14/06/02
Press Release
PI/1425



United Nations Reports on Growing Importance of Partnerships with Business


‘Building Partnerships’ Book Shows How UN System, Private Sector,

Civil Society Are Working Together on Range of Critical Global Issues


NEW YORK, 14 June -– The United Nations today announced the publication of “Building Partnerships”, a comprehensive overview of the growing cooperation between the United Nations and the business community in tackling a range of development challenges in the pursuit of broad United Nations goals.


The book -– a joint initiative of the United Nations Global Compact and the Department of Public Information in cooperation with The Prince of Wales International Business Leaders Forum –- provides an overview of the evolving relationship between the United Nations and the private sector, ranging from traditional procurement and consultative arrangements, which have been in place since the founding of the Organization in 1945, to the new types of innovative partnerships that have emerged in recent years and become a hallmark of Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s office.


“Governments today understand that they can’t do it all, that a society’s goals can only be realized through the cooperation and partnership of a broad range of actors, including the private sector, civil society and other groups,” said Mr. Annan.  “The doors of the United Nations are open as never before to the dynamic constellation of non-State actors.”


The book, authored by Jane Nelson, showcases the many ways in which the United Nations is working with the private sector in providing sustainable solutions to a host of global challenges -– from enterprise development and increasing access to education, health, water, energy, information technology and capital, to conflict prevention and support for human rights and governance.


“Although many people think of philanthropic engagement when they think of United Nations business partnerships, such engagement is only one element of an increasingly rich and layered set of relationships,” said Nelson, Director of policy and research for the London-based The Prince of Wales International Business Leaders Forum.  “The new forms of partnership mobilize a wide range of business resources, competencies and networks.”


The book, which provides more than 150 examples of United Nations business partnerships, highlights several initiatives that illustrate how the Organization is working with the private sector on projects of increasing magnitude and scope.  They include:


The Global Compact.  Launched by Secretary-General Kofi Annan in July 2000, the Global Compact brings companies together with United Nations agencies, labour, non-governmental organizations and other civil-society actors to foster action and partnerships in support of nine principles in the areas of human rights, labour and the environment.  Since its launch, several hundred companies have announced their participation in the initiative.  (www.unglobalcompact.org)


The Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI).  A coalition of United Nations bodies, governments, foundations and pharmaceutical companies, GAVI provides immunization services to ensure that all children, however poor, have equal access to vaccines.  (www.vaccinealliance.org)


Business Partners for Development.  Led by the World Bank (a specialized agency of the United Nations), Business Partners for Development includes more than 120 companies and other groups focusing on the needs of countries and communities in several areas, including natural resources; water and sanitation; youth development; and road safety.  (www.bpdweb.org)


The Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Task Force.  Constituted by the Secretary-General in 2001, the ICT Task Force includes United Nations Member States, the private sector, non-governmental organizations and other groups that are working to harness information and communications technology for development.  Areas of focus include promoting universal and accessible access to ICT, and assisting Member States in implementing ICT for development strategies. (www.unicttaskforce.org)


“These and other examples illustrate how business can be part of the solution in making progress on broad goals agreed upon by UN Member States”, said Georg Kell, Executive Head of the Global Compact.  “The partnerships testify to the effectiveness of the Secretary-General’s approach in opening up the United Nations and making it relevant in the twenty-first century”.


Copies of the book are available for working media representatives.  Please contact Sophie Doger De Speville at 212-963-0268. 


For additional information, please contact the Global Compact Office at globalcompact@un.org; fax:  212-963-1207.


Building Partnerships:  Cooperation between the United Nations System and the Private Sectoris available for $27.50 (Sales No. E.02.I.12, ISBN 92-1-100890-5) from United Nations Publications, Two UN Plaza, Room DC2-853, Dept. PRES, New York, NY 10017 USA, Tel.800-253-9646 or 212-963-8302, Fax.212-963-3489,

E-mail: publications@un.org; or Section des Ventes et Commercialisation, Bureau E-4, CH-1211, Geneva 10, Switzerland, Tel.41-22-917-2614, Fax.41-22-917-0027,

E-mail: unpubli@unog.ch; Internet: http://www.un.org/publications.


Information on The Prince of Wales International Business Leaders Forum can be found at www.iblf.org.


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