Never before has there been a greater alignment between the objectives of the international community and those of the business world. Common goals, such as building markets, combating corruption, safeguarding the environment and ensuring social inclusion, have resulted in unprecedented partnerships and openness between business, governments, civil society, labour and the United Nations.
Launched in July 2000, the UN Global Compact is a leadership platform for the development, implementation and disclosure of responsible and sustainable corporate policies and practices. Endorsed by chief executives, it seeks to align business operations and strategies everywhere with ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anticorruption. With more than 8,500 signatories in over 135 countries, the UN Global Compact is the world’s largest voluntary corporate sustainability initiative.
Through a wide spectrum of specialized workstreams, management tools, resources, and topical programs, the UN Global Compact aims to advance two complementary objectives:
･Mainstream the ten principles in business activities around the world
･Catalyze actions in support of broader UN goals, including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)
By doing so, business, as the primary driver of globalization, can help ensure that markets, commerce, technology and finance advance in ways that benefit economies and societies everywhere and contribute to a more sustainable and inclusive global economy.
The UN Global Compact is not a regulatory instrument, but rather a voluntary initiative that relies on public accountability, transparency and disclosure to complement regulation and to provide a space for innovation and collective action.
(cited from "UN Global Compact Brochure")