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UN: Asian-Pac Corporate Leadership Must Be Legit

New York, Nov 3 2009 2:10PM

Businesses in the Asia-Pacific region are becoming better corporate citizens but often only for display and not for any lasting impact, a leading United Nations official told a regional gathering on trade and investment today.

Noeleen Heyzer, the Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (, addressed more than 200 participants at a meeting in Bangkok on corporate responsibility, saying responsible corporate behaviour can be more effectively harnessed to promote economic growth, social progress and environmental sustainability.

All too often, Ms. Heyzer said, enterprises engage in activities to generate good public relations, instead of activities that will have lasting effect on the communities where they operate.

“[We need] to make sure that we move from that kind of a ‘showcase’ and ensure that corporate social responsibility is integral to business practices, something that will run through the whole production process,” she said.

Today’s meeting was co-organized by ESCAP and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and was held as one of a series of events in the first ever Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Week.


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