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New UN-Business Website Brokers Partnerships & Supports UN Development Mission

UN introduces business.un.org, a one-stop gateway to broker UN-business partnerships, facilitate donations and highlight success stories

(Davos)Business.un.org the new UN-business partnership gateway, will be introduced today at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting held in Davos, Switzerland. The website provides a single entry point to match the capacities and resources of the private sector with the needs of the UN System, be it for humanitarian relief, poverty reduction, or the fight against global health challenges.

The United Nations has long recognized that the private sector is a critical partner in addressing global challenges. And for companies willing to make a difference, the UN has the means and the reach to help sustain efforts on a global scale.

While many UN organizations have partnered with businesses for years, companies have frequently expressed frustration over the lack of a single interface describing UN needs across the multitude of specialized agencies, funds and programmes. The new platform aims to offer companies a user-friendly process to share their resources and find appropriate partners.

How business.un.org works

Using the new partnership gateway, businesses seeking to contribute to the UN’s work can browse available humanitarian needs and partnership opportunities, or simply submit ideas for collaboration. Based on shared characteristics, the site then flags potential matches.

The website also showcases examples of existing partnerships and provides operational guidelines to maximize the chance of success.

First launched on 14 January, business.un.org has quickly shown to be a useful mechanism to facilitate private-sector contributions to the humanitarian and development work of the United Nations. Following the devastating earthquake in Haiti, businesses around the world have pledged both cash and in-kind contributions to support relief and redevelopment efforts in the Caribbean nation. Contributions offered through the portal include medical supplies, logistics support, food and water, shelter and communications equipment.

Business.un.org is a joint effort of more than 20 UN organizations, coordinated by the UN Global Compact and the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. The site was designed and implemented by Global Hand, a Hong-Kong-based non-governmental organization specializing in matching services for non-profit and for-profit organizations that partner to help a world in need. Project funding was provided by the UN Foundation. The new partnership gateway will be available in all six official UN languages by mid-2010.

“The new and unique UN-business partnership gateway will play a critical role in supporting the UN’s mission,” said Georg Kell, Executive Director of the UN Global Compact. “More effectively than ever before, it will help leverage the core strengths of business in support of critical humanitarian needs and long-term development goals.”

“Recent years have seen radical change in the landscape of public-private partnerships,” said Sally Begbie, President of Global Hand. “Companies are engaging with global issues as never before. Who, though, should they partner with in the UN? This site offers a matching service to bring the right companies and UN organizations together. Its goal is to see resulting partnerships bring greater resources to a world in need.”

Business.un.org, the new UN-business partnership gateway was launched during a panel discussion at the Refugee Run(Holland House, Symondstrasse 11, CH7270, Davos Platz) on Friday 29th January at 4 pm.

Panelists include Prof. Jeffrey Sachs, Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General on the Millennium Development Goals; Georg Kell, Executive Director, United Nations Global Compact; John Harrison, Deputy Chairman KPMG International; Jeff Joerres, CEO Manpower; and Sally Begbie, International President, Global Hand (the NGO which built the new UN portal).

Media Contacts

Matthias Stausberg
UN Global Compact
+1 917 367 3423
stausberg@un.org

Stephanie Bunker
OCHA-New York
+1 917 367 5126
bunker@un.org

Elisabeth Byrs
OCHA-Geneva
+41 22 917 2653
byrs@un.org

Sally Begbie, International President
Global Hand
+852 9180 9260
sallybegbie@globalhand.org