Seminar & Events

International Symposium

Business and Human Rights: Understanding Sustainability and Corporate Value

This symposium has been cancelled due to coronavirus concerns.

Background and Purpose:

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development seek to realize the human rights of all. For business to maximize its contribution to sustainable development, it must put efforts to advance respect for human rights to avoid adverse impacts thereon. This is the baseline expressed in the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. Many states have initiated policy measures to promote responsible business conduct (RBC) and responsible investment and human rights due diligence in global supply chains to address the downsides of globalization. As seen in sustainability clauses in trade agreements, respect to labour and human rights is an essential component in global trade and investment. Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), which has more than 2,500 institutional investor members, is expected to bring further change in investment market including Japan. Business and Human Rights is becoming more important issue to think and act for mid and long term.

On the other hand, there is an argument that high standards in environment, labour and human rights required by developed countries may limit the potentiality of development and employment opportunities in developing countries. It is said that such high standards may not benefit the interest of consumers in developing countries and even worse they could be non-tariff barriers in trade. Further, laws, regulations and other policy measures in environment, labour and human rights vary from state to state. In reality business operates in a market which is not necessarily “a level playing field”. Environmental consideration and human rights respect may be considered to reduce their business competitiveness. They are likely to burden small medium-size enterprises (SMEs) with costs and affect their business continuity. Does sustainability defined by developed countries conflict with that of developing countries? How does sustainability relate to corporate value?

In this symposium, Prof. Anita Ramasastry, UN Working Group, as keynote speaker will speak about the latest global discussion and policy direction in business and human rights. We will discuss the development in developing countries and business competitiveness in light of consistency with protection of labour and human rights. Together with experts from the World Bank, NGO, business, institutional investor and governments, the symposium will aim to understand the essence of sustainability.

We look forward to having you join us.


March 19, 2020 (Thursday), 13:30~17:00(Registration opens at 13:00)


JETRO Headquarters 5F Exhibition Hall
Ark Mori Building, 5F, 12-32, Akasaka 1-chome, Minato-ku, Tokyo


13:00 Registration
13:30-13:40 Opening remarks:
  • The World Bank, The Asahi Shimbun Company

Concept introduction:

  • Miwa Yamada, Director, Law and Institution Studies Group, IDE

Keynote speech:
"The Essence of Sustainability under UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights"

  • Anita Ramasastry, Member, UNWG on Business and Human Rights, Professor, University of Washington School of Law

Presentation 1:
"Global Rule-making and Development in Developing Countries: A Case of RSPO"

  • Daryll Delgado, Senior Director, Research and Innovation, Verité

Presentation 2:
  "Application of UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights in the Projects"(tentative)

  • Tea Trumbic, Program Manager, Woman, Business and the Law at World Bank Group

Coffee Break


Panel discussion/Q&A:

  • Moderator:
    Miwa Yamada
  • Panelist:
    Anita Ramasastry
    Daryll Delgado
    Tea Trumbic
    Miyuki Zeniya, Executive Sustainable Finance Specialist, Daiichi Life Insurance
    Mari Kogiso, Director, CEO Office, First Retailing
    Satoshi Ikeda, Chief Sustainable Finance Officer, Financial Service Agency
  • Commentator:
    Gabriele Lo Monaco, First Secretary, Trade Section, Delegation of the European Union to Japan
    Yukako Kinoshita, Chair, CSR Committee, Japan Business Council in Europe
    Estuyo Michida, Senior Research Fellow, Environment and Natural Resource Studies Group, IDE

Closing Remarks:

  • Executive Vice President, IDE-JETRO


Simultaneous interpretation in Japanese and English will be available.


IDE-JETRO, The World Bank, The Asahi Shimbun Company


200 *Cancelled

Participation fee:

  • Non-members: 4,000 yen
  • JETRO Members: Free for one participant per one account
  • IDE-JETRO Members (corporate and individual): free
  • Student: 2,000 yen (please show student ID at the reception)

Outreach Event Division, Research Operations Department, IDE-JETRO
E-mail: sympo-scE-mail
Fax: +81-(0)43-299-9726