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Business and UN Raise the Bar for Corporate Practices in “New York Declaration”

UN Global Compact enters its second decade with blueprint for corporate leadership and renewed commitments by business to advance corporate responsibility

(NEW YORK) Corporate leaders from more than 135 countries concluded a two-day business-United Nations summit in New York with agreement on a strengthened set of standards for business practices and support for UN environmental, human rights and anti-poverty drives.

Recognizing that, in the aftermath of the 2009 recession, “the need for responsibility and leadership has been never greater,” participants today approved by acclamation the “New York Declaration by Business”. The Leaders Summit brought together business, civil society and labour participants of the UN Global Compact, and was opened on 24 June by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

“The enormous progress made by more than 8000 participating businesses and organizations during the 10-year history of the UN Global Compact calls for further scaling up leadership commitment over the next ten years,” said Lord Michael Hastings of KPMG International at the closing session.

The New York Declaration cites 10 key principles covering human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption principles that benefit both business and the overall society. These ten founding principles of the Global Compact were augmented by a Blueprint for Corporate Sustainability Leadership, presented for the first time at the Leaders Summit.

In particular, it embraces the “Protect, Respect, Remedy” framework developed by Professor John Ruggie, Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Business and Human Rights. The Declaration also calls for business to contribute more substantially to peace and development, especially in conflict-affected and high-risk areas.

“Any business sector can contribute a solution to development challenges”, said Professor Jeffrey Sachs, Special Advisor to the United Nations Secretary-General on the Millennium Development Goals, who moderated the Summit final session on the business contribution to development.

Business leaders meeting in New York also called on governments of the world to build enabling environments for entrepreneurship, maintain an open trading system, set clear and effective regulations including in socially critical areas such as climate change and to join the private sector in providing tangible support for achievement of the world’s Millennium Development Goals.

The Global Compact Leaders Summit marks the tenth anniversary of the UN initiative, launched in July 2000 to engage business to adopt universal human rights, labours, environment and anti-corruption principles in their strategies and day-to-day operations.

Media Contact:

Matthias Stausberg
UN Global Compact

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