John WH Denton and Paul Polman have unanimously been elected as new secretary-general and first vice-chair respectively of International Chamber of Commerce.
They were elected at ICC's extraordinary world council held in Tokyo on March 8, the Bangladesh chapter of the globe's largest business organisation said in a statement yesterday.
Denton is the CEO of Australia's leading law firm Corrs Chambers Westgarth and Polman is the CEO of Unilever.
Denton will replace John Danilovich while Polman will succeed current ICC Chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal, who will take the position of honorary chairman of the Paris-based organisation.
More than 50 chairmen, vice-chairmen or secretary generals of the ICC national committees from different countries attended the council.
ICC Bangladesh President Mahbubur Rahman, Vice President Latifur Rahman and Secretary General Ataur Rahman attended the event. In the statement, Mittal said: “We are delighted to have secured John Denton as ICC's next secretary-general. John will bring to the role a wealth of experience from the world of business, law and international diplomacy.”
On Polman's appointment, Mittal said: “I am confident that Paul will be an outstanding successor to take ICC's agenda and objectives forward.”
Denton said he is deeply honoured to have been elected as secretary-general of the ICC.
“At a time when the dual threat of populism and protectionism still loom large, it's more vital than ever for business to have a seat at the table in global policymaking.”
He said the ICC has a unique role to play in ensuring the views and experience of the global private sector are taken into account in key global forums – from the United Nations to the G20.
“I look forward to working with ICC's global network in over 100 countries to do just that.”
Polman said he is very much looking forward to joining the ICC chairmanship.
“As the world's largest business organisation, the ICC plays a vital role in speaking up for the private sector and helping businesses adapt swiftly and responsibly to current and emerging global challenges and drive progress against the Sustainable Development Goals.”
Polman served as a member of the UN Secretary-General's high-level panel responsible for formulating the SDGs and was subsequently appointed as a UN SDG advocate responsible for promoting the goals.
The council was followed by the ICC Regional Consultative Group meeting and the ICC Asia Pacific CEO Forum.