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SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: LEARN MORE, LOTS MORE

 

 

Erica Carle
June 25, 2005
NewsWithViews.com

There is a 9-page World Business Council for Sustainable Development ad in the June 20 issue of FORBES magazine. As most readers of newswithviews articles know, sustainable development is a United Nations program for environmental, social, educational, and political control.

Ads for the following businesses describing their company’s environmental progress are included in the nine pages: Ricoh, Canon, Deutsche Bank, and Toyota.

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) is perhaps the most significant supporter of United Nations environmental, social, educational, and political control. Others are non governmental organizations, multinational corporations, the US and International Chambers of Commerce, plus numerous foundations and universities.

The ad in FORBES is meant to promote Sustainable Development, but it also reveals to the thoughtful reader and readers who visit the www.wbcsd.org web site the vast extent of control which representatives of these groups are expecting to transfer to the UN and the WBCSD.

Page nine of the ad was written by Bjorn Stigson, President of the WBCSD. The headline reads, “A Decade of Achievement.” which seems to me to indicate that he is claiming WBCSD credit for the environmental achievements of corporations. And he is not shy about grasping for future power. At the very beginning of his message he writes:

“In the span of a decade, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) has emerged as the leading business voice for sustainable development and the partner of choice for governments and civil society organizations.”

Imagine! He wants governments and civil society to take the WBCSD as a partner! How’s that for chutzpah?

And he wants accountability:

“An underlying vision is based on sustainable development as a key to addressing the public policy agenda with its focus on development issues, energy and related climate concerns, and ensuring that business is accountable for its actions.”

Accountable to whom? Check the Deutsche Bank and Ricoh ads:

“ Deutsche Bank cooperates with competent partners worldwide including UNEP, the UN Global Compact and the Global Reporting Initiative.”

“To implement its principles on a worldwide basis, Ricoh became a signatory of the UN Global Compact in April 2002, thereby committing itself to the compact’s nine guiding principles, which range from to environment to labor practices and human rights.”

What are the UN Global Compact and the Global Reporting Initiative? Check the UN Global Compact web site:

“Launched in July 2000 by the United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, the Global Compact is an international initiative bringing companies together with UN agencies, labour and civil society to support ten principles in the area of human rights, working conditions, the environment, and ANTI-CORRUPTION.(emphasis mine) Through the power of collective action, the Global Compact seeks to advance responsible corporate citizenship so that business can be part of the solution to the challenges of globalisation. In this way, the private sector -- in partnership with other social actors -- can help realize the Secretary-General’s vision: a more stable and inclusive global economy.

“The Global Compact is a voluntary corporate citizenship initiative endorsed by companies from all regions of the world. It has two objectives:

1. Mainstream the ten principles in business activities around the world
2. Catalyse actions in support of UN goals.

“To achieve these objectives, the Global Compact offers facilitation and engagement through several mechanisms: Leadership Model, Policy Dialogues, Learning, Local Networks and Projects.

“As of June 2004, more than 1,500 companies worldwide had committed to the Global Compact and its principles.”

The principles, now ten, in the areas of human rights, labour, the environment, and ANTI-CORRUPTION (emphasis mine) which the UN claims enjoy universal consensus are:

Principle 1: Businesses should support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights and
Principle 2: make sure that they are not complicit in human rights abuses.
Principle 3: Businesses should uphold the freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining;
Principle 4: the elimination of all forms of forced and compulsory labour;
Principle 5: the effective abolition of child labour; and
Principle 6: the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.
Principle 7: Businesses should support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges;
Principle 8: undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility; and
Principle 9: encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies.
Principle 10: Businesses should work against all forms of corruption, including extortion and BRIBERY (emphasis mine).

By May 2005 it is claimed that over 2000 companies have signed on to the Global Compact. Imagine, more than 2000 companies begging to be supervised by the UN and the WBCSD. However, Bjorn Stigson writes:

“Many companies, especially small and medium-sized firms and those in developing countries have not yet understood or adopted sustainable development. Even progressive companies have more work to do in order to improve their economic, environmental and social performance. The quest for sustainable development is a process and a continuous challenge to improve performance.

“Currently, WBCSD members are addressing a wide range of issues including ethics, accountability, sector projects, AND HOW MARKETS CAN BE USED TO PROMOTE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT.” (emphasis mine)

And he signs off saying:

“I encourage you to visit www.wbcsd.org and learn more about the preeminent business voice on sustainable development and the partner of choice for important international government and civil society organizations regarding vital public policy issues.”

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I, too, encourage you to learn more about the WBCSD and sustainable development. Learn more, lots more.

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Erica Carle is an independent researcher and writer. She has a B.S. degree from the University of Wisconsin. She has been involved in radio and television writing and production, and has also taught math and composition at the private school her children attended in Brookfield, Wisconsin. For ten years she wrote a weekly column, "Truth In Education" for WISCONSIN REPORT, and served as Education Editor for that publication.

Her books are GIVE US THE YOUNG--$5 Plus $2.00 P&H WHY THINGS ARE THE WAY THEY ARE--$16 PLUS $4.00 P&H BOTH BOOKS -- $25 Total. A loose leaf collection of quotes titled, SIX GENERATIONS TO SERFDOM is also available--$15 Plus $2.00 P&H. Mailing address: Erica Carle; PO Box 261; Elm Grove, WI 53122.

E-mail: ericacarle@sbcglobal.net


 

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By May 2005 it is claimed that over 2000 companies have signed on to the Global Compact. Imagine, more than 2000 companies begging to be supervised by the UN...