The Relationship Between Business Ethics, the Millennium Development Goals, and the World Trade Organization

The Relationship Between Business Ethics, the Millennium Development Goals, and the World Trade Organization

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The world today is reeling from the effects of world trade, globalization, development of multinational companies and the never ending war for the fight of resources that countries have to offer. With this development, one of the critical aspects of a business, to have sound ethical practices, seems to be lost with the management, shareholders and government proliferating profit maximisation strategies. This paper will explain ethics, consider the role business and government play with respect to social responsibility and how these may be influenced and achieved through the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the World Trade Organisation. The focus of the paper will be on current achievement of MDGs, being the most successful global anti- poverty push, in terms of eradicating extreme poverty and hunger and developing a global partnership for development. The paper will also highlight food security issues in several countries.
Key Words: Ethics, globalisation, MNCs, Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), World Trade Organisation (WTO), hunger, poverty, food security

Ethics in Business
The issue of alleviating poverty through international trade considering the notions of business in respect to philosophy, legal, political and social disciplines is akin to defining what ethics mean to business and trade. Quoting the famous Milton Friedman from his book Capitalism and Freedom, he wrote, “there is one and only one social responsibility of business–to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits so long as it stays within the rules of the game, which is to say, engages in open and free competition without deception or fraud” (Friedman, 1962). When multinational companies set their corporate strat...


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...velopment Institute, London.
Maruffi, B. L, Petri, W.R, Malindretos, J. (2013), “Corporate Social Responsibility and the Competitive Advantage of Multinational Corporations: What is the right Balance?”, Journal of Global Business Issues, 7(2).
Nelson, J, Prescott. D. (2008), “Business and the Millennium Development Goals: A Framework for Action”, 2nd ed., International Business Leaders Forum.
Norwani, N. M, Mohamad, Z. Z, Chek, I. T. (2011), “Corporate Governance Failure and its Impact on Financial Reporting within Selected Companies”, International Journal of Business and Social Science, 2 (21), 205 – 206.
Sage, C. (2012). “Food Security and the Environment”, University College Cork, Ireland.
Stern, N. (2004), “Annual World Bank Conference on Development Economics – Europe 2003”, The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, The World Bank.

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