Role of business sector and its peacebuilding potential need to be redefined in Belt and Road Initiative, experts blog

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Author: Bernardo Mariani and Tang Xiaomin, Saferworld

[此中文翻译由企业责任资源中心提供]

““一带一路2.0”:让商界参与”,2019年10月16日

…我们在维也纳参加了由American International Group与Roland Berger, Chatham House和Vienna Insurance Group合办的关于中国“一带一路”倡议的会议。这次会议是一个宝贵的机会,可以深入了解“一带一路”沿线受冲突影响和脆弱国家中企业在处理和平方面的作用。

…小组成员指出,中国的政商人士越来越意识到在“一带一路”沿线实施项目的挑战以及采用新方法的必要性…

从几个不同的角度解决了“一带一路”倡议缺乏透明度的问题…几位小组成员讨论了创造更多公平竞争环境的必要性,以激励国际企业并分享管理大型基础设施和融资项目的最佳实践……

在与社区互动的小组讨论中,我们听到了一些研究表明,在诸如中亚,南高加索和白俄罗斯的背景下,“一带一路”倡议的人文支柱被大大忽略了。官方发布六年后,这些国家的公众看法仍然参差不齐。向“一带一路”沿线国家的社区提供相关信息,并鼓励包容性对话和公众参与重大项目决策,很大程度上取决于东道国的外部投资者和决策者的良好意愿。

这项倡议将根据它为生活在受不发达,冲突和不稳定因素影响的人们带来的改变作为判断。我们借此机会强调“一带一路”项目与受冲突影响和脆弱环境中的和平与安全之间的相互作用,其中,沿一带一路运营的公司和当地人民的真正双赢取决于对当地的了解,对不同冲突驱动因素的敏感性以及与社区的真诚对话。

… 对于那些受到安全威胁以及政治和种族紧张局势可能导致暴力的国家而言,其成功将取决于企业如何认可,理解和参与脆弱性和冲突。有必要重新定义商界的角色及其建设和平的潜力…企业不仅要着眼于如何最大程度地降低其投资的风险,还需要从整体角度看待风险,并研究如何在风险管理中采取更有效的方法。应对复杂的冲突动态 – 帮助公司,金融机构和保险公司确定他们可能面临的风险以及投资可能对社区产生的积极影响。这将使他们能够预测威胁并确定避免,减少或应对威胁的策略。

作为一个界别,建设和平者需要提醒那些在受冲突影响地区工作的人们,与某些企业社会责任项目的“洗礼”相比,与社区建立持续的对话对他们的参与至关重要,却经常被忽视。无论有多少预算用于风险管理,密切听取公司投资所在国家/地区人们的关注是风险管理中最关键的方面之一。在社区,公民社会和公司之间采用更系统的参与和对话过程可以采取不同的形式,每种形式都需要特定的方法和资源。一项有用的举措是与相关的当地人民和团体以及公司代表建立商业与和平工作组。这些工作组将共同分析情况,并解决“一带一路”项目带来的任何不满。

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Author: Bernardo Mariani and Tang Xiaomin, Saferworld

[此中文翻譯由企業責任資源中心提供]

““一帶一路2.0”:讓商界參與”,2019年10月16日

…我們在維也納參加了由American International Group與Roland Berger, Chatham House和Vienna Insurance Group合辦的關於中國“一帶一路”倡議的會議。這次會議是一個寶貴的機會,可以深入了解“一帶一路”沿線受衝突影響和脆弱國家中企業在處理和平方面的作用。

…小組成員指出,中國的政商人士越來越意識到在“一帶一路”沿線實施項目的挑戰以及採用新方法的必要性…

從幾個不同的角度解決了“一帶一路”倡議缺乏透明度的問題…幾位小組成員討論了創造更多公平競爭環境的必要性,以激勵國際企業並分享管理大型基礎設施和融資項目的最佳實踐……

在與社區互動的小組討論中,我們聽到了一些研究表明,在諸如中亞,南高加索和白俄羅斯的背景下,“一帶一路”倡議的人文支柱被大大忽略了。官方發布六年後,這些國家的公眾看法仍然參差不齊。向“一帶一路”沿線國家的社區提供相關信息,並鼓勵包容性對話和公眾參與重大項目決策,很大程度上取決於東道國的外部投資者和決策者的良好意願。

