British Prime Minister Brown Holds Conference on Role of Businesses in Efforts To Meet MDGs
Multinational companies need to increase their efforts to address development issues worldwide, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said on Tuesday ahead of a conference on global businesses and the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, AFP/Google.com reports. The MDGs include targets to curb the spread of diseases such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. "This year must be a year of action if we are to tackle the development emergency we face," Brown said in a statement released ahead of the London conference, which will include the heads of more than 80 global businesses and leaders from countries such as Ghana and Rwanda.
The conference will highlight work being done by more than 12 companies, such as Citi, Coca-Cola, Diageo, Microsoft, Sumitomo Chemical, Thomson Reuters and Vodafone. Brown said that he hopes such work will inspire other businesses to help reach the MDG targets by the 2015 deadline. Kemal Dervis from the U.N. Development Programme said in a statement that the private sector is "one of the greatest untapped resources" to help meet MDG targets (AFP/Google.com, 5/5).
Brown in December 2007 called on at least 20 of the largest multinational companies to help global efforts aimed at meeting the MDGs. Brown said he will call for an MDG meeting during the U.N. General Assembly in September 2009 to galvanize efforts to accomplish the targets. Brown also will use a meeting of the Group of Eight industrialized nations in Japan this summer to provide incentives to meet the MDGs (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 12/11/07).