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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 116: Caux Round Table: Principles for Business, 1994


Commentary: Established in 1986, the Caux Round Table (CRT, consists of European, Japanese and American business leaders ‘committed to energizing the role of business and industry as a vital force for innovative global change’. Corporate responsibility is considered to be an important mechanism for reducing social and economic threats to world peace and stability. Drawing upon the Minnesota Principles (a statement of business behaviour formulated by the Minnesota Center for Corporate Responsibility), the CRT Principles embody principled business leadership. They seek to measure corporate behaviour against two ethical principles: living and working together for the common good (kyosei) and human dignity. Introduction The Caux Round Table believes that the world business community should play an important role in improving economic and social conditions. As a statement of aspirations, this document aims to express a world standard against which business behaviour can be measured. We seek to begin a process that identifies shared values, reconciles differing values, and thereby develops a shared perspective on business behaviour acceptable to and honoured by all. These principles are rooted in two basic ethical ideals: kyosei and human dignity. The Japanese concept of kyosei means living and working together for the common good enabling cooperation and mutual prosperity to coexist with healthy and fair competition. ‘Human dignity’ refers to the sacredness or value of each person as an end, not simply as a means to the fulfilment of others’ purposes or even majority prescription. The General Principles in Section 2 seek to clarify the...

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