For information only - not an official document.
  Press Release No: UNIS/SG/2615 
Release Date: 21 July 2000
 Secretary-General Invites Corporate, Civil and Labour Leaders
To Meet Challenges of Globalization

NEW YORK, 20 July -- United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan will bring together leaders from global business, international labour and civil society organizations who will pledge their commitment to universally accepted human rights, labour and environmental principles.

Nearly 50 companies will attend the meeting at United Nations Headquarters on Wednesday, 26 July.  They include corporate giants such as DaimlerChrysler, Unilever, Deutsche Bank, BPAmoco, Novartis, Ericsson and Nike, as well as a significant number of corporations from developing countries.

All are committed to implementing the principles of “The Global Compact” in their own corporate management practices.  “The Global Compact” was announced by the Secretary-General at Davos, Switzerland, in January 1999, when he first warned the business community about a mounting backlash against globalization.

“The Global Compact” is intended to promote the implementation of nine principles in the areas of human rights, labour and the environment.  These principles are derived from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Labour Organization's fundamental principles on rights at work, and the Rio Principles on environment and development, all of which enjoy universal consensus among the world’s governments. 

With this agreement, the Secretary General is hoping to succeed where others have failed in bringing together all the relevant parties in an effort to make globalization work for everyone.

The leaders gathering next week will also engage in a variety of partnership projects with the United Nations that are intended to advance the goals of the United Nations, especially poverty reduction in developing countries.

Also attending will be partners from labour and civil society, including the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions, Amnesty International, the World Wildlife Fund, the World Conservation Union IUCN, and a consortium of developing country non-governmental organizations.  They will lend their expertise and support to designing and implementing these undertakings by the United Nations and the business community. 

The 26 July meeting will open at 9:30 a.m. at the United Nations.  Secretary-General Kofi Annan will hold a 1 p.m. press conference in room S-226.

Assistant Secretary General John Ruggie will give a background briefing on the event on Thursday, 20 July, in room S-226 at United Nation Headquarters, immediately following the daily noon briefing.  The briefing can be viewed live on the Internet, at

Journalists will be able to view the proceedings at the 26 July meeting live, via closed-circuit television at United Nations Headquarters. 

For more information, contact Tim Wall, tel: 1-212-963-5851, cell phone: 917-445-9056, e-mail: ; or Laufey Love, tel: 1-212-963-0352, e-mail:; or visit the Global Compact Web site at

For interviews, call John Ruggie at 212-963-9082, or Senior Officer Georg Kell at 212-963-1490.

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