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World In Poverty Cannot Be A World At Peace

A World In Poverty Cannot Be A World At Peace, Annan Says

Business enterprises in developed countries can be agents of change, linking with small business owners in developing countries, advising them and giving them technical support, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan said today.

In a speech to the Third European Forum for Sustainable Development and Responsible Business (FEDERE 2004) in Paris, delivered by UN Development Programme (UNDP) Associate Administrator Zéphirin Diabré, Mr. Annan said, “Governments certainly have the premier role in implementing (partnership) agreements and creating the conditions necessary for sustainable development that benefits the greatest number.

“But the private sector and businesses also have an important role to play. That’s why I have tried for many years to associate the private sector with the search for solutions to the problems of our time and to encourage business to show civic responsibility.”

In this regard, he launched the Global Compact in 1999 to gather the world of business, the world of labour, civil society and UN agencies around nine universal principles on human rights, work norms and environmental protection. He was happy to underline that more than 1,000 businesses, many of them French, now take part in the initiative.

In June 2003, he created a commission on sustainable development for the private sector, which has as its goal stimulating the spirit of enterprise and creativity in developing countries to accelerate sustainable development and reduce poverty.

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