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NGO Documents on UN and Business

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Precarious "Partnerships" Six problems of the Global Compact between Business and the UN (June 23, 2004)

The Global Compact undermines efforts to hold corporations accountable to labor, human rights and environmental standards. "Instead of bringing shared values into the market, the Global Compact threatens to bring commercialism into the UN." (World Economy, Ecology and Development Association and Global Policy Forum)

The Global Compact Counter-Summit (June 23, 2004)

This counter-summit was organized to question the expansion of corporate influence at the UN. These minutes from the meeting outline the pros and cons of the Global Compact, ultimately highlighting its inefficacy and calling for its cancellation. (Global Policy Forum)

Letter to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan on the Global Compact (June 4, 2004)

Human Rights First, an NGO member of the Global Compact, expresses "serious concerns" about the compact's credibility and effectiveness. The organization calls on the UN to "implement much stronger systems of accountability, a more transparent process for evaluating company participation, and a more results-oriented approach to its work."

Flags of Inconvenience? The Global Compact and the Future of the United Nations (Spring 2004)

This research paper reviews criticism of the Global Compact's role, effect and accountability and gives suggestions for the future. The author warns that the Global Compact may undermine the UN's ability to mediate between competing views, ideologies and power bases. (International Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility)

The UN Human Rights Norms for Business: Towards Legal Accountability (2004)

In this booklet Amnesty Internationalanswers questions about the UN Norms and their legal status. It also includes an overview of the development of the Norms and background on the drafting process.


Development at Risk: Rethinking UN-Business Partnerships (December 2003)

This report welcomes the idea of the UN Global Compact. However, it acknowledges that "under present arrangements, partnerships cannot make a significant contribution to development." (South Centre and UNRISD)

Membership of Nestlé in the UN Global Compact (July 10, 2003)

Geneva Infant Feeding Association/International Baby Food Action Network(GIFA-IBFAN) demands an explanation of the acceptance of transnational food manufacturer Nestlé to the Global Compact. The UN did not publicly announce Nestlé's acceptance to the Compact despite GIFA-IBFAN's opposition.

Letter to Louise Fréchette Raising Concerns on UN Global Compact (April 7, 2003)

In this letter four major participants of the UN Global Compact express their misgivings about various aspects of its operation. The authors recommend establishing clear rules of participation, feed back and methods of accountability. (Amnesty International)

The Human Rights Responsibilities of Companies (2003)

Amnesty International summarizes the UN Draft Norms of Responsibilities of Transnational Corporations and Other Business Enterprises with Regard to Human Rights, and highlights the existing UN human rights standards to which governments and corporations are accountable.


Global Compact with Corporations: "Civil Society" Responds (February 15, 2001)

A panel discussion at the UN, organized by the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, presents criticisms of the Global Compact.


Representing Business at the UN? (October 1996)

Global Policy ForumExecutive Director James Paul reflects on the idea that "the UN would be somehow 'more effective' if business had an official seat at the table."


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