Nearshore Americas

Corporate Social Responsibility has a "Permanent Place" in CALA Region

The 7th Inter-American Conference on Corporate Social Responsibility concluded late Thursday.
With a call for a broader commitment to social responsibility, not only from businesses but also from governments and civil society organizations.
More than 1,000 people attended the event, including 130 panelists and over 900 participants from 35 countries. The conference has become “the benchmark meeting on this topic in the region,” Inter-American Development Bank President Luis Alberto Moreno said at the opening of the conference on Wednesday.
Organized by the IDB’s Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), the two-day conference this year was co-sponsored by the Government of Uruguay and the business association DERES, comprising Uruguayan companies active in corporate social responsibility.
“A growth strategy based on enterprises that are successful in societies that aren’t cannot be sustained over the long term,” MIF General Manager Julie T. Katzman said at the closing ceremony. “In Latin America and the Caribbean,” she added, “there are still 130 million people living on two dollars or less per day,” a situation she described as requiring more equitable access to basic services, markets, financing, and education.
In closing the conference, Katzman was accompanied by Uruguay’s Director of Planning and Budget, Martín Dibarboure, and the president of DERES, Bolívar Conti. All three noted the need to broaden the social responsibility concept to include all social actors and shaping the activities of governments, public and private enterprises, trade unions and other civil society organizations.
Another conclusion they shared was the certainty that the notion of corporate social responsibility has consolidated its role in society and now had a permanent place in the region.
“Enterprises that fail to grasp the fact that social responsibility adds value when it is strategic and tied in with the enterprise’s core business will miss major economic opportunities,” Katzman said.
In closing, Trinidad and Tobago’s undersecretary for Planning, Housing and the Environment, Joseph Howard, invited participants to meet next year for the 8th conference, scheduled to be held in Port of Spain.

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Kirk Laughlin

Kirk Laughlin is an award-winning editor and subject expert in information technology and offshore BPO/ contact center strategies.

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