Univ.-Prof. P.Dr. Herwig Büchele SJ

Global Civilization Project

Exploration at the global responsibility of transnational Corporations and Banks

T h e s i s:

The Transnational Corporations and Banks have a very great ethical responsibility to the global human community. First, they should formulate and agree upon certain ethical guidelines for their global operations keeping in mind the need to satisfy the basic human needs and economic well-being of all within the bounds of sustainable development. Secondly, they should develop global mechanisms which can effectively enforce and verify the compliance to the agreed ethical guidelines. Thirdly, they should actively encourage and lead individual states towards greater and perhaps new forms of multinational integration among themselves, creating, if necessary, a system of global governance, which may redefine and also ensure the powers of the individual states.


Brief explanation:

Problems which affect the humanity as a whole, are being increasingly manifest everywhere in the world. These problems can no longer be adequately dealt with by uncoordinated national policies. Hence, the concept of a „world domestic policy". This is not an utopian concept, but something that has been realized in fragments at least in some areas of corporate human activities. What has been achieved so far in this area is highly inadequate, but there is a great potential for further developing of this concept and initiating steps to actualize it.

The dilemmas underlying international politics in the fields of ecology, economic development and security no longer allow satisfactory solutions to be found to global problems solely within national frameworks. Concerted and coordinated policies and actions are necessary. Strengthening of international and continental/regional organizations which are capable of responding to this need has become all the more urgent.

Today, five hundred of the largest transnational Corporations control 70 per cent of the world trade. We cannot build a prosperous world economy, on misery, degradation and ignorance of a vast section of humanity. More and more Corporations and Banks are becoming aware that they need to be responsible not only to their shareholders, but to the wider human community as well, a community of stakeholders of which we are all part. It is also in the interest of the Transnational Corporations and Banks themselves to be responsible global citizens. High rate of unemployment and the social and political instabilities caused by the growing gap between the rich and the poor, as well as destroyed environments, threaten the Corporations and Banks as much as the individuals.

Corporations and Banks play an increasingly significant role in all our lives. Socially and environmentally responsible Corporations and Banks will enhance the quality of life for everyone.



1. Do you agree with the above stated thesis? If no, why? If yes, would you think that top managers of TNC‘s and Banks (or their representatives) need to meet urgently in order to plan and reflect on the initiatives which have to be taken to fulfill their global social responsibility?

2. Would you be in favour of establishing a task force by the TNC‘s and Banks to develop a framework (a global solidarity council or a coordinating economic agency at continental and global levels) for a global welfare policy dedicated to the satisfaction of basic human needs and the promotion of economic well-being of all within the bounds of sustainable development which demands balancing economic and environmental policies?

3. Would you support the building up of a task force or a working group by the TNC‘s and Banks to prepare a coherent body of proposals to give more substance (e.g. creation of a UN second chamber of populist composition; compulsory jurisdiction before the International Court; establishment of an effectiv, accountable, international, military force) to the call of global constitutionalism /federalism?

4. As a banker or a manager of a TNC would you be in favour of global institutional reforms in the context of the rising power of financial markets? If yes, what kind of reforms would you see as needed? Do you think that there is a need to construct a sound, safe, and transparent financial order for stateless money which would require overhauling and then internationally harmonizing, the inadequate and often incompatible, national banking and financial market structures, regulations, and supervisory regimes? Would you support the creation of a true supranational world central bank?

5. In your opinion, could the Vatican (especially the Papal Council for Justice and Peace) provide a first common meeting ground for top managers in order to discuss this agenda?


For further information contact: Willi Guggenberger, Institute for Systematic Theology

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