Final Report of Annual Local Networks Forum Now Available
(New York, 9 November 2006)
- The final report of the 4th Global Compact Annual Local Networks Forum has been released and is now available for download.
The 4th Annual Global Compact Local Networks Forum was held on 26-27
September 2006 in Barcelona/Spain, co-hosted by the Global Compact Office
and the Barcelona Center for the Support of the Global Compact. The two-day
event brought together more than 180 representatives of business, UN agencies,
civil society and labour, who serve as focal points for existing and emerging
Global Compact Local Networks in more than 60 countries . It was the largest
Annual Local Networks Forum so far.
Through its action-oriented approach, this year’s Forum supported the growing
role of local networks as “incubators” or catalysts of change on the ground. In
several plenary sessions and 14 working group sessions, network representatives
identified key challenges and opportunities for their operations and produced a
variety of decisions and recommendations for collective action in key areas:
As a key step in the implementation of the Global Compact’s governance
framework, the Forum agreed on the “Annual Local Networks Forum Terms of
Reference” which outline the Forum’s role in the initiative’s governance
framework and clarify the relationship between the Forum and the other entities
in the framework.
Further to the Terms of Reference, an Annual Local Network Forum (ALNF)
Coordination Group was formed, including representatives from each geographic
region: The members of the Coordination Group are :
- Dr. Olumide Ajayi and Ellen Kallinowsky (Africa);
- Anthony Sampson (Western Europe);
- Natasa Kalauz (Eastern Europe & CIS);
- Mohamed El-Kalla (North Africa and Middle East);
- Flavio Fuertes (Latin America/Caribbean); and
- Charmine Koda (Asia-Pacific)
With the assistance of the Global Compact Office (GCO), and in consultation
with the Local Networks, the role of the Coordination Group will be to draft and
approve the 2006 ALNF report as well as to coordinate planning for next year’s
Local Networks Forum, which will be held in Monterrey/Mexico within the last two
weeks of October 2007. Additionally, the Coordination Group will also coordinate
the input from Local Networks in preparation of the 2007 GC Leaders Summit, to
be held in Geneva on 5-6 July.
LOCAL NETWORK ACTIVITIES
- Local Networks can provide a valuable, neutral platform for participants
to discuss challenges related to anti-corruption, define concrete collective
actions and monitor implementation. Depending on local circumstances, this
platform could also include other stakeholders, such as civil society and
- Participants identified an “untapped potential” with respect to linking
financial market trends with activities of Local Networks. Financial markets
can be a key leverage point in advancing the GC in general and the work of the
Local Networks in particular.
- Principles and projects were described “as two sides of the same coin”.
Local Networks should engage participants in partnership projects that
demonstrate a commitment to both the GC principles and UN development
objectives, including the Millennium Development Goals (MDG)
- GC Local Networks and ISO national mirror committees should look into
working together in their efforts to strengthen social responsibility and the
formulation of the upcoming ISO26000. This will also ensure that the voice of
developing countries is heard.
SUPPORT OF LOCAL NETWORKS BY KEY PARTNERS
- The effectiveness of UN agency contributions often depends on the extent
and consistency of support given by the UN Resident Coordinator and the UN
Country Team. There is a need to include Global Compact objectives more
explicitly in individual agency programs (especially UNDP country frameworks)
and in the work of UN country teams.
- Both Local Networks and donor governments emphasize the value of “seed
capital” rather than greater funding for operational expenses. Also,
“in-kind” support from governments, both local and national (donor and
non-donor) can be beneficial to the work of the Local Networks. There is a
growing awareness of the need for an international network of donor countries
backing networks, as the GC is becoming a local reality in all regions of the
LOCAL NETWORKS INTERNAL DEVELOPMENT
- In contrast to continued outside “subsidies”, matching funds and
public-private partnerships were identified as promising tools to ensure
network progress and safeguard its multi-stakeholder nature. However, the role
of financial and institutional support from UNDP (and the other UN agencies)
in the first and second stage of network development must be clarified,
specifically for less developed countries. The GCO should pay attention to
proposals which pool the needs of networks in a region and should similarly
adopt a strategy of supporting promising networks in their early stages of
- Failure to submit a COP is not only an issue that confronts small and
medium-size enterprises, but also many of the larger participants. Local
Networks play a key role in helping companies develop their Communications,
and it was consequently suggested that the COP process become part of a Local
Network’s work plan.
- There is a need to generalize models like those presented in “Raising the
Bar”. But a performance/management model for the GC has to be inspirational
and non-prescriptive. Companies participating in the GC have recognized the
need for new, innovative management systems as a crucial requisite to
continuous progress in the implementation of the ten principles.
- Given that a large number of participating companies in the Global Compact
are small and medium-size companies (SMEs), the GC should place increased
emphasis on supporting them in their efforts to internalize the ten principles
and thereby advance their performance.
UN Global Compact