The Global Compact Office today expressed its strong support for the
initiatives to combat HIV/AIDS announced on 3 December 2003 by companies in the
Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS.
The projects, to be pursued in conjunction with the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria, reportedly will seek to build infrastructure for AIDS prevention and treatment in the developing world.
The majority of the companies in the coalition are Global Compact participants, including DaimlerChrysler, Eskom, Lafarge and Tata Steel.
“Businesses are beginning to wake up to the pernicious effects of HIV/AIDS on their workforces and the communities in which they operate”, said Georg Kell, Executive Head of the Global Compact. “But, clearly, much more needs to be done”.
According to a recent UN study, only 21 of the world’s largest 100 multinationals have implemented policies or programmes that address HIV/AIDS in the workplace.
The Global Compact is placing increasing importance on HIV/AIDS. One of the key objectives of the Global Compact Policy Dialogue on HIV/AIDS convened in May 2003 in Geneva was to empower societal actors to contribute to prevention, awareness raising, care, support and treatment through the use of the ILO Code of Practice on HIV/AIDS and the World of Work.
At the Global Compact’s third annual International Learning Forum Meeting, to take place in Brazil on 9-11 December, a number of case studies on innovative programs that companies have developed to combat HIV/AIDS will be shared. Companies represented will include Volkswagen, BHP Billiton and Pechiney.
Moving forward, the Global Compact plans to give increasing attention to the problem of HIV/AIDS in countries where the disease is expected to take a heavy toll in the years to come, including Russia, China and India.