the United Nations
and the Business Community
Issued by the
Secretary-General of the United Nations
17 July 2000
1. The business community
has played an active role in the United Nations since
its inception in 1945. A number of UN organizations
have a successful history of co-operating with business.
Recent political and economic changes have fostered and
intensified the search for collaborative arrangements.
2. The efforts of
the Secretary-General to renew and reform the United Nations
provide the overall rationale for closer cooperation and
partnership between the United Nations and non-state actors,
including the business community.
A broad policy framework for cooperation with the business
community has been established, including through joint-statements.
3. The relationship
with the business community has become more important
as the role of business in generating employment and wealth
through trade, investment and finance has grown and as
UN member states have increasingly stressed the importance
of private investment in development.
4. The business community
is increasingly appreciative of the role of the United
Nations: Promoting peace and security, providing norms
and standards in such diverse areas as trade laws, shipping,
aviation, telecommunication, postal services and statistics;
addressing issues of vulnerability, poverty, environmental
degradation and social conflict. All of this is seen as
helping provide a stable and favourable framework for
business and development.
5. Efforts to work with
the business community must be seen in the proper institutional
context. The United Nations is a global institution accountable
to its member states. Non-state actors play an important
role in the pursuit of UN goals. Drawing on the expertise
and capacities of the business community is increasingly
necessary to achieve these goals.
6. The purpose of these
guidelines is to facilitate the formulation and implementation
of co-operation between the United Nations and the business
community in a manner that ensures the integrity and independence
of the Organization.
7. These guidelines define
"business" as for-profit enterprises.
8. These guidelines are
intended to serve as a common framework for all organizations
of the UN proper. It may
also serve as a framework for the other Organizations
of the UN system.
9. UN organizations are
encouraged to develop more specific guidelines in accordance
with their particular mandates and activities.
10. Cooperation with business
can take many forms, such as advocacy, fund-raising, policy
dialogue, humanitarian assistance and development cooperation.
Guidelines for co-operation are particularly relevant
in cases where new forms of partnership are being pursued
that do not directly involve active government participation.
11. Cooperation is often
situation-specific and must be considered on a case-by-case
basis. It is essential that each UN organization develop
in-house capacities and clear lines of responsibility
to devise, implement and evaluate cooperative arrangements
12. The Global Compact,
launched by the Secretary-General in 1999,
provides an overall value framework for co-operation with
the business community. The principles of the compact
(see Annex 1) are based on intergovernmental agreements and at the
same time are relevant for business. UN organizations
should use them as a point of reference when choosing
a business partner.
Business partners should demonstrate responsible citizenship
by supporting UN causes and core values as reflected in
the Charter and other relevant conventions and treaties.
their sphere of influence, private enterprises should
have demonstrated a commitment to meeting or exceeding
the principles of the Compact by translating them into
operational corporate practice.
Business entities that are complicit in human rights abuses,
tolerate forced or compulsory labour or the use of child
labour, are involved in the sale or manufacture of anti-personnel
mines or their components, or that otherwise do not meet
relevant obligations or responsibilities by the United
Nations, are not eligible for partnership.
13. UN organizations are
encouraged to develop additional criteria appropriate
to their specific mission and advocacy role.
IV. GENERAL PRINCIPLES
14. Irrespective of the
situation-specific nature of cooperative arrangements,
they should be guided by the following general principles:
Advance UN goals: The objective needs to be articulated
clearly and must advance UN goals as laid out in the Charter.
delineation of responsibilities and roles: The arrangement
must be based on a clear understanding of respective roles
and expectations, with accountability and a clear division
Maintain integrity and independence: Arrangements should
not diminish the UN's integrity, independence and impartiality.
unfair advantage: Every member of the business community
should have the opportunity to propose cooperative arrangements,
within the parameters of these guidelines. Cooperation
should not imply endorsement or preference of a particular
business entity or its products or services.
Cooperation with the business community sector must be
transparent. Information on the nature and scope of cooperative
arrangements should be available within the Organization
and to the public at large. UN organizations should post
relevant information on the UN/Business website
OF THE UN NAME AND EMBLEM
15. Pursuant to General
Assembly Resolution 92 (I) of 7 December 1946, the use
of the UN name and emblem is limited to official purposes.
