UNCTAD Secretary-General Supachai Panitchpakdi and University of Geneva Rector Jean-Dominique Vassalli have announced the creation of the Sustainability Research Centre, a joint virtual research centre to facilitate collaboration between the two organizations in the area of corporate social responsibility.
UNCTAD Secretary-General Supachai Panitchpakdi and University of Geneva Rector Jean-Dominique Vassalli.
Back row from left: Vittorio Mainetti (UNIGE) Mongi Hamdi, James Zhan and Anthony Miller (UNCTAD)
At a side-event to UNCTAD's Investment, Enterprise and Development Commission taking place this week in Geneva, UNCTAD and the University of Geneva (UNIGE) signed a new Memorandum of Understanding on 28 September 2012 to create the joint virtual research centre.
The Sustainability Research Centre strengthens ties between the two institutions, and will focus on research and events related to corporate social responsibility (CSR).
"Sustainability and corporate social responsibility are important cross-cutting issues for investment, enterprise and development," said Mr. Supachai Panitchpakdi. "UNCTAD welcomes the opportunity to further build on its work in this area through stronger collaboration with the academic community."
"As an institution devoted to research, teaching and dialogue, the University of Geneva is always open to new collaborations," said Mr. Jean-Dominique Vassalli. "Indeed, we embrace the Aristotelian philosophy that the whole is more than the sum of its parts, and believe that, in order to tackle a global challenge like sustainability, joining forces with the right institution is more effective than each working on their side."
In the first phase, two students of the International Organizations MBA, Ms. Jessica Mullins and Ms. Laura Rodríguez, have already started work assisting with research for UNCTAD's World Investment Report and its Sustainable Stock Exchanges initiative.
"Corporate social responsibility helps to maximize the sustainable development impact of investment and global value chains," observed James Zhan, Director of UNCTAD's Investment and Enterprise Division. "In our work for the G20 and in our World Investment Report, we have put forward a range of policy options to strengthen the CSR practices of transnational corporations."
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