(2) which companies have been invited to attend the meeting convened by the Government on the Millennium Development Goals call to action in April 2008; and what other discussions are intended to take place with companies on this issue;
(3) what discussions the Government have had with the companies involved in the Prime Minister's Millennium Development Goals call to action;
(4) what criteria the Government are using to assess the overall impact of the core business practices of the companies selected to join the Prime Minister's call to action on global poverty;
(5) what criteria were used to select the companies invited to join the Prime Minister's Millennium Development Goal call to action.
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Call to Action seeks to engage the energies of the private sector, alongside governments and a range of other stakeholders such as NGOs, faith groups and cities in responding to the challenge of accelerating progress towards the MDGs. The Government have had a range of discussions both with the 21 companies that initially signed the Call to Action and with other potential supporters.
Companies who support the Call to Action will discuss their ideas for practical initiatives that could contribute to achieving the MDGs, at a meeting in London in May. Private sector investment is a key factor in accelerating economic growth, and hence achieving the MDGs, so such sharing of ideas is an important part of the Call to Action. It is hoped that the meeting will encourage wider interest and commitment from the private sector on the Call to Action.
The meeting is expected to take place in May. We are working with the UN to investigate what appropriate mechanism could be put in place to ensure private sector projects adhere to best practice in their efforts to contribute to the achievement of the MDGs.