In 1999 the Secretary General of the United Nations (UN), Kofi Annan, proposed in the Social Economic Forum in Davos the idea of launching a Global Compact between the United Nations and the world business community in order to safeguard sustainable economic growth in the context of globalization, by promoting shared values and principles, which will give a human face to the global market.
These values are grouped in 4 major areas:
The Global Compact has grown to become a critical platform for the UN to engage effectively with enlightened Global businesses. The Global Compact Office works together with five UN agencies: the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the International Labour Organization (ILO), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the United Nations Program for Development (UNDP).
This Global Compact relies on the sustained development of Social Responsibility in recent years and the willingness to bring transparence to business activities.
The UN Global Compact asks companies to embrace, support and enact, within their sphere of influence, a set of core values in the areas of human rights, labor standards, the environment and anti-corruption:
The Ten Principles of the Global Compact:
The first two related to human rights, from 3 to 6 to the working conditions, the following three to Environmental Protection and the last but not least to fight Corruption:
1. Support and respect the protection of Human Rights.
2. Make sure they are not complicit in Human Rights Abuses.
3. Uphold freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining.
4. Elimination of all forms of Forced and Compulsory Labor.
5. Effective abolition of child labor.
6. Elimination of Discrimination in Respect of Employment and Occupation.
7. Supporting a precautionary approach to environmental challenges.
8. Undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility.
9. Encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies.
10. Working against corruption in all its forms, including extortion and bribery.
The importance of knowing and spreading the Global Framework for the implementation of SR Programs is closely related to encouraging all organizations to participate in activities that go beyond the "good intentions" and the unique desire to improve their reputation and advertising. Moreover, they are encouraged to move forwards towards concrete and sustainable commitment to improve the quality of life in their communities of reference.
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