News & Views

UN Global Compact Mandate Renewed by Member States

New York, United States of America

Today, the Second Committee of the United Nations General Assembly (Economic and Financial Committee) adopted a resolution on the evolving strategic engagement of the UN in multi-stakeholder partnerships, including with the private sector.

The resolution, under General Assembly agenda item 27 (Towards global partnerships: A principle-based approach to enhanced cooperation between the United Nations and all relevant partners), reiterates the UN Global Compact’s broad mandate, which is to “to advance United Nations values and responsible business practices within the United Nations system and among the global business community.”  The resolution also noted the principles of the UN Global Compact and its initiatives, including mentioning by name, the Women’s Empowerment PrinciplesBusiness for Peace, the Business for the Rule of Law Framework, and the Children’s Rights and Business Principles.  UN Member States also encouraged the private sector to enhance its involvement in combatting climate change.

UN Member States also recognized “the vital role that the United Nations Global Compact Office continues to play with regard to strengthening the capacity of the United Nations to partner strategically with the private sector.” In this context, the resolution expressed support for the work of the UN Global Compact to encourage all businesses to adopt principles for responsible business and investing and to take account of the environmental, social and governance impacts of their activities.  The key role of the UN Global Compact’s integrity measures was also emphasized as Members States are looking for best practices and ways to improve transparency and accountability in multi-stakeholder partnerships involving the UN.

Recognizing that the private sector has an important role to play in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and Targets outlined in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Member States also called attention to the Global Compact Local Networks as helping to facilitate partnerships with businesses on a broad scale and promoting sustainable development and the eradication of poverty.

UN Global Compact Executive Director Lise Kingo commented: “We thank UN Member States for their strong statement and renewal of support for the UN Global Compact at both the global and local levels and welcome their emphasis on accountability, transparency, coherence and risk management in UN-business collaboration.  Including through our role in chairing the UN Private Sector Focal Point Network, we will build on our work in strengthening the capacity and integrity of the UN in partnering strategically and effectively with the private sector.”

The resolution was agreed by consensus and responds to the report of the UN Secretary-General on “Enhanced cooperation between the United Nations and all relevant partners, in particular the private sector” (A/RES/70/296). The UN Global Compact’s progress on engaging the private sector to implement responsible business practices and support UN goals will next be reviewed in 2017.