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Annan cancels Notre Dame visit

Mary Kate Malone | Monday, November 6, 2006

Due to scheduling conflicts, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has canceled his planned Nov. 12 visit to Notre Dame, a Mendoza College of Business official said Sunday.

Annan was scheduled to be the keynote speaker at a peace conference Nov. 12-14 exploring how commerce can be a tool for building peace. Father Oliver Williams, the director of Mendoza’s Center for Ethics and Culture and the conference’s lead organizer, said he booked Annan knowing his visit could not be assured, given the Secretary-General’s full and often unpredictable schedule.

Annan will be replaced by Mark Moody-Stuart, chairman of the board of directors of the Foundation for the Global Compact, a non-profit entity that helps fund one of Annan’s most well-known initiatives, the Global Compact.

The three-day peace conference is titled “Peace Through Commerce: Partnerships as a New Paradigm” and will bring together intellectuals, corporate executives, representatives from non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and government policy makers to examine how, through economic commerce, businesses and NGOs can advance initiatives for peace.

Moody-Stuart will deliver his keynote address to an invitation-only crowd in the dining room of the Notre Dame Press Box Nov. 12.

“[Moody-Stuart is] going to talk about the need for companies – particularly large businesses – to get involved in problems of the wider society. … He will encourage them and probably implore companies to do more,” said Williams, who sits with Moody-Stuart on the board of directors for the Foundation for the Global Compact.

In addition to his chairmanship of the Foundation for the Global Compact, Moody-Stuart is also chairman of Anglo American PLC, an international mining company. He holds a doctorate in geology from Cambridge University and, from 2001-04, was a member of the U.N. advisory council for the Global Compact, which brings together business and peacekeeping organizations to help create and sustain a more inclusive economy.

Companies who will be represented at the conference include: Bristol-Myers-Squibb, The Coca Cola Company, Ford Motor Company and General Electric, among others.

General Electric’s Vice President of Corporate Citizenship, Bob Corcoran, will speak about his company’s involvement with the Millennium Village Project, an initiative that aims to support villages and peoples in Africa.

NGOs that will be represented include: Oxfam, Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS and Initiative for Global Development, among others.

The conference is sponsored by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the United Nations Global Compact, the Center for Ethics and Religious Values in Business and Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies.