is to assemble the business contribution to next September's Rio plus-10 Summit
with the aim of encouraging economic development, fighting poverty and
improving the environment.
Moody-Stuart, the BASD chairman, said at the close of BASD's two-day inaugural
meeting: "We should use the influence we are supposed to have with
governments to get the necessary funding. We told participants - Go home, and
lean on your governments to do their bit."
discussions with the South African Government, it seems there are major budget
concerns relating to next year's World Summit in Johannesburg," he added.
"Not surprisingly, the South African Government has turned to business to
see what form of financial support they can offer."
clear that South Africa is well-placed to host this vital conference and that
the South African Government is putting a lot of effort to ensure a successful
meeting. But it is equally clear that South Africa should not have to bear
undue expense in hosting the meeting."
At the same
time, the business representatives resolved to help the World Summit to leave a
lasting legacy benefiting Johannesburg and all South Africa. Business would
also seek to draw attention to the often neglected business opportunities
present throughout Africa. The legacy would mobilize business support for
infrastructure development, inward investment and social programmes.
this way, business can meet some of South Africa's most urgent needs: to combat
disease, to provide training and education, to improve communications and
transport networks, and to supply the finance that enables small businesses to
get off the ground."
told reporters: "It was made clear at every session that the initiatives
that really work are in partnership with others. Business cannot do it on its
140 top-level business leaders met with United Nations Under Secretary-General
Nitin Desai over two days in Paris to hammer business preparation strategies
protestors clamoured outside, participants inside the meeting shared
experiences, devised initiatives and looked at the best ways the global
business community could contribute to not only a successful Summit, but a
truly sustainable future.
statement issued as the business conference ended said the Johannesburg summit
was in peril for lack of funding. It noted that global tensions caused by the
terrorist attacks on New York and Washington had put a heavy responsibility on
world leaders to ensure the summit's success. This was doubly important to a
world starved of good news.
African government had sought a contribution covering a large part of the costs
from the private sector, but business representatives said they could not go
along with this.
Sir Mark, a
former Chairman of Shell, told a news conference: "If business were to
provide core funding, this would feed all the suspicions about business,
inevitably leading to charges that it was exerting undue influence."
Chairman added: "For business, success at Johannesburg would be if other
parties told us that they understood the contribution that business can make
and asked: 'How can we work with business to make it happen."
BASD is an
initiative of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), a global business
organization with members in more than 140 countries, and the World Business
Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), which group 150 major companies
with strong involvement in environmental issues.