10 June 2003





Number of Companies Participating Now

Exceeds 1,000 -– Many Are Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises



NEW YORK, 6 June (Office of the Global Compact) -– The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) has been named the fifth United Nations core agency of the Global Compact, responsible for small- and medium-sized enterprises engaged in the initiative.


The other four agencies are:  the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR); the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP); the International Labour Organization (ILO); and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).


Welcoming the new responsibility of UNIDO, Director-General Carlos Magariños expressed his firm conviction that “generating wealth and enhancing productivity in a manner that is socially and environmentally responsible, and thus sustainable, must be a common goal of the international community.  The Global Compact is a powerful platform for achieving this”.


The Global Compact is an initiative of Secretary-General Kofi Annan that brings businesses together with United Nations agencies, governments, labour and civil society to support nine principles in the areas of human rights, labour and environment, for a more sustainable and inclusive global economy.  Through the power of collective action, the Global Compact seeks to advance responsible corporate citizenship so that business can be part of the solution to the challenges of globalization.  Over 1,000 companies from more than 50 countries are now engaged in the Global Compact.  Of these, almost 25 per cent are classified as small- and medium-sized enterprises.


The invitation to UNIDO to become a core agency, extended at a meeting of United Nations Agencies on 12 May in Geneva, Switzerland, was motivated by the need to pay more attention to the specific needs and support requirements of small- and medium-sized enterprises -– an area in which UNIDO’s expertise is globally acknowledged.  (Further information on UNIDO’s work in this area can be found at


For further information, please contact:  Gavin Power, Global Compact Office, at tel.:  1-212-963-4681,





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