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Globethics.net Newsletter no 8 / 2012

October 2012

  In this issue

 

  • The Globethics.net Libraries
    New: African Law Library
    GlobeTheoLib consortium meets in Geneva
    GlobeTheoLib portal now available in Chinese
    New library agreements
    European Commission supports Open Access measures for research
  • Globethics.net Network
    Apply to become a Globethics.net National Contact
    Interact with the ethics community: Blogs and Forum
     
  • Research/Projects
    International conference calls for new global financial and economic architecture
    New: First truly Global Survey on Business Ethics now available
    Publication of Global Ethis Forum 2012 report; carrying on the discussion
Editorial by Christoph Stückelberger 

Transparency yes - Fanaticism no!

A colleague, who has been working for many years in an international organization in Geneva, recently received a letter from his bank in Switzerland informing him that his bank account would be closed. Today, none of the banks in Switzerland – and also increasingly banks in other European countries – is willing to open a bank account for a US citizen. The new very strict US-legislations, American legal threats and enormous administrative efforts have resulted in this impasse. Honest citizens are treated almost like criminals. 

For over 25 years I have been engaged in the campaign against money laundering, arguing for tax justice and more transparency in financial transactions. Fighting money laundering, hindering tax evasion and promoting a white money strategy that overcomes black money markets are important steps towards a more ethical financial system.  International tax justice is essential. However, if this policy becomes fanatical, it would punish millions of correct, honest citizens and would still not ensure that financial criminals are caught. It is better to catch only 90 percent of criminals than 95 percent if we can maintain the necessary amount of trust, human dignity and respect. Regulation must be balanced with self-responsibility, justice must be balanced with freedom. Justice and love embrace each other. Therefore, yes to transparency, no to fanaticism.

Christoph Stückelberger, Executive Director and Founder of Globethics.net

 

The Globethics.net Libraries

New: African Law Library

As of 1 October 2012, a large new project started at Globethics.net:  The African Innovation Foundation has mandated Globethics.net to implement on the Globethics.net portal, the African Online Library on Law and Governance (African Law Library ALL for short). It aims at becoming the leading, innovative online portal for African Law and Governance through which manifold synergies can be created. 

The difficulty of accessing legal texts in many African countries is an obstacle for developing a stable rule of law (and thereby strengthening the countries themselves) and for attracting international foreign direct investment. A transparent and disclosed corpus juris, consisting of law texts, court decisions and secondary literature would help to strengthen justice, accountability, predictability, to reduce arbitrariness, to enhance trust in government and administration, to empower the poor and therefore stabilize the democracy.

At present, even in law schools and Universities, students are often trained and educated based on foreign law texts because their national law texts are not available, or unaffordable! To provide students, researchers, teachers, practitioners and the population as a whole with better access to their own African corpus juris, will therefore ultimately also strengthen their identity.

The goal of this library is to create a public good from Africans for Africans and for worldwide users interested in African law and governance, for free. 

The ALL project in its first period is planned for 2012-2014. Three full time staff have been hired and have already joined the Globethics.net team in Geneva:

•  Dr. Ghislain Patrick Lessène, Law Expert African Law Library, from the Central African Republic
•  Rosa Abaa Hänseler, Project Coordinator African Law Library, Cameroon
•  John Miller, Library Officer African Law Library, Great Britain

More about ALL will be published in the next Globethics.net newsletter mid November 2012. 

 

GlobeTheoLib Consortium meets in Geneva

The GlobeTheoLib Consortium held its annual meeting in Geneva in September 2012. The meeting participants were told that about 10'000 people have signed up for GlobeTheoLib since it was launched in September 2011 as a joint project of Globethics.net and the World Council of Churches (WCC), with more than 20 regional and international organizations belonging to the Consortium.  The annual meeting welcomed two new members of the Consortium: the Senate of Serampore College (University), and the European Theological Libraries association, known by its French acronym BETH.

A report from the meeting of the WCC Central Committee in Crete in August 2012 highlighted GlobeTheoLib "as an example of a project which the WCC was particularly well placed to undertake and where benefits far outweighed costs". Read more
 

GlobeTheoLib portal now available in Chinese

Chinese-language users now have access to the full GlobeTheoLib portal in Chinese (www.globethics.net/zh_CN/web/gtl), alongside English, French, German and Spanish. The version in Indonesian is in preparation. Documents are available and may be submitted in any language.
 

