Wednesday, March 03, 2004

DO CORPORATIONS REALLY HAVE A HEART?


The UN wants to know:

The United Nations Global Compact, a voluntary grouping of companies and pressure groups that promotes corporate social responsibility, is preparing its first in-depth study of whether the initiative is having any measurable impact on businesses.

The exercise comes as analysts increasingly question whether the current fad for public-private partnerships is anything more than a public relations exercise. Christian Aid, for example, recently claimed the "image of companies working hard to make the world a better place is too often just that - a carefully manufactured image".

In a report released for this year's Davos summit, it warned: "Some of those shouting the loudest about their corporate virtues are also among those inflicting continuing damage on communities where they work - particularly poor communities."


Here's the most important quote:

"Unless governments play their role, there are limits to what you can do with voluntary initiatives."

The notion that globalization undercuts the power of nation-states is a myth, and a convenient one for politicians with a proclivity towards the Dollar-Wall Street globalization agenda. The power is there, our leaders are just lacking the will to use it (or to apply toward a different end).

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