Kofi Annan calls on Japanese companies for leadership in citizenship
Date: 25 Feb 2004
UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has told a group of senior business leaders in Japan that business has a key role to play in addressing the world's problems.
Japanese companies, he said, are demonstrating ever stronger leadership in the field of corporate citizenship, and are well placed to enjoy the benefits of 'responsible competitiveness'.
13 Japanese companies had so far signed up to the Global Compact, which aims to create a global ethical framework by embracing universal principles - in the areas of human rights, labour standards and the environment. This was not yet enough to reflect the weight of multinational corporations based in the country.
"Today, I call on all Japanese companies and business groups to support the Global Compact by committing themselves explicitly to its principles.
"Through the active engagement of Japanese companies and other stakeholders, I am optimistic that the Global Compact will provide a useful platform to advance corporate citizenship and help produce a more sustainable and inclusive world economy, so that globalization's benefits can be shared by everyone, including the world's poor."
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In a recent article, the BBC's economics editor Robert Peston highlighted the fact that in 2012 the chances are that the economy - punch drunk as it is from the various flavours of debt crisis it has been pummelled with over the course of the year - will be hit by the collapse of a major bank and / or government.
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