Business Calls for Anti-Corruption to be Fundamental Pillar of Post-2015 Development Agenda

Dec 9, 2013 1:45 PM ET

NEW YORK, 9 December 2013 /3BL Media/ – On International Anti-Corruption Day, business and other stakeholders called for anti-corruption and good governance to be included as fundamental pillars of the post-2015 development agenda, and reaffirmed a Call to Action to create enabling environments for more robust disclosure, transparency and enforcement mechanisms.

As part of the 13th Meeting of the UN Global Compact Working Group on the 10th Principle Against Corruption, nearly 100 senior representatives from business, civil society, the UN and academia met to advance efforts to integrate anti-corruption into the post-2015 development agenda. The Report of the High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda identified peace and good governance as one of five transformative shifts needed to drive the post-2015 framework.

In remarks delivered on behalf of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, UN Deputy-Secretary-General Jan Eliasson welcomed progress made by the private sector to recognize its role in eliminating corruption. He said, “It is promising that so many companies have given priority to advancing good governance.”

The Deputy-Secretary-General challenged companies to do more, stating, “We have not yet achieved the necessary depth of engagement and action, and many businesses still exacerbate the problem by giving into corrupt practices. I urge you to engage with the Global Compact, to join the Call to Action and to ask Governments to prioritize anti-corruption in the post-2015 development agenda.”

The Call to Action was recently launched to showcase the private sector’s willingness to lead the fight against corruption and provided a roadmap for business and Governments to collaborate in support of sustainable development. It calls on Governments to fully implement and enforce the UN Convention against Corruption; commit to reduce corruption risks from large-scale procurement and contract processes; engage in competitive and transparent procurement processes through public advertising; enhance public disclosure of payments made to companies to Governments; and support corporate efforts around anti-corruption.

As part of today’s event, a high-level panel discussion highlighted the business case for fighting corruption in sport sponsorship and sport-related hospitality. Sponsoring athletic events can help companies enter new markets, shape branding and corporate image, and establish emotional connections to their products and services – but the opportunity to benefit also means that involvement can be tainted by corruption. The session featured representatives from FIFA, UNIDO, UNI Global Union, Transparency International, Instituto Ethos and the Coca-Cola Company, who presented examples of the benefits of implementing anti-corruption measures around sports.

A practical guide, Fighting Corruption in Sport Sponsorship and Hospitality: A Practical Guide for Companies, was also launched to help companies engage in sport sponsorship and hospitality in a transparent and ethical manner, and to enhance the potential for sports to be a powerful tool to support peace, human dignity and a culture of ethics and fair-play. The guide was developed by a special task force of the Working Group, which included a public consultation process with input from business practitioners, anti-corruption experts and civil society.

The UN Global Compact has appointed Ayotola Jagun, Chief Compliance Officer, Oando PLC Nigeria and Sharon J. Zealey, Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer, The Coca-Cola Company as co-chairs of its Working Group on the 10th Principle against Corruption

Additional topics to be covered during the two-day meeting include the value of whistleblower programmes and latest anti-corruption trends such as due diligence in emerging markets, gifts and hospitality, and facilitation payments. A special session will be convened on anti-corruption collective action in emerging markets, which will showcase local initiatives in Brazil and Egypt, and explore how collective action can create incentives for ethical business performance. An overview of information and technology tools will feature available mechanisms that can help contribute to the fight against corruption.

About the UN Global Compact

Launched in 2000, the United Nations Global Compact is both a policy platform and a practical framework for companies that are committed to sustainability and responsible business practices. As a multi-stakeholder leadership initiative, it seeks to align business operations and strategies with ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption, and to catalyze actions in support of broader UN goals. With more than 8,000 corporate signatories in 145 countries, it is the world’s largest voluntary corporate sustainability initiative.

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UN Global Compact