Addressing global challenges requires a collective and concerted effort, involving all actors. Through partnerships and alliances, and by pooling comparative advantages, we increase our chances success."
- Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General

Special Event on Corporate Philanthropy and the MDGs

26 February 2008

On 25 February, the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) convened a special meeting with participation of more than 200 corporate executives and foundation chiefs to discuss the ways in which corporate giving can best support the objectives of sustainable development and the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The programme in the ECOSOC Chamber was jointly organized by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the UN Office for Partnerships, and the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP), an independent international forum of business CEOs and chairpersons undertaking philanthropic missions.

The welcome by ECOSOC President Léo Mérorès was followed by addresses by UN Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro and CECP Executive Director Charles Moore. Mr. Amir Dossal, Executive Director of the UN Office for Partnerships gave the closing remarks. In her remarks Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro stressed the important role Corporate giving can play in advancing the MDGs.

The first panel discussion, on “Applying strategic philanthropy to the MDGs” was moderated by Jeffrey Sachs, Special Advisor to the Secretary-General on the MDGs. Participating on this panel were Steve Gunderson, President and CEO, Council on Foundations; Ad Melkert, Associate Administrator, UN Development Programme; Jane Nelson, Senior Fellow and Director, Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative, Harvard University; and Akhtar Badshah, Microsoft’s Senior Director of Community Affairs.

Kathy Bushkin Calvin, Executive Vice-President and COO of the United Nations Foundation, moderated the second panel, on leadership and partnerships. Participants of this panel were the UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs Sha Zukang, UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Hilde Johnson, former Goldman Sachs co-chair John C. Whitehead, and Western Union CEO Christina Gold.

Other corporate leaders at the event included top executives of Mitsubishi International, Microsoft, Time Warner, KPMG, J.P. Morgan Chase, and heads of foundations such as the Aga Khan, Newman's Own, Merrill Lynch, and CitiBank.

Please click here to see the UN press release.

The webcast is available here