Home / Issues / UN-Business Partnerships

United Nations System Private Sector Focal Points Meeting 2013

List of Participants

Wednesday, 24 April

13:30 - 14:00 Opening Plenary Session

  • Mr. Paul Hohnen, Meeting Facilitator, Sustainability Strategies
  • Ms. Leila Pakkala, Director, Private Fundraising and Partnerships Division, UNICEF
  • Ms. Helena Fraser, Chief, Private Sector Section and OIC Partnerships and Resource
  • Mobilization Branch, OCHA
  • Mr. Georg Kell, Executive Director, UN Global Compact
  • Mr. Jürgen Schwettmann, Director, Department of Partnerships and Field Support, ILO 

14:00 – 15:30 Plenary Session: Insights from the Private Sector 
The size, scale, and depth of UN and private sector partnerships has grown significantly over the last 20 years, largely due to the broad synergies between long-term corporate sustainability and the advancement of UN goals and issues. Increasingly business leaders indicate that in order to achieve growth, companies have to become more responsive to society’s expectations and balance competing global and local priorities (e.g. market development, product differentiation, development of a diverse workforce).

During this session representatives from the private sector will provide insight on key global trends that the UN should be aware of, offer a candid look at the experiences of the private sector in working with the UN and highlight key areas of opportunity for more strategic UN-Business engagement.

Discussion Questions

  • What are the key global trends that will help to frame UN-business collaboration in the future?
  • How can UN Entities, Funds and Programmes become more effective partners?
  • What are the key private sector experiences from partnering with the UN system and how can we work more closely in the future in order to maximize the impact of UN-Business partnerships?

Moderator: Ms. Sophia Drewnowski, Senior Partnership Specialist, World Bank


15:45 - 17:30 Working Groups Session

How to Effectively Monitor & Evaluate a Partnership 
Effective monitoring and evaluation processes meet the reporting needs of both the UN and private sector. Such frameworks track the impact of the partnership as well as the inputs and contributions of each partner. This session will explore the importance of monitoring and evaluation activities, including why it is critical to the success of a partnership.

The session will also consider how to monitor and evaluate key components of a partnership, including stakeholder composition, project design and implementation, etc. Several assessment tools will also be compared and evaluated.

Discussion Questions

  • Why is monitoring and evaluation of a partnership important throughout the life cycle?
  • What are some existing partnership assessment tools and methodologies that have been utilized successfully?
  • What are some of the key challenges to developing a framework that "works" for all partners involved? Is such a common framework possible?
  • How can knowledge sharing/exchange of information by both UN and business be improved?

Moderator: Mr. Darian Stibbe, Executive Director, The Partnering Initiative, IBLF


How to Build Partnerships with the Extractive Industries
The management of extractive resources (oil, gas, minerals) is a major challenge and opportunity facing developing countries. When poorly managed, the exploitation of non-renewable natural resources can contribute to violent conflicts, degrade the environment, exacerbate inequality and poverty, displace communities, and undermine democratic governance. In contrast, a responsible private sector can help to create jobs and make significant contributions to peace, security and development. In light of this, UN Agencies, Funds and Programmes are developing strategies on how to engage the extractive industries in partnerships that can have long lasting positive impact.

This session will explore the current trends of the extractive industries engagement in supporting development objectives. The key findings from several UN initiatives with the oil and extractive sector will also be explored. Speakers from the extractives sector will provide their views on the opportunities of and challenges to more effective engagement.

Discussion Questions

  • What are examples of global partnerships and initiatives that showcase good governance models with inclusive participation, transparency and accountability?
  • How does the extractive industry ensure the highest standards on environment and good governance issues when operating in challenging, high-risk environments?
  • What are the opportunities for closer collaboration among UN entities and the extractive industry in the future?

