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February 2009

 NEWS & UPDATES

  1. Secretary-General Urges Business to Embrace Values and Act on Climate
  2. Global Compact Paper Outlines Priority Actions for Business
  3. Spanish Network Meets with Secretary-General
  4. Local Networks: Launch in Bangladesh, Under Development in Kosovo
  5. Investors Serious about COP Quality
  6. Record Number of COPs Received in 2008, Over 400 Companies Delisted 
  7. NGO – Global Compact Correspondence on Sudan 
  8. Global Compact Logo Request System Launched
  9. Participant Status: New Signatories, COPs and Delistings

ENGAGEMENT OPPORTUNITIES

  1. Vote Human Rights
  2. Support United Nations Relief Efforts in Gaza
  3. Combat Human Trafficking Risks in the Supply Chain
  4. More Opportunities: Calls for examples, Caring for Climate, and more

FEATURED RESOURCES

  1. Future Proof – Embedding Environmental, Social and Governance Issues in Investment Markets
  2. Fighting Corruption through Collective Action – A Guide for Business

EVENTS

  1. Invitation: Advancing Women’s Position in the Global Marketplace (5 March, New York)
  2. Registration Reminder: World Business Summit on Climate Change (24 – 26 May, Copenhagen)

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

March
Advancing Women’s Position in the Global Marketplace (5 March, New York)
3rd Working Conference of the CEO Water Mandate (16 – 18 March, Istanbul)
Workshop: Fighting Corruption through Collective Action (16 – 17 March, Lagos)
Conference on Collective Action to Combat Corruption (18 March, Lagos)
Regional Meeting for Global Compact Local Network Focal Points: Africa (19 March, Lagos)

April
2nd Alliance of Civilizations Forum (6 – 7 April, Istanbul)
International Cooperation Forum on Resource and Environment 2009 (17 – 18 April, Changsa, China)
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.

September
2nd UN Private Sector Forum: Climate Change (Date TBD, New York)

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

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NEWS & UPDATES

1.  Secretary-General Urges Business to Embrace Values and Act on Climate
During a special session on the UN Global Compact at the World Economic Forum (Davos, 29 January), UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged business leaders to embrace “global cooperation and partnership on a scale never before seen” and seek long-term solutions to climate change and other pressing global challenges. The Secretary-General called for a renewed commitment to the core principles of human rights, labour standards, environment and anti-corruption, and also pushed companies to disclose progress. “By doing so, you will not only be doing what is right”, the Secretary-General said. “You will also be helping to restore trust, confidence and credibility into the markets.” Read the Secretary-General’s speech.

2.  Global Compact Paper Outlines Priority Actions for Business
The UN Global Compact Office has released a paper “Global Sustainability in the 21st Century: An Action Plan for Business” (29 January) which argues that today’s confluence of global threats, most prominently the global economic downturn and climate change, provides the most compelling case for business to embrace corporate responsibility. The paper outlines pertinent lessons from the financial crisis that should be applied to help tackle other pressing global issues. Within this context, an action plan for business is provided in the areas of (1) implementation and disclosure of environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, (2) climate change, (3) collective action and (4) global frameworks and national regulation. Read the paper.

3.  Spanish Network Meets with Secretary-General
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon attended a lunch with Spanish Global Compact participants in celebration of the fifth anniversary of the founding of the Global Compact Network Spain (Madrid, 28 January). The Secretary-General noted that Spanish businesses were among the first to embrace the UN Global Compact’s principles and have established the largest Local Network, with more than 600 active participants. More.

4.  Local Networks: Launch in Bangladesh, Under Development in Kosovo
A Global Compact Local Network was launched in Bangladesh (Dhaka, 26 January) at a ceremony jointly organized by the Bangladesh Enterprise Institute, the CSR Centre and the UNDP Dhaka office. Following plenary remarks, the event’s 150 participants joined together in roundtable discussions to further set the stage for efforts in Bangladesh. More.

In Kosovo, efforts are underway to establish a Local Network following an outreach event organized by UNDP Kosovo (Pristina, 17 December). Representatives from business, civil society, the UN and government, including Minister of Finance and Economy Ahmet Shala, took part in the event. Guests from Global Compact Local Networks in Turkey and the FYR of Macedonia shared experiences. More.

5.  Investors Serious about COP Quality
A coalition of investors worth over USD 3 trillion launched an initiative (12 January) to encourage corporate responsibility reporting by companies in the UN Global Compact. The international coalition has written to the CEOs of 130 major listed companies, of which 25 were praised for producing high-quality Communications on Progress (COPs) and over 100 were identified as laggards by the investors for failing to submit a COP in the past year. More.

6.  Record Number of COPs Received in 2008, Over 400 Companies Delisted
In 2008, a total of 1,732 Communications on Progress (COPs) were posted on the UN Global Compact website. This record number of COP submissions represents a 25% increase from 2007, and is an indication that more companies are meeting the UN Global Compact’s reporting requirements. During the year, 403 companies were delisted for missing consecutive communication deadlines. All COPs are publicly available on our website for review. More.

7.  NGO – Global Compact Correspondence on Sudan
Since May 2008, the UN Global Compact Office has corresponded with a coalition of civil society organizations alleging violations of the UN Global Compact principles by business engaged in Sudan. Following the December 2008 launch of a Local Network in Sudan, further communication has taken place, and can be found on our website. More.

