Incorporating HRs into business practices improves people’s lives: Taha



Mr. Hissein Brahim Taha, the Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), inaugurated the 11th Session of the OIC Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC), in Jeddah on May 21, which will last until May 25, 2023.

In his speech before the session, the Secretary-General praised the invaluable contribution of the IPHRC to the promotion and protection of all human rights per international human rights law with complete independence, impartiality, and objectivity, stressing that the IPHRC has proven its usefulness as a body that continues to provide objective views on all human rights issues of concern to the OIC.

The Secretary-General extended his thanks to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Chair of the Islamic Summit, and HRH Prince Muhammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Crown Prince, and Prime Minister, for the continuous support provided by Saudi Arabia to the IPHRC and the OIC activities.

Hissein Taha emphasized that the topic of the session’s discussion is unique, as it seeks to achieve qualitative and quantitative improvement in people’s lives by integrating human rights into business practices within the OIC geographical scope. He explained that business and private institutions are the economy’s lifeblood, pointing out that sustainable development must be achieved through full human rights awareness.

He said that business stakeholders, such as multinational corporations, are not only conducting business but also shaping public policy and influencing social and political ecosystems, thus demonstrating the impact of business activities on human rights.

The Secretary-General added that the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, which were adopted in 2011, provide a framework for governments, companies, and civil society to promote and protect human rights in the context of business activities, noting that they are based on three pillars of the duty of the state to protect human rights, corporate responsibility to respect them, and access to ways to address human rights violations against victims. He stressed that this calls for companies to take responsibility for respecting human rights while exercising their business, supply chains, and relations with stakeholders, including employees, customers, and communities.

He indicated that the concept of human rights takes a central place in the teachings of the true Islamic religion, as it assumes that companies respect this concept and promote it in their operations. He also noted that Islamic principles guide the responsibilities of individuals and institutions towards each other and society, and these principles can be applied in the context of business and human rights.

It is noteworthy that the Secretary-General congratulated Amb. Muhammad Lawal Suleiman, on his election as the new IPHRC Chair for the year 2023 and stressed the OIC’s continued support for the IPHRC and its commissioners to perform their tasks entrusted to them in the field of human rights.—PR