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United Nations Secretary-General Sends Message to Business and Academic Communities

(Cleveland, Ohio, 23 October 2006) – In a statement delivered today by Georg Kell, Executive Director of the United Nations Global Compact, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan presented his perspective on the role of business in advancing international peace and development, calling on the academic community to join in efforts to “sustain the momentum of the corporate responsibility movement.”

The opening statement was for the Business as an Agent of World Benefit Global Forum, held in Cleveland and convened by Case Western Reserve University’s Weatherhead School of Management, the Academy of Management and the UN Global Compact.

The United Nations Global Compact, launched by the Secretary-General six years ago, has grown into the world’s largest voluntary corporate citizenship initiative with more than 3,000 participants in over 100 countries, offering a platform for learning, dialogue and partnership projects.  As the Secretary-General stated, “the Compact has sought to make global markets more sustainable and inclusive.”

In his message, the Secretary-General further challenged the academic community “to establish a coalition committed to advancing the business case for responsible practices and universal principles.”  The call to the academic community was coupled with the assertion that success is only possible when business can “operate in ways that benefit economies, societies and people everywhere.”

The Secretary-General’s comments will guide the dialogue at the Business as an Agent of World Benefit Global Forum, which runs through Wednesday, October 25.  For more information and live updates from the Forum, please visit www.bawbglobalforum.com.

For more information please contact:

Shea Gotsch
Case Weatherhead School of Management

Matthias Stausberg
UN Global Compact