8.  Global Compact Logo Request System Launched
Participants can now request the use of a Global Compact logo using a new online system to efficiently handle inquiries. Use of the "We Support the Global Compact" logo is encouraged as a way to further show commitment and raise awareness of the initiative, for example on corporate websites and pertinent printed materials. Every use of a UN Global Compact logo requires permission in advance from the UN Global Compact Office. Please become familiar with the Logo Policy before requesting permission.

To seek approval for use of a UN Global Compact logo:

  1. Login to the Participant Administration section of the UN Global Compact website using your organization’s username and password (www.unglobalcompact.org/admin).
  2. Go to the “Submissions” tab and click on “Logo Request”.
  3. Complete the request form and upload a sample of desired use.
  4. Await response from the UN Global Compact Office, which will typically take no more than three days.

9.  Participant Status: New Signatories, COPs and Delistings
In January, 120 companies and 29 non-business stakeholders joined the UN Global Compact.  JCPenney (US), Merck & Co., Inc. (US), Post Danmark A/S (Denmark), Syngenta International AG (Switzerland), Yokogawa Electric Corporation (Japan) and Lenovo (China) were among the largest companies to join during the month. 173 Communications on Progress (COPs) were received, and 26 companies were delisted for failing to communicate on progress.
 

Total figures as of 31 January:

  • Business participants: 5,043
  • Non-business participants: 1,620
  • COPs received: 5,003
  • Delisted business participants: 824

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ENGAGEMENT OPPORTUNITIES

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

1.  Vote Human Rights
Which human rights risks are most challenging for business in your sector? The UN Global Compact and the Danish Institute for Human Rights have developed a quick exercise to advance understanding of human rights risks that UN Global Compact participants have found most difficult to address. Results will be compiled into a “top 10” list for each sector with explanations of each issue’s relevance. The exercise is easy to complete and is anonymous. More.

Vote today: http://www.unglobalcompact.org/Issues/human_rights/Vote_Human_Rights.html.

2.  Support United Nations Relief Efforts in Gaza
In the UN Global Compact spirit of shared responsibility for a better world, participants are asked to consider supporting United Nations relief efforts, particularly related to the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. The United Nations seeks additional resources to help the civilian population in critical ways, including providing access to safe drinking water, fuel for power generation of hospitals, emergency shelter and food. The UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) is the United Nations central donation facility, collecting contributions year-round to help ensure that funds are on hand to allow for immediate relief in emergencies. The UN Global Compact Office wishes to thank companies that have already provided generous support.

Donations can be made on the CERF website: http://cerf.un.org

3.  Combat Human Trafficking Risks in the Supply Chain
Companies can avoid the risk of human trafficking by taking steps to make it harder for traffickers to use their products, premises or services, and by helping raise awareness. A number of businesses in the travel, tourism and technology sectors have introduced diverse measures to combat the problem. More information on Human Trafficking.

The aim of this survey is to learn more about company policies, capacity-building and other needs on the topic of human trafficking in global supply chains. The survey should take less than 5 minutes to complete and is anonymous.

Take the survey: http://www.zoomerang.com/Survey/?p=WEB228RLSTCZKP

4.  More Opportunities: Calls for examples, Caring for Climate, and more
Many of the engagement opportunities announced in past issues of the Bulletin are still open for interested parties, including the invitation to join Caring for Climate, 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.  Future Proof – Embedding Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Issues in Investment Markets:  Summarizes the strategic outcomes of the Who Cares Wins Initiative, a series of working conferences and financial industry consultations that took place between 2004 and 2008. The report, released by the International Finance Corporation, the UN Global Compact and the Swiss government, proposes a number of actions to further integrate ESG issues into mainstream investment decision-making and ownership practices. Download.

2.  Fighting Corruption through Collective Action – A Guide for Business: Outlines options for combating market corruption based on “how to” examples from many regions and sectors. Launched by the World Bank Institute and a consortium of businesses and non-governmental organizations, this guide includes a range of tools that help users to tailor collective action frameworks to their specific circumstances and needs. Download. Access “Business Fighting Corruption” website.

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  EVENTS

1.  Invitation: Advancing Women’s Position in the Global Marketplace (5 March, New York) UN Global Compact participants are invited to join in the celebration of International Women's Day by participating in an interactive event at UN Headquarters in New York on 5 March 2009.  The event, limited to 100 participants, will focus on identifying good examples of efforts to advance gender equality related to the workplace, supply chain or through other means, as well as how the UN Global Compact can scale up such efforts. Draft agenda

For more information, to register or to submit case examples, please contact Felicity Simons ( simonsf@un.org ).

2.  Registration Reminder: World Business Summit on Climate Change (24 – 26 May, Copenhagen) The chief executives of all Caring for Climate companies have been invited to attend the World Business Summit on Climate Change, taking place on 24-26 May 2009 in Copenhagen. Held six months prior to the UN climate conference (COP 15), this summit will bring business together with the world's top scientists, economists, civil society representatives, media leaders and government officials to put forward recommendations for the next international framework on climate change.

Caring for Climate participants are asked to register at the event website: http://www.copenhagenclimatecouncil.com/world-business-summit.html

For a complete list of 2009 events, please visit the Event Calendar on our website.

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Read the Bulletin, be informed and stay engaged!
Provide feedback and suggestions:  bulletin@unglobalcompact.org 


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Published by the United Nations Global Compact on 5 February 2009