The Organization has consistently interpreted this resolution
to apply also to the use of the name and emblem of the
UN Funds and Programs whose names include the "United
Nations" or its acronym (see Annex 2 for illustrative examples).
16. Recognizing the evolving
new relationship with the business community, the following
sets out general principles on the use of the name and
emblem of the UN and its Funds and Programmes ("Name and
Emblem") by the business community in the context of partnership
with the private sector.
In principle, and subject
to the appropriate terms and conditions, a business entity
may be authorized to use the name and emblem on a non-exclusive
The use of the name and emblem must be expressly approved
in advance in writing and upon such terms and conditions
as may be specified.
The use of the name and emblem by a business entity may
be authorized, even if it involves the making of profit,
so long as the principal purpose of such use is to show
support for the purposes and activities of the UN, including
the raising of funds for the Organization, and the generation
of profit by the business entity is only incidental.
The use of the name and emblem may be authorized for the
support the purposes, policies and activities of the organization;
(ii) To assist in the raising of funds
for the Organization;
(iii) To assist in the raising of funds for
entities that are not part of the Organization, but which
are established to achieve the purposes and policies of
the Organization. 
authorized, the use of the name and/or emblem shall be
in accordance with the written specifications provided
by the organization concerned.
With appropriate written approval, and subject to appropriate
conditions on the time, manner and scope of such use,
the use of a modified UN emblem may be exclusively authorized
to a limited number of business entities in connection
with the promotion of a special event or initiative, including
fund-raising for such event or initiative.
17. Currently, OLA grants
authorization for the use of the name and emblem of the
18. Modalities for
entering into partnerships with the business community,
which are distinct from procurement activities, require
flexibility in order to reflect the particular purposes
and objectives of the partnerships.
Direct contribution by the business partner: The
modality for direct contribution for specific purposes
would be made under a trust fund or special account agreement
with the partner. The agreement would be subject
to the applicable Financial Regulations and Rules, i.e.,
the purposes of the contribution would have to be consistent
with the policies, aims and activities of the UN and that
generally, the contribution would not entail any financial
liabilities to the UN.
Indirect contribution by the business partner through
the establishment of a charitable organization or foundation:
Under this modality, a relationship agreement would be
established between the UN and the charitable organization
or foundation, laying out the terms of the relationship,
including the issues related to the use of the name and
emblem, liability, settlement of disputes and the privileges
and immunities of the UN.
in technical assistance projects: This modality would
involve either two direct bilateral agreements with the
business partner and with the government of the country
in which the assistance would be carried out, or a tripartite
agreement among the business partner, the UN and the government.
in promoting the purposes and activities of the UN: This
modality, whereby the business partner provides a forum
to disseminate information about the UN, would involve
direct agreements with the business partner, setting out
the terms and conditions of the arrangement, including
the UN's control of the information to be disseminated,
the issues related to the use of the name and emblem,
liability, settlement of disputes and the privileges and
immunities of the UN.
in cooperative projects: This modality, whereby
the UN and a business partner jointly develop a product
or service, consistent with and in furtherance of the
aims, policies and activities of the UN, would involve
agreements with the business partner, setting out the
terms and conditions of the arrangement, including the
contributions each party could make to the development
of the product service, the use of the name and emblem,
liability, settlement of disputes and the privileges and
immunities of the UN.
VII. INSTITUTIONAL CAPACITIES
19. Cooperative arrangements
with the business community have often evolved on an ad
hoc basis. UN organizations should further develop
the policy frameworks and institutional capacities needed
to manage successfully such arrangements.
a) Building institutional
competencies: UN organizations that engage business in
their work should develop the necessary competencies to
properly assess and guide the relationship. Within each
organization, a focal point should be nominated to ensure
transparency, learning and a better understanding of the
role and objectives of business and to ascertain whether
they are compatible with the goals of the UN.
b) Responsibilities of focal
points: Focal points will be responsible for developing
guidance on contacts with the business community based
on rules, regulations and administrative issuances of
the UN to ensure transparency in the establishment and
maintenance of contacts with the business community. The
focal points should post relevant information on the UN/business website
c) Exchange experience:
Focal points should exchange learning experiences on a
regular basis and aim at building shared data banks and
problem-solving methodologies and guides.
