RBC conference: SDGs and Initiatives for Sustainable Global Value Chains

Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation of the Netherlands Sigrid Kaag and First Vice-President of the European Commission Frans Timmermans will open the RBC Conference on SDGs and Initiatives for Sustainable Global Value Chains on 30 October in Brussels. The conference adresses the question how the EU can establish a Business and Human Rights level playing field.

The implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is a joint responsibility of civil society, EU and Member States' authorities as well as the private sector: that is why coordinated, multi-stakeholder approaches to achieving these goals are of the essence.

The main goal of the conference, SDGs and Initiatives for Sustainable Global Value Chains, is to raise awareness, across the EU, on how varying types of initiatives, actions, policies, and laws can encourage and ensure responsible business conduct and boost the achievement of the SDGs, to identify success factors, and to develop follow-up actions for upscaling these to EU-level.

Programme

9.30 a.m.  Registration and welcome coffee

10 a.m. – 10.05 a.m.    Welcome address and opening statement

Luca Jahier, President of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC)

10.05 a.m. – 11 a.m.   Opening Conversation

Frans Timmermans, Vice President of the European Commission

Sigrid Kaag, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, the Netherlands

11 a.m. – 11.15 a.m.   Key note speech

Lotta Tahtinen, Principal Officer, Division for Sustainable Development Goals, United Nations

11.15 a.m. – 11.30 a.m.    Coffee break

11.30 a.m. – 1 p.m.     Overview initiatives across Europe and internationally

Moderator: Francis West, Director Shift Business Learning Program

Speakers:

Mariëtte Hamer, Chairperson, Social and Economic Council (SER), the Netherlands

Marco Cilento, Senior advisor, European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC)

Rebekah Smith, Deputy Director of BUSINESSEUROPE’s Social Affairs Department

Claudia Saller, Coordinator, European Coalition for Corporate Justice (ECCJ)

Mark Taylor, Sustainable Market Actors for Responsible Trade, Norway

1 p.m. – 2.30 p.m.     Lunch break

Parallel workshops

2.30 p.m. – 3.45 p.m.     Workshop A – Stimulating responsible business conduct in global value chains: the textile sector

Moderator: Francis West, Director Shift Business Learning Program tbc

Speakers:

Bernardo Cruza, Chair and Head of CSR, El Corte Ingles (TBC)

Alexander Kohnstamm, Director, Fair Wear Foundation (TBC)

Mauro Scalia, Director Sustainable Businesses, EURATEX

Jef Wintermans, Coordinator Textile Covenant, Dutch Social Economic Council

Emmanuelle Butaud-Stubbs, Employers' Group, EESC (TBC)

2.30 p.m. – 3.45 p.m.    Workshop B – Promoting human rights in global value chains: the banking sector

Moderator: Joseph Wilde, Senior Researcher, SOMO & Coordinator, OECD Watch

Speakers:

Mercedes Sotoca, Head of Environmental and Social Risk, ING (TBC)

Eric Cochard, Head of Sustainable Development, Credit Agricole

Maryse Hazelzet, Sustainability and CSR Advisor, Dutch Banking Association

 (OECD Advisory Group) (speaker to be defined)

Ryan Brightwell, Researcher and Editor, BankTrack

(Nordea / Sustainable Shipping Initiative) (speaker to be defined)

4 p.m. – 5.15 p.m.     Workshop C – Metals/minerals – extractives industries (title tbc)

Moderator: Joseph Wilde, Senior Researcher, SOMO & Coordinator, OECD Watch

Speakers:

Niels van den Beucken, Financial Director, Arte

Radjes Mangroe, Chief CSR Officer, Engie

Diana Culillas, Secretary General van de Swiss Better Gold Association

Sophia Pickles (Conflict Resources, Global Witness)

Judith Sargentini (European Parliament) (TBC)

4 p.m. – 5.15 p.m.    Workshop D –  Agro-food sector and global value chains (title tbc)

Moderator: Peter Schmidt, President of the EESC Sustainable Development Observatory

Speakers:

Olivier De Schutter, Member of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural rights and former UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food  (TBC)

Evelyne Dollet, Director, FoodDrinkEurope (TBC)

Pekka Pesonen, Secretary General, COPA-COGECA (TBC)

Patrizia Heidegger, Director of Global Policies and Sustainability

5.15 p.m. – 5.30 p.m.   Coffee break

5.30 p.m. – 6.30 p.m.     Closing Plenary Session

Alberto Mazzola, President of the Follow-up Committee on International Trade of the European Economic and Social Committee, EESC

Francis West, Director Shift Business Learning Program

Venue

Jacques Delors Building, EESC

Rue Belliard 99

1000 Brussel

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