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US Network Focuses on Human Rights

(New York, 30 April 2008) - In recognition of the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the Global Compact US Network convened its first working symposium of 2008 on 28 April 2008 at the Harvard Business School (HBS) in Boston. Jointly convened with HBS, the event drew approximately 100 corporate executives, civil society representatives, academics and other human rights experts.

Keynote speeches were delivered by Ms. Mary Robinson, President of Realizing Rights: The Ethical Globalization Initiative and a Global Compact Board member; Mr. John Ruggie, the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative on business and human rights; and Sir Mark Moody-Stuart, Chairman of Anglo American plc. and co-vice chair of the Global Compact Board.

The meeting also featured the US launch of “Embedding Human Rights in Business Practices II”, a compendium of case studies developed by the UN Global Compact Office and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Also attending the meeting were members of the Global Compact's Human Rights Working Group, which held a related meeting on 29 April in Boston.

"The US Network is now among the most active in the Global Compact, and this event marked the first time the network has focused exclusively on the topic of human rights", said Georg Kell, Executive Director of the UN Global Compact. "The business case for human rights is increasingly clear. At the same time, there is a need for more practical guidance on policy development and implementation. This event provided a platform for the sharing of emerging practices and specialized tools and resources".

A summary of the event and a link to presentations will be published within the next several weeks.

Please click here to download the agenda of the meeting and list of attendees.

Please click here to download the Embedding Human Rights in Business Practice II.


Gavin Power
UN Global Compact Office
+1 917 679 8144

Ursula Wynhoven
UN Global Compact Office
+1 212 963 5705