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UNESCO and Microsoft Sign Accord to Help Bridge Digital Divide (November 17, 2004)

Microsoft has joined other large companies in supporting UNESCO's global strategy to boost education and social and economic development with the help of information and communication technologies. Microsoft will exchange experiences and knowledge with UNESCO and the coalition of companies intends to develop projects supporting education. (United Nations News Service)

UN Examines Human Rights Responsibilities of Transnational Corporations (November 5, 2004)

In a report focusing on the responsibilities of transnational corporations, the UN's High Commission for Human Rights will draw attention to the protection and promotion of human rights in businesses. The report will look at both binding and non-binding approaches to corporate accountability. (
In his response to the "Joint Civil Society Statement on the Global Compact and Corporate Accountability," Georg Kell, Executive Head of Global Compact, maintains that voluntary approaches like the Global Compact can contribute to legally-binding corporate social responsibility.

UN Pact with Business Lacks Accountability (June 24, 2004)

Ahead of the Global Compact Leaders Summit at the United Nations, NGOs at a counter-summit voiced their concern about the growing influence of corporations within the UN. NGOs charged that the Compact delivers a public relations "smokescreen" for corporations by allowing them to "hide" behind ten principles on human rights, labor, corruption and environmental issues, without holding them accountable for their actions. (Inter Press Service)

Nike Complaint Spotlights UN Partnership with Business (April 29, 2004)

In a letter of complaint to the UN, labor unions accused Nike, a UN Global Compact member, of preventing workers from forming unions in its overseas factories. The Global Compact, a body that promotes corporate responsibility, rejected the complaint saying that it is not their role to "interfere" in labor disputes. (Inter Press Service)

Shell Leads International Business Campaign against UN Human Rights Norms (March 15, 2004)

Corporate lobby groups and big businesses, such as the International Chamber of Commerce and Shell are opposed to the UN Norms on Businesses and Human Rights, arguing that the Norms transfer responsibility for human rights from states to business. The Norms are more specific than the Global Compact's general principles on human rights and suggest further steps toward corporate accountability. (UN Observer & International Report)


Raising the Heat on Business over Human Rights (August 18, 2003)

The UN's new guidelines for business will advance human rights, but some textual gray areas may allow corporations to avoid raising the quality of their working conditions. (Ethical Corporation)

Rights Groups Hail New UN Guidelines for Business (August 14, 2003)

New UN guidelines for transnational corporations would protect human and labor rights, as well as the natural environment. Rights groups have welcomed the standards as an important step toward curbing corporations' abuses. (OneWorld)

A Path to Helping the Poor, and His Investors (August 10, 2003)

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has announced the possibility to include the private sector in the fight against world poverty, further encouraging microfinancing initiatives. This New York Times article highlights the risks of private sector involvement, as microfinancing ventures primarily seek profits rather than poverty reduction.

UN Secretariat Replies to NGO Concerns over Global Compact (June 26, 2003)

UN Deputy Secretary-General Louise Fréchette encourages NGOs to hold the private sector accountable by monitoring whether the companies in the Global Compact are reporting on their activities. (Ethical Corporation)

Balancing Trade Rules, the Environment and Sustainable Development (February 1, 2003)

From the WTO's Doha "development" trade round to public-private "partnerships" for development, members of the world business community have begun to promote themselves as purveyors of poverty alleviation. But this interview with the General Manager of the Environmental Protection Authority of Ethiopia reveals the wariness with which poor countries receive such rhetoric. (allAfrica)


Greenwash + 10: The Global Compact, Corporate Accountability and the Johannesburg Earth Summit (January 25, 2002)

A report by Corpwatch documents corporate influence on the United Nations and calls on the UN to implement measures for accountability. It looks at some of the Global Compact companies and finds evidence that they have engaged in human rights and environmental abuses. The report also offers specific steps the UN can take to hold these corporations accountable.

Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue on the Development of Human Capital in China (December 17, 2002)

The 2002 Human Capital Forum asked whether Global Compact principles could direct human capital development in China and throughout the world. The forum received wide coverage by Chinese media. (UN Global Compact)

Analysis 2002: A Year in Corporate Social Responsibility (December 16, 2002)

This summary of 2002's corporate social responsibility news provides a litany of events that have changed how many businesses are perceived, if not how they operate. (Ethical Corporation Magazine)

Real Madrid Football Club Teams up with UN Labor Agency to Fight Child Employment (December 13, 2002)

The UN International Labor Organization and the Real Madrid football club are partnering for the "Red Card to Child Labor" campaign that will focus on efforts to end abusive child labor practices throughout the world. (UN News Center)

India: Government Seeks Accountability From Foreign Corporations (December 12, 2002)

In a paper submitted to the WTO, India with the support of China calls for the accountability of economically powerful multinational corporations to host countries. Developed countries argue that these types of rules will slow investment in developing countries. (Business Standard)

Berlin Learning Forum (December 12, 2002)

Over 100 companies gather in Berlin for three days of conservation with representatives from NGOs and academia, under the auspices of the UN Global Compact Learning Forum, to discuss corporate ethics. (M2 Presswire)

UN Deputy Secretary-General Outlines 'Dominant Concepts' in Development Policy at Interaction CEO Retreat (December 11, 2002)

Deputy Secretary-General Louise Frechette discuses global development policies at InterAction's Annual CEO Retreat. The speech focuses on the roles Millenium Development Goals, country ownership, coherence, and partnerships. (M2 Presswire)

UN as Consultant to Oil Majors (December 4, 2002)

The UNDP is emerging as a rival to the World Bank as a sub-contractor of social development projects funded by major oil companies in working in Africa. (Africa Energy Intelligence)

Earth on the Market: Beyond the Limits of Sustainable Growth (December 2002)

Participants at the World Summit on Sustainable Development was not able to come to figure out how development can be sustainable. Business interests were able to dodge binding rules on destructive unbridled economic globalization. (Le Monde Diplomatique)

Towards Binding Corporate Responsibility (2002)

Friends of the Earth International makes its case for a legally binding international framework on corporate accountability, and suggests specific mechanisms within the UN system to accomplish its goals.

