Business ‘can broker peace’February 2011
A plea has been made for corporations to be included alongside governments and civil society in peacemaking efforts in trouble-torn countries.
A research paper by the NGO swisspeace says businesses can, among other things, provide valuable mediation and facilitation skills – yet their potential contribution is usually overlooked. It argues that companies can also bring financial leverage to the table, as well as a ‘credibility’ that might be able to build bridges in countries disrupted by conflict.
It talks of isolated examples – in Nepal, Somalia and South Africa, – where companies have acted with some success as mediators, partly out of their own concerns with conducting business safely and profitably.
However, swisspeace says business associations are likely to be more successful in such scenarios than individual companies or business people.
It cites the role of such organizations in Cyprus, where the Brussels Business Group met the political leaders of both Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities.
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