The Voluntary Agenda for Responsible Business was launched last this week by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) on the occasion of the Best Corporate Citizen Awards 2008.
This was developed so that the business sector would now have a set of voluntary principles to enable a multi-stakeholder action.
The CCC statement said the Agenda will help define a role for business in an increasingly complex social context and will be a vehicle for businesses to address all issues of exclusion and deprivation in partnership with the government and civil society. These actions, as far as possible, should be aligned with national priorities, developmental policies, global strategies such as the Millennium Development Goals, Decent Work Programme and the Global Compact.
“Sri Lanka has a tradition of compassion and generosity. Also, the private sector now shoulders part of the burden of development, contributing towards poverty alleviation and provide opportunities for deprived segments of society. In today’s context, contributing to building a peaceful nation is also part of the business sector’s responsibility,” the statement said.
It saidcompanies may use the Agenda as a guide to develop interventions in four ways to become a trusted social partner; Core business activities, Social investment, Policy dialogue, Co-ordination and Action.
The CCC is partnered in this initiative by the Ceylon National Chamber of Industries, The National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka, The Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka, The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon, International Alert, the UN, UNDP, International Labour Organization, Global Compact Network Sri Lanka and the Corporate Volunteerism Network.