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Commonwealth Business Forum: The Abuja Manifesto

Published 12-08-03

Submitted by africapractice

Abuja, Nigeria - Abuja: “Neither business nor government can achieve sustainable development alone. This can only be accomplished through partnership.”

Dr Mohan Kaul, Chairman of the Commonwealth Business Council, was speaking at the conclusion of the largest conference on sustainable development since the World Summit in 2002, and the largest Commonwealth business event ever. Over 700 business and government leaders from 34 countries participated.

The focus of the Commonwealth Business Forum was not on what or why, but making things happen.

“Sustainable development is becoming a way of thinking and doing business,” said Dr Kaul. “Business views it as meaning profitability, environmental sensitivity, and the ability to address wider societal needs. The private sector acknowledges that it needs to act faster to respond to these new demands, and raise standards of corporate citizenship accordingly. The concept is gaining wider understanding and acceptance, and many business leaders spend increasing amounts of time in embedding this new approach within their companies.

“In this spirit, the Commonwealth Business Council is requesting Heads of Government to give consideration to the following practical recommendations for achieving sustainable development:

1. Remove obstacles to wealth and job creation: cut red tape and get the environment right for wealth and job creation.

2. Endorse a Joint Action Plan for Enabling Corporate Citizenship for Sustainable Development and support implementation of the plan at national level.

3. Support common standards on accountability amongst governments, business and civil society, and encourage wide dissemination of these principles.

4. Revive commitment to multilateral trade negotiations as the most effective way to ensure the progressive liberalisation of trade in goods and services as per the Doha development agenda."

For further information, please contact:

In Nigeria:

Marcus Courage
234 0803506 2403
+44 (0)7770 234 557


Robert Watkinson
+44 (0)20 7024 8271 direct
+44 (0)7984 433 486 mobile



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