesNo legal authority, but may assess whether a company has acted in violation of the GuidelinesThe Norwegian NCP deals with matters arising in Norway or relating to the activities of a Norwegian company in another country.Norwegian companies can be subject to a complaint in Norway or in the country where the alleged violations to have occurred.Any person, organisation or business can submit complaints about alleged breaches of the GuidelinesThe Norwegian NCP has procedures for dealing with complaints in accordance with the policies of the NCPs, adopted by the OECD.
  • Task 1: PromotionTalk to Norwegian companies planning to invest in Myanmar egTelenorWhat is expected of them? Build awareness: Follow national laws in M, some Norwegian laws + expectations re responsible business conduct. UN guiding principles on business and HR, OECD guidelines... And strengthen their capacity to adopt these guidelines. These expectations are found in OECD. GLs and UN GPs - have the in-built flexibility to apply to all sectors and companies. Companies can adopt policies and procesess appropriate to their size and circumstances.  But regardless of where you are operating, differences in size, sector……. Some common questions: What are the risks? Also promote awareness amongst civil society, governmental agencies in Norway Also meet delegations visiting Norway - met delegation last September from Myanmar. Told them what they could expect from companies from Norway who were doing business in Myanmar. Not only from Norway - but from all the 46 countries who have signed up to these OECDguidelines. Provides a neutral framework/platform for dialogue for business, civil society and government. Level-playing field. Example – TELENOR (next slide)
  • Myanmar welcomes investments and development. Investments can provide economic development and growth, job creation When done responsibly (e.g. goodworkingconditions, respect for labourrights, not harmingenvironment…..)Overall: POSITIVE contribution to localsociety and host countryIdeal situation: "Win win" situation where local people, government, environment and company benefits from the investment/project. This is what OECD Guidelines want to PROMOTE
  • Heading herecouldalso have been «Jobs, investments and development», butwith a commentthat it was not done in a responsible, sustainable and inclusive manner.Can end up in problems,exploitation and conflict(and causecompanies bad reputation, highercosts..)Eg. Not consultedproperlywithlocalcommunitiesLack of understandableinformation, rumours, highexpectations from localcitizensthatprojectswill lead to quickeconomicgrowth/benefits, Business activity leads to NEGATIVE contributions andsometimes CONFLICT (different types)Conflictsbetween business and localcommunityBetween different localcommunitiesBetweenlocalcommunity and local and/or centralgovernmentThis is what the OECD Guidelines want to PREVENT – alsohere in Myanmar
  • So, what happens when an NGO, a local community or a trade union believes that it needs help from the NCP to help talk to the company?Of the three main tasks:Resolving complaints is very important activity – focus on resolving conflict. Not a legal court with a verdictGoes through different stages.Important stage is stage 2: mediation/dialogue……… hopefully company is willing to engage (next slide example Cermaq)No legal authority, but may assess whether a company has acted in violation of the GuidelinesThe Norwegian NCP deals with matters arising in Norway or relating to the activities of a Norwegian company in another country.Norwegian companies can be subject to a complaint in Norway or in the country where the alleged violations to have occurred.Any person, organisation or business can submit complaints about alleged breaches of the GuidelinesThe procedure shall be impartial, predictable, equitable and in line with the GuidelinesThe Norwegian NCP has procedures for dealing with complaints in accordance with the policies of the NCPs, adopted by the OECD.TheOECD Investment Committee has the overall responsibility for the Guidelines and the NCPsTheOECD Investment Committee assists the NCPs when in need of assistance, for instance related to the interpretation of the guidelines.
  • Company not willing to engage.Localsworried: floods, pollution, water quality, degradetourismpotentialFinal StatementThe Guidelines areapplicableonthe planning or exploratory stagesViolationsbecause of inadequateconsultationwithindigenouspeoples8 indigenoustribesinvolvedComprehensive environmental impact assessments, butnot distributed or understandable explained locallyFound no evidence of corruptionRecommendations to thecompanyConsult all affected indigenous peoples in an understandable wayEnvironmental and human rights impact assessment for the entire projectImprove the internal complaint mechanismProblems with investors/funding Results? Problems with investors,localcommunity used statement in follow-up withlocalgovernment.
