|Ethics and cooperation underlie sustainable development|
|Written by Philip Lee, WACC Deputy-Director of Programs|
|Tuesday, 03 July 2012 12:26|
GEF 2012 brought together decision-makers and experts from the private, public, academic and civil society sectors to discuss win-win solutions for business, society and the environment. Some 240 participants from around the world took part in two days of plenary presentations and workshops addressing the need to find credible and common values on which to base fundamental transformations in the economy, business, politics, and civil society.
Based in Geneva, Globethics.net is a global network of people and institutions interested in various fields of applied ethics. It offers access to a large number of resources on ethics, especially through its leading global digital ethics library and facilitates collaborative web-based research, conferences, online publishing and information sharing.
Martin Dahinden, Director-General of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) gave the first keynote presentation on “The Responsibility of Politics, Business and Civil Society for Transformation and Development”. He argued that the private sector has an important role to play in creating the conditions for achieving sustainable and ethical development and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGS) in cooperation with political actors and civil society.
“Rio+20 was an incubator for important projects in the field of sustainable development and in bringing together public and private partners at global level,” he said. Agreeing that the MDGs approach needs rethinking, he saw GEF 2012 as an opportunity to propose new directions.
“We have the technology, knowledge and financial resources to overcome global risks. The decisive question is whether we will be successful in closing the gaps between divergent interests, which requires a dialogue about norms and values. Every solution will affect people differently and will involve a redistribution of responsibility between generations.”
WACC contributed to GEF 2012 in the form of a workshop on the ethics of social media use based on a recent survey of WACC members and invited contributions. Moderated by Alexis Kalagas (The Global Journal), a panel consisting of Philip Lee (WACC), Nathalie Labourdette (European Broadcasting Union), Amy Greber (International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies), and Kristine Greenaway (World Congress of Reformed Churches) explored communication ethics in the context of social media platforms, citizen journalism and its relationship with professional journalism.
Participants in the discussion underlined the need to provide education and guidelines on accountability, media literacy and ethics; to offer adequate resources for social media practitioners including resources in multiple languages; and to explore better articulation of the relationship between journalists and civil society, especially in the context of social transformation and peace-building.
GEF 2012 was the occasion to launch the book Trust and Ethics in Finance: Innovative Ideas from the Robin Cosgrove Prize. The values that guide finance professionals and the core role played by trust in the modern finance industry have been the dominant themes of the best papers submitted for the Robin Cosgrove Prize since it began in 2006. Inviting young people to submit innovative ideas to advance ethical approaches to the world of finance in its many manifestations has stimulated a global debate on the role of ethics and integrity in finance.
At the conference’s final session, Walter Fust, President of the Globethics.net Foundation and an eminent authority on international development issues, said that more concerted efforts are required to mainstream economic and environmental sustainability worldwide. “Many examples of good and best practices have been presented during this conference, “ he said. “These are the seeds for transformation towards more sustainability, justice and ethical responsibility.”
Globethics.net aims to empower people in all regions of the world to reflect and act on ethical issues. In order to ensure access to knowledge resources in applied ethics, Globethics.net has developed its Globethics.net Library, the leading global digital library on ethics. In addition, Globethics.net offers collaborators the opportunity to join or form electronic working groups for purposes of networking or collaborative research.
The international secretariat, based in Geneva, currently concentrates on three topics of research: Business and Economic Ethics, Methodologies of Interreligious Ethics and Responsible Leadership. For further information visit http://www.globethics.net/