Moderator: Mr. Marcos Neto, Cluster Leader, Innovations and Development Alliances Cluster, UNDP


Innovative Partnerships to Further the Social Pillar of Sustainable Development
This session will showcase a number of public-private-partnerships that have a strong social dimension in their contribution to sustainable development, as described in the Rio+20 Outcome document “The Future We Want”. This session will look at the prerequisites of an effective public private partnership when addressing social issues and their contribution to long term socio-economic development.

The session will highlight opportunities and challenges through a number of different issue areas, such as gender equality, poverty reduction through decent work opportunities, social protection floors, education and vocational training, and migration.

Discussion Questions

  • What social issues should public-private partnerships (PPPs) focus on, and why?
  • What are the keys to effective PPPs?
  • How do we ensure that these partnerships are sustainable?
  • How do we assess the socio-economic impact of the partnerships?
  • What are some other examples of innovative partnerships that significantly advance the social pillar of sustainable development?
  • What are the roles, motivations and incentives for companies, governments, employers’ organizations, workers’ organizations, international organizations and other stakeholders in such partnerships?

Moderator: Mr. Craig Churchill, Team Leader, Social Finance Programme, ILO


17:30 - 18:15 Plenary Session: Reporting-back
One person from each working group will provide a brief overview of the key outcomes of the discussion.

DAY 2- Joint Session together with Global Compact Local Networks
Thursday, 25 April 2012 

8:30 – 8:50 Opening Remarks: Re-cap of Day 1 and introduction to the Global Compact Local Networks 

  • Mr. Paul Hohnen, Meeting Facilitator, Sustainability Strategies
  • Mr. Walid Nagi, Head, Local Networks, UN Global Compact
  • Mr. Edward Mackle, Project Manger, UN Global Compact

8:50 – 9:00 Launch of “UN-Business Partnerships: A Handbook”

  • Mr. Wade Hoxtell, Head of Operations, Global Public Policy Institute

9:00-10:15 Plenary Session: Innovative Solutions and Partnerships for the Post-2015 Development Agenda
For corporate sustainability to go to scale and become a truly transformative force toward UN objectives, governments and international organizations need to establish global priorities and goals that resonate with business. The UN process currently underway to determine the “post-2015 development agenda” offers an historic opportunity to make significant headway engaging business, yet it also raises several questions. What role can and should the private sector play in the post-2015 development agenda? What issues should be at the core of this agenda? How can business be part of the solution?

This session will also highlight the key building blocks of a post-2015 business architecture, identify the key mechanisms that can catalyze private sector action and explore the ways in which Global Compact Local Networks can bring business collaboration to scale.

Discussion Questions

  • What are the most promising partnerships models that can catalyze private sector action towards the post-2015 agenda?
  • What are the most important issues to be covered by a new set of goals, considering the multiplier effect they may have on other areas?
  • What are the views of the private sector stemming from recent Global Compact consultations?
  • What does a post-2015 business architecture look like and how can it take private sector engagement to scale?

Moderator: Mr. Georg Kell, Executive Director, UN Global Compact


10:45 – 12:30 Working Group Session: Finding Synergies with Global Compact Local Networks
This working group session will feature a gallery walk in which all participants will be invited to freely circulate breakout rooms, by region, in order to meet Global Compact Local Network representatives and UN Private Sector Focal Points.

The purpose of this networking session is to increase awareness of local network activities amongst the UN system and private sector, highlight collaborative opportunities in which Global Compact Local Networks can be better leveraged to advance UN goals and issues and provide meaningful connections to the national companies in Global Compact Local Networks.

