UNRISD Deputy Director, Peter Utting, will be the keynote speaker for the “Fair Trade, Corporate Accountability and Beyond: Experiments in ‘Globalising Justice’” conference on 19 - 20 December 2007 in Melbourne, Australia. The conference is being held at the Melbourne Law School of the University of Melbourne at 185 Pelham Street, Carlton 3053 in Room G08. The event is hosted by the Centre for Employment and Labour Relations Law, with support from the Fair Trade Association of Australia and New Zealand and the Center of Governance of Knowledge and Development at the Australian National University, and is sponsored by Govnet and CAPPE (Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics).
The meeting has three goals. One is to learn and discuss lessons from past international experience in development and implementing supply chain governance initiatives. This is to gain a clearer understanding of what works where and why in the different contexts. The second goal is to examine how development initiatives are currently playing out in the context of Australia/New Zealand and the Asia Pacific Region. In this way, there is the hope to be able to explore opportunities in the local and regional context, with a focus on the fair trade initiatives. The third goal is to lay the ground for more effective and sustainable networks of collaboration among companies, activists, academics, and practitioners in Australia/New Zealand and Asia.
What brought about the need for a conference of this type is because of the sudden growth in fair trade systems and initiatives in Australia and New Zealand, which are recognized as the fastest growing market for fair trade certified products in the world. This growth reveals the rising awareness and concern of issues of human rights, social development and corporate responsibility. This creates a significant opportunity for Australian businesses, NGOs, consumers and researchers to be involved in how fair trade and corporate accountability can ensure positive development outcomes in the Asia-Pacific region.
Peter will be giving the keynote address, speaking on his paper “Regulating of Social Development: The Potential and Limits of Corporate Responsibility and Accountability.” The paper evaluates the possibilities and problems involving corporate and civic governance initiatives as a means of regulating global supply chains.
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