On Wednesday 18th March, EMG took part in the international conference (forum) in Astana on ‘Integrating Responsible Business Conduct Standards into Policy and Practice in Kazakhstan’. The conference was chaired by Kazakhstan’s Legal Policy Research Centre (LPRC) in cooperation with the British Embassy in Astana, the National Chamber of Entrepreneurs of Kazakhstan, Almaty Management University, and United Nations Human Rights.
EMG founder Drs Daan Elffers was one of five international experts on Responsible Business Conduct, alongside Pavel Sulyandziga (member of the UN working group on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations, Russia), Marina Saprykina (head of the Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility, Ukraine), Sara Blackwell (legal and policy associate, International Corporate Accountability Roundtable, USA) and Alexey Moiseev (professor of the diplomatic academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation).
Nazgul Yergaliyeva of the LPRC expressed her gratitude to Drs Elffers:
‘We are grateful to Daan Elffers for his role in providing expertise to independent initiatives on developing CSR strategy in Kazakhstan. After his influential work on advising Kazakhstan experts with the draft document on CSR in 2013, he was our first choice of experts to continue working with on these issues in Kazakhstan in 2015. EMG has brought to us a wealth of knowledge on current trends, issues and solutions regarding CSR, which are extremely valuable to the stakeholders in our country. We are currently working on modalities to make our cooperation sustainable under our program on promoting Responsible Business Conduct standards in Kazakhstan.’
The conference was attended by senior officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry for Investment and Development, the Ministry of Health and Social Development, and the Ministry of National Economy. Also present were the chairman of the committee on ecology and environment, the secretary and members of the committee for economic reform and regional development, the chief expert from the national centre for human rights, executives from various Kazakhstan business associations, and a broad range of corporates, NGOs and international organizations including the Dutch, Finnish and Swiss Ambassadors.
Earlier this year in Davos, the OECD and the government of Kazakhstan signed a memorandum of understanding on a two-year Country Programme, supporting an ambitious set of reforms of Kazakhstan’s policies and institutions. As such, Responsible Business Conduct as part of the standards of the OECD was a key area of focus.
More specifically, the panel discussed opportunities and challenges of incorporating policies on Responsible Business Conduct in a national CSR action plan for Kazakhstan. To read more about EMG’s involvement with the development of a national CSR action plan for Kazakhstan, please click here.