Citizens' Guide to Trade, Environment, and Sustainability: World Business Council on Sustainable Development (2002)

Friends of the Earth International provides a thorough description of the history and dangerous agenda of WBCSD, a corporate coalition that espouses sustainable development.

UNFPA Plans Partnership with Ops (November 25, 2002)

The UN Population Fund (UNFPA) program in Nigeria has asked the private sector for financial assistance. UNFPA believes private funds "are necessary to bridge the ever-widening gap between the needs of developing countries and the funds that are available to meet them." (Vanguard)

The Dangers of Corporate Social Responsibility (November 21, 2002)

The Economist warns of potential dangers in the increasing trend of corporate sustainability reporting. This phenomenon may help " to create a climate in which heavy regulation becomes politically acceptable."

McUnicef Partnership Exposed: Ronald McDonald Weds Missy McUnicef (November 21, 2002)

The Alliance for a Corporate Free UN staged a mock wedding between Unicef and McDonald's to highlight and criticize Unicef's enabling of McDonald's World Children's Day. (EarthRights International)

Global Compact Participants by Country (November 21, 2002)

The UN Global Compact office has released the names of all the companies that have expressed support for its principles. The companies included in this list do not necesarily abide by these 9 principles of social and environmental responsibility. (UN Global Compact)

Don't Let Big Business Rule the World (November 13, 2002)

Friends of the Earth International takes the occasion of the UN General Assembly adoption of the Johannesburg "Plan of Action" to unveil their campaign "Don't Let Big Business Rule the World". FoEI "demands a review of the impacts of the current global trade regime to deliver trade justice and the development of a global mechanism to deliver rights to communities and rules for big business."

Chevron, UNDP Sign Pact on Community Development (November 12, 2002)

Chevron, a multinational oil corporation with a bad record of community involvement withen Nigeria, has entered into a partnership with UNDP to administer development projects withen the Niger Delta. (This Day)

The Golden Rule-Makers (November 11, 2002)

Although it was founded on humanitarian principles, the crisis in Iraq shows that money, not morals, often controls decion-making at the UN. (The Guardian)

Global Compact Business Guide for Conflict Impact Assessment and Risk Management (November 9, 2002)

This guide designed for companies operating in zones of conflict advises them on ways to operate in sensitive and socially responsible ways. (Union Network International)

Global Compact Annual Learning Forum Meeting Agenda (November 5, 2002)

This a detailed agenda of the December UN Global Compact "Learning Forum" meeting in Berlin.(UN Global Compact)

Why UNICEF is Dancing With a Fast-Food Devil?(November 3, 2002)

McDonald's attempts to sanitize its image by partnering with squeaky clean UNICEF. But the UN agency for children may have lost some credibility in this most recent deal. (The Star)

Re-envisioning the Roles of Global Actors: An analysis of the UN Global Compact (November 2002)

This paper provides a thoughtful analysis addresses the constantly changing roles of multinational corporations, the UN, and NGOs in the global South. The Global Compact provides important insights into these relationships. (UN Association-Canada)

A Little More Conversation, A Little Less Action (November 2002)

Corporate interests were the winners at the World Summit on Sustainable Development as they successfully shifted the sustainable development debate to rhetoric of "public private partnerships" and non-binding agreements. (Corporate Europe Observatory)

Businesses and Investment Crucial to Cutting Africa's Poverty, Annan Says (October 30, 2002)

At the Regional Meeting of the International Chamber of Commerce, Kofi Annan urges business to become more actively involved in African economic development. He suggested that the New Agenda for Africa's Development and the UN Global Compact could enable this effort. (UN News)

The UN Global Compact and Swiss Business: Making Global Responsibility Work for Business and Development (October 29, 2002)

The Executive Head of the Global Compact, Georg Kell, speaks to Swiss Business leaders and attempts to justify the existence and mission of the Global Compact. (UN Global Compact)

Letter to Jessica Matthews (October 19, 2002)

Corporate Europe Observatory, with the support of some 80 NGOs around the world, expresses its doubts concerning the ethics and effectiveness of the UN Global Compact. They request a response from Global Compact Advisory Board member Jessica Matthews. (UN Global Compact)

ILO and Russian Business Focus on Labor Rights (October 17, 2002)

Russian business leaders, along with UN and Russian government representatives, participated in an International Labor Organization discussion on discrimination. This event was part of a series of discussions on principles that the ILO and Global Compact share.(UN Global Compact)

The Future of Conservation (September 2002/October 2002)

Steve Sanderson, president of the Wildlife Conservation Society, insists that UN Summitry has failed the conservation movement. He stresses that a key to NGO effectiveness is their willingness and ability to partner with "leaders in the global corporate community." (Foreign Affairs)

Nongovernmental Activists Bitterly Criticize 'Hijacking' of Summit By Big Business (October 2002)

