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Global Compact Business Forum in Latin America Convenes to Advance Corporate Sustainability in the Region

(Mexico City) – More than 200 representatives from business, investor groups and Local Networks gathered at the Mexican Stock Exchange (BMV: BOLSA) to attend the Latin America and Caribbean Global Compact Business Forum. The Forum was organized by the Regional Center for the Support of the Global Compact in Latin America and Caribbean, with the support of Fundación Carolina and the Mexican Stock Exchange.

The event convened 30 panelists representing business, the Global Compact and other UN organizations,LAC Regional Center, the UN Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) initiative, and Mexican Government, media and academia representatives. The Forum was led by Fernando Chico Pardo, Member of the Global Compact Board and CEO of ASUR, whose efforts resulted in the first regional engagement that provides a financial perspective to corporate sustainability as a strategy toward advancing the Global Compact.

A primary goal of the Forum was to facilitate implementation of the Global Compact in the region through dialogue and sharing of best practices by Global Compact participants. The Forum also sought to enhance integration of the Global Compact’s ten principles into the business strategies and operations of companies, through topics such as responsible investing, corporate governance, sustainable development and Rio+20.

A number of keynote speakers delivered remarks on advancing corporate sustainability throughout Latin America. Juan Rafael Elvira Quesada, Mexican Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources, highlighted the need for Governments and the private sector to work together in order to develop a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication. Luis Téllez Kuenzler, President of Bolsa Mexicana de Valores (Mexican Stock Exchange), previewed the December release of a group of companies that will comprise the first Mexican sustainability index. The index will provide the Mexican market with a fund to invest in sustainable companies starting in 2012.

Rob Lake, PRI Director of Strategic Development, noted the growth of responsible investment as a mainstream trend around the world, while Soren Petersen, UN Global Compact Head of Local Networks and Partnerships, stressed the role of stock exchanges in promoting environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting by companies. Petersen also outlined the Regional Center’s efforts to further the Global Compact’s agenda by directly supporting Local Networks and corporate sustainability across the region.

Also presented at the Forum was a collection of eight best practices from Global Compact participants on human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. These practices were selected by a Committee composed of representatives from Andi, Telefónica, and Mexican and Paraguayan Local Networks that reviewed 31 proposals from 19 companies in seven countries.

For more information about the Latin America and Caribbean Global Compact Business Forum please visitwww.centroregionalpmal.org. A meeting report will be released shortly.

Contact

Soren Petersen
Head of Local Networks and Partnerships
UN Global Compact
petersens@un.org