Business Briefing: Navigating the dilemmas of conflict

Join us for this crucial conversation outlining business’ approach to managing conflict exposure.

Partner and major corporate event Invitation only
2 July 2024 — 8:00AM TO 9:15AM
Chatham House

The business and conflict agenda emerged in parallel to the broader business and human rights agenda over 25 years ago. This agenda has expanded beyond the extractive sectors to encompass other industries—especially technology, agriculture and retail—to address issues of geopolitical complexity and stakeholder sensitivity. Three major current conflicts drive dilemmas for multinationals and their value chains: the February 2021 coup in Myanmar and subsequent civil war; the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 and the substantial but incomplete exit of Western companies from Russia; and the Israel-Gaza War beginning in October 2023 which may yet ignite a wider regional war.

All three conflicts present fundamental challenges to the international rules-based-order and international law. In turn, they raise concerns around corporate complicity and responsibility. The Myanmar civil war and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine highlight difficult issues around “responsible exits”. Companies have been compelled to assess the costs of continued involvement in these markets and consider how to sell operations and dispose of assets.

Please join us as we discuss the following critical questions:

  • How can multinational corporations integrate geopolitical/domestic political risk analysis with human rights due diligence in conflict settings?
  • What factors should guide “responsible exit”? How can companies and shareholders identify and mitigate unintended consequences and what lessons can be learned from recent experiences in Russia and Myanmar?
  • What risks and responsibilities should businesses consider when making statements on specific conflicts?
  • How should companies engage shareholders and stakeholders—especially employees who may have strong views dissenting from company policy?