UN global compact network launched

20Jan 2016
The Guardian
UN global compact network launched

THE United Nations yesterday launched a new initiative aimed at generating sustainable businesses in the country.
Worldwide, the UN Global Compact consists of more than 12,000 members in 162 countries, and is the world’s largest network for responsible business practices.

Vice President, Samia Suluhu Hassan.

Dubbed ‘UN Global Compact Network (GCNT)’, the initiative seeks to instill corporate sustainability value system and a principled approach to doing business by operating in ways that, at a minimum, meet fundamental responsibilities in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption.
Speaking during the launch in Dar es Salaam, the Vice President, Samia Suluhu Hassan who graced the event called upon private sector to join the government’s efforts of fighting against corruption in the country.
She said in order the country to reach the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) the private sector involvement was very crucial.
“Fighting against corruption cannot succeed by the government’s efforts alone, its needs collaborative efforts with the private sector, so I call upon you to join the war and play your role,” she said.
The Vice President said companies or institutions had to ensure that they fight against corruption in their work places.
Suluhu said as the country was gearing towards becoming a middle income economy by 2030, fighting corruption should be everyone’s obligation; businesspeople have to make their businesses sustainable.
She remarked that the role of the private sector was becoming more and more for the development process whereby their contribution to fighting corruption and promoting the environment was essential.
According to her, the launch of the initiative in Tanzania sent a strong signal that companies and other stakeholders in Tanzania were ready to implement the Global Compact Network Tanzania principles and scale up their commitment to sustainability.
“It provides an avenue for the business and non business actors in Tanzania to ensure as we progress in our development objectives, we all ensure that whatever investment is made or undertaken, we consciously and deliberately ensure the four areas of human rights, labour, the environment and ant-corruption are fully taken care of,” she said.
For his part, Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF) Executive Director, Godfrey Simbeye urged the government to establish a national ant-corruption strategy.
He said re- establishing the strategy was very crucial now as the country is struggling to eradicate corruption in the county.
“Fighting corruption without a national strategy will take long time to accomplish the war,” he said.
The United Nations Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative,Alvaro Rodriguez pointed out that with the recent discoveries of gas in commercial quantities and prospects for oil auguring well for the country, more efforts were needed in designing strategic and integrated perspectives that wiould help eliminate negative tendencies and maximize development potential.
“Companies and institutions are invited to join the network as they will gain a lot, including tapping into the global network and resources of the United Nations, and thus develop their businesses,” he said.
He said UN Global Compact was a principle-based framework for businesses, stating ten principles in the areas of human rights, labour, the environment and anti-corruption.
“Hence, companies should commit themselves to this programme by creating greater transparency on their practices relating to human rights, labour conditions, the environment and integrity,” he said.
According to him, the UN Global Compact was the world's largest corporate sustainability initiative, with 12,000 organisations over 160 countries with two objectives: Mainstream the ten principles in business activities around the world, and to catalyse actions in support of broader UN goals, such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Moving forward, the UN Global Compact and its signatories were deeply invested and enthusiastic about supporting work towards the SDGs.
“The network envisions a responsible and ethical society dedicated towards the sustainable use of natural resources, improving livelihoods and equitable economic growth,” he added.
The UN Global Compact was announced by then UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in an address to the World Economic Forum on January 31, 1999, and was officially launched at the UN headquarters in New York on July 26, 2000.

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