Corporate Social Responsibility
CSR logo "CSR is an important element of our overall work programme, which seeks to bring together key stakeholders that can promote responsible international investment practices and contribute to sustainable development around the world."
Mr. James Zhan
Director, Division on Investment and Enterprise, UNCTAD
2013 UNCTAD Global CSR Retreat


Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is significant dimension of international investment and development. The CSR policies of TNCs, through foreign investment and global value chains, can influence the social and environmental practices of businesses worldwide and the sustainable development prospects of home and host countries. The Division's work in this area seeks to analyze policies on CSR with a view to identifying best practices for maximizing the development impact of corporate activities, in particular by TNCs (Accra Accord, para.152). The Division's work on CSR covers research, consensus building and technical assistance activities.

The Division's research on CSR features in the annual World Investment Report (WIR) and other specialized reports for member States. CSR in global value chains was addressed in the 2013 WIR (Chapter IV) and the 2012 WIR (Chapter III) and an in-depth report "Corporate Social Responsibility in Global Value Chains - Evaluation and monitoring challenges for small and medium sized suppliers in developing countries." Global CSR standards and their role in international investment was the topic of the 2011 WIR (Chapter III) and a special report to the G20 High-Level Development Working Group "Promoting standards for responsible investment in value chains."

The Division's consensus building and technical assistance work is strengthened by the Interagency Roundtable on CSR. The CSR Roundtable brings together CSR experts from international organizations and their development partners to explore current topics in CSR, share experiences and identify opportunities for collaboration. The CSR Roundtable was initiated in 2011 by UNCTAD in cooperation with the ILO and the OECD as an outcome of their joint 2011 G20 project.

The Division created the Global CSR Retreat to provide capacity building for the CSR officers of TNCs. A pilot retreat was successfully conducted in 2013 in partnership with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) with funding from the German Government.



16 October 2014New toolkit on the horizon for institutional investors, companies and foundations to invest in the Sustainable Development Goals
03 October 2013UNCTAD hosts GRULAC ambassadorial round table on corporate social responsibility
17 March 2013UNCTAD hosts first Global Corporate Social Responsibility Retreat
University of Geneva
29 November 2012UNCTAD and University of Geneva launch joint Sustainability Research Centre
Corporate Social Responsibility
12 November 2012Putting the Rio corporate social responsibility agenda into action: Inter-agency Roundtable on CSR
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