Leading NGO groups call for corporate accountability and alternative paths to development at the Earth Summit. (Earth Times)

Sir Mark Moody-Stuart Helps Corporations With High Visibility at Johannesburg Summit (October 2002)

The Johannesburg Earth Summit was the launch site of tens of new corporate/UN/NGO initiatives. Mark Moody-Stuart, Earth Summit business lobbyist, argues that "corporations are part of the problem, but they are an integral part of the solution as well." (Earth Times)

UN Global Compact Initiative Announces Launch of New Internet Portal (September 25, 2002)

The Global Compact initative that attempts to integrate business interests in the UN system has unveiled a powerful new internet portal that will strengthen the group. (UN News)

CEOs Say Environment, World Communities, and Terrorism All Affected By Big Business (September 24, 2002)

This informative and enlightening survey shows that while CEOs awareness and intent to be socially responsible has increased since 9/11, they are not allocating the corresponding funds. (Jericho Communications)

Business Leader Says Government Must Set Framework for Action on Environment, Development (September 3, 2002)

In this interview, the former chair of Shell Oil and founder of Business Action for Sustainable Development, Mark Moody-Stuart argues that the world community should focus on local regulations and not international agreements in promoting sustainable development. (

The Evolution of the Global Compact Network: An Experiment in Learning and Action (September-November 2002)

Georg Kell, the executive head of the UN Global Compact, and a co-author from the Wharton School, provide an academic analysis and a defense of the legitimacy and potential usefulness of the organization. (UN Chronicle)

Business Rules: Without our Protests, the UN is at Risk of Becoming Baby Brother to the WTO and IMF (September-October 2002)

Kenny Bruno argues that the Global Justice movement should raise its voice at the Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development to not only protest rising corporate involvement in the UN, but also to demonstrate support for UN ideals.(Adbusters)

Global Compact Launches Development Initiative at Summit (September 2002)

The Global Compact launched an initiative concerning investment in the world's least developed countries at the WSSD. Representatives from the UN, business, and the NGO communities participated in these high level discussions.(UN Global Compact)

UNICEF and McDonald's World Children's Day (August 26, 2002)

Commercial Alert and others try to persuade UNICEF that its association with "McDonald's World Children's Day" is harmful, hypocritical, and should end. (Essential Information)

Earth Summit Will Not Only Fail to Tackle the Ecological Crisis; It Will Make It Worse (August 20, 2002)

"In the wake of the Enron and WorldCom scandals, the UN is helping companies to argue that voluntary self-auditing is an effective substitute for democratic control," reports The Guardian. "Already the ‘global compact' the UN has struck with big corporations, lending them credibility in return for unenforceable voluntary commitments, has alienated it from the very people who once sprang to its defense."

Who Really Rules Our World? (August 19, 2002)

"As government leaders meet in Johannesburg for the second Earth Summit, we have to ask why they are bothering," comments "The real environmental destruction today is done by multinational corporations, which can simply move operations if one government becomes too difficult. What international body oversees them, or sets rules for their behaviour, or holds them accountable when they transgress?"

A World Court on the Environment? Multinationals Object (August 19, 2002)

"Nongovernmental organizations are demanding an agreement at the [Johannesburg] summit meeting that big private corporations be monitored and regulated on an international level," reports the International Herald Tribune. But business groups "are pressing instead to ensure that the UN endorses industry plans for voluntary self-regulation."

Eskom: Corporate Powerhouse or Green Company? (August 16, 2002)

Eskom, Africa's largest electric company, has "already joined the world's elite greenwash companies with its rhetoric, presence in Business Action for Sustainable Development and its embrace of the Global Compact," reports Corpwatch. The company has "behaved in ways that contrast with Global Compact principles."

Shell Games at the Earth Summit (August 15, 2002)

As part of its special coverage of the Johannesburg Earth Summit, CorpWatch is running three excerpts from the new book, The Corporate Takeover of Sustainable Development. This excerpt from the book's first chapter takes a look at Shell.

Latvian Companies Endorse Global Compact and Air Social Concerns (August 14, 2002)

The Global Compact received a boost as several Latvian companies decided to join. This UNDP article implies, that the Global Compact will spawn "public debate about ethics and corruption." Critics see the Compact as a public relations tool that dishonest companies will use to hide their social and environmental abuses.

Responsibilities of Transnational Corporations and Other Business Enterprises with Regard to Human Rights (August 14, 2002)

This draft text outlines transnational corporations' human rights repsonsibilities according to the international community. In 2003, the UN Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights will revisit this draft.(

Public Health Professional's Letter (August 3, 2002)

This letter to Carol Bellamy, Director of UNICEF, signed by leaders in the public health community, questions the wisdom of the partnership between UNICEF and the McDonald's Corporation. (The Guardian)

Type 2 Outcomes-Voluntary Partnerships (August 2002)

Friends of the Earth explains the difference between Type 1 and Type 2 outcomes at the World Summit on Sustainable Development while warning of the "greenwash" potential as the popularity of Type 2 partnerships increases.

