UN chief highlights ’central role’ of business in development

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Business has a “central role to play” in eradicating poverty in Africa, alongside debt relief and greater aid flows, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said Tuesday.

Speaking in Paris at a seminar on corporate responsibility in the developing world, Annan said the “main responsibilty” for meeting the UN’s Millennium Development Goals by a 2015 deadline still rests with governments.

“But business has a centrol role to play,” he said in a speech at the Elysee Palace alongside French President Jacques Chirac and visiting British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

“Business generates employment and wealth… It is the absence of broad-based business activity, not its presence, that comdemns much of humanity to suffering.”

“Indeed, what is utopian is the notion that poverty can be overcome without the active engagement of business.”
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Source: AFP