the national or international level; others, again, take the position that it is already here and we are already doing it, said Kennedy.
The scope of corporate responsibility varies country by country, region by region, interest group by interest group. At a minimum, it includes environmental issues but it also takes on social, ethical, governance, health, and other issues. Potentially, it is a very broad concept to cover, and it is a challenge for the business community.
As a follow-up from the world summit on sustainable development in Johannesburg in 2000, the United Nations developed Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) with the implications for corporate responsibility, environmental, and health issues. One hundred ninety-one UN member states endorsed the Millennium Declaration. There are 18 MDGs grouped around eight goals, most of them having 15–20 objectives.
The main notion of MDGs is that it is not just governments, but also other interest groups in society that are expected now to carry out the commitments. It is clear in the international arena that companies are increasingly expected and, in some cases, required to take on roles and responsibilities that are traditionally those of governments. Today’s world and its markets are globalized, and the international impacts are unmistakable, said Kennedy. What happens internationally matters to companies in the United States. There’s not a one-size-fits-all solution for corporate responsibility, which makes it quite a challenge as we are looking for an internationally-agreed-upon approach.
There are several references to health-related issues in MDGs, such as reduction of the mortality rate of children under 5 years by two-thirds, reduction of maternal mortality by three-quarters, and attempting to decrease the incidence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), malaria, and other major diseases. Other health-related issues targeted in MDGs are safe drinking water and concern for slum dwellers’ health. Finally, under the heading of a global partnership for development, there are two points: (1) access to medicines in cooperation with pharmaceutical companies and the private sector, and (2) make available benefits of new technologies, especially information and communications technology.
Another CSR incentive called the World Summit on Sustainable Development focuses on implementation and execution that is synchronous with the finance and trade negotiations of Monterey and Doha. According to the WTO, the November 2001 declaration of the Fourth Ministerial Conference in Doha, Qatar, provides the mandate for negotiations on a range of subjects, and other work including issues concerning the implementation of the present agreements (WTO, 2004). At the Summit on Financing for Development in Monterey, Mexico, delegates from participating nations pledged new resources for development