23 July 2004 Forum Barcelona - a public-private partnership to advance sustainable development, cultural diversity and peace-building - has announced its backing for the Global Compact initiative of United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan that promotes better corporate practices around the world.
The announcement came yesterday in Barcelona, Spain, at the end of a four-day meeting on "The Role of Corporations in the 21st Century" and also heralded the establishment of a Global Compact Centre.
The Centre will work with the various Global Compact country networks around the world to boost the initiative's 10 principles, which involve protecting human rights, upholding basic labour standards, respecting the environment and fighting corruption.
Launched in 2000, the Compact has grown from 50 companies to the nearly 1,500 that participate today, making it the largest voluntary "corporate responsibility" initiative in the world.
The "Universal Forum of Cultures in Barcelona 2004," which opened in May and runs through September, will investigate such topics as globalization, sustainable development, cultural diversity, spirituality, freedom and peace.
Among the speakers that have appeared or are scheduled to take part in the Forum are Mikhail Gorbachev, the Dalai Lama, Iranian Nobel Peace Laureate Shirin Ebadi, Swiss theologian Hans Küng and South African Member of Parliament and winner of the Community of Christ International Peace Award Ela Gandhi.