PROMOTION OF CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY IN THE HEMISPHERE
(Adopted at the fourth plenary session, held on June 7, 2011)
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY,
TAKING INTO ACCOUNT General Assembly resolution AG/RES. 2336 (XXXVII-O/07), “Promotion of Corporate Social Responsibility in the Hemisphere;”
RECALLING previous resolutions adopted by the General Assembly on the subject of promotion of corporate social responsibility in the Hemisphere, AG/RES. 1871 (XXXII-O/02), AG/RES. 1953 (XXXIII-O/03), AG/RES. 2013 (XXXIV-O/04), AG/RES. 2123 (XXXV-O/05), AG/RES. 2194 (XXXVI-O/06), AG/RES. 2483 (XXXIX-O/09), and AG/RES. 2554 (XL-0/10);
BEARING IN MIND the commitment made by the Heads of State and Government in the Declaration of Mar del Plata, in which they recognized that “sustained economic growth, with equity and social inclusion, is an indispensable condition to create jobs, fight extreme poverty, and overcome inequality in the Hemisphere. To achieve these ends, it is necessary to improve transparency and the investment climate in our countries, build human capital, encourage increased incomes and improve their distribution, promote corporate social responsibility, and foster a spirit of entrepreneurship as well as strong business activity”;
TAKING INTO CONSIDERATION that the private sector, civil society organizations, indigenous groups, organized local communities, and academic institutions, among others, play a central part in and may benefit from efforts by member states to promote and encourage corporate social responsibility;
RECOGNIZING that member states are responsible for good governance and the promotion and implementation of legislation that meets the needs of their citizens;
RECOGNIZING FURTHER that while companies, civil society, and other social actors play an important part in and share responsibilities for promoting and respecting the observance of human rights within the context of their activities, governments have the ultimate responsibility for upholding the rule of law and implementing their human rights obligations;
RECOGNIZING that support for human rights, respect for the principles of labor and environmental standards, and the fight against corruption, among others, as outlined in the United Nations Global Compact, are principles that businesses, governments, and civil society, among others should promote jointly.
TAKING INTO ACCOUNT the role that public-private partnerships can play in the eradication of poverty and hunger in vulnerable populations, as well as in the implementation of national strategies and government action plans for the improvement of social services, and that both sectors should work towards strengthening sustainable practices to fulfill those objectives;
TAKING INTO CONSIDERATION that a number of multilateral forums, including the Group of Eight (G8), the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the Summit of the Americas, and the United Nations, are taking important steps to foster and promote responsible corporate practices;
RECOGNIZING as well the ongoing efforts of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the World Bank to encourage and advance good corporate practices with stakeholders and governments;
EMPHASIZING that responsible and transparent business conduct, as embodied in adherence to applicable domestic law and regulations and observance of internationally recognized guidelines and principles of corporate social responsibility (CSR), such as those identified in paragraph 8 of this resolution, among others, reinforces the positive effects of local and foreign investment on sustainable development;
BEARING IN MIND that responsible and transparent corporate conduct is increasingly recognized by consumers, investors, and business partners, and that these good corporate policies and practices will remain an important aspect of doing business in the twenty-first century for businesses of all sizes, engaged in any activity.
TAKING INTO CONSIDERATION ALSO the implementation by the Organization of American States (OAS) through the Executive Secretariat for Integral Development of CSR programs for small and medium-sized enterprise (SMEs) and other participating stakeholders,
1. To take note of the holding of the VIII Inter-American Conference on Corporate Social Responsibility by the Inter-American Development Bank, held in Asuncion, Paraguay, on May 24-26, 2011.
2. To take note also of the holding of the regional workshops and round table dialogues on corporate social responsibility organized by SEDI of the OAS, including the workshop on “Tools for Achieving an Environmentally Responsible Business Management: from Diagnosis to Evaluation” and the round table discussion on “The Role of Various Stakeholders in Implementing Corporate Social Responsibility,” held, respectively, in Lima, Peru, on June 4, 2010, and in Santiago, Chile, on July 27-28, 2010.
3. To encourage member states to support OAS/SEDI programs and initiatives for the promotion of CSR that contribute to information exchange and capacity-building in private sector communities, including local organizations dedicated to corporate social responsibility (CSR).
4. To further encourage member states to consider training and mentoring opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises to engage in CSR initiatives, through events such as the regional workshop on “Promoting Corporate Social Responsibility in Small and Medium Enterprises in the Tourism Industry in the Caribbean,” held in St. George’s, Grenada, on September 8-9, 2010.
5. To instruct the General Secretariat, through the Executive Secretariat for Integral Development (SEDI), to report to the member states, in advance, on programs and initiatives on CSR that it seeks to develop for the implementation of this resolution, thereby contributing to the exchange of information on the subject.
6. To encourage dialogue between legislative bodies and the private sector on the subject of corporate social responsibility through events such as “Social Responsibility and Parliamentary Management in Latin America,” held in Costa Rica, on December 8 and 9, 2010.
7. To urge member state governments to promote corporate social responsibility programs and initiatives, with special emphasis on value chains and on community engagement; to become more knowledgeable about existing internationally recognized voluntary principles and guidelines, as well as private-sector initiatives in this area; and to support and join in the implementation of such principles and initiatives.
8. To further urge member states to promote the use of applicable corporate social responsibility initiatives, tools, and best practices, including, as appropriate: the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, the Tripartite Declaration of Principles concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy of the International Labour Organization (ILO), the United Nations Global Compact, the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights, the principles contained in the ILO Resolution on the Promotion of Sustainable Enterprises, and all those in fulfillment of the Millennium Development Goals (UN).
9. To invite the member states to promote, as appropriate, best corporate practices in environmental stewardship and social responsibility with stakeholder engagement, particularly in the natural resource extraction and manufacturing sectors; to promote the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights; and to consider their participation in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI).
10. To invite the member states to support initiatives aimed at strengthening their capacity to manage and develop natural resources in an ecologically sustainable and socially responsible manner.
11. To encourage member states and the private sector to continue to promote corporate social responsibility in the context of international economic crises.41/
12. To request the Secretary General to work through the Executive Secretariat for Integral Development (SEDI) to join the efforts of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), the International Labour Organization (ILO), the World Bank, and other regional and international organizations, such as the Latin American Mining Association (OLAMI) and the Regional Association of Oil and Natural Gas Companies in Latin America (ARPEL), which contribute to information exchange and capacity-building on existing internationally recognized principles and guidelines to enable member states to be in a position to promote CSR initiatives among their own private sector communities.
13. To request CIDI, with the support of SEDI, to report to the General Assembly at its forty-second regular session, on the implementation of this resolution, the execution of which shall be subject to the availability of financial resources in the program-budget of the Organization and other resources.
AG/RES. 2688 (XLI-O/11)