Nestle: Global Compact Violator Social (August-September 2002)

Nestle has resisted workers attempts to unionize during the 50 years the company has been in Colombia. Colombian trade union, SINALTRAINAL, documents Nestle's systematic abuse of its workers.(Corporate Watch)

Social Responsibility and the Mechanical Bull: The International Chamber of Commerce Dresses for Success (August 2002)

The International Chamber of Commerce talks about social responsibility, but its language is vague, calls for only voluntary non-binding rules, and tends to avoid words like ethics and human rights. Is this a real shift in business philosophy or a sophisticated PR campaign? (Corporate Europe Observer)

Clashes With Corporate Giants: 22 Campaigns for Biodiversity and Community (August 2002)

By giving concrete examples of corporations that are destroying ecosystems and communities throughout the world, this report argues that these same companies should not be setting the global policy agenda on environment and development. Friends of the Earth International

Big Business Rules? Corporate Accountability and the Johannesburg Summit (August 2002)

Friends of the Earth International discusses the outcomes of the Johannesburg Earth Summit on the issue of corporate responsibility. The report exposes corporate greenwashing, weak non-binding "partnerships", and provides ideas for future NGO action on these topics.

Resolution: People's Action for Corporate Responsibility (August 2002)

People's Action on Corporate Accountability created this resolution at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg as part of their effort to push the world's governments to enforce citizenss rights by creating binding rules for corporations.

The Corporate Key; Using Big Business to Fight Global Poverty (July 2002/August 2002)

This provocative Foreign Affairs article proposes a World Development Corporation, chartered by the UN, and established as a joint venture of powerful corporations around the world. The WDC would have the ability to fight poverty in a way governments cannot.

From Rio to Johannesburg: The Globalization Decade (July 24, 2002)

As part of its special coverage of the Johannesburg Earth Summit, Corpwatch is running three excerpts from the new book, The Corporate Takeover of Sustainable Development. The first excerpt outlines the decade leading up to the World Summit on Sustainable Development.

UN Global Compact: Many US Companies in Wait-and-See Mode (July 22, 2002)

Many US businesses do not understand the concept or possible benefits of joining the Global Compact. (Inside Giving)

Bayer and the UN Global Compact (July 19, 2002)

Bayer, a "founding member" of the UN Global Compact, has used its "membership" in the Compact "to deflect criticism by watchdog groups without addressing the substance of the criticism," reports Corpwatch.

UN Volunteers Program Teams Up with BASF (June 19, 2002)

The United Nations Volunteers program has announced an agreement with BASF, a chemical company, to "promote the services of corporate volunteers in developing countries." As in similar programs with other corporations, BASF will pay the salary of employees during their volunteer missions while the UNV pays for program recruitment and administration. (UN News Center)

The Emperor's New Clothes (July 8, 2002)

Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) has become increasingly popular among pension investors. This article provides a timeline of intergovernmental activities related to the rise of SRI during the past 2 years.(Pensions Week)

Who Runs the UN?: A Half Century of Corporate Influence (July 4, 2002)

This article from The Alliance for Democracy thoroughly discusses the history of corporate influence in the UN system, the evolution of the Global Compact, and ways for Civil Society organizations to manage the rising tide of neoliberalism.

The Global Compact: Report on Progress and Activities (July 2002)

This annual report is a good source of the whos, whats, whens, wheres and whys of the Global Compact in its own words. (The UN Global Compact)

United Nations Reports on Growing Importance of Partnerships with Business (June 14, 2002)

The United Nations today announced the publication of "Building Partnerships", a comprehensive overview of the growing cooperation between the United Nations and the business community in tackling a range of development challenges in the pursuit of broad UN goals. (The Global Compact)

Girona Declaration: From Rio to Joannesburg (May 27, 2002)

The Girona declaration is a promise by a large and visible group of NGOs to not allow corporate interests to control the agenda at the World Summit on Sustainable Development. The declaration also tells the story of a manipulative corporate agenda on sustainable development over the last ten years. (Corporate Europe Observatory)

Wolfensohn Calls for a New Partnership (May 10, 2002)

World Bank President James D. Wolfensohn called for a "new partnership" between industrialized and developing countries, suggesting that international banks participate in the privatization of bankrupt state banks. (World Bank Development News)

Rio+10 and the Privatization of Sustainable Development (May 2002)

The Corporate Europe Observatory offers a perspective on the dangers of voluntary agreements between business and NGOs at the WSSD known as Type 2 agreements. These arrangements could act as the "privatization of implementation."

Letter to Under Secretary General Desai Concerning NGOs at the World Summit on Sustainable Development (April 1, 2002)

A letter from the International NGO Task Group on Legal and Institutional Matters (INTGLIM) expressing concern over the accreditation of businesses and individuals as non-governmental organizations to the World Summit on Sustainable Development. INTGLIM asserts that the move "sets a very controversial and dangerous precedent."

Creating the Tipping Point Towards Corporate Responsibility: Reflections on Meeting Expectations in the Global Economy (April 2002)

This comprehensive analysis of the first US-based conference on the UN Global Compact initiative assesses the progress of the GC and asks what will be necessary to make corporate social responsibility the norm rather than the exception. (

Business Counterpart to Africa's NEPAD Development Initiative is Launched (March 19, 2002)

Business for Africa, a private sector counterpart to the purely government initiative of New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD), was recently launched. Say supporters, "It is only by harnessing the expertise and entrepreneurial spirit of the business community that Nepad's bold vision for a new Africa can become a reality." (International Chamber of Commerce)

Private Investment Key to Development Finance, Says ICC (March 14, 2002)

The International Chamber of Commerce secretary general places undue emphasis on the role of "public-private partnerships" in a comment on the financing for development conference in Monterrey, expressing "optimism that Monterrey will achieve more than a cloud of jargon and lofty phrases." (International Chamber of Commerce)

Annan to Meet Business Leaders and African Presidents (March 11, 2002)

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan will meet with international business chiefs and the leaders of six African nations in Monterrey to discuss ways in which the private sector can increase investment in Africa. (International Chamber of Commerce)

Alliance for a Corporate-Free UN Rebuts Global Compact Letter (March 7, 2002)

In an earlier letter, the Alliance for a Corporate-Free UN documented several human rights violations and environmental abuses by companies signed on to the UN's Global Compact. UN officials then accused CorpWatch and the Alliance of being "misinformed." CorpWatch here disputes the Global Compact Office's assertions.

