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WORLD SUMMIT FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT 9/2002
BUSINESS AS PARTNERS IN DEVELOPMENT – PRESS BRIEFING

JOAN VEON AT WSSD - 2002


JV:  NEW SEEING NEW ALIGHMENT BETWEEN NGOS AND CORPORATIONS—THEY WILL BE USED IN MAJOR CAMPAIGNS TO PUBLICALLY CHANGE THE MINDS OF THE CONSUMER.
JV:  When did the various ingredence of people, cultures, etc. begin to get inter-mingled?  When public-private partnership was launched in 1996 in Istanbul.  That became the new pattern for a new global society—we all work together.  We all become one body instead of being independent.  It forms the basis for “global society.”   

Bjorn Stigson:
Joint call for action with governments to create an international framework to deal with the risk of climate change, which we believe, is in the interest of business and humanity as such.  We believe that this is the very innovative step between governments and business.  One of my colleagues said, “This is on sustainable development when Nixon went to China.  We are taking a strong step to work together and link with others.

Sir Mark Moody-Stuart
I have on numerous occasions on renewable events chaired events with Green peace and the body Shop.  Green peace has been a program encouraging consumers to take up action. That is something which business is aware of because consumers are our customers.

Technology transfers—Bjorn—Report on developing countries and corporations, which we put together with UNIDO.  “Technology transfer—and local capacity building make sustainable development possible in developing countries.”  This is not about colonization.

Question:  Private investment—from OEC/North to non-OECD south—when look at Africa – today Africa is not having private investment.  What will be your contributions?

Answer—Moody
That is what we were trying briefly to describe and I think that NEBPA is a heightening of the event and under the leadership of Canada and the UK there is considerable commitment from the G8 countries to make it work.  This is in additional to what African leaders are going to do to get out of poverty, decline ill-health, under investment—they think the issues of aid is certainly needed and the need for private investment and the pre-condition for both of those is to get better governance and better governance means that people know that in these countries that the rule of law, sanctity of contract and the conditions which make investment successful as well.  It is not GOOD ENOUGH FOR THE NORTH TO SAY TO AFRICA “TO DO THIS” IT HAS TO BE DONE IN PARTNERSHIP.  I THINK MBEKI HAS LED COURAGEOUSLY.  IN THE NORTH—BUSINESS HAS TO WORK WITH OTHER STAKEHOLDERS TO CREATE THE CONDITIONS IN AFRICAN COUNTRIES WHERE INVESTMENT BECOMES A MORE ATTRACTIVE OPPORTUNITY.  THE FACT THAT AFRIFCAN LEADERS HAVE TAKEN THIS INITIATIVE TO LET US WORK WITH THEM AS WE ARE, TO TRY AND REVERSE THE DECLINE YOU TALKED ABOUT.

Bjorn
Many countries with operations in South Africa, which are profitable, are giving them up.  Why are they giving them up, because the risk of something going wrong is prevalent?  If something goes wrong, you get absolutely crucified and the balance between risk and performance is just not worth it so you say that you will go to other areas where you say “nothing will go wrong.”  I think that is a tragedy.  I am opposed to it.  That is why you need partnerships and constructive support in our activities to build better businesses and have better contributions to society. /


Question:  support the framework but doing it in a local and national context.  What are your opinion of a transnational framework where that is possible and your attitudes?  200 countries are under the umbrella BAST with some of them working on sustainable development How deal with the companies—many large MNC who are not here and how do we make sure that they involve themselves in these processes.

Bjorn:  We have a limited number of organizations and describe ourselves AS A CATALYST FOR CHANGE.  There is power in good examples.  The business community is a broad church just like any other part of society like a local village, some for and city, you have some against and some that are not on issues.  Unless you can present a strong business case for sus development, you will see slow progress.  There are a number of things you can do inside companies that makes perfect bus. Sense.  There are a number of things where if you say, we do this we will improve our profitability,` we will do better.  And we are trying to bring those case stories out.   BUT THERE IS ALSO THE NEED FOR THE RIGHT FRAMEWORK FROM SOCIETY IF SOCIETY WANTS TO SEE MORE PROGRESS.  THERE IS A NEED FROM THE FINANCIAL SECTOR:  HOW PRICE CAPITAL, PRICE RISKS AND VALUE COMAPNMIES.  WE CAN SEE FROM NEW INDEXES LIKE THE DOW JONES SUS. INDEX AND THERE SEEMS TO BE A CORRELATION BETWEEN THOSE COMPANIES THAT ARE DOING GOOD THAT ARE ENGAGED ON THESE ISSUES AND THEIR FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE AND WHEN WE SEE MORE OF THAT EVIDENCE WE WILL SEE FAR MORE COMPANIES GETTING INVOVLED.  

If you want to gage it, it has to be based on a good business sense.

Moody
ACCOUNTABILITY
Plan—business is in support of business being accountable of having transparency and accountability.  Question is where and against what background and where it hits all business-not just international business.   Many have said “where are the little businesses?”  You can’t spend a week here.  We have a strong voice.  I think the place to negotiate, to be sure, to work with others to build responsibility is in countries, if people in business are doing improper things, you can get to the internationals through the court of public opinion and the world courts and you can damage them that way.  Until we have world governance, world accountability will be difficult to achieve.

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