UNDP seeks nominees for the 2013 Business for Peace Award

14 Nov 2012

Paris - The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the Oslo-based Business for Peace Foundation are seeking nominees for the 2013 Business for Peace Award, a global honour accorded to inspiring business leaders and entrepreneurs who combine ethical responsibility with business success.

The independent jury that will choose the seven honourees includes Nobel laureates Muhammad Yunus, whose Grameen Bank pioneered micro-lending worldwide, and A. Michael Spence, Professor Emeritus of Management at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business and Board Member of the ICC Research Foundation.

“We are delighted to be a partner of the Business for Peace Awards, encouraging businesspeople to foster peace and stability to the benefit of humanity,” said ICC Secretary General Jean-Guy Carrier. “As the world business organization, ICC is proud to show how ethical business conduct is not only good for business but good for global living standards and good for peace.”

The Oslo Business for Peace Award is the highest distinction for outstanding businessworthy accomplishments. The 2012 award attracted more than 90 nominees from 60 nations.

“The Oslo Business for Peace Award aims to create a better union between business and society, where each contributes to the other," said Per L. Saxegaard, Chairman of the Business for Peace Foundation. "Our goal is to inspire business leaders to be businessworthy, to have them apply their business energy with the purpose of creating economic value that also creates value for society. With this goal in mind, we search the world for business leaders who are trailblazers in showing that a strong bottom line is compatible with the higher purpose of promoting societal progress. The honourees who have been selected by our independent committee of Nobel Prize recipients are all strong exemplars of the merit of this idea.”

The 2012 Business for Peace winners said their award was inspiring ethical business practice in others.

Heba El-Kholy, Director, Oslo Governance Centre, Democratic Governance Group, Bureau for Development Policy, United Nations Development Programme said: “UNDP recognizes that the private sector has an essential role to play in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and sustainable human development and believes the Business for Peace Awards can make an important contribution to promoting inclusive growth, environmental sustainability , gender equality and democratic governance’.

One 2012 honouree, Latifur Rahman, of Bangladesh, believes the Business for Peace Award’s “socially responsible and ethical business criteria” have struck a chord among his peers. He said: “I have been overwhelmed by the enthusiastic felicitations from a cross-section of the Bangladeshi business community on my being honoured with the prestigious Oslo Business for Peace Award 2012. I believe the award will encourage the business community in Bangladesh to practice and strive to uphold the guiding principles of the Business for Peace Foundation.”

Eduardo Eurnekian, of Argentina, who is also a 2012 honouree said: “It is up to businessmen of today to hand on a patrimony of values to future generations, to nourish their vitality and initiatives. May the significance of this award – and its desire for peace and freedom – continue to inspire men and women in every time and place.”

The award ceremony, on 14 May 2013 in Oslo, Norway, will be hosted by the City of Oslo, the Oslo Business for Peace Foundation with support from ICC, and the International Herald Tribune as official global media partner.

Governing Mayor of Oslo Stian Berger Roesland said: “Oslo is pleased to be a part of this unique initiative. The city has followed the development of the Business for Peace Award with great interest, and is impressed by the position it has achieved in just a few years. See you in Oslo!”

ICC is already receiving award nominations from its global network of local representative offices and chambers of commerce.

Discussing the award presented to 2012 honouree Vladas Lasas, business magnate Richard Branson said: “It is wonderful to see business leaders try to make a real difference…and becoming a force for good.”

Vladas Lasas, CEO/Founder of Skubios siuntos UAB Kaunas & UPS/Lithuania, added: "The Business for Peace Awards offer excellent encouragement, inspiration and opportunity to all business leaders, helping them to think beyond ‘business only’, and escalating the best they do locally to a global level.