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Business sets up HQ in Johannesburg for World Summit

16 July 2002 – Business preparations for the upcoming World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg are reaching their final phases as the private sector rallies ahead of what is expected to be the world’s biggest ever UN conference.

Heading to Johannesburg under the banner of Business Action for Sustainable Development (BASD), the business sector is making final preparations to set up the city’s Hilton Hotel.

Situated a short walk from the Sandton convention centre - where the summit’s main proceedings will take place –the Hilton will become the private sector HQ for the summit, boasting a fully-equipped business centre, including meeting rooms, Internet connected computers and all office facilities.

It will also be the venue for Lekgotla: Business Day on Sunday September 1. “Lekgotla” is taken from the local Sotho language meaning “meeting of leaders”. It aims to bring together leaders from business, government and civil society to share ideas and experience on the importance of sustainable development to the private sector.

Issues on the Business Day programme include “initiatives for a more sustainable use of water and energy” “initiatives to provide access to water, energy, health and agriculture” and “how markets and trade can contribute to sustainable development”. A full programme can be accessed at

Several heads of state have already indicated their intention to participate in the Business Day.

BASD, which has dedicated itself “to identify where business can play a constructive role in the development and delivery of a sustainable future”, will further contribute to the Summit with its “Virtual Exhibition”(www.virtual and a series of Legacy Projects.

The “Virtual Exhibit”, conceived by BASD in association with the United Nations Development Project (UNDP), is a TV and internet-based exhibition of sustainable development projects from all over the world. It will be a continuous presentation on TV screens at the Johannesburg Summit - centrally located in the main conference centre, and in exhibition halls and venues around the city.

Screens will display pre-recorded videos of sustainable development projects and also cross live to workers in the field. Via the internet, the same videos will be available to anyone in the world with a modem. The Summit itself will also be webcast via the Virtual Exhibit website – making this Summit the most inclusive United Nations gathering ever held.

Virtual Exhibit producers have already received over 200 video submissions from companies, governments, NGOs and local communities keen to show off exactly what they are doing in the interests of a sustainable future.
These videos are currently being posted on the Virtual Exhibit website and, during the Summit itself, will be broadcast in Johannesburg and webcast to a world audience via the internet.

The Legacy Projects are a series of initiatives which will seek to minimise the footprint left by the 65,000 delegates expected at the Summit.

A “Water Neutral Project” will seek to provide for rural communities in South Africa at least as much water as is consumed by delegates to the Summit. A “Climate Neutral Project” will ask delegates to off-set the carbon they have generated flying to and staying at the Summit – by donating money to sustainable development projects in South Africa – including solar heating projects and education and training in energy efficiency.

The World Summit on Sustainable Development that will take place in Johannesburg, South Africa from 26 August to 4 September 2002. The business contribution to the Summit is being co-ordinated by Business Action for Sustainable Development (BASD), a comprehensive network of business organisations that have come together in the interests of sustainable development. BASD is a joint initiative of ICC: the world business organisation and WBCSD: the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.

For further information on business preparations for the World Summit on Sustainable Development, visit the BASD website at or contact Bryce Corbett, ICC Director of Communications (in Paris) +33 1 49 53 29 87.