Responsive to responsibility

Published: Wednesday 15 October 2003

The stark, no-nonsense design of the site gets one to the point immediately. This is the website of the us -based Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainable Development, which aims "to solve interrelated critical global problems by improving the processes and outcomes of global governance". Details of programs, projects and publications have primarily been organised into three sections that represent the institute's most important concerns -- security, energy, and globalisation and governance.

The mission statement of the institute has recently been changed; the old one can still be accessed from a link . What has, most surprisingly, got dropped is the mission to address "the threat and reality of global climate change". This leaves the browser wondering as to why the institute's priorities have changed when nothing has changed on the ground. The issue of climate change should be of enormous concern to an organisation based in a country that is, rather unapologetically, the world's highest emitter of greenhouse gases. Among the retained objectives is the goal of seeking solutions to "the threat and reality of nuclear war and global insecurity". At the core of the organisation's concern with nuclear non-proliferation is North Korea; one project aims to enable the country "demonstrate it is willing to conform to international standards for development assistance". Is the institute toeing the US official line here?

The section on globalisation and governance has loads of valuable information on the subject of corporate responsibility. International Sustainable and Ethical Investment Rules, one of the institute's projects, aims to develop a framework for the governance of investment to ensure that business interest does not bypass crucial issues of environmental sustainability, human rights and global security. One can also access a recently issued report on corporate accountability, appropriately titled 'Beyond Good Deeds'.

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