Goran Lindhal Has Been Removed from UN Global Compact Post (February 27, 2002)

In light of a pension scandal involving Goran Lindhal at Asea Brown and Boveri, where he was CEO until last year, Secretary General Kofi Annan has decided not to renew the Swedish business leader's UN contract as special advisor for the UN Global Compact. The behavior of the Compact's corporate advisor exemplifies the underlying problem with a UN-corporate alliance. (Corpwatch)

UN Responds to the Alliance for a Corporate-Free UN (February 21, 2002)

The UN's response to a recommendation to redesign the Global Compact criticizes what it sees as inaccuracies in CorpWatch's recent Greenwash +10 report. The United Nations Global Compact Office ignores Corpwatch's call for corporate accountability and characterizes the Alliance's criticism as a misunderstanding.

Johannesburg Summit Chief Calls "Enlightened" Multinationals Prime Allies (February 4, 2002)

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in New York, Nitin Desai, Secretary General of the Johannesburg Summit, called on multinational corporations to dramatically increase their involvement in sustainable development initiatives. Said Desai, "It is critical for governments around the world to recognize the importance of the corporate sector as a prime ally in efforts to implement and expand sustainable development." (International Chamber of Commerce)

Letter to Kofi Annan Recommends Redesign of Global Compact (January 29, 2002)

The Alliance for a Corporate Free UN raises questions about the partnerships between the United Nations and transnational corporations under the Global Compact. In a letter to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, they propose that the agreement be changed to a "Global Accountability Compact," and urge the UN to play a watchdog role. (Corpwatch)

Global Compact--NGOs, Business Differ Over Initiative's Future (January 27, 2002)

Leaders from business, the UN, and NGOs explore ways to make the Global Compact more effective in its stated goals. Business argues that corporate responsibility rules should be non-binding while NGOs insist corporations must be held accountable to the principles of the Global Compact if they are members.(UN Wire)



Industry's Rio+10 Strategy: Banking on Feelgood PR (December 2001)

The first major strategy meeting on the UN's Rio+ 10 summit, hosted by Business Action for Sustainable Development (BASD), was an opportunity for business to influence the agenda of Rio+ 10 as well as various UN bodies, and to advocate industry self-regulation rather than a UN mechanism with legal powers to force corporations to respect human, environmental and social rights. (Corporate Europe Observer)

Let Private Firms Aid UN Nation-Building (August 13, 2001)

The Christian Science Monitor argues that the UN's post-conflict nation-building process should be improved by privatizing many components of transitional assistance. However, in case of the East Timor and many other post-war areas, the lack of basic infrastructure would likely to encourage multinational corporations to operate an event on nation-building.

UN - Business Partnerships: Whose Agenda Counts? (July 27, 2001)

Peter Utting from Third World Network claims that, in forming partnership with transnational corporations, UN agencies appear to be paying insufficient attention to certain risks including conflicts of interest, self-censorship, the poor choice of partners, and the tarnishing of the UN's reputation.

High Time for UN to Break 'Partnership' with the ICC (July 25, 2001)

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the self-described world business organization, has violated the UN Global Compact by undermining a precautionary approach to basic environmental responsibility. The Corporate Europe Observatory argues that it's high time for the UN to break its partnership with the ICC. (Corporate Europe Observatory)

Rio Tinto: Global Compact Violator (July 13, 2001)

Danny Kennedy of Project Underground accuses Rio Tinto, the world's largest mining company, for its brutal human rights and environmental violations in Indonesia.

Still Waiting For Nike To Respect the Right to Organize (June 28, 2001)

Nike, having the most controversial profile as a TNC sweatshop abuser, has repeatedly violated the right to collective bargaining in its overseas operations. (Global Exchange)

Aventis: Global Compact Violator (June 14, 2001)

Consumer and environmental groups accused Aventis Corporation for contaminating the food supply with its GMO "Starlink" corn. The company failed to uphold a UN Global Compact principle to which it had agreed. (Corp Watch)

Environment - Finance: Corporate Codes of Conduct Deemed Insufficient (June 13, 2001)

Multinational corporations worldwide have agreed on voluntary codes of conduct in an effort to alleviate negative effects of globalization. Human rights and environmental advocacy groups argue that no scheme that relies solely on the private sector will successfully curb corporate power or encourage global corporate responsibility. (InterPress Service)

UN 'Global Compact' Principles Appearing in International Labour Accords (March 23, 2001)

In one year, the number of framework agreements between international trade secretariats and multinational companies has risen from two to nine. It remains to be seen whether labor conditions of workers in developing countries will improve. (UN News Service)

Skepticism Still Surrounds UN Partnership With Private Sector (March 2001)

The German Mission to the UN and the German-based Friedrich Naumann Foundation sponsored a day-long seminar on "Global Partnerships--The United Nations and the Private Sector: Concepts for International Cooperation." (Earth Times News Service)

Howard Rubenstein on Corporate Responsibility (March 8, 2001)

