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United Nations Global Compact issues International call for responsible business education


(NEW YORK, 5 July 2007) – The United Nations has issued a call for business schools and academic associations to do their part to advance corporate social responsibility worldwide. The Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME), were unveiled at the 2007 Global Compact Leaders Summit on 5 July at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. The principles were unveiled to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and hundreds of leaders representing business, civil society, government, and academia from around the world.

The six Principles for Responsible Management Education are:

As institutions of higher learning involved in the education of current and future managers we are voluntarily committed to engaging in a continuous process of improvement of the following Principles, reporting on progress to all our stakeholders and exchanging effective practices with other academic institutions:

Principle 1. Purpose: We will develop the capabilities of students to be future generators of sustainable value for business and society at large and to work for an inclusive and sustainable global economy.

Principle 2. Values: We will incorporate into our academic activities and curricula the values of global social responsibility as portrayed in international initiatives such as the United Nations Global Compact.

Principle 3. Method: We will create educational frameworks, materials, processes and environments that enable effective learning experiences for responsible leadership.

Principle 4. Research: We will engage in conceptual and empirical research that advances our understanding about the role, dynamics, and impact of corporations in the creation of sustainable social, environmental and economic value.

Principle 5. Partnership: We will interact with managers of business corporations to extend our knowledge of their challenges in meeting social and environmental responsibilities and to explore jointly effective approaches to meeting these challenges.

Principle 6. Dialogue: We will facilitate and support dialog and debate among educators, business, government, consumers, media, civil society organizations and other interested groups and stakeholders on critical issues related to global social responsibility and sustainability.

The Principles of Responsible Management Education are a framework for academic institutions to advance the broader cause of corporate social responsibility and a call for the incorporation of universal values in curricula and research. The initiative was developed by an international task force of sixty deans, university presidents and official representatives of leading business schools. It was co-convened by the United Nations Global Compact, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International), the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD), the Aspen Institute’s Business and Society Program, the Globally Responsible Leadership Initiative (GRLI), and Net Impact.

“Globalization not only needs companies that can decisively contribute to more sustainable and inclusive markets. It also needs a new generation of managers and leaders who are up to that task. The PRME initiative, as a global call, will be followed by an increasing number of academic institutions”, said Manuel Escudero, Head of Academic Initiatives of the UN Global Compact, when referring to the significance of the PRME.
The principles were presented by an international delegation that included Manuel Escudero , Head Networks and Academic Initiatives, UN Global Compact Office; John Fernandes , President and CEO, AACSB International; Gerard van Schaik , President, EFMD ; Peter Lacy , Executive Director, European Academy for Business in Society ; Anders Aspling , Secretary General, Globally Responsible Leadership Initiative and Dean, Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School , Belgium ; Angel Cabrera , Chairman PRME task force and President, Thunderbird School of Global Management, USA ; Labib Khadra , President, German-Jordanian University, Jordan ; Bernardo Barona Zaluga , Dean, Universidad Javeriana Sede Cali, Colombia ; David Saunders , Dean, Queen's School of Business, Canada ; as well as representatives of ESADE Business School, Spain; XLRI Jamshedpur, School of Management and Human Resources, India, and CEIBS – the China Europe International Business School, China.

The Global Compact Leaders Summit brought together hundreds of top executives from business, governments, civil society and labour. Through peer-to-peer interactions with top decision makers from all segments of the international community, business leaders had the opportunity to access never-before released intelligence on socio-economic and geopolitical megatrends to develope strategic frameworks to address a range of issues at the nexus of business and society – including climate change, human rights, anti-corruption, and access to finance and capital.

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About the United Nations Global Compact
Launched in 2000, the UN Global Compact brings business together with UN agencies, labor, civil society and governments to advance ten universal principles in the areas of human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption. Through the power of collective action, the Global Compact seeks to mainstream these ten principles in business activities around the world and to catalyze actions in support of broader UN goals. With over 3,100 participating companies and hundreds of other stakeholders from more than 100 countries, it is the world's largest voluntary corporate citizenship initiative. For more information, please visit www.unglobalcompact.org .

Media Information
A press briefing on the Principles for Responsible Management Education will be held on 5 July at 2.30pm in the Press Briefing Room (Room III), Palais des Nations, UN Office Geneva. Journalists wishing to attend the briefing and/or the Leaders Summit must seek accreditation from the United Nations Office Geneva, presenting proof that they represent a bona fide media organization. Visit www.globalcompactsummit.org/pressaccreditation.shtml for more information. (No further accreditation is needed for members of the UN press corps in Geneva).

Media interviews also are available with key representatives of the PRME initiative upon request. Please contact:

Matthias Stausberg
Spokesperson
UN Global Compact Office
+1-917-367-3423; +1-917-214-1337 (cell)
stausberg@un.org

Carol Sunnucks
Director of Public Relations
Thunderbird School of Global Management
+1-602-978-7272; +1-602-363-8556 (cell)
carol.sunnucks@thunderbird.edu