New library agreements

 

There are new library agreements with the following organizations:

JABES, the Japanese Business Ethics Society. Over 400 articles of the Japanese Business Ethics Journal will be integrated in the Globethics.net library.

http://ci.nii.ac.jp/search?lang=en&q=jabes&range=0&sortorder=1&start=1&count=20


CLAI, the Latin American Council of Churches, to make available  Ribla: the Revista de Interpretación Bíblica Latinoamericana (the Review of Latin American Biblical Interpretation): http://www.globethics.net/web/11992334

The International Commission of the Ecumenical Association of Third World Theologians – EATWOT – for its journal Voices:  http://www.globethics.net/web/voices

The Etica & Politica Journal (Ethics and Politics): http://www.globethics.net/web/11764230?layoutPlid=4297669

Studies of Changing Societies (Journal): http://www.globethics.net/web/studies-of-changing-societies/journal-description

Qurtuba University of Science & Information Technology, to make available: The Dialogue - Journal:  http://www.globethics.net/web/the-dialogue?layoutPlid=4297669

The Earth Charter Initiative: The Earth Charter is a universal expression of ethical principles to foster sustainable development. This institutional collection is under progress.


European Commission supports Open Access measures for research

The European Commission has outlined measures to improve access to scientific information produced in Europe, by promoting broader and more rapid access to scientific papers and data. As of 2014, all articles produced with funding from Horizon 2020 (the EU's Research and Innovation funding programme) will have to be accessible either immediately by the publisher ('Gold' open access), or researchers will make their articles available through an open access repository no later than six or 12 months after publication ('Green' open access). The Commission has also recommended that Member States take a similar approach to the results of research funded under their own domestic programmes. Read more 

Globethics.net Network

Apply to become a Globethics.net National Contact

Globethics.net has regional programmes in China, India, Indonesia, Eastern Africa  and Francophone Africa. In many other countries, thousands of participants are registered and regularly ask for more contact within their country. Registered participants of Globethics.net also offer themselves as national contact persons to promote and coordinate Globethics.net in a country. The Globethics.net International Board of Foundation approved at its last meeting a concept for such National Contacts. Globethics.net is looking for dynamic individuals for this task. Required are ethical individuals who have a good reputation, can offer 10 to 20 percent of their time on a voluntary basis for free and are linked to an institution in order to enable some stability for this task. The position gives a national and international outreach and possibilities of additional networking on ethics.
Deadline for applications: 30 November 2012. More details about the profile and application form can be downloaded here: http://www.globethics.net/web/ge/about-us/regional-programmes


Interact with the ethics community: Blogs and Forums

As a Globethics.net participant there are many ways you can interact with the community and share your thoughts and findings.

You have something to share? Use your blog for example to share what inspires you, your reactions to current affairs and issues or share your reflection about what your ethical world is or isn't.

The Network homepage gives you an overview of the recent posts. The image below shows you where you can find the blog on your profile and the buttons to use to set up a blog entry.

Remember that "My Globethics.net" page is your central hub. On this page you can keep all of your favourite journals, library documents, and links to workgroups that you are a member of in one place.

The Globethics.net Forum, which you can easily find under the menu "Network", also offers you the possibility to express yourself on the subject of your choice. React to the posts already published or create new threads.

Last entries:

General Forum: Gandhian Marxism with Ethics and Values of Sustainability

Youth Forum: Cooperation and Unity is needed in solving the Conflict in Somalia

Send them a reply!

You have new publication? Announce it under category no8: "New Publications of Globethics.net Participants".

 

Research/Projects

International conference calls for new global financial and economic architecture

New legally binding regulations for financial markets and investments are needed alongside the promotion of ethical finance initiatives, Globethics.net Executive Director Christoph Stückelberger told an international conference in Brazil in October on developing new global economic structures (read more). The conference was organised by the World Communion of Reformed Churches, the World Council of Churches and the Council for World Mission to explore a new international economic and financial architecture. A final statement recommends a series of actions including the formation of an ecumenical school of governance, economics, and management and setting up a global commission initiated by the ecumenical movement to take forward the work of the Commission of Experts on Reforms of the International Monetary and Financial System, chaired by economist Joseph Stiglitz. Globethics.net Programme Executive Stephen Brown also attended the conference as a representative of the World Association for Christian Communication, a Globethics.net partner.
 

