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Mary Robinson - RISK CONFLICT


This workshop is extremely important because it is a continuation of the new role
Of business—no longer as just employer, but now as peacekeeper and peacemaker.

Please see Public-Private Partnerships and World Economic Forum

Mary Robinson
Mark Mallock-Brown - UNDP
President of Tanzania
Ramos-Horta – East Timor

Tim Schriver came in for the last part of the workshop to make a comment about his Special Olympics is a PPP.

Mary Robinson in her opening remarks talked about the Prince of Wales Business Leaders Forum and the Business of Peace

JV Notes on Mary Robinson opening:

--There are business options

--scale of problems – 24 in conflict

--At the heart of the fight is natural resources – Diamonds in Sierra Leone

----Security Council only now dealing with it – Council is being asked to deal with it. We have:

==oil in Sudan

==Narcotics in Columbia

--Racial-ethnic dimensions of conflict – genocidal tendencies like Rwanda

--In Europe they increasingly dislike migrants –

Business in Conflict can:

  1. Business links opened up back channels. What kind of role in prevention?

  2. --Good governance

    --Need more public private funding for: health, education

  3. Some guidelines set out by US-UK Iniatives for oil company and Prince of Wales Business for Peace Iniatives.
Business Can Help
  1. Direct corporate complicity with DH Rights
  2. Indirect Corporate complicity
  3. Silent complicity
--failure to raise human rights violations
JV Question:

I have covered a number of UN conferences – I am in the process of reading the Prince of Wales Business as Peacekeepers and Peacemaking and interview Alan Gerson who headed up the CFR report on the idea of corporations coming in and doing peacemaking and peacekeeping. I mention this because I have found from reading from a business standpoint the Price of Wales Book that it is hard reading because it is a shift of corporate thinking in responsibility. As I was reading it from a business standpoint projecting my self as a corporation coming into a country to look and make business but they are because of deep pockets they are being called upon to do things that government used to do but cannot do. My question is with regard to the partnership arrangements that are being made, understanding some of these concerns/functions, what is being written into the partnership agreement that protects the country and the corporation?


  1. Mark Mallock Brown UNDP - The main initiative of bringing businesses together at the country level …. To take the Global Compact down to the country level. Which is in a number of countries we are trying to arrange a partnership in international business –some of the companies are represented in this room: ABB and Shell and others have been very instrumental in certain countries where they are very strong in encouraging us to create forum on the country level of government, business, local civil society to try and form a dialogue around the critical issues: labor standards, human rights, governmental standards. Out of that dialogue we see a possible flow of partnerships where people will come together –multinationals will work with local civil society around a stream of small projects to address a number of community issues. This is a voluntary arrangement whereby the "shame principle" will keep corporations on track and governments can be comfortable that this is meeting their development goals. We are in the early stages of working through this.
  2. Mary Robinson
Very briefly on your phrase, "shift of thinking," that is quite difficult and I don’t have an answer to your technical question because this is NEW as you said, but may I say that this shift of thinking is also taking place in the human rights community and we have a constructive relationship with business in a way that was not there before and not have the approach—looking at human rights particularly—human rights violations to opening up the responsibility of government -- Another shift which is taking place is what we think of as "security issues." It is very good that the Security Council has seen that the pandemic issue of AIDS in Africa is a matter of security and that this also is an issue undermining capacities of countries that will potentially give rise to issue of conflict because of the scale of poverty. So I think we are all shifting to a new situation and there is a business of responsibility that I believe is an opportunity for engagement is very important.

Mary Robinson’s Comments to Mary Moody-Stuart, wife of President Shell

We are beginning to tap the potential for much more engagement with business and that is part of

Of our work. Where there is power there is responsibility and I think that the idea committed to the principles of human rights, labor standards, and environmental standards in the Global Compact is to make a significant that has two values:

    1. Corporate workplace
    2. The Wider community of those very values
I am more interested in seeing how far we can address what businesses can do including Zones of Conflict, particularly the networking which has not been done before—sometimes by leaders in zones of conflict. The names/shaming will be more effective in the future because we have a more involved civil society.