Disenfranchised To Disenchanted: America's Search For Leadership
Published 01 Apr, 2016
President Director, Moores Rowland Indonesia / Co-Founder of Association For International Human Rights Reporting Standards - THE ASSOCIATION FOR INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS REPORTING STANDARDS (FIHRRST) AISBL - The Association For International Human Rights Reporting Standards (FIHRRST) AISBL
An active CPA licensed by the US state of Florida, James is an internationally recognized expert on both Emerging Markets and Human Rights Audit and Consulting.
With over 30 years business experience in the accounting, consulting and banking professions covering South America, Asia, Emerging Europe and Africa, James is a veteran of emerging markets. Hebegan his career with Price Waterhouse (PW) in Miami, before moving to Asia in 1985 when he was instrumental in the establishment of PW in China, being in charge of its international tax and business consulting services there.
Following a spell as Director of Standard Chartered International Trustees Limited in charge of investment banking activities and business development worldwide, James moved to Indonesia in 1991, subsequently establishing Moores Rowland Indonesia (MRI) as it is now known. Since the beginning of 2000, he has successfully built the firm into the fifth largest accounting and audit firm in Indonesia, employing some 500 professionals at its offices in Jakarta and Bali.
While MRI’s listed clients usually account for more than half the daily transactions on the Indonesia Stock Exchange, the firm is also mindful of its responsibility for public service and as such has built a very strong international donor and development bank consulting practice. As an Organizational Stakeholder of GRI, the firm is also a strong supporter of sustainable development and offers assessment services for corporate sustainability reports, as well as providing advice to those wishing to develop a sustainability reporting capability.
In recent years James has become passionately involved in the field of Human Rights Audit, speaking and moderating at a number of international forums on the subject, plus spearheading efforts to conceive practical international standards for human rights audit. Together with Marzuki Darusman, chairman of the Association For International Human Rights Reporting Standards (FIHRRST), he was instrumental in the initial conceptualization of an award-winning human rights audit methodology. This has since been further updated and developed to formulate the Business and Human Rights International Standard for Certification (BHRISC 2011). Together with other FIHRRST founders that include Marzuki Usman, Makarim Wibisono and H.S. Dillon, they continue to actively promote the benefits of imbedding human rights practices throughout organizations.
These efforts have already begun to bear fruit in Indonesia with the issuance in December 2015 of a Ministerial Regulation by the Minister of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, as well as the proclamation of the Bandung Charter of a Human Rights City, both of which included human rights certification procedures. Cooperation with the Ministry of Industry continues meanwhile, to promote a wider understanding and acceptance of human rights certification in the Indonesian business community.
Having always felt comfortable as a media spokesman since his Standard Chartered days, James at one time hosted Moores Rowland Point Blank, a popular TV talk show in Indonesia. While demands on his time now preclude such regular appearances, he is still frequently quoted in both international and business publications, plus has a regular column in Forbes Indonesia on subjects ranging from local political and business issues to world events. His literary talents have been further exposed of late with the contribution of a chapter to the Routledge publication Business and Human Rights in South East Asia: Risk and the Regulatory Turn, which was launched in Singapore in November 2014.
James is also well known in the social field as Founder of the Mei Lin Kallman Foundation for Hearing and National Board Member of Prestasi Indonesia since 2005. However, it was in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the development of the accountancy and finance profession in Indonesia, as well as his efforts in championing human rights compliance and accountability, that James received the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants Achievement Award in February 2014.
A not-for-profit, non-discriminatory international Association dedicated to the respect, protection and fulfillment of human rights, FIHRRST was established in Brussels, Belgium by a group of internationally-recognized human rights proponents on 28 November 2014.
These include such luminaries as Marzuki Darusman (UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in North Korea, and former Indonesian Attorney General), Marzuki Usman (former head of the Indonesian Securities and Exchange Commission, as well as holding various ministerial positions in successive Indonesian governments), Makarim Wibisono (former Permanent Representative to the Indonesian Mission to the UN in Geneva and New York, including 10 years as Chairman of the Human Rights Commission, and former Executive Director of the ASEAN Foundation), H.S. Dillon (former Special Envoy to the President of Indonesia for Poverty Alleviation, as well as member of the Washington-based International Policy Council on Agriculture, Food and Trade), and James Kallman (President Director of Moores Rowland Indonesia and former Director of Standard Chartered International Trustees in Singapore and Hong Kong, veteran of emerging markets, and involved in the conceptualization and development of an award-winning human rights audit methodology).
