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UN GLOBAL COMPACT BULLETIN

January 2009

 NEWS & UPDATES

  1. Year of Climate Change: Letter to all Global Compact Participants
  2. New Projects Announced on International Human Rights Day
  3. Labour Working Group Convenes Second Meeting, Releases Publication
  4. Business Encouraged to Work against Sexual Exploitation of Children
  5. Investors Urge Companies to Join CEO Water Mandate
  6. Local Networks to Be Established in Jamaica, Uganda and Albania
  7. Academics from 43 Countries Renew Commitment to Responsible Management Education
  8. Denmark Introduces Mandatory CSR Reporting for Large Companies
  9. Participant Status: New Signatories, COPs and Delistings
  10. Foundation for the Global Compact: 2009 Appeal

ENGAGEMENT OPPORTUNITIES

  1. Caring for Climate: Join the world’s largest global business coalition on climate
  2. Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women: Call for examples
  3. More Opportunities: Calls for examples and information, Human Trafficking Survey, and more  

FEATURED RESOURCES

  1. The Labour Principles of the United Nations Global Compact: A Guide for Business
  2. Meeting Reports:
    • Caring for Climate
    • Annual Local Networks Forum
    • UN Global Compact Leading Companies Retreat
  3. UN Global Compact Brochure Now Available in French and Chinese

EVENTS

Please visit the Event Calendar on our website to learn more about the below events, including intended audience and availability.

January
Global Compact Network Launch: Bangladesh (26 – 27 Jan, Dhaka)
Global Compact Outreach Event: Qatar (29 Jan, Doha)

February

Meeting of the Global Compact Anti-Corruption Working Group (26 – 27 Feb, New York)

March
Women and the UN Global Compact (5 March, New York)
Third Working Conference of the CEO Water Mandate (16 – 18 March, Istanbul)
Workshop: Fighting Corruption through Collective Action (16 – 17 March, Nigeria)
Regional Meeting for Global Compact Local Network Focal Points: Africa (17 – 18 March, Nigeria)
Conference on Business Responsibilities and Opportunities in Africa (18 – 19 March, Nigeria)

April
The Climate Imperative: Leadership, Innovation and Technology (22 – 23 April, Paris)

May
World Business Summit on Climate Change (24 – 26 May, Copenhagen)

June
VII Annual Local Networks Forum (9 – 10 June, Istanbul)
Meetings of issue specific working groups (climate, human rights and labour) will be held in conjunction with the Annual Local Networks Forum.

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NEWS & UPDATES

1. Year of Climate Change: Letter to all UN Global Compact Participants
Dear UN Global Compact Participant, the UN Secretary-General has called 2009 the “Year of Climate Change” – and for good reason. This year, crucial negotiations are scheduled related to the forging of a new global framework for climate change. As a key stakeholder in this global crisis, the business community is mobilizing, understanding that any meaningful progress must involve the private sector. We hope you will join this historic call-to-action. Read the letter.

2. New Projects Announced on International Human Rights Day
The UN Global Compact celebrated the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on 10 December by announcing two new projects.

  • Human Rights Dilemmas for Multinational Corporations in Emerging Markets: This project, launched with Maplecroft, aims to enhance understanding of human rights dilemmas for business. Outputs will include extensively researched case studies of human rights dilemmas considered from the perspectives of different stakeholders, as well as a set of practical solutions. An online forum will also be established. More.
  • Vote for Human Rights!: This project, launched with the Danish Institute for Human Rights, will enable companies to anonymously provide a ranking of the most challenging human rights risks to their business and sector. Results will be compiled into a Top 10 list with explanations of each issue. Webpage to be launched on 26 January. More.

In addition to the new projects, a Global Compact CEO Statement on Human Rights was published in all editions of the Financial Times and an article was prepared by two members of the Global Compact Board. Read the CEO Statement. Read “Business and Human Rights Debate Finally on the Right Track”.

3. Labour Working Group Convenes Second Meeting, Releases Report
Representatives from business, civil society, employee organizations, the UN Global Compact and the International Labour Organization (ILO) convened for the second meeting of the Global Compact Labour Working Group (New York, 16 December). Practical experiences in addressing the labour principles were shared by companies, and Local Network representatives presented their efforts within a national context. Additionally, the Working Group launched its first publication, The Labour Principles of the United Nations Global Compact: A Guide for Business. More.

4. Business Encouraged to Work against Sexual Exploitation of Children
The private sector is a key partner in preventing sexual exploitation of children and adolescents, particularly companies operating in internet services, tourism, travel, transport, financial services, entertainment, media and advertising. The recent III World Congress against the Sexual Exploitation of Children and Adolescents (Rio de Janeiro, 25 – 28 November) concluded with a call to companies to join the UN Global Compact and communicate their progress on the issue. More on World Congress. Learn about the Financial Coalition against Child Pornography.

5. Investors Urge Companies to Join CEO Water Mandate
An alliance of investors (representing US$1.5 trillion), all signatories to the UN Principles for Responsible Investment, have written to the chief executives of 100 of the world’s biggest companies, encouraging them to join the UN Global Compact’s CEO Water Mandate. In a letter dated 9 December, the investors state their belief that companies that manage the risks and opportunities presented by limited global water availability are more likely to be viable long-term investments. The CEO Water Mandate is designed to assist companies in the development, implementation and disclosure of water sustainability policies and practices. More.

