Innovative partnerships with business and civil society have become a common phenomenon at the United Nations in recent years. A range of UN entities across the system now collaborate with the private sector in various capacities. The Global Compact Office is working to strengthen the UN system in its efforts to engage business - including by convening annual UN System Private Sector Focal Points Meetings and the publication of The UN-Business Focal Point, a quarterly e-newsletter designed to enhance communication and collaboration among UN staff working with business.
The Global Compact also contributes to the development of UN policies and practices in the area of business partnerships by developing the Secretary-General's Reports to the General Assembly under the item "Towards Global Partnerships".
Finally, the Global Compact supports the work of the UN in its efforts to internalise the ten principles into the Organization's operations. The positive contribution of responsible business practices to society is now widely recognized and the Global Compact Office will continue to explore ways and means to enhance UN/Business partnerships across the Organization.
A quarterly e-newsletter designed to enhance communication and collaboration among UN staff working with the private sector. The UN-Business Focal Point promotes sharing of best practices and lessons on partnership activities across the UN system. It is produced by the Global Public Policy Institute (GPPi) in collaboration with the United Nations Global Compact Office.
The UN-Business partnership gateway was designed to support and facilitate collaboration between the United Nations and the private sector. The site provides a wealth of inspiration/information and a useful matching function designed to better link UN needs with the resources of businesses around the world. Companies and UN organizations alike can use the site to describe their partnership interests and begin the partnership exploration process.
The Secretary-General convenes the Private Sector Forum on an annual basis on the occasion of the General Assembly debate so the voice of the private sector can contribute to inter-governmental negotiations on key topic areas. As the primary UN platform for business leaders and public policy makers, the Forum was designed to inspire further individual and collective commitments by business.
Many UN organisations have personnel that facilitate effective collaboration between their office and the private sector. These individuals are referred to as UN Private Sector Focal Points. Private Sector Focal Points collaborate across the UN system to share information and experiences, they coordinate joint activities and work to avoid duplication of efforts.
Since 2000, the Global Compact Office has been the functional entity within the UN Secretariat responsible for developing the Secretary-General's report under the item "Towards Global Partnerships". It focuses on ways of enhancing cooperation between the UN and all relevant partners, in particular, the private sector. Taking stock of current, system-wide efforts to enhance private-sector cooperation, the report – reviewed biennially – concludes that the UN is “well-positioned to bring private sector engagement to the next level and significantly enhance its contribution to the goals of the Organization”.
As an important component of the Secretary-General’s efforts to modernise the United Nations, the Guidelines are intended to help UN staff develop more effective partnerships between the UN and the business sector while ensuring the integrity and independence of the United Nations. The purpose of these guidelines is to facilitate the formulation and implementation of partnerships between the United Nations and the Business Sector in a manner that ensures the integrity and independence of the UN. The Guidelines are intended to serve as a common framework for all organizations of the UN system as a basis for their collaborative efforts with the Business Sector. All are encouraged to adopt the Guidelines in accordance with necessary internal processes.
Ms. Melissa Powell
powell1 (at) un.org