The United Nations Global Compact is a new initiative
intended to increase and diffuse the benefits of global economic
development through voluntary corporate policies and actions.
Kofi Annan, secretary-general of the United Nations, addressing
the Davos World Economic Forum in January 1999, challenged
business leaders to join a global compact of shared
values and principles and give globalization a human
face. Annan argued that shared values provide a stable environment
for a world market and that without these explicit values
business could expect backlashes from protectionism, populism,
fanaticism and terrorism. Following the 1999 Davos meeting,
Annan and a group of business leaders formulated nine principles,
which have come to be known as the UN Global Compact.
The purpose of this conference was to advance
knowledge about the Compact and its implementation among US
corporations and academics. Firms already involved with issues
of the Compact presented case studies dealing with their experiences,
which were discussed and analyzed by experts representing
various perspectives, followed by open discussion. A special
focus of the meeting was the development of an ethical culture
within the corporation. This conference is sponsored by the
Center for Ethics and Religious Values in Business, University
of Notre Dame, and by the United Nations. The nine Principles
of the Global Compact focus on human rights, labor rights,
and concern for the environment. They can be summarized as
- Support and respect the
protection of International human rights within their sphere
- Make sure that each corporation
is not complicit in human rights abuses.
- Uphold freedom of association
and the effective recognition of the right to collective
- Eliminate all forms of
forced and compulsory labor.
- Support the effective
abolition of child labor.
- Eliminate discrimination
with respect to employment and occupation.
- Support a precautionary
approach to environmental challenges.
- Undertake initiatives
to promote greater environmental responsibility.
- Encourage the development
of and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies.
The Principles were designed as a voluntary
initiative. Companies subscribing to the principles are invited
to make a clear statement of support and to submit an annual
report describing some concrete examples, good practices,
for others to emulate. Leading by the power of good example,
member companies are currently operating throughout the world.
Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu
Freeport-McMoRan Copper and Gold, Inc.
Merck and Company, Inc.
Shell Oil Company
Gerald F. Cavanagh, S.J., Charles T. Fisher
III Chair of Business Ethics, University of Detroit Mercy
David Collins, Vice Chairman, Johnson and Johnson
Kirk O. Hanson, Executive Director, Markkula
Center for Applied Ethics and University Professor of Organizations
and Society, Santa Clara University
Georg Kell, Senior Officer, Executive Office
of the Secretary General; and Director, United Nations Global
Ron Nahser, Chairman and CEO, The Globe Group,
James E. Post, Professor of Management, Boston
Lee E. Preston, Professor, Robert H. Smith School
of Business, University of Maryland
S. Prakash Sethi, Academic Director of Executive
Programs, Zicklin School of Business, The City University
of New York
Sandra Waddock, Professor of Management, Boston
Oliver F. Williams, C.S.C., Director, Notre
Dame Center for Ethics and Religious Values in Business, The
Mendoza College of Business, University of Notre Dame