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SEC and NHRC sign MOU designating cooperation for adoption of guiding principles on business and human rights to promote listed company competitiveness and sustainable growth

Friday 31 May 2019 | No. 64 / 2019

Bangkok, 31 May 2019 – The SEC and the National Human Rights Commission of Thailand (NHRC) has signed the Memorandum of Understanding designating cooperation in supporting listed companies’ implementation of human rights protection principles in their business practice, and joined the seminar entitled, “Human Rights: Driving Competitiveness of Thai Listed Companies toward Sustainability,” based on the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs).* The MOU signing ceremony and the seminar took place today at Grand Hyatt Erawan Hotel.

The MOU reaffirms mutual intention to promote and support provision of pools of knowledge for listed companies and regulated entities under the SEC supervision to enhance their awareness of the importance of human rights protection in business operation, and to encourage suitable application of the globally recognized UNGPs for businesses of different nature to achieve sustainable development while leaving no one behind.

Jointly organized by the SEC, the NHRC, and the United Nation Development Program (UNDP), the seminar entitled, “Human Rights: Driving Competitiveness of Thai Listed Companies toward Sustainability” aimed to promote implementation of the UNGPs by listed companies and capital market businesses and addressed the expectations of investors and stakeholders especially with regard to environmental and social responsibility (ESR) and respect for human rights, to increase confidence and  Thai capital market standards for the benefit of sustainable growth. The seminar featured special talks by local and international experts and discussions on business and human rights protection.

Mr. Sopol Chingchit, Secretary-General of the National Human Rights Commission, said: “Respect for human value, human rights and freedom for all, no matter if a person has the status of employer, employee or any others, can lead to sustainability of business operation. Human rights protection is critical for truly sustainable development. The NHRC therefore encourages, supports and shares knowledge and understanding of the UNGPs and raises awareness of the importance of respect for human rights in business operation. We also promote dialogues and productive cooperation with public sector organizations, state enterprises, business sectors, civil society, the public and relevant international organizations to promote implemenation of the UNGPs.”    

Ms. Ruenvadee Suwanmongkol, SEC Secretary-General, said: “The SEC supports listed companies, securities issuers and intermediaries to operate their businesses toward sustainability by taking into account corporate governance as well as social and environmental responsibility. The signing of the MOU with the HHRC and the holding of the seminar are the first official efforts that demonstrate the SEC’s commitment to promoting capital market businesses’ application of the UNGPs to their corporate policy to create tangible results and continuous monitoring of their progress. In addition, the SEC will further promote discussions and sharing of experiences in the internaitonal arena as well as inform Thailand’s progresses to the global community.”

Today’s events marked the second anniversary of the NHRC’s seminar on “Driving Forward the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights in Thailand,” which was first held on 31 May 2017 at the United Nations Conference in Bangkok, and the Declaration of Intention to Cooperate and Promote the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights in Thailand – a major national cooperation for adoption of the UNGPs in Thailand to encourage all parties involved to generate tangible, practical results and become a good example for regional peers.  
* The United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights: Implementing the Protect, Respect, Remedy Framework (UNGPs) has been officially endorsed by UN member countries since 2011.