VIII. FUTURE REVIEWS
20. Cooperation with the
business community is influenced by changes in the political
and economic environment. To remain valid, these guidelines
should be critically reviewed regularly and updated in
The Global Compact's Nine Principles
At the World Economic Forum in Davos on 31 January 1999,
UN Secretary-General Kofi A. Annan challenged world business
leaders to "embrace and enact" a set of universal principles
within their sphere of influence in the areas of human rights,
labour standards and the environment.
and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed
should make sure not to be complicit in human rights
should uphold the freedom of association and the effective
the right to collective bargaining;
the elimination of all forms of forced and compulsory labour;
effective abolition of child labour; and
discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.
a precautionary approach to environmental challenges;
initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility;
the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly
Explanatory background note on
the use of the name and emblem
Section V on the name and emblem
1. The general principles
set out in section V of the Draft Guidelines on Co-operation
between the United Nations and the Business Community ("Guidelines)
are based upon the submissions made to the Working Group
on Partnership with the Private Sector ("Working Group")
by the Office of Legal Affairs (OLA) and other UN Offices,
including the separate Funds and Programmes, represented
in the Working Group, and the discussions in the Working
Group on this issue. As indicated in the Legal Counsel's
memorandum of 4 December 1997 to the Secretary-General with
an accompanying Note to the File (copy attached), the starting
point for the policy and practice of the Organization on
the use of the UN name and emblem is General Assembly resolution
92(I) of 7 December 1946. While we also draw upon
the practice of the Organization over the years, we have
focused particular attention in this exercise on recent
policy and practice in the area and that the interests and
concerns expressed by the Offices participating in the Working
2. The following should
be noted with respect to the guiding principles in section
- The guiding principles address only
the use of the name and emblem by business entities.
The use by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and
private not-for-profit entities is, therefore, not addressed
although it would appear that similar principles would
be applicable to such organizations and entities.
- With respect to general principle (a)
in section V (see para. 16 of the Guidelines), it should
be noted that it has been a long-standing policy of
the Secretary-General not to authorize the use of the
UN emblem by non-UN entities in an unmodified form.
Moreover, as far as we are aware, no business entities
have ever been authorized to use the UN emblem with
the words "United Nations" or "UN" set above the emblem
and the words "We Believe" or "Our Hope for Mankind"
set below the emblem.
- Presently, the OLA grants authorization
of the use of the name and emblem of the United Nations.
The issue as to which Office/Department will be vested
with the authority to grant the use of the name and
emblem in the future will be reviewed id due course.
- The principle of non-exclusive use refers
to the activities of a business entity on its own behalf
and not in situations in which the entity is engaged
by the Organization to act on its behalf, e.g., a UN
Gift Shop contract (see general principle (a)).
Moreover, the principle of non-exclusive use would not
bias an office from authorizing only one entity the
use of the emblem in all cases, for example, if there
was only one company that requests such authorization
or in connection with a pilot programme.
- "Commercial use" of the name and
emblem should be distinguished from "use by a commercial
entity"(see general principle (c)). The former
"implies use in connection with or for furtherance of
a profit-making enterprise." The latter would
allow the use of the name and emblem by a commercial
entity even involving the making of some profit, as
long as the principal purpose of such use is to show
support for the purposes and activities of the UN, including
the raising of funds for the Organization, and the generation
of profit by the commercial entity is only incidental.
- The modified UN emblem in general principle
(f) refers to emblems developed for special events and
does not refer to the UN emblem modified by placing
the words "United Nations" on the top and "We support"
or "We believe" on the bottom, which is generally reserved
- As it is drafted,
the "exclusively" referred to in general principle (f)
is intended to include more than one business entity.
In the case of the UN 50th Anniversary, for example,
several (but a limited number of) business entities
were authorized to use the UN 50th emblem in connection
with the fundraising for the 50th Anniversary.
It should be recognized, however, that there may be
situations in which only one business entity may, in
fact, be authorized to use a modified UN emblem, for
example, when only one business entity expresses an
interest in using the emblem in relation to some initiative,
or because the substantive UN office wishes to limit
authorization to only a few or, possibly, one business
entity in a pilot programme.
Section VI on modalities
3. Modality (b)
in section VI would appear to be the preferred method
in Member States including the United States in which
donors do not enjoy tax deduction in respect of their
direct contributions to the United Nations.
