Anti-Corruption Added to Int'l Governance Pact
Byline: LISA SINGHANIA
UNITED NATIONS (AP)Business leaders, policymakers and activists called on world corporations to fight corruption, making it the newest plank in a global compact intended to improve business ethics and standards around the world.
"You felt, and I agreed, that corruption so profoundly corrodes sound business practice and good corporate governance," U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan told the more than 400 people attending the Global Compact Leaders Summit on Thursday.
The Global Compact, which was established in 2000, promotes standards for human rights, labor, environmental and, starting this year, anti-corruption standards. Some 1,500 companies have signed the voluntary agreement from 70 countries, roughly half from developing nations.
The new anti-corruption platform targets, among other things, extortion and bribery. According to World Bank estimates, there were some US$1 trillion in bribes alone in 2003 in developed and developing countries.
The news was welcomed by Pfizer Inc. chairman Hank McKinnell, who predicted less corruption would mean better health care. …