(New York / Seoul, 16 November 2006) – United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) jointly hosted a seminar on “Corporate Social Responsibility and UN Global Compact” in Seoul, Republic of Korea, on 16 November 2006. Mr. Zhe Yang, Representative of UNDP, Mr. Kim Soon Mu, Chairman of Ethical Management Committee of KCCI, and Mr. Kim Sang-Yeol, President & CEO of KCCI welcomed some 100 representatives from Korean companies, business organizations, academia, governmental and non-governmental organizations, as host organizations.
Mr. Frederick Dubee, Senior Advisor of UN Global Compact Office, made a keynote presentation on UN Global Compact:
“Currently, about 3,000 companies in 100 countries have joined the Global Compact, and about 50 local networks have been established in order to promote joint efforts to internalize the 10 Principles in the areas of human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption and support broad United Nations goals, specifically the MDGs. However, in Korea, only 14 companies and organizations have joined the Compact, which is rather low considering the quality and business leadership of Korean companies.”
Mr. Dubee, citing both the moral and the business case, strongly encouraged Korean companies to join the Compact, as the Compact serves as a platform for companies to improve performance, sustainability and image, to strengthen risk management capacity, to network and share learnings with like minded companies, to solve problems through dialogue among stakeholders and to showcase leadership.
Mr. Thomas Thomas, Honorary Secretary, Singapore Compact for CSR, shared the experiences and good practices of Singapore:
“In Singapore, the concept of CSR has been recently introduced, but about 140 companies and organizations joined the Compact, through which information sharing, joint education and training activities have been actively organized.”
Prof. Park Tae-kyu, Yonsei University, presented on “Current situation and challenges of CSR in Korea”:
“CSR Standardization Process led by international organizations is expected to give considerable impact on private sector, and Korean companies need to voluntarily announce the roadmap of CSR to express their will and play an active role.”
In addition, a representative from Korea Electronic Power Corp., the first Korean company to support the Global Compact shared their experiences in working for sustainable business and Global Compact Principles.
The Seminar provided a good opportunity for a well rounded exploration of CSR and the relevance of the UN Global Compact for Korean companies. This dialogue proved to be an important step in the preparation for the official Global Compact launch in Korea in early 2007.
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