CSR and development aid
CSR has become a key issue in formulating new models of development and promotion of fundamental rights, even of certain forms of democracy, and attracts almost universal interest, from the public sphere as well as from business organisations and civil society. The application of CSR has multiple effects:
Promoting compliance with local social, environmental, human rights and anti-corruption legislation, the application of which may frequently be uneven in developing countries, is a primary step towards establishing and promoting the rule of law in a manner perceived as less "arrogant" than when specifically spelling out the various components;
Contributing to compliance with the fundamental texts of international law - fundamental because they are universal - in every aspect of CSR helps to promote universal adoption of the values we share, countering criticisms levelled at the "culturalist" nature of the body of international law built up since 1945;
Contributing to the formulation of universally respected international business standards (CSR standards) encourages all the global economic players to abide by common rules, thereby reducing unfair competition;
Supporting CSR also helps to promote the production of goods and services that contribute to economic, social and societal progress, particularly for the poor. Such is the aim of programmes to encourage the development of social entrepreneurship, the production of goods and services aimed at the poor and including them in the production of these basic goods and services ("base of the pyramid" and "inclusive business" approaches), or the development of fair trade.
As part of its review of its development aid policy, the French government has initiated a process of reflection on the role of CSR, a subject addressed by one of the workshops held during the Development and International Solidarity Conference