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Global Compact: Collective Corporate Action

Following an address to The World Economic Forum in January 1999, United Nation Secretary-General Kofi Annan challenged business leaders to join the Global Compact and support nine principles in the areas of human rights, labour and the environment. The 'Global Compact' was formally launched in 26 July 2000.

Unlike the OECD Guidelines for MNEs, the Global Compact is a wholly voluntary initiative which currently has no enforcement mechanism and no sanction for companies which breach its commitments.

Following the signing of the UN Anti-corruption Convention in Merida, Mexico on 9th December 2003, the Global Compact started consultations with companies, global business associations, trade unions and civil society to determine whether there was support for adding a 10th Anti-corruption Principle.

Whilst on the one hand it was recognised that combating corruption is fundamental to implementing the other areas of the Global Compact, there was also concern that the addition of a 10th principle might threaten its overall credibility.

After considerable consultation, the inclusion of the 10th Principle was finally announced on the 24 June 2004, during the Global Compact Leaders Summit, that: "Businesses should work against corruption in all its forms, including extortion and bribery."

In April 2005, 2002 companies had signed up to the Global Compact, committing themselves to the following actions:

- send a letter from its CEO to Koffi Annan stating its support for the Global Compact and its principles;
- set in place changes to implement the principles in day-to-day operations;
- publicly advocate the Global Compact;
- 'provide annual 'communications on progress' in implementing the principles.


The Global Compact together with the German development agency GTZ has set up a regional office for Sub-Saharan Africa in Pretoria in South Africa. Its aim is to promote the 10 principles in the private sector in African and promote partnerships in support of the Millennium Development Goals.


The Global Compact is a network comprising the Global Compact Office and six UN agencies: the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights; the United Nations Environment Programme; the International Labour Organization; the United Nations Development Programme; the United Nations Industrial Development Organization and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.


Further information can be found at:

The contact point for the Global Compact in Africa is Ellen Kallinowsky:

The following lists all references contained in our database that are relevant to this briefing
Global Compact  'Global Compact Road Map for a Principle-based Approach to the Fight Against Corruption'
[Date URL accessed: 25/3/2004 | Source ID = 8781]

Financial Times  [Publication date: 23/6/2004] 'Business leaders to back UN action on corruption' by JONATHAN BIRCHALL, DAN ROBERTS
[Date URL accessed: 30/9/2004 | Source ID = 9193]

IFBWW  [Publication date: 18/8/2004] 'IFBWW attends UN Global Compact summit adopting new principle on anti-corruption'
[Date URL accessed: 5/10/2004 | Source ID = 11963]

ICC  'The UN-business Global Compact' by ICC
[Date URL accessed: 6/9/2005 | Source ID = 11965]

BUSINESS, OIL AND HUMAN RIGHTS  'A global compact' by Roland-Pierre Paringaux
[Date URL accessed: 6/9/2004 | Source ID = 11967]

  [Publication date: 1/6/2004] 'Transparency and the Fight Against Corruption: 10th Principle of the Global Compact'

[Date URL accessed: 18/8/2005 | Source ID = 11968]

  [Publication date: 23/6/2004] 'Business Leaders in US Call for Greater Government Action Against' by James Auger

[Date URL accessed: 30/9/2004 | Source ID = 12232]

Panafrican News Agency (PANA)  [Publication date: 9/3/2005] 'TI URGES CRACKDOWN ON CORRUPTION IN AFRICA'

[Date URL accessed: 24/4/2005 | Source ID = 13468]

The Daily Monitor  [Publication date: 3/3/2005] 'Ethiopia; Conference to Examine Ways to Make Africa More Attractive for Investment'

[Date URL accessed: 26/4/2005 | Source ID = 13471]

Parliamentary Brief  [Publication date: 1/7/2004] 'A war on corruption: GLOBAL COMPACT REPORT' by Peter Eigen

[Date URL accessed: 31/5/2005 | Source ID = 13706]

Pfizer  [Publication date: 24/6/2004] 'Pfizer CEO Hank McKinnell to Address United Nations Global Compact Leaders Summit on Countering Corruption'
[Date URL accessed: 3/6/2005 | Source ID = 13707]

Financial Times  [Publication date: 24/6/2004] 'An effective anti-corruption policy pays dividends for companies' by JERMYN BROOKS
[Date URL accessed: 31/5/2005 | Source ID = 13708]

Africa News  [Publication date: 23/6/2004] 'International Corporations Decide to Add Anti-Corruption Principle to UN Global Compac'
[Date URL accessed: 30/5/2005 | Source ID = 13709]

THE LAWYERS WEEKLY  [Publication date: 15/7/2005] 'United Nations enhances its role in corporate social responsibility'
[Date URL accessed: 1/8/2005 | Source ID = 13758]

Global Policy Forum  [Publication date: 1/10/2000] 'The Road to the Global Compact: Corporate Power And The Battle Over Global Public Policy at The United Nations' by Ellen Paine
[Date URL accessed: 29/7/2005 | Source ID = 13790]

Financial Times  [Publication date: 13/8/2003] 'UN Ethics Guidelines May Alarm Multinationals' by Jonathan Birchall
[Date URL accessed: 29/7/2005 | Source ID = 13792]

THE LAWYERS WEEKLY  [Publication date: 15/7/2005] 'FOCUS ON CORPORATE COMMERCIAL LAW: United Nations enhances its role in corporate social responsibility' by Julie Owen
[Date URL accessed: 29/7/2005 | Source ID = 13798]


UNICORN is a Global Unions Anti-corruption Network. It is supported by the international trade union bodies: the TUAC (Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD); Public Services International (PSI); and the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU).

UNICORN is financed by the Foundation Open Society Institute