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G8 Welcomes Global Compact’s Role in Advancing Responsible Business

(L’Aquila/New York) – The Leaders of the Group of 8, at their 2009 Summit in L’Aquila, Italy, have welcomed and encouraged the Global Compact’s work in advancing corporate responsibility in business practice and providing practical guidance for companies. The G8 Leaders Declaration, titled Responsible Leadership for a Sustainable Future , includes two specific references to the work of the initiative:

* “53. Conscious of the complementary role played by governments and the private sector in reaching a sustainable growth, we call for enhanced efforts to avoid wider consequences of the financial crisis and to promote responsible business practices. To this end we promote the dissemination of internationally-recognised voluntary Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) standards to raise awareness among our governments, citizens, companies and other stakeholders. We will further promote and foster Corporate Social Responsibility through encouragement of adherence to the existing relevant international instruments, in accordance with our Heiligendamm commitments. We also welcome the work of relevant international institutions (ILO, OECD, UN Global Compact) to incorporate CSR into business practices and encourage them to work together in a coherent way in order to achieve synergy effects with existing CSR instruments.”

* “[131.] Recognizing the key role of the extractive industries for the development and stability of many partner countries, we commend progress made by the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) and other initiatives such as the Forest Law Enforcement and Governance (FLEG) process for timber and the Kimberley certification process for rough diamonds. We reaffirm our commitment and support for the full implementation of these initiatives that can play a key role in increasing public revenues, and reducing corruption, conflict and violence fuelled by revenues from natural resources. We recommend the participation of further countries and companies in these initiatives. We strongly encourage EITI candidate countries to complete their validation process within the agreed timeframe. In addition, we encourage all firms operating in the extractive sector and in weak governance zones to adopt international corporate social responsibility guidelines, such as the OECD Guidelines on Multinational Enterprises. In this respect, and with reference to the Great Lakes Region, we welcome the efforts of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region to tackle illegal exploitation of natural resources and encourage the OECD, the United Nations and the Global Compact to work with the Conference and engage with key stakeholders to further develop practical guidance for business operating in countries with weak governance.”

Official G8 Summit 2009 website.

Media Contact
Matthias Stausberg

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