Investor Briefing – Corporate Exposure to the Conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh
On January 18, 2024, the Investor Alliance for Human Rights, in conjunction with the Armenian Bar Association, hosted a briefing that provided the investor community with key information about the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, focusing on its most recent escalation starting in September 2020. The briefing examined business actors' ties to this conflict and their responsibilities under international business and human rights frameworks.
Panelists provided background on this conflict, the longest-running conflict in post-Soviet Eurasia, to help investors gain a more thorough understanding of the human rights and humanitarian law risks their investments may be connected to and facilitate more informed engagement with portfolio companies with business activities or relationships in the region, particularly those in the extractives and energy sectors. You can watch the investor briefing here and embedded below.
The briefing addressed questions such as:
What is the background of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict? What types of human rights impacts have civilians on the front lines experienced, in particular during its most recent escalation?
Why should investors care about portfolio companies' exposure to this conflict? What kinds of risks may their investments be subject to?
How can investors communicate their expectations around heightened human rights due diligence to their portfolio companies?
What do responsible investment activities look like in the context of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict?
What measures can investors and companies take to more effectively and proactively manage risks and impacts tied to portfolio companies business activities and relationships.
The Investor Alliance was joined by the following expert speakers:
Zaven Sargsian, U.S. lawyer and Lead Member of the Armenian Bar Association ESG Committee, provided key background on the conflict and its impact on the ethnic Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh.
Nora Mardirossian, business and human rights advisor and researcher, discussed companies' connections to human rights harms in the context of this conflict, focussing on the emblematic example of bp, which has connection to the conflict as a result of its operations in and relations with the Government of Azerbaijan.
Dr. Tara Van Ho, Senior Lecturer at Essex Law School and Human Rights Centre, delved into the responsibilities of companies and investors with exposure to conflict-affected and high-risk areas (CAHRA) under international business and human rights frameworks.
Rebecca DeWinter-Schmitt, Associate Director of the Investor Alliance for Human Rights, moderated the webinar.
For additional details on the Investor Alliance's work on Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas (CAHRA), please contact Rebecca DeWinter-Schmitt.