The Global Compact challenges businesses around the world to take greater responsibility in society and act upon a set of universally recognized principles in the areas of human rights, labor rights and the environment. It also encourages businesses to engage with the United Nations and other organizations concerned with peace and development in concrete projects to promote the principles and broader societal challenges.
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is one of four UN agencies supporting the implementation of the Global Compact. Through its worldwide network of country offices and its role as the overall coordinator of UN activities at the country level, UNDP holds the primary responsibility for introducing and operationalizing the Global Compact at the field level in developing countries and countries with emerging economies. It does so in close coordination with other UN agencies.
The Global Compact is an important framework for initiating and building action-oriented relationships between business and other sectors, including governments, civil society and the UN, in support of numerous development challenges. Based on the commitment to introduce the Global Compact at a local and practical level, UNDP together with the other UN agencies supporting the Global Compact (ILO, OHCHR, UNEP) have prepared a basic and suggestive conceptual framework for how this could be done. The four main components of this framework are:
To date, the Global Compact has been initiated, or is in the process of being initiated, in the following developing countries and countries with emerging economies: China, India, Lebanon, The Philippines, Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon, Panama, Latvia, Turkey, Poland, Thailand, Malaysia, Uruguay, Chile, Brazil and Russia.
By enhancing the capacities of poor people and their governments and by addressing a range of development challenges, UNDP is helping to build the emerging markets of tomorrow, in which businesses can grow and prosper. Working with UNDP and its government and civil society partners in this work is in the self interest of the business sector.
Working with a worldwide, trusted and credible organization like UNDP, will give corporate partners an opportunity to partner around and develop local projects throughout the developing world with a high level of confidence and transparency. UNDP's experience, expertise and network of partners ensure that the best possible results and impact are achieved.
For the business sector, it is becoming increasingly recognized that being socially and environmentally responsible is no longer so much an option as an imperative. The business case for behaving responsibly is becoming more and more evident, demonstrating that being responsible is not only the right thing to do from a human perspective, but also from a business perspective.