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UN Secretary-General opens historic leaders summit on corporate citizenship

Summary

Geneva, 5 July 2007 – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon officially opened the Global Compact Leaders Summit today, announcing that the UN has successfully created an international movement of companies dedicated to advancing responsible business practices – but adding that more work needs to be done.

Speaking before an international audience of 1000 chief executive officers, government ministers, and the heads of civil society and labour organisations, the Secretary-General said that more than 4000 companies and stakeholders in 116 countries have committed to the Global Compact’s ten principles related to human rights, working conditions, the environment and anti-corruption.

“In the beginning, some voiced skepticism about the UN working together with business. Today, I think we can say that the Global Compact has lived up to its promise – bringing business together with other stakeholders, and infusing markets and economies with universal values”, the Secretary-General said.

During the the two-day Summit – the largest event the UN has ever convened on the topic of corporate citizenship – a range of new initiatives and projects will be announced, including a Business Leadership Platform on climate change; a set of Principles for Responsible Management Education, and a CEO Water Mandate.