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International Documents on Corporate Responsibility

Edited by Stephen Tully

International Documents on Corporate Responsibility includes the principal international, regional and national instruments drafted by intergovernmental organisations or states as well as codes of conduct formulated by industry associations, trade unions and non-governmental organisations. The coverage includes the fields of human rights, international criminal and environmental law, labour standards, international trade, armed conflict, sustainable development, corruption, consumer protection and corporate governance. Each document is accompanied by a brief explanatory commentary outlining the historical origins of the instrument, the principal actors involved, controversial negotiation issues, applicable implementation procedure, and identifies further reference material.
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Chapter 77: UN World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD): Johannesburg Declaration and Plan of Implementation, 2002


Commentary: The Johannesburg Declaration and Programme of Action (see WSSD Report, UN Doc A/CONF.199/20 (2002)) builds upon the Copenhagen Declaration on Social Development and Programme of Action of the 1995 World Summit on Social Development (UN Doc A/CONF.166/9 (1995)) and the 1992 Rio Earth Summit. The UN Secretary-General in his Opening Statement observed that: ‘Without the private sector, sustainable development will remain only a distant dream. We are not asking corporations to do something different from their normal business: we are asking them to do their normal business differently’. See also, UN Secretary-General Report (2001), ‘Business and development’, UN Doc A/56/442. Specific economic sectors prepared reports in preparation for the WSSD: see UNEP (2001), ‘Guidelines for Industry Sector Reports for the WSSD 2002’, Paris; WRI/UNEP/WBCSD (2002), ‘Tomorrow’s Markets: Global Trends and Their Implications for Business’, Washington, DC. These were subsequently evaluated by UNEP: see UNEP (2002), ‘Industry as a Partner for Sustainable Development, 10 Years After Rio: The UNEP Assessment’, Paris. During the Summit itself, business statements were submitted at roundtable sessions, the Chairman of Business Action for Sustainable Development (BASD) addressed the multistakeholder event and BASD hosted ‘Lekgotla [a dialogue of leaders]: a business day’. Public–private partnerships were the dominant means of implementation. The Plan of Implementation also contemplated inter alia private sector contributions to a world solidarity fund to eradicate poverty (paragraph 7) and efforts to change unsustainable consumption and production patterns (14). Stakeholders were encouraged to improve energy efficiency, affordability and accessibility, disseminate alternative technologies, employ...

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