Baptist World Alliance
Eron Henry, Associate Director of Communications
Neville Callam, General Secretary
Phone: +1 703 790 8980
Fax: +1 703 893 5160      

July 8, 2011

For Immediate Release

BWA sets out ethical investment guidelines

Kuala Lumpur (BWA)--The Baptist World Alliance has adopted a new fiscal policy manual.


A key section of the document, which was adopted during the Executive Committee meeting of the BWA in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on July 7, covers the ethical guidelines that govern the investment decisions of the BWA.


The fiscal policy manual sets the rules and provides guidance on the use and management of funds received by the BWA, and speaks to issues of conflicts of interest, confidentiality, and certain laws governing the fiscal responsibilities of the BWA.


"Mindful of the need to avoid undermining the credibility, effectiveness and unity of the church's witness... the BWA seeks to constructively engage with the corporate world in a manner that supports and encourages responsible business practices and high standards of corporate behavior," the manual reads.


The BWA revision reflects concerns that none of its investments should be placed "in any company engaged in production or sale of tobacco, consumable alcohol, for-profit gambling services, lethal military equipment, pornography and pornographic publishing."


Included also is a provision that "companies shall support and respect protection of internationally proclaimed human rights" and that these companies "are not complicit in human rights abuses." In terms of labor standards, the BWA wishes to choose firms that "uphold the freedom of association" and that these enterprises "not be involved in any form of punitive forced labor and child labor."


More than 300 Baptist leaders and delegates are gathered in Kuala Lumpur from July 4-9 for the BWA Annual Gathering. It involves yearly meetings of a number of BWA groups, including the General Council and the Executive Committee; executive sub-committees and divisional advisory committees; women's, men's, and youth departments; regional groupings; and commissions of the divisions of Freedom and Justice, and Mission, Evangelism and Theological Reflection, and others.