Role of business in conflict zones examined at UN's Global Compact meeting

Role of business in conflict zones examined at UN's Global Compact meeting

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Corporate and labour leaders gathered at United Nations Headquarters in New York today to examine the role of business in zones of conflict as part of Secretary-General Kofi Annan's "Global Compact" initiative.

More than 60 representatives from the business world, labour organizations and civil society groups are attending the two-day event. Although the discussions are being held in closed session, the results will later be published on the Global Compact web site.

First proposed by the Secretary-General at the World Economic Forum in January 1999, the Compact was formally launched the following year. The initiative aims to involve businesses in upgrading environmental, labour and human rights conditions.

The Compact's nine guiding principles are drawn 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.