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Business leaders adopt declaration on responsible business practices

Summary

Business leaders from developed and developing countries today pledged to comply with labour, human rights, environmental and anti-corruption standards as a two-day conference closed in Geneva.

At the second United Nations Global Compact Leaders Summit, top executives of corporations such as Coca-Cola, Petrobras, Fuji Xerox, China Ocean Shipping Group, Tata Steel, L M Ericsson and Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria adopted the 21-point Geneva Declaration, which spells out concrete actions for business, governments and United Nations Global Compact participants.

Some 4,000 organizations from 116 countries — among them trade unions, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and some 3,100 businesses — have so far subscribed to the Global Compact, pledging to observe ten universal principles related to human rights, labour rights, the environment and the struggle against corruption.

The Geneva Declaration expresses the belief that “globaliation, if rooted in universal principles, has the power to improve our world fundamentally — delivering economic and social benefits to people, communities and markets everywhere”.