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Meeting to debate private sector role in development draws more than 500 participants to Salvador, Brazil

More than 500 participants from 20 countries are attending the IV Inter-American Conference on Corporate Social Responsibility  under the theme Good Business for All  in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, December 10-12. The event is sponsored by the Inter-American Development Bank, Instituto ETHOS and the Federação das Indústrias do Estado da Bahia (FIEB).

The conference was opened by IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno, who underscored the importance of corporate social responsibility for development; the President of Ethos, Ricardo Young; the

Governor Elect of Bahia, Jaques Wagner; the actual Governor of Bahia, Eraldo Tinoco; Patrus Ananias, Minister of Social Development of Brazil; and Jorge Lins Freire, President of the Federation of Industries of Bahia. 

“We must go one step further,” said IDB Sustainable Development Department Manager a.i., Antonio Vives. “looking at the longer term where firms are not only responsible for the impact of their activities on society and the environment but where they realize that it is their best individual and collective interest to contribute to economic development, while doing business in a profitable manner,” added Vives. "Responsability is putting your power at the service of society,” said the President of the IBM Foundation Stan Litow.

The yearly meeting has become an important focal point for the discussion of corporate social responsibility (CSR) in the Americas. The event  has a regional emphasis, concentrating on the impact of CSR in equitable economic and social development, emphasizing on the contribution to development of a responsible private sector, the role of the State in creating a conducive environment for CSR, civil society in CSR and strategic alliances for development.

Sixteen parallel sessions were covering subjects such as transparency and corporate governance, accountability and reporting, strengthening civil society, business ethics, labor conditions, social investment, fair trade, the Millennium Development Goals, multi-stakeholder alliances, vulnerable populations, gender and indigenous populations, responsible supply chain, the environment, access to economic opportunities for all.

The book The Private Sector and Millennium Development Goals was launched during the event. It was co-produced by the IDB and IKEI.

The next Inter-American Conference on Corporate Social Responsibility will take place in November 2007 in Ciudad de Guatemala.

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