  • The case is covered by the Guidelines, and is accepted.Cooperation with Swedish NCP. - Accepting the case is not synonymous with violation of the GuidelinesNCP - a means for social dialogue. Can be conflict reducing. Help the parties to understand and talk to each other. X Statkraft: also close to home. Indigenous samipoplualtion effected by Norwegian company (Statkraft) building windmill park for energy. Renewable energy = important for environment and investments. Reindeer herding = important for Sami culture and livelihood. The windmills make it impossible to continue as before. Economic and environmental implications. Conflict in court system. Scenario: 25 - 30 years of co-existence. How to reduce the conflict level, agree on some kind of framework for dialogue, elements in an agreement and a timeframe and follow-up mechanism. Try to create a "win-win" situation. Company not interested in negative media /reputation. (Often a motivating factor) Sami village lodged complaint, parties were in dialogue – failed – reverted to NCPs and asked for NCPs help. Mediation now.
  • Big interest in Norway. Veryuseful for me to be here – to meet different stakeholders and hear of challenges, best practices and ideas.Interested in anyadviceyou can givemethat I can take back homewithme.Have some of our reports withdetailsregardingGLOs, NCP system and NCPsNorway’swork.Thankyou
  • Transcript

    • 1. The OECD Guidelines and the National Contact Points (NCPs): Why are they relevant for Myanmar? Kamilla H. Kolshus – NCP Norway 4 March 2014, Yangon
    • 2. Norwegian media reports
    • 3. «What now, Telenor?» “Telenor and Ooredoo have a real chance to show they are companies with human rights responsibilities embedded in the company’s DNA, and are committed to ensuring that their services are tools that can assist Myanmar’s transition to a democratic country respecting freedom of expression and privacy”. (IHRB comment June 2013)
    • 4. Norwegian businesses visiting Myanmar 27 – 29 April 2014 Including session on: “How to Secure Responsible Business?”
    • 5. All these expectations…… • From: governments (home and host), investors, civil society and other businesses (ref. supply chain) • Follow the law • Not everything regulated in law (or being implemented if regulated) • In abscence of law: follow international best practice, including OECD Guidelines and UN Guiding Principles on Human Rights and Business
    • 6. OECD Guidelines – who? All multinational businesses and investors from the 34 OECD countries + 12 other countries: All sectors – regardless of where they operate, including in Myanmar. All these 46 countries have a National Contact Point (NCP)
    • 7. The Norwegian NCP Expert Members Independent with different backgrounds Secretariat Employed by Ministry of Foreign Affairs
    • 8. NCPs = National Contact Points Three main responsibilities: 1) Raise awareness of the Guidelines Guidelines = tool for risk assessment, stakeholder engagement 2) Resolving complaints Guidelines = tool for non-legal conflict resolution Assessment Mediation or examination Final statement 3) Collaboration with other NCPs and others
    • 9. Raising awareness 1) Talk to Norwegian companies: • Use the OECD Guidelines as a tool for risk assessment • Focus on «due diligence»: - What are the risks of your project? Internal: labour standards, corruption External: look and understand the local context. Land, human rights, environment, safety, gender, livelihoods…… - Which people may be affected, and how do you engage with them meaningfully? 2) Also talk to civil society, trade unions, governmental bodies, visitors from abroad
    • 10. Jobs, investments, development P R O M O T E
    • 11. Problems, exploitation, conflict P R E V E N T
    • 12. NCP as informal problem-solver 1) Raise awareness of the Guidelines Guidelines = tool for risk assessment 2) Resolving complaints Guidelines = tool for conflict resolution Assessment Mediation or examination Final statement 3) Collaboration with other NCPs and others
    • 13. Future In Our Hands vs. Intex Resources ASA Concerning: Nickel project in Philippines. Human rights, indigenous peoples, environment (floods, pollution) and bribery. Result: The company rejected dialogue. The NCP concluded that Intex ASA was not in compliance with the Guidelines, recommended company to consult adequately with all potentially affected indigenous groups and share information on significant environmental risks in an understandable form and language
    • 14. Jijnjevarie Saami Village vs. Statkraft Concerning: Primarily human rights. Indigenous community in Sweden claims that a wind power project will affect their ability to live of reindeer herding. Not enough sufficient meaningful consultations. Status: External mediator hired to facilitate dialogue.
    • 15. www.responsiblebusiness.no