這項倡議將根據它為生活在受不發達,衝突和不穩定因素影響的人們帶來的改變作為判斷。我們藉此機會強調“一帶一路”項目與受衝突影響和脆弱環境中的和平與安全之間的相互作用,其中,沿一帶一路運營的公司和當地人民的真正雙贏取決於對當地的了解,對不同衝突驅動因素的敏感性以及與社區的真誠對話。

… 對於那些受到安全威脅以及政治和種族緊張局勢可能導致暴力的國家而言,其成功將取決於企業如何認可,理解和參與脆弱性和衝突。有必要重新定義商界的角色及其建設和平的潛力…企業不僅要著眼於如何最大程度地降低其投資的風險,還需要從整體角度看待風險,並研究如何在風險管理中採取更有效的方法。應對複雜的衝突動態 – 幫助公司,金融機構和保險公司確定他們可能面臨的風險以及投資可能對社區產生的積極影響。這將使他們能夠預測威脅並確定避免,減少或應對威脅的策略。

作為一個界別,建設和平者需要提醒那些在受衝突影響地區工作的人們,與某些企業社會責任項目的“洗禮”相比,與社區建立持續的對話對他們的參與至關重要,卻經常被忽視。無論有多少預算用於風險管理,密切聽取公司投資所在國家/地區人們的關注是風險管理中最關鍵的方面之一。在社區,公民社會和公司之間採用更系統的參與和對話過程可以採取不同的形式,每種形式都需要特定的方法和資源。一項有用的舉措是與相關的當地人民和團體以及公司代表建立商業與和平工作組。這些工作組將共同分析情況,並解決“一帶一路”項目帶來的任何不滿。

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21 October 2019

Role of business sector and its peacebuilding potential need to be redefined in Belt and Road Initiative, experts blog

Author: Bernardo Mariani and Tang Xiaomin, Saferworld

“‘Belt and Road 2.0’: engaging the business sector”, 16 October 2019

… we attended a conference in Vienna on China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) organised by the American International Group in cooperation with Roland Berger, Chatham House and the Vienna Insurance Group. The meeting was a valuable opportunity to glean insights on the role of business in addressing peace in conflict-affected and fragile countries along the BRI…

… Panellists noted that Chinese policy and business people are becoming increasingly aware of the challenges of implementing projects along the BRI and the need to adopt a new approach…

The lack of transparency around the BRI was tackled from several different angles…  Several panellists talked about the need to create more of a level playing field to motivate international businesses and share best practices in managing large scale infrastructure and financing projects…

During a panel discussion on engaging with communities, we heard about studies showing that in contexts like Central Asia, the South Caucasus and Belarus, the people-to-people pillar of the BRI has been largely overlooked. Six years after its official launch, the public perception in those countries is still very mixed. Bringing relevant information to communities in countries along the BRI, and encouraging inclusive dialogue and public participation in major project decisions largely relies on the good will of external investors and decision makers in the host countries.

The initiative will be judged by the difference it makes to lives of people living in contexts affected by underdevelopment, conflict and instability. We took the opportunity to emphasise the interactions between BRI projects and peace and security in conflict-affected and fragile environments, where a true win-win for both the companies operating along the BRI and the people living there relies on a deeper understanding of the local context, sensitivity to different drivers of conflict, and genuine dialogue with communities.

… for the countries where security is under threat and where political and ethnic tensions can lead to violence, its success will depend on how businesses acknowledge, understand and engage with fragility and conflict. There’s a need to redefine the role of the business sector and its peacebuilding potential… Instead of fixating on how to minimise risks to their investments, businesses need to take a more holistic perspective of risk and look at how they can take up more effective approaches in responding to complex conflict dynamics – helping companies, financial institutions and insurers identify both the risks that they may face as well as the positive impacts that investments can have for communities. This would allow them to anticipate threats and identify strategies for avoiding, reducing, or addressing them.

As a sector, we as peacebuilders need to remind those working in conflict-affected regions that building a sustained dialogue with communities beyond the ‘peacewash’ of some corporate social responsibility projects is a crucial – but often neglected – aspect of their engagement. No matter how much budget there is for risk management, the basic idea of listening closely to the concerns of people in countries where companies invest is one of the most critical aspects of risk management out there. Embracing a more systematic process of engagement and dialogue between communities, civil society and companies can take different forms, each of them requiring specific approaches and resources. One useful initiative would be to set up business and peace working groups with relevant local people and groups as well as company representatives. These working groups would jointly analyse the context and address any grievances coming out of BRI projects…

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