6. Local Networks to Be Established in Jamaica, Uganda and Albania
UN Global Compact events held in December 2008 in Jamaica, Uganda and Albania laid important groundwork for the establishment of a UN Global Compact Local Network in the countries. Currently there are 68 established Local Networks around the world, with an additional 19 networks under development. More.

7. Academics from 43 Countries Renew Commitment to Responsible Management Education
Representatives from 170 business schools and academic institutions from 43 countries convened (New York, 4 – 5 December) for the first global forum organized for signatories of the Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME). PRME provides a framework for advancing corporate responsibility into academic curricula and research. In an address to the Forum, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon encouraged management educators to work together to “ensure that management science is rooted in the concepts of sustainability and corporate citizenship”. More.

8. Denmark Introduces Mandatory CSR Reporting for Large Companies
A law was adopted in Denmark on 16 December requiring the country’s publicly-listed companies, state-owned companies and institutional investors to include information on CSR in their annual financial reports. Participants of the UN Global Compact or UN Principles for Responsible Investment can refer to their Communication on Progress. The new reporting requirement will take effect from 2010. More.

9. Participant Status: New Signatories, COPs and Delistings
In December, 100 companies and 47 non-business stakeholders joined the Global Compact.  General Electric (US), Aluminum Corporation of China and Konica Minolta Holdings (Japan) were among the largest companies to join during the month. 210 Communications on Progress (COPs) were received, and 18 companies were delisted for failing to communicate on progress.

Total figures as of 31 December:

  • Business participants: 5,209
  • Non-business participants: 1,598
  • COPs received: 4,839
  • Delisted business participants: 801

10. Foundation for the Global Compact: 2009 Appeal
The Foundation for the Global Compact’s 2009 campaign is underway, and we hope that every participating company will make its annual voluntary contribution. We are mindful that the downturn in the global economy is impacting budgets, but believe that investing in corporate sustainability generally, and the UN Global Compact specifically, is more important than ever. These donations are vital to the initiative’s ability to provide a valuable framework for corporate change and innovation around environmental, social and governance issues. Read the 2009 letter. View the Foundation's website

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ENGAGEMENT OPPORTUNITIES

* Engagement opportunities are intended for Global Compact signatories unless otherwise indicated *

1. Caring for Climate: Join the world’s largest global business coalition on climate
Caring for Climate is a unique initiative – a commitment to action by business and a call to governments, incorporating transparency. Endorsed by more than 300 companies from over 60 countries, Caring for Climate assists companies in the development of effective climate change policies while also providing a channel for the business community to contribute inputs and perspectives to key governmental deliberations. The broad geographical spread of its supporters, involving both leading actors from developed and emerging economies, reinforces the novel nature of this engagement platform.

Read the Caring for Climate Statement and learn more about the initiative. Please email climatechange@unglobalcompact.org to express interest.

2. Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women: Call for examples
To celebrate International Women’s Day, a “Women and the UN Global Compact” event will be held at UN Headquarters in New York on 5 March (agenda to come). In preparation, we are seeking examples of business working towards gender equality and the empowerment of women.  Examples should describe relevant activities, policies, procedures or other innovative actions undertaken by the business.

Please email examples to Felicity Simons (simonsf@un.org) by Friday 30 January.

3. More Opportunities: Calls for examples, Human Trafficking Survey, and more
Many of the engagement opportunities announced in past issues of the UN Global Compact Bulletin are still open for interested parties, including the Human Trafficking in the Supply Chain Survey, Signing the CEO Statement on Human Rights, and calls for examples and information on a variety of topics.

View the full list of Engagement Opportunities.


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  FEATURED RESOURCES

1. The Labour Principles of the United Nations Global Compact: A Guide for Business: Explains the four labour principles of the UN Global Compact and provides an inventory of key resources to help integrate these principles into business operations (ILO, UNGC).Download.

2. Meeting Reports:

  • Caring for Climate: The first meeting of Caring for Climate signatories (Geneva, 20 – 21 October) brought together 150 business executives, government representatives, UN officials and climate experts. Download.
  • Annual Local Networks Forum: Representatives from over 70 Global Compact Local Networks gathered two days for the 6th Annual Local Networks Forum (Bonn, 21 – 22 October) to share experiences in their efforts to advance the Global Compact at the local level. Download.
  • UN Global Compact Leading Companies Retreat: The purpose of this two-day meeting (Boston, 26 – 27 June) was for multinational companies to share best practices and obstacles related to their efforts to develop management approaches for implementing the UN Global Compact. Download.

3. UN Global Compact Brochure Now Available in French and Chinese: A brief introduction to the UN Global Compact, outlining the main objectives of the initiative and the business case for participation, as well as some of the ways in which companies can engage. French, Chinese, English.

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Read the Bulletin, be informed and stay engaged!
Provide feedback and suggestions to Carrie Hall (hallc@un.org).


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Published by the United Nations Global Compact on 12 January 2009


 

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