The UN Global Compact: Guidelines for socially responsible investment

08 Nov 2005

UNDP Resident Representative Jakob Simonsen highlighted socially responsible foreign investment during a conference on the potentials and barriers to increased foreign investement in Turkey.

The conference was hosted by YASED, the Foreign Investors Association of Turkey, in Istanbul on 08-09 November 2005, bringing together representatives from the private sector, academia, and Government, notably the Prime Minister of Turkey.

UNDP Turkey highlighted the extent to which the attraction of foreign direct investment (FDI) had become increasingly important for transition countries, with FDI being the largest source of foreign private capital reaching Turkey. However, this view, based on the implicit assumption that greater inflows of FDI will bring certain benefits to the country's economy, does not distinguish on the form of FDI as a source of capital.

Mr. Simonsen reviewed the principles of the Global Compact, suggesting corporate actors could use the Compacts' ten universally recognized principles on human rights, labour standards, environmentalism, and anti-corruption could be used as guidelines for socially responsible investment. He put the onus on chief executive officers, shareholders, and external stakeholders to see that changes to business operations were set in motion in respect of the Global Compact, not only by foreign investors in Turkey, but by Turkish multinationals investing abroad.

For more information please contact Hansin Dogan, UNDP Programme Manager (Istanbul), hansin.dogan@undp.org or Lara Romaniuc, UNDP Programme Manager (Ankara), lara.romaniuc@undp.org