8 May 2009 | Martha McKenzie-Minifie
Business leaders from international companies have written an open letter in support of the United Nations, calling for a crackdown on government corruption worldwide.
The chief executives - including IKEA Group's Anders Dahlvig, Royal Dutch Shell's Jeroen van der Veer and Jeffery Immelt from the General Electric Company in the US - wrote to UN secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon to express "strong support" for the UN Convention against Corruption.
The 24 CEOs asked governments to take a stronger stance in implementing the Convention.
"The economic crisis will inevitably place severe strains on worldwide competition, threatening an erosion of ethical standards that will be hard to reverse," the letter read.
The letter was written at the invitation of four global anti-corruption groups - the International Chamber of Commerce, Transparency International, the United Nations Global Compact and the World Economic Forum Partnering Against Corruption Initiative.
Transparency International chairwoman Huguette Labelle said the move showed "great leadership".