The regional breakdown will be as follows:

  • Americas, moderated by Javier Cortes, GCO 
  • Western Europe, moderated by Melissa Powell, GCO 
  • Eastern Europe, moderated by Sean Cruse, GCO
  • Middle East/Africa, moderated by Edward Mackle, GCO
  • Asia/Oceania, moderated by Ryo Kobayashi, GCO

14:00 - 15:20 Plenary Session: Enhancing Collaboration with the UN, Global Compact Local Networks and the Private Sector 
Global Compact Local Networks are performing increasingly important roles in rooting the Global Compact within different national, cultural and language contexts. A critical role of the Local Networks is facilitating company progress in implementing the 10 principles and creating opportunities for multi-stakeholder and collective action. Therefore, as over 80% of partnerships are conceived at the local level, what are the ways we can leverage Local Networks to create impactful partnerships that overcome key challenges: lack of awareness of potential partners; lack of thematic alignment between partners; and a lack of knowledge on the potential resources available to support partnerships.

This session will highlight, through illustrative examples at the country-level, the various ways in which UN Agencies, Funds and Programmes, private sector companies and Global Compact Local Networks can work together to overcome key partnership challenges in support of UN goals.

Discussion Questions

  • What are the current ways in which Global Compact Local Networks are serving as country-level entry points for the private sector to partner with UN Agencies, Funds and Programmes?
  • What challenges must be overcome in order to form impactful partnerships on the ground?
  • How can business.un.org assist in connecting local UN needs with local companies?
  • How can employer’s and workers’ organizations help strengthen collaboration between the UN and the private sector at the local level?

Moderator: Ms. Melissa Powell, Head of Strategy and Partnerships, UN Global Compact


15:45 – 17:30 Working Group Session

Building Partnerships with National Companies – Opportunities and Challenges
Transformational partnerships leverage core competencies of all partners involved, and are designed for scale and sustained impact. At the local-level, partnerships with national companies can deliver transformative impact across sectors in a country, addressing both public and private objectives through changes in local policy, market structure, and/or social norms.

This session will profile several examples of country-level partnerships and explore opportunities, benefits and challenges of UN collaboration with national companies. Panelists will examine the partnership process and explore ways to leverage Global Compact Local Networks to find suitable national partners. The dialogue will also explore South-South (or triangular) cooperation, which utilizes a multi-stakeholder approach that includes a wide range of actors, such as private sector, governments, NGOs, and academia.

Discussion Questions

  • What are the incentives and challenges for engaging with national companies?
  • What are some good practice examples for developing partnerships with national companies?
  • What tools are available to support country-level partnerships?
  • What role can employers’ and workers’ organizations play in facilitating partnerships?
  • How can business play a stronger role to enhance the mutual benefit of South-South cooperation within and across regions?

Moderator: Mr. Afsar Syed Mohammad, Senior Technical Specialist, ILO/AIDS


Country-level Approaches to Implementing Global Initiatives
The session will discuss how global public private partnerships which have been set up by the UN Secretary-General, including Every Woman, Every Child and Global Education First, as well as Global Compact issue platforms, including the CEO Water Mandate, can be expanded at the national level.

These initiatives have well defined global objectives and a commitment at the global level. However to make transformative change they need effective implementation mechanisms at national and regional levels where most of the action-oriented partnering activities take place. This session will discuss how to create such “bottom up” approaches through enabling policy, building capacity, raising awareness, investing in innovative pilot projects and measuring the impact of projects.

Discussion Questions

  • What are examples of national approaches to these initiatives?
  • How are UN entities at the national-level collaborating to advance these partnerships?
  • What could a “bottom-up” strategy look like, that will deliver solutions from the national level?
  • What are the critical aspects for these initiatives to achieve significant impact and scale at the national-level and what role can the UN play as an enabler?
  • How can we improve UN coherence through common approaches such as measuring results and impact?

Moderator: Mr. Tomas Christiansen, Senior Advisor on Partnerships, UNOP/EOSG


How Corporate Responsibility Can Advance Sustainability
A distinctive asset of the UN is that it can be leveraged to encourage the private sector to adhere to basic UN principles and values, and motivate actions and partnerships that advance UN goals. Thus, the UN can leverage private sector engagement through the key values of “respect” and “support.” “Respect” means to do no harm and to abide by international minimum standards. “Support” defines the opportunities for action, collaboration and engagement.