FIHRRST’s vision is of a world in which the actions of governments, business entities and civil society are all based on shared ideals of human rights governance. In order to play its part in achieving this vision, the Foundation engages in activities in the areas of research, development of standards, and promotion and dissemination of human rights principles.
FIHRRST Belgium is also officially recognized as the owner of the intellectual property rights on Business and Human Rights International Standard for Certification (BHRISC 2011). Initially developed by Moores Rowland Indonesia and the Human Rights Research Centre, BHRISC 2011 is a method of certification of business compliance with human rights as laid out in the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGP).
Considering Indonesia to be an ideal arena in which to initially implement its projects, the Foundation for International Human Rights Reporting Standards (FIHRRST) Indonesia was established on 13 March 2015. Subsequently, the right to use and manage BHRISC 2011 was transferred to FIHRRST Indonesia under a licensing agreement, while allowing FIHRRST Belgium to retain the property rights. This has enabled FIHRRST Indonesia to deliver training on BHRISC 2011 to a range of stakeholders including State officials, certification bodies, company managers and associations, etc. It has also formed a basis for projects involving government at both national and local level.
Recognizing that human rights belong to the individual, the community, FIHRRST was delighted to play a major role in the formulation of the Bandung Charter as a human rights city. The principles of citizen participation, transparency and accountability were adopted at all stages of the process from initial focus group discussions to the final signing of the Bandung Charter by the Mayor of Bandung, Ridwan Kamil on International Human Rights Day, 10 December 2015. The Charter, which was formulated based on direct citizen participation, stipulates the rights, duties and responsibilities of the respective parties in developing a city that protects, respects and fulfils the rights of all. Moreover, implementation of the Charter by the local government down to the district and sub-district level will be subject to independent audit using the Government Human Rights International Standard for Certification (GHRISC 2015) that was directly derived from BHRISC 2011.
Understanding the need to first socialize the UNGP and their implementation by the business community in Indonesia, FIHRRST has entered into an MOU with the Ministry of Industry. Among the objectives of the MOU is the development of compliance standards for business and human rights including certification. Already a number of research and training sessions have been carried out and work continues in this and the development field. To further advancement in this field, FIHRRST has also entered into a MOU with the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and while education of the business community about the UNGP is the initial objective, all three parties are working together towards implementation of an Indonesian certification standard derived from BHRISC 2011.
The greatest breakthrough in the business and human rights field has been achieved in cooperation with the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries. Responding to the Benjina case early last year, Minister Susi Pudjiastuti has moved swiftly to put the Indonesian fisheries industry on a sustainable basis that will also include respect for human rights. Along with other fundamental partners of the Ministry who include the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), and the International Labour Organization(ILO), FIHRRST played a major role in the development of the Fisheries Industry Human Rights System and Certification (FIHRiSC) that was derived from BHRISC 2011. This was unveiled on International Human Rights Day, 10 December 2015 in a Ministerial Regulation under which all fishing companies operating in the archipelago will be required to receive certification from the Ministry attesting to their respect for human rights. The implementation regulation is due to be released early this year.
While FIHRRST has been busy in socializing the UNGP and developing certification standards based on BHRISC 2011, it has not shirked its responsibilities on other human rights matters. Under an MOU signed with the Indonesia National Human Rights Commission (KOMNAS HAM), FIHRRST has committed to engage with human rights stakeholders to promote human rights in Indonesia. As part of this commitment, this past month, the two parties completed the third and final public hearing on the subject of Capital Punishment in Indonesia. The hearings looked at this contentious issue from three distinctive perspectives, religious belief, medical, ethical and psychological considerations, and legal, political and human rights considerations. Gaining input from experts in these widely different fields, the hearings were both constructive and marked by the willingness of the diverse parties to consider the perspectives of others parties.
Committed to working with those that can help promote and disseminate human rights ideals, FIHRRST has signed an MOU with Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) the world’s largest independent Islamic organization with in excess of 40 million members. NU is a strong advocate against radicalism and extremism and seeks to portray to the outside world the Indonesian face of Islam as part of a national identity that includes all religious groups. FIHRRST and NU this seek to work in partnership to the attainment of justice, diversity and tolerance across the world, while providing an alternative vision of Islam from that usually portrayed in current media.