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Group of leading NGOs sign up to first global accountablity charter

Associated Press

The heads of 11 leading non-governmental organizations on Tuesday signed up to the first global accountability charter for such groups.

At the event hosted by Amnesty International Secretary General Irene Khan, signatories agreed on a charter which calls on members to provide an annual report on issues ranging from governance and management to fundraising and disclosure on where funds are allocated.

The International Non Governmental Organizations Accountability Charter has been adopted by a broad spectrum of organizations, including Oxfam International, Greenpeace International, Consumers International and Transparency International.

Khan said the organizations made the step to demonstrate their commitment to transparency and accountability.

"As international NGOs we deeply value the trust citizens place in us. ... We don't take trust for granted, we want to sustain it, maintain it and deepen it," she said.

Signatories that fail to meet the standards will be expelled. "If we say someone should not be among us, it send sends out a strong signal", Khan said.

The members of the charter said they were not reacting to any outside pressure but instead believe that their stance would add to pressure for a charter on social responsibility for big business.

"It will turn the heat on the retrograde elements in industry that are trying to con the public that they are acting responsibly," said Richard Lloyd, director of Consumers International.

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