The idea of corporate responsibility entails persuading corporations to adopt ethical concerns without actually needing to by law. The idea cannot avoid living on the thin air advocated by semi-enlightened practitioners such as Howard Rubenstein. (Forum Daily News)

Corporate Governance a State of Mind (February 27, 2001)

"Management should not consider corporate governance as a straightjacket, but rather as a means to lower the cost of capital." Finally, here is a plausible approach to this complex debate: one that understands that it is not firms or CEOs that need change, but the arena in which they compete. (World Economic Forum)

Industry's Growing Influence at the WHO (February 15, 2001)

Focusing on the traditional conflict of interests between public and private sector priorities, Lisa Hayes demands clearer guidelines to ensure that recent global public-private partnerships adopted by the World Health Organization do not distort the overall goal to meet public health and equity needs. (Health Action International)

There's Something About George (February, 2001)

Representatives from the World Economic Forum and World Social Form square off in a debate. George Soros bluntly explains that most Davos participants have little interest in the agenda coming out of Porto Alegre. (Focus on the Global South)

Sustaining the Single Global Economic Space (February, 2001)

With a globalization operating on Internet time, John G. Ruggie says that the promotion of voluntary initiative in corporate social responsibility needs to be deepened, since governments operate slowly, and "have to engage in the even slower process of intergovernmental negotiations, the outcomes of which are often determined by the lowest common denominator." (UN Chronicle)

Remarks of Bill Jordan, ICFTU General Secretary (January 29, 2001)

The International Confederation of Free Trade Unions, a signatory to the Global Compact, sees the Compact as a tool of growing importance to build and reinforce global social dialogue. (CorpWatch)

Why Human Rights Should Matter to the Business World (January 8, 2001)

The Secretary-General of Amnesty International says "an educated and healthy population increases economic productivity". Thus he argues that human rights need to be globalized, or the global world will be perilous for business". (Earth Times News)


Special Report: NGOs Wary Of UN Corporate Links (May 26, 2000)

Non-governmental organizations are pressuring the UN to strengthen its regulatory roles on transnational corporations. When domestic regulations are weakened under "free trade" and international regulations are unable to keep up the pace, it will be even harder to control private business behaviors. (UN Wire)


The Global Compact as the UN's "Final Solution" (December 2000)

Anthony Judge of the Union of International Associations critiques the Global Compact and the "totally non-transparent manner" in which it emerged.

Global Firms' Investment in Human Rights is Nothing to Crow Over (December 29, 2000)

Efforts by transnational corporations to uphold human and labor rights is yet to convince monitors of global corporate behavior that significant change is taking place. (Inter Press Service)

Globalization and the Role of the United Nations (Winter 2000)

At its September 2000 seminar, the International Forum on Globalization expressed concerns towards the global compact and warned against the danger of the UN becoming an "engine for corporate globalization".(World Federalist Movement News)

UN: Let's Talk Business (October 24, 2000)

In a letter to the UN Secretary General, an NGO coalition warns that Global Compact could threaten the aim and integrity of the UN since corporate organizations could by their association with the UN do "business as usual" without any responsibility. (Progressive Response)

Waking Up the Global Elite (October 2, 2000)

In reference to the Global Compact, The Nation argues that "even empty gestures can prove to be meaningful, sometimes far beyond what their authors had in mind." Some activists envision a revival of the UN's original role as representative and defender of human rights.

Code on Competition to be Reviewed by UN (September 26, 2000)

With the UN in retreat from all kinds of business regulation, the 1980 Competition Code remains one of the last checks on an increasingly unchecked global economy. (Earth Times News Service)

G-77 Calls for Rules of Engagement for UN-Private Sector (September 16, 2000)

The G-77, a group of 133 developing countries, expressed concern over Secretary General Annan's Global Compact initiative, calling for a more structured approach to UN-private sector communication. (PanAfrican News Agency)

The Global Compact: A New Model from an Old Assembly Line? (September 5, 2000)

On the eve of the Millenium Summit, the Rural Advancement Foundation International said that "Kofi Annan's tryst with multinationals has embarrassed the UN." The article offers damning evidence of multinationals' dramatic increase in size, scope, and power over the last 20 years.

Briefing on the German Resolution "Towards Global Partnerships" (September, 2000)

This NGO text on the German resolution, challenges Kofi Annan's Global Compact with corporate organizations and also highlights some of its flaws.(Alliance for Corporate-Free UN)

Getting into Bed with Big Business (August 31, 2000)

The UN has long been cast in the role of the clown in the international sphere, George Monbiot says, and now it is in danger of taking over the part of the villain when it beds itself next to big business. (Guardian)

UN Reports Improved Efficiency, Transparency of Procurement Practices (August 16, 2000)

The UN wants to increase procurement opportunities for developing countries. It highlights the great degree of transparency that is now involved in its bidding process. (UN Newservice)

HR Body to Scrutinise TNC Activities (August 3, 2000)

In the 1990s, transnational corporations (TNCs) grew more powerful in the world economy. Meanwhile, governments and institutions promoting neoliberal policies were undermining UN initiatives that sought to monitor TNCs and make them respect economic, social and cultural rights of people in countries where they conduct business. Responding to NGO concerns, the UN Commission on Human Rights created a working group in 2000 to evaluate the impact of transnational business activities on human rights. (Inter Press Service)

Press Conference by Secretary-General Kofi Annan at Headquarters on the Global Compact (July 26, 2000)

Kofi Annan answers some very delicate questions about the Global Compact.

