Mark your calendars: United Nations Day is October 24th. The holiday is an annual celebration observed internationally by UN member nations, reaffirming the goals and the values of the organization. Of special interest to those in the international business field is the United Nations Global Compact, a sub-organization that acts as a policy group for companies that are “committed to aligning their operations and strategies with ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption.”
As daunting of a mission this may be, the last few weeks have been quite busy for the UNGC. This month, a Global Compact Local Network was launched in Belgium to act as the nation’s representative to the Global Compact. Plans are also in the works to develop stronger training strategies for future Local Networks. But this progress is accompanied with disappointing news as well: The UNGC published a report this month stating that over 1,000 member companies have been delisted for failing to meet annual reporting requirements. The UNGC reports that despite the large cuts, membership increases tend to reach about 100 new companies a month. The organization’s membership includes over 7,000 companies in over a 135 countries.
So in celebration of UN Day, let’s recognize the importance of our responsibility to our planet, our co-workers, and customers. In a time of global economic suffering due to greed and poor judgment of a few, it is not difficult to understand why consumers have become more and more skeptical of “Big Business”. UN Day for the business world should be a day where we recognize these mistakes, and reaffirm our belief in international business in support of global well-being.
Happy United Nations Day from the globalEDGE staff.