Executive Update: United Nations Global Compact Annual Letter 2018

New York, United States of America

The following is a letter from Lise Kingo, CEO & Executive Director, to all participants of the UN Global Compact initiative, sent on 24 January 2018.

I am writing to thank you for your support of the United Nations Global Compact, and to ask you to embrace our next leadership phase — “Global Compact 3.0”.

Amid geopolitical and other worldwide uncertainties, the UN Global Compact represents one of the true beacons for a more sustainable and secure world. Our Ten Principles have never been more important — providing an ethical and business framework to help the private sector generate value while reinforcing essential human values.

And with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, we now have a collective blueprint for humanity.

These 17 Global Goals — covering global priorities as diverse as poverty alleviation, gender equality, climate change and decent work — present a global strategy for individual and collective action more universal than the Millennium Development Goals they replaced. Within the Global Goals, there is a powerful message: Healthy societies and healthy markets go hand-in-hand.

Indeed, this is the time when we need a bold and united voice to advocate for the Ten Principles and the Global Goals to right the injustices suffered by so many. At the same time, we must elevate those who pioneer transformational change towards the world we all want.

In other words, leaders like you.

His Excellency, Mr. António Guterres, is the third Secretary-General to oversee the UN Global Compact — Global Compact 3.0, if you will — and he has issued a new challenge to the initiative and to its participating business leaders: Pursue impact as never before.

To answer this call, we must intensify our energy and build momentum. We have less than 5,000 days to achieve the UN Agenda 2030 and its 17 Global Goals, and business has a critical role — to innovate, to scale up solutions, and to drive responsible business action.  

2018 is the year where we celebrate the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In a rapidly changing world, let us see business unreservedly stand up for human rights.

As we are fast approaching the climate turning point, 2018 will also be the year where we step up our focus on climate change. Collectively, we need to deliver a scenario where emissions peak by 2020 and decline thereafter.

Finally, we will explore how we make growth more inclusive, driving general prosperity while tackling income inequality. The world has the finance we need to lift up the lives of the most vulnerable, while creating more stable and resilient financial markets. Thus, we will intensify our efforts to help mobilize the “trillions” in private finance and investment through new pathways and partnerships.

The challenge at hand is no small task, and business will have to collaborate and innovate in new and even radical ways to fully realize the 2030 Agenda. We are here to deliver the resources, platforms and guidance to make change happen on a global scale.

But we need your continued commitment and engagement. We very much look forward to our work with you in 2018 — and beyond.

Let’s be the change we wish to see in the world. Let’s pursue impact as never before. And let’s make the Global Goals local business.

Welcome to Global Compact 3.0.