ChevronTexaco Chairman and CEO David O'Reilly Addresses World Economic Forum
Urges Business Leaders to Join the Fight Against Global Poverty
DAVOS, Switzerland, Jan. 23, 2004 -- ChevronTexaco Chairman Dave O'Reilly today urged business leaders to take on the "defining challenge" of the 21st Century – global poverty. Speaking during a plenary session entitled "The Imperative of Partnering Against Poverty" at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, which included a keynote speech by President Chissano of Mozambique, O'Reilly shared his views on why business must care about the world's poor and the need to help them achieve a standard of living approaching that enjoyed by the developed world."Business must care not only for ethical and moral reasons, which I think we all share," O'Reilly said, "but it's also in our own financial interest to care. Business must do what it does well, bringing collateral benefits to the people in countries where we operate. The key to poverty reduction is the creation of economic growth. This requires human capacity, financial stability and strategic planning. The impact on a community from a project must be long term, must meet a continuing need and has to be accompanied with local capacity building."But we cannot succeed alone," O'Reilly added. "By itself, no single entity or organization can effectively address poverty. We need to tie companies, governments, communities and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) together in ways that can leverage our efforts across nations and regions. But this also calls for mutual trust between all those actively working to alleviate the deficit of basic human need."As an example, O'Reilly cited ChevronTexaco's $50 million initiative in Angola, which brings together a diverse group of development partners working to create sustainable, scalable projects that could help the nation rebuild from its protracted civil war."With our 40-year history in Angola, we wanted to help," O'Reilly said. "But we knew we could never tackle such a project by ourselves. We turned to NGOs with expertise in agriculture, finance and education – even seed multiplication and goat raising. We worked with the government of Angola, international banks and development agencies and, most importantly, with communities and rural villagers themselves. One initiative alone, aimed at reviving the nation's small farms, will have helped nearly 900,000 Angolans by the end of this year."The point is success will only come through new partnerships and coalitions that combine our separate strengths," he said.O'Reilly also called on governments to re-engage in the Doha round of the World Trade Organization and to boost trade and self-sufficiency in the developing world by a reduction of tariffs and agricultural subsidies.Based in San Ramon, Calif., ChevronTexaco is the second-largest U.S.-based energy company and the fifth largest in the world, based on market capitalization. More than 53,000 ChevronTexaco employees work in approximately 180 countries around the world, producing crude oil and natural gas, and marketing fuels and other energy products.
Updated: January 2004