New: First truly Global Survey on Business Ethics now available

 

“Gobal Survey in Business Ethics in Teaching, Training and Research” is the title of the 400 page book which is now available online for free in the Globethics.net library and under the Globethics.net Publications (http://www.globethics.net/web/ge/research/publications) and in print by email at infoweb@globethics.net for only 13 USD (South)/25 USD (North). 

It is the first truly global survey on the question, how are business ethics and corporate social responsibility (CSR) present in teaching, training and research in the different countries and continents around the world. In 2009, Globethics.net under the leadership of Prof. Deon Rossouw from South Africa started this survey with nine continental/regional coordinators and over 70 national contributors. They evaluated data from online questionnaires, literature research and manifold direct contacts to researchers. The survey includes extended reports from Central Asia, East Asia, South and South East Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, Europe, Latin America, North America and Oceania, complete with introductory and comparative chapters.

The survey includes highly interesting comparative observations on the different terminologies used (business ethics, economic ethics, CSR etc.), the regional thematic prevalence, the teaching systems and differences in making it a mandatory subject and what themes are seen as emerging in the coming years. Most important is that business ethics is no longer a field that belongs only to Europe and North America. “Business and economic ethics has become a truly global field with activity related to training, teaching and research”, concluded Deon Rossouw (p. 391).

An additional fruit of the survey is the Directory of Business Ethics Experts of Globethics.net. It lists almost 500 handpicked business ethics experts who participated in the survey. It can be consulted and is fully searchable at www.globethics.net/web/ge/network/search-the-directories/directory-of-business-ethics.

 

 

Publication of Global Ethics Forum 2012 Report

The Report of the third Global Ethics Forum (GEF) organized by Globethics.net, which took place from 28 to 30 June 2012 in Geneva (Switzerland), is now available online at http://www.globethics.net/web/ge/research/publications 

The Report summarises the key messages and outcomes of the Global Ethics Forum as part of the on going engagement process and dialogue that began at the Global Ethics Forum 2009 on issues related to business ethics and sustainable development in all sectors worldwide. It outlines the areas where the Global Ethics Forum Workgroups and participants should focus their efforts towards ethical transformation and the next steps, which the participants agreed to take as part of the process during the months until the next Global Ethics Forum  Conference in 2014.

Carrying on the discussion

“The challenge for societies, companies and governments is to create inclusive and sustainable growth” said S.D. Shibulal, CEO and Co-Founder of Infosys, India, and Co-Chair of the Forum, in his speech at the opening of 2012 conference. He went on to say that, ”Interaction, insight and impact – the three “Is” – is what is needed to make progress on the world’s pressing problems, offer leadership, and move to sustainable, inclusive growth.”

“Participants in the Forum should demand ethics in their professional, political and private activities” urged Walter Fust, President of the Globethics.net Foundation in his message to the 2012 Forum.

 “Today the issue is sustainable capitalism and the concept of ethics, or intellectual honesty... Businesses speak of adding value. In the days of Milton Friedman, this was monetary value: the business of business was business. But the business model today of the leading companies such as Coca-Cola, Procter & Gamble, and Unilever is completely different from their model then. Today, such companies add value in a triple context: commerce, the social impact of their business model, and its impact on the natural assets of planet earth. It is no longer acceptable for the bottom line to come at the expense of society and the environment.” concluded Mervyn King, Co-Chair of the Global Ethics Forum and Chairman of the International Integrated Reporting Committee, in his speech at the closing plenary for the 2012 Forum.

To continue the discussion, in addition to the online open forum on Business Ethics available on the Globethics.net platform at www.globethics.net/web/ge/network/globethics.net-forum/-/message_boards/category/4295285,  Globethics.net will offer updates twice a month on the global state of business ethics and CSR that will cover publications, initiatives,  and events taking place worldwide.

