Committee on Corporate Social Responsibility

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has in recent years moved from merely a tool to create a better public image for corporations to a necessity to many transnational corporations (TNCs). This is also reflected in the emergence of CSR in more IIAs (UNCTAD, 2012, p. 55), such as the Brazilian CFIA. It is defined as a “management concept, whereby companies integrate social and environmental concerns in their business operations and interactions with stakeholders” (UNIDO, 2018). These guidelines are an important tool for raising the standard of living of countries. It can contribute to responsible investment and behavior by corporations, promote sustainable investments in line with environmental or economic goals (UNCTAD, 2015, p. 49). This, in turn, balances investor and state interests. For example, the ability to invest easily for investors is balanced by the states desire for sustainable investment. Further, CSR may contribute to sustainable development as well as the prevention of money laundering.

 

The Committee on Corporate Social Responsibility is to discuss and define socially responsible practices. Further, the Committee is to discuss whether, CSR merely covers societal issues, such as humanitarian rights and corruption, or also economic and environmental considerations. In addition, the Committee shall discuss what the minimum requirements of social responsibility for corporations are. That is, how responsible are corporations for ensuring humanitarian standards within their company. Further, monitoring and impact measurements play an important role in upholding CSR (UNCTAD, 2015, p. 49). Therefore, the Committee shall also discuss methods for ensuring and enforcing CSR and its implementation in TNCs. In this regard, the Committee shall also discuss the involvement of the WTO. That is either through the incorporation of CSR into trade rules or possibly the monitoring or enforcement of CSR by the WTO. Finally, the Committee shall bring all of these points of discussion together in either as part of a new regulatory agreement or within an existing agreement.

 

Resources for this discussion can be BITs such as the Brazilian CFIA, as well as the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.

 

 

Author of the Committees 2018:
Marisa Menzel (marisa.menzel@model-wto.org)
Model WTO Head of Simulation Design