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Asia-Pacific human rights chiefs to gather in Seoul

Some 200 representatives from human rights organizations in the Asia-Pacific region will gather in Seoul this week for a conference regarding business and human rights, officials in Seoul said on Sunday.

Organized by the National Human Rights Commission of Korea and its larger Asia-Pacific counterpart, the meeting will run from Tuesday for a three-day discussion, bringing together chiefs and officials from 40 different state rights watchdogs, international organizations and the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human rights.

The conference is following up on the 10th Biennial Conference of the International Coordinating Committee of National Human Rights Institutions in Edinburgh held last year, during which the Edinburgh Declaration was adopted.

As addressed in the Declaration, the forum will seek to enhance the ability of rights watchdogs, stressing their role in monitoring corporate compliance and promote respect for human rights by businesses.

Korea Productivity Center chairman Choi Dong-gyu will give a key note speech, along with former chief of the International Coordinating Committee of National Human Rights Institutions, Rosalyn Noonan.

After the three day discussions, the conference will adopt a Seoul Declaration which will contain the cooperation and guidelines for rights institutions in the Asia-Pacific region, organizers said.

By Robert Lee (