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International Conference Explores Challenges to Peace and Development

(New York, 1 July 2008) – On 26-28 June 2008, the Strategic Foresight Group in collaboration with the Global Compact Office convened the conference “ Responsibility to the Future: Business, Peace and Sustainability” in Mumbai, India. The three-day event brought together more than 250 business leaders with Government representatives and other stakeholders from 25 countries around the world to explore the relationship between business, development and peace. 

Opening the conference, President of India, H. E. Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil, called for increased collaboration between sectors to overcome challenges associated with globalization: “To build a more peaceful, prosperous and equitable world, a large number of stakeholders would have to play a role. Government policies for the welfare of their people should be implemented with vigour. International institutions should look at developing effective delivery mechanisms for the implementation of internationally agreed goals. The corporate world has a social responsibility. Along with business, they should be involved in undertaking social welfare initiatives. Civil society and the NGOs have emerged as important stakeholders and should function in an accountable and transparent manner.”

Among the outcomes of the conference were several recommendations for mitigating poverty, climate risks and violence in an integrated and holistic manner, among others: 

  • The need for a comprehensive assessment of the energy mix required for the future and an integrated approach to the management of all forms of energy at national, regional as well as global level;
  • The establishment of a fund to invest in sustainability and green technologies;
  • The establishment of a dialogue mechanism to complement the current architecture of global governance and to overcome its weaknesses;
  • Investment in peace education and peace NGOs;
  • Capacity-building for anticipation of humanitarian crisis.
  • Mobilization of young people for sustainable development through training of university trainers on a large scale and the training of young politicians;
  • Encouragement to provincial and local governments to launch initiatives for innovation in peace and sustainability, particularly including the development of clean technologies for the benefit of the poor people.

The conference also witnessed the announcement of numerous concrete projects and initiatives to translate these recommendations into actions.

On 23-24 June, the Confederation of Indian Industry's Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Development organized a Progress and Value Workshop for Global Compact signatories in Guargaon, India, with the support of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation and the Global Compact Society in India. The workshop aimed at building the capacity of participants to implement the ten principles and contribute to the advancement of the United Nations’ development goals. It also provided practical guidance for preparing a Global Compact Communication on Progress.

Click here to download the speech by H.E. Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil, President of India.

Click here to download the programme of the conference.

Click here to download the final Conference Report.

Click here to download the agenda and participant list of the Progress & Value workshop.

Contact:

Melissa Powell
UN Global Compact Office
powell1@un.org

About the Strategic Foresight Group:
Strategic Foresight Group (SFG) is a think tank based in India with global reach. It develops analytical tools on the future of countries, regions and sectors to enable decision makers to make choices in uncertain times. It is particularly known for its ‘cost of conflict’ methodology, which measures comprehensive costs of conflict as a way of building public awareness for peace. It advises governments and private sector clients in three continents on global and security scenarios. It structures and facilitates dialogues between stakeholders in significant conflicts.