This session will focus on the “Respect” space, and explore how the business community has successfully linked business strategy and core business with sustainability efforts. The session will showcase examples of how the UN and the private sector have effectively engaged beyond traditional philanthropic engagement, for example implementing the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the Children’s Rights and Business Principles. The Global Compact Network China will also share an example of how they are supporting their participants to operate responsibly in high-risk/conflict-affected areas, aligned with their commitment to the ten principles of the Global Compact.

Discussion Questions

  • How can the private sector align its business strategy with sustainability issues?
  • What specific challenges and opportunities do companies face when they engage to advance sustainability issues?
  • What specific challenges and opportunities does the UN face when engaging with the business sector to advance sustainability issues?
  • In terms of business impacts on human rights and more specifically on children's rights, in what ways has the corporate sector so far collaborated with the UN?

Moderator: Ms. Eija Hietavuo, Corporate Alliance Specialist, UNICEF


Partnerships to Facilitate Skills Development and Entrepreneurship
This session will explore examples of public-private partnerships as a valuable instrument to provide women and men, especially youth and those unemployed or under-employed with access to the skills that can enhance their opportunities to find a job or start their own business. It will also explore the specific role of the public and the private sector in this respect and discuss innovative approaches in addressing the mismatch between skills and available jobs and in providing entrepreneurship training and opportunities.

Discussion Questions

  • What is an effective public-private partnership in skills development and entrepreneurship training comprised of?
  • What are several innovative approaches and new thinking regarding availability of jobs and skilled labour in both, the developed and the developing world?
  • What is the business incentive to partner with the private sector to address the challenge of the mismatch of skills and available jobs and what is the role of public private in such a partnership?
  • How can business contribute to local economic development and SME development through its value chains and what can be the role of international organizations and the public sector in this respect?
  • How can innovative partnership programs facilitate corporate transparency and skills development and in this way contribute to local economic competitiveness?

Moderator: Ms. Carolyn Hardy, Head of Private Sector Relations, UN Women


Engaging Private Sector Partners in Preparedness and Resilience Building
Strengthening the resilience of communities and households will decrease disaster losses and increase impact and cost effectiveness of humanitarian and development assistance. A shared commitment to resilience helps to prevent humanitarian crises, mitigate disaster impact and provide faster and more sustainable solutions to crises when they occur. Resilience is a concept that all relevant partners – including governments, humanitarian and development actors, donors, and the Private Sector – can use as an organizing framework for their joint efforts.

Strengthening resilience takes time and requires a comprehensive, multi-sectoral and coordinated approach. No single actor or sector can strengthen the long-term resilience of vulnerable households and communities by acting alone. National and international actors are already implementing and supporting activities that strengthen resilience. This session seeks to explore the question of how best to catalyze, foster and learn from joint ventures with the Private Sector in this areas.

Discussion Questions

  • How does the UN engage with Private Sector partners in these efforts, ranging from disaster risk reduction, disaster response preparedness, business continuity planning, to recovery and development?
  • How does the UN strike a balance between ‘commercial’ and 'humanitarian' interests as the UN begins to view business as a vital role in development and humanitarian efforts?
  • How do we promote and ensure pre-negotiated partnerships before disasters?
  • How can the UN system build more knowledge on how national SMEs can interact with the economic process of recovery, both in post-disaster and post-conflict scenarios? 
  • How can the private sector help promote good practice in the humanitarian sector?

Moderator: Ms. Helena Fraser, Chief, Private Sector Section and OIC Partnerships and Resource Mobilization Branch, OCHA


17:30 – 18:00 Reporting Back and Concluding Plenary Session
One person from each working group will provide a brief overview of the key outcomes of the discussion followed by closing keynote remarks.

  • Mr. Paul Hohnen, Meeting Facilitator, Sustainability Strategies
  • Mr. Gilbert Huongbo, Deputy Director-General, ILO
  • Mr. Georg Kell, Executive Director, UN Global Compact