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Annan, head of international employer's group urge support for Global Compact

Annan, head of international employer's group urge support for Global Compact

The United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, and the President of the International Organization of Employers (IOE) today issued a joint statement urging support for the Global Compact initiative, which aims to involve businesses in upgrading environmental, labour and human rights conditions.

The statement signed by Mr. Annan and President François Perigot calls on employers' organizations to urge their members to embrace and enact the principles of the Global Compact. 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.

The joint statement released following a meeting today in New York said that the two sides agreed that the Global Compact should remain inclusive and open to employers, regardless of their size or location, "especially given that there are many ways to make progress in implementing the principles of the Compact." They also agreed that the Global Compact "is not a substitute for other approaches, such as regulation, and that it is a voluntary initiative that seeks to motivate employers to act within their sphere of influence."

The International Organization of Employers has used its global network to promote the Compact throughout the world by convening meetings on the initiative and preparing materials on the subject, including an Employers Guide to the Global Compact in Arabic, English, French, Spanish and Russian, according to the statement.

The Secretary-General expressed appreciation for this commitment to the Compact emphasizing the importance of involving companies from the developing world in the future efforts of this nature, the statement said.