Global Compact gains momentum

01 May 2006

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United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has appointed a group of 20 business, labour and civil society leaders from around the world to serve on the Board of the UN Global Compact.

New Horizons - The Secretary-General's appointments follow a comprehensive consultation process involving all Global Compact stakeholders, including its Local Networks. Each of the appointees has demonstrated a long record of commitment to the Global Compact's mission and principles and enjoys the support of a regional or constituency group. The twenty-member body is comprised of ten business representatives, four representatives of business associations and labour groups, as well as four representatives of civil society organizations. Ex-officio members are the Executive Head of the Global Compact Office and the Chair of the Foundation for the Global Compact.


The Global Compact Board is a key component of the initiative's governance framework, which was introduced following a comprehensive review of the initiative conducted in 2004-05. (Other components include the triennial Leaders Summit      -next to be held in June 2007-, Local Networks, the annual Networks Forum, the Foundation for the Global Compact and the Inter-Agency Team.)

Operating under the auspices of the Secretary-General, the Board will help ensure the Global Compact's continuity and facilitate its further growth. It will provide strategic advice for the initiative as a whole and make related recommendations to the UN Global Compact Office, participants and other stakeholders. The Board will also play a role with regard to the implementation of the Compact's integrity measures. Board members will act as champions of the initiative.

The Global Compact Board will meet once a year, with the inaugural meeting planned for the summer 2006 at UN Headquarters in New York.

About Global Compact

Launched in 1999 by the United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, the UN Global Compact (www.unglobalcompact.org) brings business together with UN agencies, labour, civil society and governments to advance universal principles in the areas of human rights, labour standards, environment and anti-corruption. With more than 2,500 participating companies in over 90 countries, it is the largest voluntary corporate citizenship initiative in the world. More than 45 local networks advance the Global Compact's principles at the national and regional levels.

Global Compact Principles:

Human Rights
• Principle 1 : Businesses should support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights; and
• Principle 2 : make sure that they are not complicit in human rights abuses.

Labour Standards
• Principle 3 : Businesses should uphold the freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining;
• Principle 4 : the elimination of all forms of forced and compulsory labour;
• Principle 5 : the effective abolition of child labour; and
• Principle 6 : the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.

Environment
• Principle 7 : Businesses should support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges;
• Principle 8 : undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility; and
• Principle 9 : encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies

Anti-Corruption
• Principle 10: Businesses should work against all forms of corruption, including extortion and bribery.

Why Participate?

There are numerous benefits to participating in the Global Compact. These include:


• Demonstrating leadership by advancing responsible corporate citizenship.
• Producing practical solutions to contemporary problems related to globalisation, sustainable development and corporate responsibility in a multi-stakeholder context.
• Managing risks by taking a proactive stance on critical issues.
• Leveraging the UN's global reach and convening power with governments, business, civil society and other stakeholders.
• Sharing good practices and learnings.


Koç Holding joins the "Global Compact"

The Global Compact was launched in Turkey in March 2002, during a special one-day event organised by UNDP in İstanbul. Since then UN's Global Compact initiative managed to attract more than 60 private Turkish companies. The initiative has gained momentum when UNDP's Private Sector Partnership Project Office in İstanbul opened last summer. The latest contribution to the Global Compact project has come from a leading businessman in Turkey, Mustafa Koç, who heads the biggest private employer with tens of thousands workers. During a meeting in New York on 30th of March with Kofi Annan, Secretary General of the United Nations, Mustafa Koç said that while expanding as a group of companies, they are fully aware of their responsibilities regarding the society. For his part George Kell, Executive Head of the Global Compact, said that they welcomed the commitment of Koç Holding to the initiative.


Global Compact presentations in Turkey and Northern Cyprus

Acknowledging the role of Public Relations (PR) companies in promoting the corporate values and ethics among businesses, UNDP Turkey presented the UN Global Compact to 15 (PR) companies in İstanbul on April 20th, 2006. The seminar was organized by the Association of Communication Consultancy Companies (IDA), an umbrella organisation of PR companies. The participants were provided with general information on the UN Global Compact. UNDP İstanbul's Private Sector Project Office will have follow-up meetings with the participating PR agencies in the coming weeks.

UNDP's Private Sector Project Office in İstanbul participated in another meeting on 25 April in Northern Cyprus where the Global Compact was introduced. Minister of Economy of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Dervis Kemal Deniz delivered the opening speech at the meeting, which was held upon the invitation of UNDP Office in Cyprus. Besides representatives from the Chamber of Commerce and the Chamber of Industry, NGO members and academics also participated in the meeting.