Corporate Responsibility: Conflict Resolution

The way of how transnational corporations (TNCs) should or could behave in areas of conflict remains largely absent from the agendas of most companies and their stakeholders. Exceptions to this are only the most blatant and negative cases: corporate activities fuelling wars (e.g. “blood diamonds”); corporations generating large profits through personal allegiances (e.g. Kellog, Brown & Root in Iraq); or corporations establishing business leads to e.g. government contracts through corruption (”if we don’t do it, our competitor will”).

By identifying the business case for engagement in conflict prevention and “post-conflict reconstruction”, we would like to participate in the process of reframing the debate on Corporate [Social] Responsibility. And challenge companies’ at best philanthropic CSR-activities of providing piecemeal medicine, food or education, asking questions of business accountabilities as well as opportunities.

We believe that CSR is - and must be, if it wants to be relevant - the door-opener to integrate TNCs into working towards the Millenium Development Goals, and in effect to play a major role in resolving often intractable, almost always violent conflicts. And, that it is on all parties involved to define what this role could be.