Some governments, including the US and China, are growing discomfort with the upcoming ISO 26000, a global standard on social responsibility.
An article in Ethical Corporation magazine says that "Most controversial is a proposal for text outlining a globally applicable set of minimum norms for organisational behaviour and setting a principle on how these should be applied. Most ISO 26000 participants believe this is necessary for the standard to reflect good practice in social responsibility. However, since the norms currently proposed draw on international laws in areas such as labour, environment and human rights, the guidance is threatening to countries whose national laws differ."
ISO 26000 has been in the making for quite some time and is expected to be rolled out in 2010. ISO 26000 will be a volunatry standard and thus will not be certifiable. In December 2008, the ISO circulated a draft ISO/CD 26000 Guiddance on Social Responsibility for comments.
Yesterday, the Working Group began its meeting in Quebec to consider the comments received on the draft guidance document. This meeting is likely to witness louder voices of concerns from the US, China and other governments which are worried by the prospects of a global standard on social responsibility.