All the presentations, background documents from speakers and participants, together with the 2012 conference programme and the lists of speakers and partners are available on the Globethics.net site at www.globethics.net/web/gef/conference2012 and at www.globethics.net/web/gef/documentation.

For photographs, videos and audios files of the 2012 Global Ethics Forum Conference please consult:
Flickr for photos: www.flickr.com/globethicsnet
YouTube for video: www.youtube.com/user/Globethics
PodBean for audio: globethicsnet.podbean.com/
Moreover our Facebook page can be reached at www.facebook.com/Globethics.net and we are also present on Twitter @Globethicsnet and you can use the hashtag #GlobalEthicsForum.

 

News from the International SecretariatWelcome to new staff

We are pleased to extend a warm welcome to the new Library Assistant Mélisande Lorke. She will be with Globethics.net until November 2013 working 50 percent for the Global Digital Library on Theology and Ecumenism, GlobeTheoLib. She is also working 50 percent with the Ecumenical Theological Education programme of the World Council of Churches.
Mélisande studied Protestant Theology at the University of Greifswald, Germany, and Geneva, Switzerland, and holds a Master of Theology. She is half German, half Thai and was raised by a Christian father and a Buddhist mother and as a result she is interested in interreligious ethics and ecumenism.
 

African Law Library

The new African Law Library project was launched on 1 October 2012 with three new staff: Law Expert Dr Ghislain Patrick Lessène; Project Coordinator Rosa Abaa Hänseler; and Library Officer John Miller.

Dr Ghislain Patrick Lessène has been a lecturer/researcher at the Centre for Education and Research in Humanitarian Action in Geneva and at the Faculty of Law of the University of Caen Basse-Normandie (France) since 2009. He holds a PhD in Law from the Faculty of Law, University of Geneva, a Masters in Law from the University of Bangui (Central African Republic), a Masters in Human Rights and Democracy from the UNESCO Chair of Human Rights and of the University of Abomey-Calavi (Benin) and a Diploma in Advanced Studies in International Humanitarian Law at the University Centre for International Humanitarian Law (UCIHL).

He has worked as consultant and legal adviser to the Africa Program of the Association for Prevention of Torture (APT) in Geneva and provides expert advice to several international and African NGOs. He has collaborated with a number of research projects on Law in Africa.
lessene@africanlawlibrary.net

Rosa Abaa Hänseler from Cameroon joined the Globethics.net Geneva team as Project and Network Assistant in December 2011 to work on the Global Ethics Forum conference 2012. She was appointed as Project Coordinator for the African Law Library on 1 September 2012.

She studied agronomy and economics, holds a Master in intercultural communication and is a graduate in development studies and cooperation. She has broad experience in project management, capacity building and intercul-tural mediation in Cameroon and in Switzerland. She started her career as a social and economic advisor for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in Cameroon.
haenseler@africanlawlibrary.net

John Miller from Aberdeen, Scotland joins the African Law Library team as Library Officer on 1 November 2012. He has been Chief Librarian and Sustainability Management Focal Point at UNESCO headquarters in Paris since November 2006. His other posts have included Library Director for the College of Europe in Bruges, Regional Information Coordinator for Eastern and Southern Europe for the British Council, Assistant Director of Libraries and Automation for the Open Media Research Institute and Library Director of the Central European University in Prague.

Mr Miller is a chartered librarian, holds a degree in history, politics and international relations, has studied law, and has a qualification in carbon accounting.

miller@africanlawlibrary.net
 

 

News from the Regional Programmes

National Essay Competition India: Towards a corruption free India

Globethics.net India invites the youth of India to document their views, comments, opinions and research on the topic, “Towards a Corruption Free India: Role of Individuals, Educational Institutions and Businesses.” This essay competition embodies the quest for a rational approach, realistic outlook and ethical openness that would bring about lasting and tangible solutions to contain the menace of corruption which is growing in leaps and bounds.

AwArds

The best papers will receive a certificate and a cash prize as follows:

1. First Place (only one entry) : INR 20'000

2. Second Place (2 entries each) : INR 10'000

3. Third Place (2 entries each) : INR 5'000

 

A Consolation Prize of Rs. 2'000 and certificate would be awarded to next 5 best entries.

Deadline for submission 30 November 2012

For more information please see the flyer about the competition.