UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder met
with senior government officials and executives of German Global Compact
participants on 11 December, at a dinner hosted by the Chancellor in
In his dinner speech, Chancellor Schröder emphasized the need for a “strong, worldwide civil society” and “a private sector that accepts its responsibility for the development of humanity."
“The roles and responsibilities of states and government on the one hand, and of business and civil society on the other must be complementary,” the Chancellor said, stressing that the Global Compact is not “a charity of rich countries and powerful corporations” He added: „The Global Compact is a challenge. It thrives on the commitment and the ideas of its participants.“
Chancellor Schröder went on to thank the German Global Compact participants for their support of the initiative: „You have become role models for others and pioneers of economic and social development.“
In his remarks, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan expressed his gratitude to the German government and the business community for their support of the Global Compact. Addressing the German Global Compact participants, he praised the “courage to step forward and declare that human rights, environmental protection, and decent workplace standards are not just matters for Governments to handle.”
He added: “It is time for global business, global civil society, global trade unions and Governments to act as true global citizens. Together, we can build an open economy in the world, and open societies at home – societies that are outward-looking and ready to work with others on a collective response to the many threats and challenges that we all face.”
The Secretary-General encouraged all participants “to spread the good habits of corporate citizenship” and expressed his hope for their participation in the Global Compact Leaders Summit, to be held at UN Headquarters in New York on 24 June 2004.