Event: Special event of the Peacebuilding Commission and the Global Compact on Business for Peacebuilding

Date/ Location: June 25, 2013, Tuesday; Trusteeship Council

Speakers: H.E. Mr. Ranko Vilovic (Chairperson of UN Peacebuilding Commission); Ms Judy Cheng-Hopkins ( Assistant Secretary General for Peacebuilding support); Mr Georg Kell (Executive director of UN Global Compact); Mr Kebour Ghenma ( Executive Director for Pan African Chamber of Commerce and Industry); Mr Zekrullah Kazemi ( Director of Protina); Mr Christopher Neyor ( National Oil Company of Liberia); Dr Miro Smriga (Director of Ajinomoto); Ms Louise Kantrow ( International Chamber of Commerce); Mr El Iza Mohamedou ( Chief Political Analyst for African Development Bank); Ms Mette Strand Gjerloeff (International Finance Corporation)

Attended by: Janice Hiu Wing Wong, Mary Lam

Written by Janice Hiu Wing Wong

In this conference jointly organized by the Peacebuilding Commission and the Global Compact, the nexus between business and peace is being discussed. Business operations will be affected by political instability directly, especially when there is war or conflict. In this conversation, different roles of different sectors in peacebuilding from the business perspective are included.

Business’s major role in peacebuilding is to create jobs in a responsible manner, which helps to stabilize the economy. Businesses can make tremendous contribution by utilizing their capability, local presence, network and capacity. The founders of International Chamber of Commerce believe that the strong commercial ties between nations in the world economy can prevent wars and armed conflicts from happening. Both Multinational Companies (MNCs) and Local Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) should actively practice business responsibly in fragile conflict regions. They should think globally yet act locally by using local resources in operations.

However, business may face challenges including the lack of access to electricity, financial resources, natural resources, favorable business incentives; also, the lack of experience, management skills, operational know-hows, risk management. In this regard, government should work to provide an enabling environment for businesses to operate by strengthening the rule of law, eradicating corruption and improving transparency; also, to provide incentives for businesses including the provision of funding and access to resources.

Reference: 4 steps of establishing businesses in fragile conflict regions

1. Multinational companies that involve consumable goods should look for and utilize supply and resources that are already present in the local market.

2. Establish partnership with local groups and balance the interest of multiple stakeholders

3. Step down from global partnership and switch to operate in forms of local business venture

4. Extend the business into fragile conflict area when the business has reached maturity already

Edited By : Wayne Dean Doyle

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