4. An example of
modality (b) is the relationship agreement between the
UN and the United Nations Foundation, Inc. dated 12
June 1998. That agreement contains the following
provisions: "Purpose" (Article I); "Trust fund" (Article
II); "Identification of projects and activities to be
funded" (Article III); "Contributions by the Foundation"
(Article IV); "Monitoring and implementation: reporting
requirements" (Article V); "Fundraising" (Article VI);
"Use of name and official emblem of the United Nations"
(Article VII); "Status of parties" (Article VIII); "Review
of arrangements"( Article IX); "Resolution of disputes"
(Article X); "Privileges and immunities" (Article XI);
"Terms of agreement" (Article XII) and "Notices" (Article
5. Other examples
of modality (b) are: the United Nations Foundation,
Inc., through which Ted Turner made his contribution;
the Net Aid Foundation UK Ltd. through which Cisco Systems
Inc. has made its contribution to UNDP; the Foundation
for the UN 50th Anniversary through which, inter alia,
Goldstar (South Korea) and Swatch (Switzerland) channeled
their contributions to the UN.
6. An example of
modality (c) is the BOT project (Build, Operate &
Transfer) whereby the private sector provides funds
and experts for the project, the UN serves as a matchmaker
between the government and the business partner and
facilitates project implementation, and the government
provides necessary assistance and is the ultimate beneficiary
of the project.
7. An example of
modality (d) is the agreement between the UN and Walt
Disney World Co. of 6 August 1999, concerning the UN's
participation in the Walt Disney World Millennium Celebration
("the Agreement"). The Agreement consists of the
following provisions: "Term of the agreement" (Article
1); "Display of the UN CD" (Article 2); "UN's participation"
(Article 3); "UN input/costs" (Article 4); "Operation
of the attraction" (Article 5); "Officials not to benefit"
(Article 6); "Training of staff" (Article 7); "International
communicators" (Article 8); "Insurance and liabilities
to third parties" (Article 9); "Copyright, patents and
other proprietary rights" (Article 10); "Use of name,
emblem or official seal of the United Nations" (Article
11); "Use of names or emblems of Worldco" (Article 12);
"Admission to the resort" (Article 13); "Settlement
of disputes" (Article 14); "Privileges and immunities"
(Article 15); "Notice" (Article 16); "Authority to modify"
(Article 17); "UN merchandise" (Article 18) and "Miscellaneous"
(Article 19, including a provision on "Indemnification"
8. An example of
modality (e) is the "UN/Standard Product and Services
Code" ("UN/SPSC"), a universal classification system
for goods and services, which was developed jointly
by UNDP/IAPSO and Dun & Bradstreet or the NetAid
Project, which is designed to bring together the power
of the Internet, the global reach of television and
radio and the energy and impact of world-renowned artists
in the fight against world poverty, established by UNDP,
CISCO Systems, Inc., Net Aid Inc., Net Aid Foundation
UK Ltd. and Net Aid UK Ltd.]
 See Action 17 of the report of the
Secretary-General to the General Assembly on UN reform
(document A/51/950) Renewing the United Nations: A Programme
 Joint statements between the Secretary-General
and business representatives of the International Chamber
of Commerce as well as major speeches by the Secretary-General
and heads of UN organizations are posted on the UN/Business
 UN Secretariat and UN Funds and
Programmes, including UNICEF, UNFPA, UNDP, UNEP, UNCTAD
and Regional Commissions.
 See www.unglobalcompact.org
 As defined by ILO Convention 182:
Convention Concerning The Prohibition and Immediate
Action for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child
 For example, these entities
include the United Nations Associations, National Committees
for UNICEF and for UNDP.
 For example, the 50th Anniversary
of the UN, the International Year of Older Persons,
 The relationship agreement
between the UN and the United Nations Foundation, Inc.
dated 12 June 1998 consists of the following provisions:
"Purpose" (Article I); "Trust fund" (Article II); "Identification
of projects and activities to be funded" (Article III);
"Contributions by the Foundation" (Article IV); "Monitoring
and implementation: reporting requirements" (Article
V); "Fundraising" (Article VI); "Use of name and official
emblem of the United Nations" (Article VII); "Status
of parties" (Article VIII); "Review of arrangements"(
Article IX); "Resolution of disputes" (Article X); "Privileges
and immunities" (Article XI); "Terms of agreement" (Article
XII) and "Notices" (Article XIII).