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Business not opposed to successful WSSD.

JOHANNESBURG, 27 August 2002 - An umbrella initiative representing major international businesses on Tuesday refuted suggestions that corporations were opposed to a successful outcome of the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD).

Richard Holme, deputy chairman of Business Action for Sustainable Development (BASD), said at a press briefing on the sidelines of the WSSD in Johannesburg, it was untrue that business was opposed to global economic and environmental targets.

"We want a successful summit... we want broad targets, but it's not for us to say which targets the world must adopt."

The initiative was formed to co-ordinate the business community's participation in the WSSD and would not be in Johannesburg if the companies involved did not support political agreement on development goals.

The partnerships that business wanted to form with governments and local communities were complimentary to, and not intended to substitute, political agreements, he said.

About 700 delegates from more than 150 companies are meeting in the South African city in a parallel conference to the 10-day Johannesburg World Summit, where tens of thousands of delegates are meeting to try map the future of the planet.

Source: SAPA (South African Press Association)