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Back | Programme Area: Markets, Business and Regulation (2000 - 2009)

Development at Risk: Rethinking UN-Business Partnerships



Book published in collaboration with the South Centre.

In recent years there has been an upsurge of initiatives that engage companies and the United Nations in collaborative ventures that are commonly called partnerships. Under the umbrella of "UN-business partnerships" are a variety of initiatives, involving, for example, specific projects, global health programmes and multi-stakeholder initiatives such as the Global Compact.

These new relationships have attracted considerable attention and controversy. For some, they constitute a pragmatic way of sensitizing the business community to development issues and improving the developmental impacts of transnational corporations and other business enterprises. Partnerships are part and parcel of contemporary policy trends associated with corporate social responsibility and good governance. For others, partnerships constitute a mechanism through which large corporations can gain undue influence over the public policy process and enhance their image and competitive advantage. In the case of the Global Compact, there are concerns that such gains are being achieved in return for relatively little, given the weak mechanisms that exist to ensure that companies actually adhere to the nine human rights, labour and environmental principles promoted by this initiative.

In view of these debates, UNRISD commissioned this report by Ann Zammit. It forms part of a broader UNRISD inquiry into the developmental and regulatory implications of corporate social responsibility and the potential and limits of so-called voluntary initiatives for improving the social and environmental performance of large corporations.

Contents
1: UN-Business Partnerships--What Is at Stake?
2: The Nature of the Development Challenge
3: UN-Business Partnerships: An All Purpose Development Tool?
4: The Global Compact
5: Corporate Social Responsibility: A Systemic Issue
6: Corporate Social Responsibility and Developing Countries
7: TNCs as Partners in Development: Fact or Fiction?
8: Public-Private Partnerships: A Holly Alliance
9: A New Development Strategy and True Test of Corporate Responsibility
  • Publication and ordering details
  • Pub. Date: 23 Dec 2003
    Pub. Place: Geneva
    ISBN: 92 9162 020 8
    Type: Paperback
    From: UNRISD
  • Pub. Date: 23 Dec 2003
    Pub. Place: Geneva
    ISBN: 92 9162 020 8
    Type: Paperback
    From: South Centre