Russian Foreign Minister Igor S. Ivanov pledged support for the Secretary-General's Global Compact initiative in a Moscow meeting of business and government leaders. "In our view, the expansion of business-like relations between the United Nations and the private sector is the call of our times," Mr. Ivanov said on 19 November, at the Global Compact's first meeting to be convened in Russia.
"Globalization of the world economy, which has already become an irreversible process, has made the business sector one of the key actors not only of the world economy, but, to a certain extent, of world politics," Mr. Ivanov continued. "It is this understanding…that underlies the United Nations Secretary-General's initiative and that is why we believe it merits our support."
Deputy Secretary-General Louise Frechette also addressed the Round Table
Meeting on Cooperation between the United Nations and the Russian Business
Community. "The United Nations of the 21st century cannot do its job alone," Ms.
Frechette said. "Philosophically, the Compact rests on the premise that doing
what is good for society is also good for business. Moreover, the Compact sees
business as an agent of positive change -- as part of the solution."
"I would like to encourage Russian companies to set up their own Russian Global Compact Network," Ms. Frechette continued, "as a way to promote the exchange of experiences in translating the nine principles into their day-to-day operations."
"The Global Compact," argued Ms. Frechette, "offers an historic opportunity to further strengthen ties between Russia and the United Nations, and to usher in a new era in Russian corporate culture. Encouraging businesses to act in support of broader societal goals can go a long way towards creating more effective markets, and building more inclusive, stable societies."