Executive Update: Statement from Lise Kingo, CEO & Executive Director, UN Global Compact, on the killing of George Floyd

New York, United States of America

UNITED NATIONS, New York, 2 June 2020 — In condemning the recent killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, United States, I want to amplify the words of UN Secretary-General António Guterres: “Racism continues to be prevalent in our societies. We must raise our voices against all expressions of racism and instances of racist behaviour. We urgently need to dismantle racist structures and reform racist institutions.”

For 20 years, the United Nations Global Compact has been guiding and uniting business to stand up for human rights through our Ten Principles. Rooted in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, our human rights principles specifically call on business to support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights and make sure that they are not complicit in human rights abuses. Today, we are emphasizing our commitment to work tirelessly with businesses everywhere to uphold our Ten Principles and the corporate responsibility to respect and support human rights.

Racism and police brutality do not exist in a vacuum. In the US, as much as in any other country, diversity is a strength, not a weakness. To pave the way towards real change, all of society — Governments, the private sector, civil society, academia, local authorities and more — must work together to reduce inequalities, strengthen social protection systems, eliminate all forms of discrimination and provide equal opportunities. This makes clear the critical importance of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, ensuring no one is left behind.

I am encouraged to see leadership from the business community in recognizing and pushing back against systemic racism and police brutality. And like so many businesses have done, the UN Global Compact stands with #blacklivesmatter and the vision of a world where every Black person is treated justly and empowered to prosper and thrive.

By working together, we can unite in the business of a better world, one free of discrimination, hate and violence.