On 21 May 2014, British Ambassador Diane Corner spoke at a roundtable on the Private Sector Business Code of Conduct, furthering the debate on the issue. The event was hosted by Ernst & Young and is the third in a series of roundtables focused on improving the business climate in the DRC.
The Canadian Embassy Chargé d’Affaires, Mr Alain Latullipe, was also present, as Canada is supporting the DRC’s ongoing anti-corruption initiative jointly with the UK. Participants included officials from the Congolese government and tax administration, representatives of the World Bank and other international organisations, the private sector as well as civil society representatives.
In her speech, Ambassador Corner welcomed the DRC Government’s work to improve the business climate and promote investment. She stressed that the effective implementation of the Business Code of Conduct within companies could help efficiently tackle corruption.
Ambassador Corner said:
Government efforts to improve the business climate and promote investments are beginning to bear fruit. The recent signing of the Code of Conduct involving the public sector, private sector and civil society is a case in point. However, unless companies in the private sector resolve not to tolerate the compromise of their moral and ethical values, these efforts will be in vain…
She further underscored that apart from preventing corruption in their operations, companies should also respect the environment, work for the transition to a green economy, and uphold human rights.
Ambassador Corner also spoke about the UK’s chairmanship of the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights this year. She explained that the UK aims to get more governments to join the initiative, to support companies that use the Principles to better manage human rights risks, and to bring the Voluntary Principles more into line with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.