Code of Ethics and Conduct for Chambers

The Code of Ethics Project was initiated by the World Association of Chamber (GO Chambers) at the 2002 Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. (Culture of Responsibility and the Role of Chambers, October 18-20), upon recommendations of conference speakers, prominent attendees, and the advocacy of GO Chambers members. It was recognized that while standards of conduct exist for various national and regional Chamber associations, and for associations with a particular area of focus (humanitarian aid, human rights, etc.), a more broadly applicable code of ethics was desirable for guiding Chambers worldwide.

An international committee of Chamber leaders from 42 nations, representing the wide spectrum of the Chamber community, was established for the development of a set of fundamental principles, operational principles, and standards which can guide the actions and management of non-governmental organizations. Input was included from Chamber leaders from all regions of the world, and numerous standards and codes of conduct from Chambers and Chamber associations worldwide were consulted by the committee. At the 2003 Annual Conference (Toward an Ethical and Caring Global Community, September 25-28, 2003), many members of the committee gathered in Bangkok, Thailand to further advance this effort.

After one-and-one-half years work by this international committee, the preliminary Code of Ethics and Conduct for Chambers was unveiled on March 13, 2004 at the GO Chambers Latin America and Caribbean Regional Conference in Montevideo, Uruguay. Subsequently, it was presented to leading authorities in the academia and the non-governmental and governmental sectors, and to the entire GO Chambers membership in 140 nations, and was revised based on their recommendations. On March 5, 2005, after two and one-half years of work, the current version of the Code was completed. It is understood that the Code of Ethics and Conduct for Chambers remains an evolving work, which will be revised as necessary.