Initially developed in 2000 as a common framework for UN-Business collaboration, the Guidelines apply to the UN Secretariat as well as separately administered organs, Funds and Programmes. As an important component of the Secretary-General's efforts to modernize the Organization, the Guidelines are intended to help UN staff develop more effective partnerships between the UN and the business sector while ensuring the integrity and independence of the United Nations.
The Guidelines’ revision was chaired by the Deputy Secretary-General and involved senior staff from over 30 UN Agencies, Funds and Programmes who shared years of experience in collaborating with business. The process was launched in response to Member States’ requests that the United Nations place greater emphasis on impact assessment, transparency, accountability and sustainability of United Nations-business partnerships and that partnership management be enhanced.
The Secretary-General encourages all UN entities to consider using the Guidelines when developing or revising their own business collaboration framework.
In recent years,a wide range of UN entities have entered into partnerships with the private sector and civil society. In support of the UN’s partnership agenda, the Global Compact Office undertakes a variety of ongoing activities to strengthen the UN System in its efforts to engage business, such as convening annual Meetings of UN System Private Sector Focal Points, or the publication of The UN-Business Focal Point , a quarterly e-newsletter designed to enhance communication and collaboration among UN staff working with business.