Global Policy Forum

Corporate Influence


The Privatization of Global Governance: Corporate Influence on the UN


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As globalization has compounded the power of large transnational corporations (TNCs) in recent decade, big business has consolidated its influence on global governance and the United Nations in particular. In that multilateral setting, corporate actors have been granted privileged access to decision-makers, and their interests have become more prominent as calls for legally binding instruments for TNCs become more sidelined. In the ongoing discussions towards a post-2015 sustainable development agenda, the private sector is positioning itself as the solution to current global challenges – while simultaneously attempting in other fora to evade UN oversight and regulation. The embrace of a voluntary “partnership” approach has resulted in a corresponding shift towards a multi-stakeholder governance paradigm – buoyed by big business and the governments invested in it – in the World Economic Forum, the World Trade Organization, and the agencies and agendas of the UN.

GPF is undertaking significant research to track the increasing power and influence of corporations in global governance settings, particularly the UN. To read more, please see

GPF Analysis

This section brings together recent reports and articles written by Global Policy Forum, tracking and analyzing the political influence of the private sector - particularly large transnational corporations - on arenas of global governance. Recent work focuses on the United Nations in particular, and how a small number of corporations, business associations, and private philanthropic foundations engage with multiple processes to ensure that the outcomes align with a global pro-business agenda.

UN Documents

This section contains important UN Documents on its relations with the private sector. This includes material on the UN Global Compact and UN Partnerships with Business, the Business and Human Rights (UN Human Rights Council) processes, and further links and resources.

Further Reading

This section provides recent reports and articles, by civil society organizations and news sources, on the activites of private sector actors in the UN and other global governance settings.

GPF is working on this issue in cooperation with

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