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U.N. Global Compact Announces New Initiatives

Submitted by: United Nations Global Compact

Categories: Community Development

Posted: Sep 11, 2003 – 12:00 AM EST


Global Compact Launched in Mauritius
Global Compact Convenes N.Y. Investment Forum
RING Alliance Issues Report on Global Compact
Report on Advisory Council Meeting
John Ruggie Named Special Advisor
Report Released on Berne Workshop on Networks

Sep. 11 /CSRwire/ - UNITED NATIONS -- THE U.N. Global Compact reports several new initiatives including:

Global Compact Launched in Mauritius

On 3 September the Global Compact was launched in Mauritius during a high-level event attended by some 40 representatives from the business community, government and trade unions. Mr. Dan Bundhoo, President of the Mauritius Employer Federation, chaired the launch while Mr. Showkutally Soodhun, Minister of Labour and Industrial Relations and Mr. Rajesh Bhagwan, Minister of Environment, delivered keynote speeches, as did a UN representative and the Deputy Secretary-General of the International Organization of Employers (IOE). Experts from the ILO and the IOE introduced the Global Compact and its nine principles. The launch, organized by the Mauritius Employer Federation (MEF), was the first step in the creation of a Global Compact network in Mauritius. MEF will act as focal point for this network. (See UN Global Compact)

Global Compact Convenes N.Y. Investment Forum

On 7 August the Global Compact Office, in partnership with UNEP Finance Initiatives, convened a forum in New York City on the topic of "Regulatory Trends and Voluntary Initiatives" in the context of corporate governance and corporate responsibility. The forum, which was held at the NASDAQ MarketSite and included approximately 35 individuals drawn largely from the investment community, explored the complementary nature of regulatory structures and voluntary initiatives that promote corporate responsibility, such as the Global Compact. Alan G. Hevesi, the New York State Comptroller, delivered the keynote presentation in which he encouraged the Global Compact in advancing universal principles and good corporate citizenship. Mr. Hevesi, the sole trustee of a public pension fund valued at over $100 billion, is a leading advocate of corporate governance reform. (See UN Global Compact)

RING Alliance Issues Report on Global Compact

The Regional and International Networking Group (RING), a global alliance of predominantly Southern research and policy organizations, has published a report titled "The Development Dimensions of the UN Global Compact." A collaborative effort led by researchers in Bangladesh, Chile, Kenya and the UK , the report focuses on the relationship between business and development in the context of the Global Compact's activities and presents a number of recommendations to reinforce the development dimension of the Global Compact. (See UN Global Compact)

Report on Advisory Council Meeting

On 16 July, the Global Compact Advisory Council convened its fourth meeting since its formation on 8 January 2002. The meeting, held at United Nations Headquarters in New York, was chaired by Deputy Secretary-General Louise Frechette and John Ruggie, Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on the Global Compact. The meeting brought together 17 members (or designated representatives) of the Advisory Council (AC) representing business, labour and civil society. The meeting also included representatives from the Global Compact's five core UN agencies -- UNEP, UNDP, ILO, OHCHR and UNIDO -- as well as Georg Kell, Executive Head of the Global Compact. In addition, the Secretary-General actively participated in a working luncheon with Advisory Council members.

Key issues addressed by the Council were the following:
- Integrity Measures;
- Communicating on Progress;
- Local Networks;
- Policy Dialogues; and
- the Leaders Summit in 2004.

The meeting resulted in a number of outcomes:

  • Wide support for the convening of a Global Compact Leaders Summit, now confirmed for 24-25 June 2004
  • The Secretary-General agreed to explore how the UN itself could make progress in implementing the nine principles in its own work
  • Consideration for the addition of a tenth principle on Transparency/Corruption, to be examined more closely following the expected General Assembly adoption of the UN Convention Against Corruption
  • A recommendation to seek funding, through an intermediary, from foundations for the development of an Impact
  • Assessment and other priority activities
  • A recommendation that the Global Compact develop a more comprehensive funding strategy
  • A recommendation to create a task force to develop a process to address companies engaged in "egregious violations" of the Global Compact principles
  • A recommendation to the Global Compact Office to expedite together with core agencies guidelines on local networks
  • A proposal that the Global Compact Office consider more explicitly the relationship between voluntary initiatives and regulatory approaches, such as the Draft Norms of Responsibilities of Transnational Corporations and Other Business Enterprises with Regard to Human Rights.
    (See UN Global Compact)

    John Ruggie Named Special Advisor

    John Ruggie, former Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations, has been appointed Special Advisor to Secretary-General Kofi Annan on the Global Compact, effective 15 July 2003. Mr. Ruggie, who is Weil Director of the Center for Business and Government at Harvard University, will advise the Secretary-General on the overall direction of the Global Compact and oversee the preparation of a high-level Leaders Summit on the Global Compact at UN Headquarters, scheduled for 24-25 June 2004. As Special Advisor, Mr. Ruggie will work closely with Georg Kell, Executive Head of the Global Compact. (See UN Global Compact)

    Report Released on Berne Workshop on Networks

    An international workshop on "The UN Global Compact Networks and Outreach", hosted by the Swiss Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was held in Berne, Switzerland on 26 and 27 June. The purpose of the workshop was to discuss and agree on the strategy, mechanisms, tools and activities to impart focus and coherence to what has become an evolving global network of local networks. Workshop participants from more than 30 countries shared experience learnt so far within recently established regional and national networks, with the aim of obtaining better clarity on key factors of success, the diversity of approaches, and needs. They also discussed the respective roles and responsibilities of the Global Compact Office and the growing number of local networks, and shared their vision of the future evolution of the Global Compact over the next five years. (See UN Global Compact)

  • For more information, please contact:

    Gavin Power UN Global Compact

    For more from this organization:

    United Nations Global Compact


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