Businesses urged to Help Strengthen Global Governance
22 February 2008 at 8:52 am
A group of prominent World Economic Forum business leaders have issued a call to businesses to join collaborative efforts to strengthen public governance frameworks and institutions as a core element of their approach to corporate citizenship.
Fourteen global CEOs and chairmen, representing a range of industries and regions, signed a leadership statement calling on businesses to engage in public-private partnerships to strengthen public policies and institutional capacity at the national, regional and global levels as part of the Forum’s Global Corporate Citizenship Initiative in partnership with lead partner Business for Social Responsibility (BSR), as well as AccountAbility, Harvard’s Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative and the International Business Leaders Forum.
Signatories of the leadership statement include the Chairman/CEOs of Ayala Corporation, Diageo, Merck & Co., Microsoft Corporation, Pakistan State Oil Company (PSO), Tata Industries, The Coca-Cola Company and the big four accounting firms, Deloitte, Ernst & Young, KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers.
The outcome of the project, entitled "Partnering to Strengthen Public Governance – The Leadership Challenge for CEOs and Boards," is a CEO-signed leadership statement and supporting report, which provide a roadmap for business leaders seeking to work with governments and other stakeholders to improve the enabling environment for sustainable economic growth and development.
In launching this effort, the signatories call for a new frontier in corporate global citizenship and a new era in public-private partnership, recognising the increasing convergence of public and private sector agendas.
John Connolly, Chairman of the Global Board at Deloitte says no longer can businesses, governments or non-governmental organizations afford to act independently of each other — the stakes are just too high.
The paper acknowledges the essential role that partnership plays in advancing the global agenda, and the essential need for business to take on this agenda based both on its capacity and legitimacy. Business engagement in promoting effective governance is most effective, and most credible, where it reflects key principles including transparency, dialogue and respect for the unique role of public institutions, and recognizes the central value of working with civil society organizations.
Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) is a Not for Profit business membership organisation that helps its 250 member companies integrate social and environmental matters into their strategies and operations.
The International Business Leaders Forum works with business, government and civil society to enhance the contribution that companies can make to sustainable development. Founded by H.R.H. The Prince of Wales, it is an independent, Not for Profit organisation currently supported by over 100 of the world’s leading businesses. www.iblf.org
To read the full report on Partnering to Strengthen Public Governance and the accompanying CEO Leadership statement, go to http://www.weforum.org/documents/PR/GCCI_Report_20080111.pdf