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President of Brazil, Primer Minister of Norway and IDB President to inaugurate conference on ethical dimensions of development, July 3-4 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil

Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, president of Brazil; Kjell Magne Bondevik, prime minister of Norway; and Enrique V. Iglesias, Inter-American Development Bank president, will inaugurate a forum entitled   “The Ethical Dimension of Development, New Challenges to States, Private Sector and Civil Society” in Belo Horizonte on July 3.

Aécio Neves, governor of the state of Minas Gerais; and Robson Braga de Andrade, president of the Industrial Federation of the state, will also participate in the opening session.

More than 30 countries will be represented at the conference organized by the IDB, the Government and Federation of Industries of the Brazilian State of Minas Gerais, and the Government of Norway. The meeting will gather political, business and civil society leaders of Brazil, the rest of the Americas and Europe to analyze the pending ethical agenda of Latin America and the Caribbean.

In a special presentation titled “Ethical Challenges; Old and New” Economics Nobel Prize laureate Amartya Sen will talk on the fundamental role of ethics in business and economics. Sen will review accepted and arguable assumptions on the relationships between ethics and economy and will analyze the need for a new global ethic in today’s international economic scenario.

The challenge consists of   “going back to the old great tradition, that of close connections between ethics and economy. Today this tradition could make a significant contribution to Latin America,” according to Iglesias.

The two-day conference, which has already generated wide interest in the region, will consist of plenary sessions and 12 workshops, where subjects such as social capital, corporate social responsibility and the creation of a culture of transparency will be discussed. Participants will also identify specific projects to foster these values in the region.

Presentations will include those of Tarso Genro, Economic and Social Development Council  secretary, Brazil; Luisa Rains, regional IDB deputy manager; Sturla Stalsett of the University of Oslo; Ruth Cardoso, president of Comunidade Solidaria; Antonio Vives, IDB’s Sustainable Development Department deputy manager.

Other speakers are Rebeca Grynspan, director of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, North; Joan Prats, director of the International Institute of Governance, Spain; Oded Grajew, Brazil’s special presidential advisor; and Bernardo Kliksberg, general coordinator of the IDB’s Inter-American Initiative of Social Capital, Ethics and Development.

The conference will focus on "learning from exemplary experiences of social responsibility mobilized by ethics and identify joint projects to serve the region," according to Kliksberg. Paulo Paiva, IDB's vice president for Planning and Administration, will close the event.

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