26-27 November, 2001 | Santiago, Chile On November 26 – 27, 2001, the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiatives (UNEP FI) hosted a roundtable meeting in Santiago, Chile on the role of the financial sector and the foreign direct investment in the sustainable development in Latin America and the Caribbean. The meeting formed an important part of ECLAC and UNEP’s joint preparations for the World Summit for Sustainable Development (WSSD), which will take place in Johannesburg, South Africa, September 2002. The Roundtable was divided into two components:

  • The Financial Sector in Latin America/Caribbean: The Business Case for Sustainability Performance, and
  • Foreign Direct Investment: Creating a Sustainability Dynamic.
The primary objective of this meeting was to explore the dynamics governing the relationship between the finance sector, foreign direct investment and sustainability. It will also provided an opportunity in which primary senior financial services sector officials, as well as members of the business community; representatives of governments, NGOs and academics could explore how corporate performance and ultimately shareholder value are affected by environmental factors and vice versa. The following issues were discussed:
  • Incorporation of the concept of sustainability in the dynamic of the business sector, extending its scope of business not only among industrialists, but also in financial operations.
  • Developing indicators which can be included in the general economic and financial decisions.
  • Identifying trustworthy relevant and consistent information to support financial decisions.
  • Analysis of the role of the regulation framework, which, at this moment, is necessary in order to send concrete and reliable messages to the investors, in terms of sustainable development goals. This means clear rules or norms when performing their business.
  • Commencement of the building of a regional corporate culture that involves sustainable development principles. This means creating a social corporate responsibility.
  • Developing public-private relationship based on a wide governance principle that includes all the society sectors.
UNEP and ECLAC will continue working on these issues based on the conclusions and recommendations of the seminar.