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United Nations Global Compact

The United Nations Global Compact is a call to companies everywhere to voluntarily align their operations and strategies with ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption, and to take action in support of UN goals and issues. The UN Global Compact is a leadership platform for the development, implementation and disclosure of responsible corporate policies and practices. Launched in 2000, it is the largest corporate sustainability initiative in the world, with over 12,000 signatories based in 145 countries.

The UN Global Compact’s tenth principle against Corruption

"Businesses should work against corruption in all its forms, including extortion and bribery."

Origin of the 10th principle

The 10th principle against corruption was adopted in June 2004 at the Global Compact Leaders Summit after extensive consultations among participants and stakeholders of the initiative. Overwhelming expressions of support stemming from these consultations sent a strong worldwide signal that the private sector shares responsibility for the challenges of eliminating corruption. It also demonstrated a new willingness among the business community to play its part in the fight against corruption. The United Nations Convention against Corruption is the underlying legal instrument for the 10th principle against corruption.

Objectives of the 10th principle

The tenth principle commits UN Global Compact participants not only to avoid bribery, extortion and other forms of corruption, but also to develop policies and concrete programmes to address corruption. Companies that commit to the Global Compact ten principles agree to join governments, UN agencies and civil society to realize a more transparent global economy.

By partnering with the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Transparency International (TI), the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the World Economic Forum Partnership Against Corruption Initiative (PACI), the World Bank Institute (WBI), and the Basel Institute for Governance, the UN Global Compact contributes to the fight against corruption by providing a platform for learning and dialogue and by offering guidance to companies on how to implement the 10th principle.

 

Following are some of the opportunities that the Global Compact offers companies and other stakeholders to advance the tenth principle:

  • Engaging in Anti-Corruption Collective Action through the UN Global Compact, through which companies can propose or join collective action projects. In addition, the Global Compact’s Collective Action engagement is manifested through contribution to the B20 Collective Action Hub, hosted by the Basel Institute on Governance. Through the B20 Collective Action Hub, companies and other stakeholders can find partners and browse through existing projects, initiatives and resources related to Anti-corruption Collective Action.
  • Signing on to the Call to Action: Anti-Corruption and the Global Development Agenda, an appeal from the private sector to Governments to promote anti-corruption measures and to implement policies that will establish systems of good governance.
  • Joining the UN Global Compact Working Group on the tenth principle against corruption which supports the alignment of various anti-corruption initiatives and facilitates cooperation among all actors while avoiding the duplication of efforts.
  • Using the various tools and resources issued by the Global Compact to support company efforts to implement the tenth principle. Topics include: Anti-Corruption Risk Assessment, Fighting Corruption in the Supply Chain, Fighting corruption in Sport Sponsorship and Hospitality, and Reporting on the tenth Principle amongst others.
  • Engaging with Global Compact Local Networks: Local networks are clusters of participants who come together to advance the United Nations Global Compact and its principles within a particular geographic context. They perform increasingly important roles in rooting the Global Compact within different national, cultural and language contexts, and also in helping to manage the organizational consequences of the Global Compact’s expansion. Their role is to facilitate the progress of companies (both local firms and subsidiaries of foreign corporations) engaged in the Global Compact with respect to implementation of the ten principles, while also creating opportunities for multi-stakeholder engagement and collective action. Furthermore, Local Networks deepen the learning experience of all participants through their own activities and events and promote action in support of broader UN goals. Company participants, including their subsidiaries, are encouraged to be involved in Local Networks. Take a look at the latest Local Network Annual Report to see what Local Networks are doing to advance the tenth Principle.

For more information, contact: Ursula Wynhoven, Chief Legal Officer and Chief, Governance and Social Sustainability, UN Global Compact: wynhoven@un.org.