Note No. 5998
2 March 2006

Note to Correspondents

Annual UNIS-UN Conference to Take Place on 2-3 March, Focusing on Role of Corporation in Today's World

The theme of the thirtieth annual United Nations International School - United Nations (UNIS-UN) conference is "The Role of the Corporation in Today's World".  The conference will be held on Thursday and Friday, 2 and 3 March, in the United Nations General Assembly Hall.

No matter where in the world one lives, one is bound to come into contact with major corporations -- hearing of them in the news, purchasing their merchandise, maybe even working for them.  They play a huge role in today's world -- making products that are relied on, providing jobs, supporting the world's economic structure.  But there are ill effects as well.  Some corporations demonstrate little or no social conscience or responsibility, and, yet, have many of the same rights as individuals, and much more power.  Is there a balance to be struck?

This year's UNIS-UN conference will attempt to answer this fundamental question by investigating the function of the corporation in modern times -- what corporations do and what they should be doing.  Speakers will examine issues ranging from the basic, with Jeff Zimmerman answering the question "What is a Corporation", through the complex, with Samuel Epstein investigating "The Role of Socially Responsible Corporations in Winning the Losing Cancer War".

Other speakers will include Lars-Hjalmar Wide, Chef de Cabinet of the President of the General Assembly, addressing the topic of the United Nations involvement in Corporations; Charles Fishman discussing "The Walmart Effect"; Al Norman, Jeff Ballinger and Bruce Greenwald forming a panel on "Corporations and the Workforce"; Jonathan Knee speaking about the media; Mark Crispin Miller discussing advertising; Mary Zepernick speaking on "Gender and Global Corporations"; and closing the conference, a student panel on "Corporations and the Environment".

Through those presentations and the accompanying student panel on "Corporations and the Environment", as well as numerous opportunities for questions to be asked and answered, it is hoped that a clearer understanding will be achieved, regarding the role and influence of corporations in today's world.

To celebrate UNIS-UN's thirtieth anniversary, alumni from almost every past UNIS-UN conference, from 1976 onwards, will be present.  Sylvia Gordon, UNIS-UN's first faculty advisor and the force behind the organization's founding, will open the conference with an address.  The conference will be webcast on both days.

For further information, please contact Sylvia Fuhrman, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for UNIS, tel: (212) 963-8729 or United Nations International School, tel: (212) 584-3108 fax: (212) 889-8959, e mail: , Internet: .

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