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United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), objectives and principles to promote sustainable business practices and UN Values

2nd April 2024: Sustainable Development Goals point out the destination where we should collectively go. Critical analysis of certain sustainable development domains such as poverty, women empowerment, environment, climate change, global peace, and the status of SDGs reveals a rather gloomy picture.

Besides the challenges from the industrial participants, UNGC also has to steer through certain global-level societal and environmental challenges, which are essential in its pursuit of achieving the SDGs by 2030. Against these obstacles to development, the world is currently estimated to be behind schedule by 62 years to meet the SDG Agenda.

Global Compact’s push towards the attainment of SDG goals, a majority of the participating companies (84%) have been taking specific action to advance SDGs. But the tasks ahead of UNGC are stupendous and strenuous. To make its programs work faster and move forward in the journey further, UNGC has been operating through its global office as well as through its country-level local networks, numbering beyond 160.

Local Networks are independent and self-managed entities that work closely with the UNGC, and New York headquarters, and coordinate as contact points in the respective GC’s Signatory countries. These networks help Companies and Non-profit organizations understand what ‘responsible business’ means within diverse national, cultural, and linguistic contexts.

The Global Compact’s Local Networks advance the initiative at the country level. And facilitate outreach, learning policy dialogue, collective action, and partnerships. Through the country-based local networks, companies can make local connections – with other businesses and stakeholders from NGOs, government, and academia.  While local networks are independent, self-managed entities, they work closely with the UN Global Compact in New York and act as points of contact for the UNGC signatories in a country.

UNGC local networks are business-led, and multi-stakeholder platforms that work directly with businesses to help them implement its 10 principles and advance the SDGs. Local networks support both local firms and subsidiaries of multinational corporations in meeting the annual reporting requirements.

Local network activities are based on local priorities and needs. They range from corporate sustainability seminars, reporting pieces of training, issue-specific workshops, country-based consultations, and policy dialogues to collective action projects, partnerships, networking events, local newsletters, and awards.

UN Global Compact Network India (UN GCNI), the Indian Local Network of the Global Compact, New York, was formed as early as 2000, in the same year after UNGC was established in New York. It was the first Local Network in the world to be established with full legal recognition.

It also serves as a country-level platform for businesses, civil organizations, and public and private sectors, and aids in aligning stakeholders’ responsible practices towards UNGC’s 10 principles in the areas of Human Rights, Labour, Environment, and Anti–corruption. UNGCNI makes all efforts to pursue the broad goals of the UN, including Sustainable Development Goals and other key sister initiatives of the United Nations and its systems. pioneering local initiatives of the United Nations Global Compact, New York, the Indian network of the UNGC, the first local network established globally, started with full legal recognition, as an NGO.

The governance of the UN Global Compact Network India (UN GCNI) is led by a Governing Council, elected every two years by the General Body, which is the supreme body of the UNGCNI’s governance structure, consisting of UN GCNI’s members. To further the Global Compact and carry forward the Global Compact’s mandate on the day-to-day functioning, the UN Global Compact Network India is supported by a Secretariat headed by an Executive Director. Currently, ONGC’s CMD Shri. Arun Kumar Singh is the President of GCNI for three years (2023-2025).

Dr.MP Boraian


Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this section and articles contributed are those of the respective authors, who have submitted it as their original work. They do not reflect the opinions or views of CSR Times, or its employees, management and group publications. The accuracy and reliability of information presented has not been verified by CSR Times. CSR Times will not be held responsible in any way for the content of this article.






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