July 30, 2013
The DI hosted a workshop on July 30, 2013, to discuss a number of emergent issues at the heart of the international development and corporate social responsibility agendas. These discussions offered a look into the evolution of strategic and policy thinking with respect to the role of the private, and mining in particular, in contributing to sustainable development.
One presentation focused on the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development’s approach to sustainable development through the role of the private sector. It was emphasized that the Government recognizes the importance of (1) building natural resource governance capacity by strengthening local governments and regulatory institutions to they can manage the extractive sector transparently and responsibly; (2) growing businesses and improving local economic development through economic diversification and local value creation; and (3) investing in people and enabling local communities to maximize benefits from the extractive sector to promote inclusive growth and community empowerment.
The discussion including profiling some of the organizations being supported by the Government of Canada, including the AMDC, IGF, CIIEID, and EITI. The discussion also provided an update on the G8 Partnerships, notably with respect to Tanzania and Peru.
As well, a presentation on the role of the Trade Commissioner Service examined ways in which this unit works with companies and communities on resource governance issues. The GoC CSR Strategy with its 4 key pillars was presented and discussed.
Finally, the discussion shifted to the global stage, and focused on the role of the private sector vis-à-vis sustainable development and poverty reduction as envisioned in the post-2015 development agenda. A representative from the United Nations discussed the then-recently released post-2015 report, and detailed the various ways in which the private sector is expected to take on an enhanced role in contributing to poverty alleviation and economic development in coming years. Building on the report’s key message, ‘Leave No One Behind,’ it was explained that the global vision for poverty reduction sees a necessity of action by all stakeholder groups, including governments, corporations, citizens, consumers, workers, investors and educators. An emphasis in the report is on the role of partnerships as being one of 5 major transformative shifts from 2015 on. In this, the private sector has a central role to play in the post-2015 development agenda, as the world’s main source of economic activity. The business community has the potential to create value and drive sustainable and inclusive growth of our economies, providing job opportunities and improving livelihoods, especially of young people and women.
The workshop closed with updates from DI members with respect to their existing or planned future work, including on NGO-corporate partnerships.