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Vicky Bowman Appointed to Lead Myanmar Centre for Responsible Business

Vicky Bowman brings to this role a vast experience of Myanmar, international relations, and business.
Vicky Bowman brings to this role a vast experience of Myanmar, international relations, and business.

The Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB) and the Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR) are delighted to announce the appointment of Vicky Bowman as Director of the Myanmar Centre for Responsible Business.

The new Centre, a joint initiative of IHRB and DIHR, is currently being established in Yangon with support from a range of stakeholders1 to promote responsible business conduct in Myanmar.

Vicky Bowman brings to this role a vast experience of Myanmar, international relations, and business. A former British diplomat fluent in Burmese, Ms Bowman began her diplomatic career in 1990 with the UK Embassy in Yangon. She served as UK ambassador to Myanmar from 2002 to 2006.

Ms Bowman has also held roles as Member of Cabinet of Chris Patten, European Commissioner for External Relations (1999-2002), and as Director of Global and Economic Issues at the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (2008-2011 when she was also UK G8 Foreign Affairs Sous-Sherpa).

Since 2011 Ms Bowman has worked at Rio Tinto where amongst other responsibilities, she led the implementation of the company’s commitment to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, developed its sector-leading approach to transparency, and worked with governments, civil society and international organisations on how mining investments can better support development.

John Morrison, Executive Director of IHRB said:

“We are thrilled that Vicky is joining our team. Her deep knowledge of Myanmar and business experience will be critical in establishing the new Centre as a partner that supports and empowers local and national actors in pursuing responsible economic development that benefits all the people of Myanmar.”

Allan Lerberg Jorgensen, Department Director at DIHR said:

“Vicky is one of the preeminent experts on Myanmar and has first-hand experience with the rapid political changes taking place in the country. We are confident that under her leadership, the Myanmar Centre for Responsible Business will be a trusted partner to business, civil society, and government in building a prosperous future for Myanmar based on freedom and dignity for everyone.”

Looking forward to her new role, Vicky Bowman said:

“The initiative to establish this Centre brings together my two professional and personal passions: Myanmar, and the role that responsible business can play in alleviating poverty and underpinning improved governance. I am delighted to return to Myanmar to establish and lead the Centre at such an important time of economic reform and political change. l look forward to working with all stakeholders to help them ensure that investment and business activities in Myanmar are sustainable and consistent with international human rights and labour standards.”

More on the Myanmar Centre for Responsible Business:

The Myanmar Centre for Responsible Business is a new initiative to encourage responsible business activities throughout Myanmar. The establishment of the Yangon-based Centre is being led by the Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB) and the Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR). The Centre will provide a trusted, impartial forum for dialogue, seminars, and briefings to relevant parties as well as access to international expertise and tools. The United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, which were unanimously endorsed in June 2011 by the UN Human Rights Council, will be key to the Centre’s mission and activities.

The long-term goal for the new Myanmar Centre for Responsible Business is to become an independent and self-sustaining entity that will provide a crucial platform for businesses, civil society, academics, and governments – local and international – to meet and exchange ideas and build capacities regarding responsible investment and responsible business practices in Myanmar.

More on the Institute for Human Rights and Business:

The Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB) is a dynamic non-profit think tank, established in 2009 as a global centre for policy and practice on the relationship between business and internationally recognized human rights principles and standards. IHRB provides a trusted, impartial space for dialogue and independent analysis to deepen understanding of human rights challenges and the appropriate role of business. We work with business, government and civil society to raise corporate standards and strengthen public policy to ensure that the activities of companies do not contribute to human rights abuses, and in fact lead to positive outcomes.

More on the Danish Institute for Human Rights:

The Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR) is Denmark’s National Human Rights Institution accredited according to the United Nations Paris Principles. Established in 1987, DIHR is an independent state institution mandated to protect and promote human rights nationally and internationally. In our international programmes we work in partnership with state actors, National Human Rights Institutions, civil society organisations, and the corporate sector in order to protect and promote human rights. Working with business and human rights issues since 1998, we help to develop knowledge, tools and standards that enable all relevant actors to minimize and address the negative human rights impact of business, while enhancing the private sector contribution to human rights-based development.

Footnotes

1 First-year funding from governments of UK (DFID), Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Netherlands.






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