Business Backs Global Compact - But Rejects "Prescriptive Rules" (July 25, 2000)

"The ICC has been the main partner on behalf of business in the Global Compact since it was launched by Kofi Annan in January 1999." The UN's Global Compact must not become a vehicle for burdening businesses with "prescriptive rules" urges the ICC Secretary General Maria Livanos Cattaui. (ICC)

UN Announces Business Initiatives (July 21, 2000)

Over 50 companies have signed on to Secretary-General Kofi Annan's Global Compact. Business executives will meet next Wednesday at UN headquarters in New York to discuss the logistics of the program. (New York Times)

Press Briefing on 'The Global Compact' by John Ruggie (July 20, 2000)

"This is a coalition to make globalization work for all", Assistant Secretary-General and Special Adviser to the Secretary-General John Ruggie explained.

US Corporations Encouraged to Embrace Annan's Global Compact Initiative (July 7, 2000)

Assistant Secretary-General John Ruggie urged many US corporations to meet the challenges of globalization by embodying corporate social responsibility and embracing Annan's Global Compact. (UN News Service)

UN Offers $3 Billion Procurement Market (June 15, 2000)

Is the UN up for grabs? For companies interested in bidding, the UN offers a $3 billion procurement market, announced James Provenzano, Assistant Director for UNOPS.

Special Report: NGOs Wary Of UN Corporate Links (May 26, 2000)

Non-governmental organizations are pressuring the UN to strengthen its regulatory roles on transnational corporations. When domestic regulations are weakened under "free trade" and international regulations are unable to keep up the pace, it will be even harder to control private business behaviors.(UN Wire)

UN Privatization? (March 2000)

While the Global Compact comes with good intentions for increased accountability of TNCs, the UN's increasing involvement with business should not go too far. (Focus on the Public Services)

Web Site Linking UN with Business and Civil Society Launched at Davos (January 28, 2000)

UN Newservice piece on the initiation a UN web site that follows up on Secretary General Annan's "Global Compact" proposed at Davos 1999.


Unlikely Allies Join with the UN (December 10, 1999)

New York Times in depth report discussing companies new efforts to work in collaboration with the UN.

UN Needs Outside Money to Destroy Land Mines (December 3, 1999)

ABC News report discusses how the UN's lack of financial resources has compromised its ability to carry out programs without corporate backing.

Global Markets and Social Legitimacy-The Case of the 'Global Compact' (November 1999)

United Nations paper presented by Georg Kell and John Ruggie at an international conference: "Governing the Public Domain beyond the Era of the Washington Consensus? Redrawing the Line Between the State and the Market". York University, Toronto, Canada, November 4-6, 2000.

UN's Link with Corporate Forum Under Fire (November 3, 1999)

An article from InterPress Service dealing with NGOs' concerns about the increasing alliance between the UN and big business at the time when the Business Humanitarian Forum (BHF) was held.

Annan: Corporate Citizenship & Business Reputations Tied (November 2, 1999)

A Press Release describing the Secretary General's launching of the 'Global Sullivan Principles' which stress the connection between a good reputation and profitability. Judge for yourself whether these principles advocate that governments stop monitoring how good (or bad) companies are behaving. (UN Newservice)

UN Reform? Not Anytime Soon, But.... (October 1999)

World Federalists of Canada's interview with Global Policy Forum's executive director, James A. Paul. Paul discusses the current state of UN reform including reform of the Security Council, sanctions and the implications of Kosovo. Paul also discusses UN initiatives to work with corporations and the UN's relationship with NGOs.

NetAid Benefit Faces Technological Challenge (October 8, 1999)

A Mercury News article about the event of NetAid concert as a showcase for Cisco's latest Internet technology.

UN Looks to Donors for Aid (September 9, 1999)

An article from the Chronicle of Philanthropy about UN agencies' initiatives to obtain private funds. Discusses criticisms of these efforts and related issues such as financing for development and the UN's corporate ties.

Corporatization of the UN: The Business Humanitarian Forum (September 1999)

Corporate Watch report on The Business Humanitarian Forum, a new organization being co-chaired by head of the UN High Commissioner on Refugees, Sadako Ogata, with UNOCAL, a company with one of the worst human rights and environment records in the world.

The UN, Big Business and Global Public Policy (September 1999)

The South Centre questions whether closer ties between the UN and big business will promote a global policy framework that best deals with global social issues.

Trade Show to Further UN-Business Links (September 1999)

The UN Office for Project Services (UNOPS) is planning a 2 day UN-business exhibition at the Javitz Convention Center in New York next year. (UN Diplomatic Times)

UN Looks to Donors for Aid (September 9, 1999)

An article from the Chronicle of Philanthropy about UN agencies' initiatives to obtain private funds. Discusses criticisms of these efforts and related issues such as financing for development and the UN's corporate ties.

UNDP: In 'Strategic Shift,' Agency Seeks Private Funds (August 5, 1999)

Brief Associated Press article about direction of UNDP under Malloch Brown.

UN Calls for New Partnership with Arms Industry (July 9, 1999)

UN hopes initiative can promote greater transparency of arms manufacturers and curtail illicit arms trafficking.

Joint Statement on the Secretary General's Global Compact (July 5, 1999)

International Chamber of Commerce and UN statement on Annan's Global Compact. Also available: UN Press Release on the joint statement.

Businesses Promise UN Boss to be Good Citizens (July 5, 1999)

Reuters article about UN and ICC meeting about forging a "global compact" brings up some of "the inherent tensions" in such a relationship.

