20 Years of the UN Global Compact

Launched in 2000 by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, the UN Global Compact was initiated to bring business and the United Nations together to give a human face to the global market.

When businesses unite, they can be a powerful force for good by upholding universal principles in the areas of human rights, labour, the environment and anti-corruption.

Important progress has been made, but from runaway climate change to widening inequalities, our actions do not currently match the ambition and pace necessary to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. All stakeholders must unite to transform our collective aspiration into reality.

Through our Local Networks and over 10,000 companies around the world, the UN Global Compact is taking corporate sustainability from the fringes to the mainstream and uniting business for a better world.

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Interested in joining the movement? Take the next step and join the UN Global Compact, and register to attend the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit 2020.

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Join us from 21 to 23 September 2020, as we bring the voice of business to the first virtual UN General Assembly Week

Sanda Ojiambo: 20 Years of the UN Global Compact

Welcome to the Decade of Action

2020 kicks-off a new Decade of Action to deliver the 17 Global Goals — the boldest agenda for humanity ever adopted. Responsible companies are ramping up their action and impact by embedding a principles-based approach into strategies and operations. More than ever before we need all stakeholders to unite in transforming our collective aspiration to reality.

20th Anniversary Leaders Summit

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the Presidents of Botswana, Colombia, Costa Rica and Ethiopia joined the President of the UN General Assembly and UN Secretary-General alongside dozens of Chief Executive Officers and UN chiefs at the United Nations Global Compact Leaders Summit to address the private sector’s response to three unprecedented and interconnected global crises — health, inequality and climate change.

Over 26 hours of continuous virtual programming — including more than 100 global, regional and local sessions — the Summit was the UN’s largest, most inclusive and most sustainable convening of purpose-driven business leaders committed to tackling societal challenges and advancing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). More than 20,000 business and sustainability leaders from over 180 countries participated in their local time zones and languages.

Under the theme of “Recover Better, Recover Stronger, Recover Together,” the event marked the 20th anniversary of the UN Global Compact, providing a platform of platforms where leaders from business, civil society, Governments and the UN were challenged to reflect on the importance of collaboration and public-private partnerships, and increase their ambition to achieve the SDGs.

Highlights from the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit


Highlights from the 2020 Leaders Summit

Re-watch full sessions from the Leaders Summit


4 simple things all companies can do to promote diversity and inclusion

We must act now to avert global water crisis

COVID-related hunger could kill more people than the virus

COVID-19 could cause a children’s mental health crisis

Why Covid-19 could kickstart global healthcare progress

The opportunities in the ocean industry

Why COVID has made SDG Ambition more urgent than ever

A formidable compass: How the SDGs can guide us to build back better

Three ways we need to change to meet the SDGs by 2030

Three Types of Sustainable Business Leaders

Time to stop taking ours oceans for granted

The most inspirational ideas from the SDG Future Lab

COVID-19: What makes a good leader during the pandemic 

How to make sustainability a part of your company DNA

Contact Information

Mr. Dan Thomas