Global Compact Task Force Addresses UN-Business Partnerships


(Davos) – Today, a new task force of Global Compact LEAD companies with experience partnering with the UN met in Davos to discuss how both the UN and business can scale up efforts to contribute to partnerships with greater impact.

The event, co-hosted by the UN Global Compact and Unilever, brought together senior executives of Accenture, Acciona, Intel Corp., KPMG International, Novo Nordisk, The Coca- Cola Company, Unilever, and high-level representatives from UNDP, UNESCO, UN Foundation, UN Global Compact, UN Habitat, UNHCR, UN Women, WFP and WHO.

Following a presentation of priority issues, the discussion centered on what the UN and businesses need to do differently in order to achieve transformational partnerships which will result in scaled and sustainable impact.  Transformational partnerships are a new form of collaboration between groups of companies and the UN, which catalyze wide-scale positive changes in behavior, creating impact at a systemic level across sectors and geographies.

While participants agreed that both the UN and business, through their complementary resources and expertise, have the capacity to create impactful and scalable partnerships, it was also stressed that each side needs to overcome a different set of challenges that can constrain their attempts to work together.

The meeting demonstrated that the highest levels of leadership both within the UN and the private sector recognize the potential of UN-business partnerships and are committed to finding new and effective ways of collaborating to transform markets and create enabling environments.

This discussion represents the first of a series of meetings spearheaded by the UN Global Compact Office and Unilever to develop practical recommendations that will be presented to the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the 2011 UN Private Sector Forum in September.


Matthias Stausberg