Organized by the ICC in association with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and The Prince of Wales International Business Leaders Forum (IBLF), the World Business Awards are the first worldwide business awards to recognize the crucial role of the private sector in implementing the UN’s Millennium Development Goals of reducing poverty by half around the world by 2015, as agreed to in 2000. It is the fourth time the awards will be given.

“A partnership approach involving business lies at the very heart of the MDGs and is key to their successful implementation. These initiatives represent the very best of business activity around the world, using innovative and productive skills to help make the societies where they operate better places to live and better places to work,” said ICC Secretary General Guy Sebban.

Selections were made by an independent panel chaired by Mrs Robinson, drawn from business, labour, research and academic organizations, with representatives from ICC, UNDP and IBLF. Panellists evaluated 73 projects from 33 countries before choosing the awardees. Nominations came from every manner of business and included business associations, confederations and individual companies.

“We were very impressed with the high quality of the nominations received and commend the wide range of projects from large and small businesses in all regions. They contribute to the development goals defined in the UN Millennium Declaration,” Mrs Robinson said.

The awards recognize breakthrough, productive methods deployed by businesses large and small towards promoting sustainable development nationwide, in partnership with government, civil society and other organizations; building awareness of the MDGs in the business community, and sharing best practices.

The ten winning initiatives (in alphabetical order) are:

Aaviskaar India Micro Venture Capital Fund – Lends to poverty-reducing small and medium-sized enterprises in India.
Africa Comprehensive HIV/AIDS Partnership (ACHAP), Merck – Addresses the disease in hard-hit Botswana.
EcoLogic Finance – Finances conservation in fragile areas of Africa and Latin America.
Global Alliance for the Elimination of Lymphatic Filariasis (GAELF), GlaxoSmithKline, Global Community Partnerships – Connects health ministries with 40 partners to fight elephantiasis.
Health Care Logistics, VidaGás, VillageReach – Supplies propane for health facilities in rural Mozambique.
Patrimonio Hoy, Cemex Mexico – Helps CEMEX provide low-income housing in Mexico.
Siwa Sustainable Development Initiative, Environmental Quality International (EQI) – Invests in projects safeguarding Siwan heritage in Egypt.
SOLO, Eczacibasi-Georgia-Pacific / Ipek kagit – Promotes personal hygiene in Turkish primary schools to ward off diseases.
Sustainable Development in Banking, Banco Real / ABN AMRO – Integrates the MDGs into ABN AMRO’s operations in Brazil.
Tetra Pak Food for Development, Tetra Pak – Delivers meals to schoolchildren in developing countries and nations in transition.

Judges also highly commended: Anglo-American’s Socio-Economic Assessment Toolbox, Brandix Training Center for Water Management, Education for All, Eskom’s Electrification Program for South Africa, Macy’s Rwanda Path to Peace, Sustainable Development for Narino’s Coffee Growers, Sustainable Farming in Equatorial Africa, Reliance HIV/TB Control Center, the Social Stock Exchange and Starbucks Integrated Approach to Coffee Sustainability.