Business Executives Who Hope to Humanize Globalization

Meeting to Reflect on Their Social Responsibility

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ROME, MARCH 5, 2004 (Zenit.org).- More than 80 Christian business executives, experts and university professors have gathered here to reflect on their social responsibility in the age of globalization.



They were convoked by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and by the International Union of Christian Business Executives (UNIAPAC).

Etienne Wibaux, president of UNIAPAC, explained that their objective of the business conferees is to analyze their personal responsibility to "humanize globalization."

In a statement, UNIAPAC leaders explained to ZENIT that the group "wants to try, in the spirit of the Gospel, to put into practice, and to give substance to Christian social doctrine, while promoting the principles of dignity, justice, universal destination of goods, solidarity, subsidiarity, responsibility and humanity."

UNIAPAC brings together associations of Christian entrepreneurs and business executives that wish to combine business performance with the common good and human development.

Wibaux told Vatican Radio that at the two-day meeting "we have tried to leave to one side the big general questions on globalization to reflect, on the contrary, directly on each entrepreneur, each director and his social responsibility in the context of globalization."

"We ask ourselves what each one can do, as a business executive, through his own business," he said. "It is a change of perspective."

UNIAPAC's president described five issues the conference is addressing:

-- "What are the social and ethical objectives of the company's profits, that is, what do we do, what does the company do with its profits?"

-- "The second topic relates to corruption in business and politics: What can we, business executives, do to fight corruption?"

-- "Third: the social responsibility of the executive in the struggle against poverty. What can we do concretely? What can we do to combat poverty in the planet?"

-- "Fourth question: the development of dependents as persons, despite the business pressures to which we are subjected. We ask ourselves, precisely, what can we do to promote the dignity of man and his development, in a context of competence?"

-- "Fifth question: What is the cultural impact of marketing and of the businesses communications policy? We realize that through our activity, our publications and advertising can influence the way of living and behavior of people. This elicits the question: How can we improve?"

UNIAPAC was founded in 1931 by grouping several European business federations that had had an important role for the Church's social doctrine since the 19th century. In 1958 the post of secretary-general was made full-time, with a fixed office in Brussels.

UNIAPAC was recognized by such international organizations as the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization; the Council of Europe; the International Labor Organization; and the European Community.

The Holy See follows UNIAPAC's activities closely and, since 1957, has appointed priests as spiritual guides. In 1962 UNIAPAC became an ecumenical association. Their meeting in Rome ends Saturday.