This summer an innovative intercultural study project between UNYA Switzerland and UNYA Ghana sets new standards for global collaboration between UN Youth associations.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has gained increased global attention in the recent years for its potential to tackle future global challenges of conflicting demands. Situated in between major global actors, CSR is a tool targeting companies and businesses to uphold certain ethical standards in their practices. It is an attempt to balance the global economy and build a stronger global social and environmental equilibrium.
In 2000, CSR received an important input when former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan launched the Global Compact. This initiative is a platform, which brings together companies, UN Agencies and civil society actors to sustain fundamental principles in areas such as human rights, labor conditions, environment and non-corrupt business.
As a result of the increased attention for CSR within the United Nations, members of UNYA Switzerland engaged with UNYA Ghana in January 2013 to launch the Intercultural Study Project (ISP). The project focuses on CSR in three industries: Cocoa production, Water and Palm oil. Through a workshop in collaboration with the Graduate Institute for International and Development Studies, the International Labor Organization and UN Development Program, participants are given theoretical knowledge about the Global Compact and CSR in general. These sessions provide the basis for a second workshop in Switzerland to analyze the CSR strategy of the Swiss multinational company Nestlé. In August, on the occasion of a three-week long study-trip to Ghana, ideas on the importance and potential of CSR will be exchanged between Swiss and Ghanaian UNYA members. In addition to that, workshops with local NGOs, academic scholars, civil society and Nestlé Ghana are planned. The aim is to get a clear picture of how a CSR concept developed in Switzerland impacts the business in Ghana and how it could be improved. The detailed outcome of the project will be presented to the partners and the public at a panel discussion in September back in Switzerland.
For more information, please visit UNYA Switzerland website.