Speech by UNDP Administrator Mark Malloch Brown (July 1, 1999)

Speaking on the occasion of his first day as UNDP chief, Malloch Brown touches on management of UNDP, the financial crisis and partnerships with the World Bank and the private sector, etc.

Business Backs Trade Role for UN (July 1, 1999)

A joint UN - International Chamber of Commerce statement calls for greater cooperation between the UN and business and says "that the WTO should not tackle social and environmental standards."

Business-UN Statement on a 'Global Compact' (July 1999)

Excerpts from a joint statement of agreement on the terms of the proposed "global compact" issued at a Geneva meeting between Kofi Annan and the President of the International Chamber of Commerce, Adnan Kassar. (UN Development Update)

Kofi Annan's Address to the Chamber of Commerce (June 8, 1999)

Speaking to business representatives in Washington, the Secretary General called for a global partnership between the UN and the private sector.

The UN Goes to Market (May 11, 1999)

Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman the UN/Multinational corporation connection reflected in Annan's "Compact for a New Century" and UNDP's GSDF proposal.

Speech by Carol Bellamy: "Public, Private and Civil Society" (April 16, 1999)

Bellamy, Executive Director of UNICEF, warns against partnerships with the private sector: "It is dangerous to assume that the goals of the private sector are somehow synonymous with those of the United Nations, because they most emphatically are not."

UN Pact With Business Masks Real Dangers (March 19, 1999)

Opinion piece from the Toronto Star questions the UNDP's GSDF initiative and the trend towards UN alliances with business.

UNDP Response to TRAC/Corporate Watch Report (March 17, 1999)

Letter from James Gustave Speth, UNDP Administrator, concerning TRAC/ Corporate Watch report on UNDP solicitation of funds from corporations.

UN Seeks Funds From Global Firms (March 12, 1999)

Associated Press article outlines the debate surrounding UNDP's GSDF initiative. Includes responses from UNDP officials.

Corporate Watch Report: UNDP Solicits Funds From Corporations (March 1999)

Detailed exposé of initiative that allows companies to buy use of the UNDP name and greenwash their reputations.

UN and the Bretton Woods Institutions: Is More "Coherence" Needed? (February 23, 1999)

A speech by James Paul, executive director of GPF, reviewing the changing relationship between the UN and the Bretton Woods Institutions and calling for new ways of making those institutions more responsive to democratic processes.

UN Chief Wants Global Pact with Business Leaders (February 1, 1999)

Inter Press Service article about Annan's statement at Davos includes some early, unofficial reactions from business.

Annan Urges Conduct Code for Businesses (February 1, 1999)

Annan calls on TNCs to uphold standards on human rights, labor and the environment in their operations in developing countries.

Kofi Annan's "A Compact for a New Century" (January 31, 1999)

Secretary General proposes Global Compact on human rights, labour, environment, in address to World Economic Forum In Davos, Switzerland.

Kofi Annan's "A Compact for a New Century" (January 31, 1999)

Secretary-General proposes Global Compact on human rights, labour, environment, in address to World Economic Forum In Davos, Switzerland.



Alert! United Nations Sold Out to MAI and the TNCs? (October 1, 1998)

A radical exposition of how Kofi Annan has been "co-opted" by business interests.

The Geneva Business Dialogue (October 1998)

The Corporate Europe Observatory notes the growing co-operation between the ICC, WTO and UN in deregulating the global economy.

Business and NGOs in the Global Partnership Process (September 1998)

Dr. David F. Murphy, at the New Academy of Business acknowledges business ands NGOs as major players in the global partnership process to promote international development.

Financial Meltdowns on UN - Business Agenda (Fall 1998)

An article from UN Development Update discusses UN's move toward closer relations with business.

The Corporate Co-optation of the UN: International Chamber of Commerce Cultivating 'Partnership' with UN (Summer 1998)

The Corporate Europe Observatory on the growing power of TNCs in the UN System.

Business and the UN (June 1, 1998)

Fact sheet on business and the UN, which is being used by Secretary-General Kofi Annan in his outreach to the business community.

"The UN and Business: A Global Partnership"

A statement by the UN's Department of Information on relations between the organization and business corporations. "The U.N., shedding baggage from the 1970s and '80s, has become assertively pro-business," the statement says.



The UN and Business: A Global Partnership (June 1997)

UNDPI on the positive aspects of a developing cooperation between the UN and business.

Amb. Razali Ismail: The Private Sector and the UN

The General Assembly President calls for more corporate involvement in the UN, especially in the Commission for Sustainable Development.

David Korten: The United Nations and the Corporate Agenda (June 1997)

Article that tells about a lunch for corporate executives at the UN in June, in which a special new relationship between corporations and the UN was discussed.

How the UN is being wired into a global elite network (March 1997)

Article by Bill Gertz that appeared in the Washington Times.



Representing Business at the UN? (October 1996)

James A. Paul, Executive Director of Global Policy Forum, discusses proposals to bring business "to the table" at the UN.



Globalopolies (May 18, 1992)

In 1991, Secretary General Boutros-Ghali approved the US selection of the new Under Secretary General, following a "promise" that the US would repay the dues it owed the UN. Washington appointed Richard Thornburgh, who shortly after terminated the UN Center for Transnational Corporations (CTC). At the time, the CTC was working on a framework of regulations that would limit transnational corporations' control of world markets. Shutting it down ensured that the world economy was safe for Washington's "industrial sponsors," the many large transnational corporations with bases in the US, and annual sales of $2.7 trillion. (The Nation)


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