On 18 June 2003, the Global Compact was launched in Mozambique. Speaking to more than 250 representatives from business, government, civil society and the UN system, Mozambican President Joaquim Chissano said that by participating in social activities, companies are helping the fight poverty. "Companies can only prosper when they meet the aspirations of the communities where they are inserted", President Chissano said. He noted that the participation of the business community in the fight against poverty will encourage other sectors of society to make their own contribution. In his address, Chissano drew particular attention to the fight against HIV/AIDS. He warned that the ravages of AIDS are reflected, "in a reduction in the qualified work force, thus compromising production and productivity".
"The costs of managing a poor society are extremely high, and one can no longer imagine the possibility of development without the participation of society at large, particularly of the business community", he added. Speaking of the Global Compact, President Chissano noted that companies in more than 50 countries have expressed support for the initiative, and Mozambique is the tenth country in Africa to do so.
The representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Mozambique, Marylene Spezzati, explained that the initiative "seeks to mobilise the international business community to incorporate and promote in their activities the nine universal principles in matters of human rights, labour and environmental conservation norms".
Spezzati said that "the launching of the Global Compact in Mozambique is a clear sign for the rest of the world that this country is committed to taking further significant steps in the fight against the intolerable exclusion of most of the Mozambicans from the benefits of the global economy".
The chairman of the board of directors of the Commercial and Investment Bank (BCI), Abdul Magid Osman, said that companies can fulfill their social responsibility, and promote social inclusion, without fear of financial or economic losses. He noted that "social inclusion helps create jobs, wealth and its fair distribution, and it translates into a stronger society".