Companies and Investors Mark 10th Anniversary of the Global Compact’s Anti-Corruption Principle with Call to Action

Companies and Investors Mark 10th Anniversary of the Global Compact’s Anti-Corruption Principle with Call to Action

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Wednesday, December 10, 2014 - 6:00pm

CAMPAIGN: Sustainable Development Goals

CONTENT: Press Release

New York, December 10, 2014 /3BL Media/ – Today, the UN Global Compact commemorated the 10th Anniversary of its 10th Principle against Corruption with companies and investors publicly calling on Governments to promote anti-corruption measures and to implement policies to establish systems of good governance.

Nearly 250 signatories of the Call to Action: Anti-Corruption and the Global Development Agenda were recognized at an event held today in New York, highlighting the private sector’s efforts in the fight against corruption over the past decade.

The Call to Action – supported by the UN Global Compact, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Transparency International, the Open Contracting Initiative, the World Bank Institute and the Global Organization of Parliamentarians against Corruption – recognizes corruption as one of the greatest obstacles to economic and social development around the world, asking Governments to take five specific actions to underscore anti-corruption and good governance as fundamental pillars of a sustainable and inclusive global economy.

The 10th Principle, which asserts “Businesses should work against corruption in all its forms, including extortion and bribery,” was adopted on 24 June 2004 with overwhelming business support, signalling an understanding by the private sector of the strong role it plays in eliminating corruption.

“It is as clear today as it was a decade ago, that a commitment to environmental and social sustainability is not complete without an equally strong commitment to anti-corruption,” said Georg Kell, Executive Director of the UN Global Compact. “All progress made addressing issues of climate change, labour and human rights would be lost without the fundamentals of transparency and good governance.”

The 10th Anniversary Event featured remarks by Adv. Thuli Madonsela, Public Protector of the Republic of South Africa; William Danvers, Deputy Secretary-General of OECD; and leaders from business, Government and the UN. Participants discussed topics including collective action, integrity in banking and financial services, and engaging small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in emerging markets. The programme concluded with a reception recognizing the leadership and dedication of two major anti-corruption champions:  Peter Eigen, Founder of Transparency International and Huguette Labelle, Member of the UN Global Compact Board.

Anti-corruption is still relatively new ground for many companies.  According to findings from the 2013 Global Compact Annual Implementation Survey, there remains a gap between companies creating anti-corruption policies and their implementation of these policies. For instance, while seven out of 10 companies have an anti-corruption policy in place, only three in 10 have anonymous hotlines to report instances of corruption, and just over half take a zero tolerance position toward corruption.

There have been steady improvements in recent years.  Since 2009, 14 percent more Global Compact companies report having corruption policies and 13 percent more have anti-corruption management systems in place. Additionally, companies are increasingly engaging in collective action. Projects are currently underway in five countries (Brazil, Egypt, India, Nigeria and South Africa), tackling issues ranging from fighting corruption in sports to advancing public-private dialogue. The UN Global Compact and the Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) are collaborating to empower future business leaders to tackle corruption. Following an announcement by the B20 Task Force on Transparency and Anti-Corruption, an Anti-Corruption Collective Action Hub was launched in 2013 to help business connect with stakeholders and scale up efforts and good business practices.

Since 2004, the Global Compact and key partners have developed a library of tools and resources to provide guidance and awareness to companies including A Guide for Anti-Corruption Risk Assessment, Stand Together Against Corruption: A Practical Guide to Help Prevent Corruption in the Supply Chain and Fighting Corruption in Sport Sponsorship and Sport Related Hospitality: A Practical Guide for companies.


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 8,000 corporate signatories in 145 countries, it is the world’s largest voluntary corporate sustainability initiative.


Kristina Wilson-Rocheford
Communications Manager
UN Global Compact