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Country Networks to Broaden Roles and Responsibilities

2004-11-09 

On 4-5 November, the UK Foreign Office and the Global Compact UK Network hosted the Second Global Compact Networks Conference in London. It brought together the focal points of more than 30 Global Compact country networks. The meeting explored a range of topics, including a governance system for Global Compact networks and the role they can play in broadening and deepening the implementation of the Global Compact's principles by companies around the world.

Douglas Alexander, Minister of State for Trade, Investment and Foreign Affairs, said: "The UK is a pioneer of corporate social responsibility. We believe firmly in the values enshrined in the Compact's principles: to protect the environment, to respect human rights and to combat corruption. That is how we will create a stable and prosperous business environment for all."

At the conference, Networks agreed to join an effort to better define the role of country networks in the overall governance of the Global Compact. Two working groups were established whose outputs will directly shape the future of the organization. Participants also shared experiences and practices in advancing the Global Compact and its principles at the local level. It was recognized that every network has its own characteristics and approach to furthering the Global Compact's objectives. The networks agreed to play an active role in the collection and analysis of participating companies' Communications on Progress. They also agreed to explore the building of their capacities to address dilemma situations, as well as the development of governance structures in order to ensure quality of engagement and to maximize growth and impact. In addition, the creation of the Barcelona Forum was announced. The Forum will play a key role in facilitating the work of networks as well as collecting and analyzing Communications on Progress.

The full report of the Networks Conference is now available. (Please click here to read the information letter to all GC network focal points.)

Please contact Mr. Anton Stadler stadler@un.org for more information.