Press Releases

                                                                                                                     24June 2004

    UN Announces Initiative to Align Managerial Practices with Global Compact; Aims to Make UN Leading Example of ‘Responsible Corporate Citizenship’

    NEW YORK, 23 June (Department of Management) -- The United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Management, Catherine Bertini, has announced that she has initiated a process to integrate the Global Compact Principles into the internal operations of the United Nations. Observing that “the United Nations should always lead by example, and be ready to comply with the same requests it makes of others”, she said that “although the United Nations does not knowingly contravene the Compact’s principles in its administrative practices, the Organization could and should be far more explicit in integrating the principles into it’s administrative processes”.

    The Secretary-General has asked her to make “the United Nations a leading example of responsible corporate citizenship” in its administrative practices. Following the Secretary-General’s request and a study she commissioned, she has organized specialized working groups to cover the areas of procurement, facilities management, the Capital Master Plan, investment management, human resources management and organizational integrity. An “Advisory Group” consisting of representatives of the Department of Management, the Global Compact Office, the Office of the Deputy Secretary-General, the Office of Legal Affairs, the Office of Internal Oversight Services and the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, will steer the process.

    To represent the United Nations, Catherine Bertini will attend the Global Compact Leaders Summit on 24 June at United Nations Headquarters which will be attended by hundreds of leading private sector enterprises, labour organizations and civil society groups. She will join with them in assessing what the Compact has achieved in its five years of existence, and to determine what more can be done to deepen its impact.

    The Secretary-General’s Global Compact initiative was launched at the World Economic Forum in 1999, and calls on business leaders to embrace and enact nine universal principles in the areas of human rights, labour and the environment. At that time the United Nations considered whether any changes in its own managerial and administrative practices would be necessary. It was decided that only a limited number of steps were required, primarily an effort to educate potential suppliers to the United Nations about the Global Compact and its principles.

     Since then, hundreds of businesses from around the world have become involved, and this past February, the General Assembly adopted a resolution supporting the Compact as part of the work of the United Nations on global partnerships. Given this growing support, the Secretary-General requested the Under-Secretary-General for Management to take another look at what the United Nations is doing, and could do, to apply the principles of the Compact to the conduct of its global operations. The measures announced are a result of the review commissioned by the Under-Secretary-General following this request.

    For more information on the Global Compact:

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