The UN Global Compact
The UN Global Compact’s governance framework was adopted by then UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on 12 August 2005. The resulting governance framework distributes governance functions among several entities so as to engage participants and stakeholders at the global and local levels in making decisions and giving advice on the matters of greatest importance to their role and participation in the UN Global Compact, and to reflect the initiative’s public-private and multi-stakeholder character.
In 2017, in line with its recently developed 2020 Global Strategy and the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the UN Global Compact undertook a year-long Governance Review, co-led by Lise Kingo, Executive Director of the UN Global Compact and Sir Mark Moody-Stuart, Vice-Chair of the UN Global Compact Board, and carried out by Carnstone Partners LLP. The 2017 Governance Review was informed by an extensive consultation process involving UN Global Compact stakeholder interviews, presentations, webinars and online engagements. 300 stakeholders were consulted in total, including Local Networks and Governments. This review led to an evolution of the UN Global Compact’s governance framework with the aim to make the Compact fit for purpose to deliver on its mandate to “mobilize a global movement of sustainable companies and stakeholder to create the world we want,” rather than a radical restructure.
The UN Global Compact Board, appointed and chaired by the United Nations Secretary-General, is designed as a multi-stakeholder body, providing ongoing strategic and policy advice for the initiative as a whole and making recommendations to the Global Compact Office, participants and other stakeholders. It comprises four constituency groups — business, civil society, labour and the United Nations.
Board members are champions willing and able to advance the Global Compact’s mission, acting in a personal, honorary and unpaid capacity. Drawing in particular on the expertise and recommendations of its business members, the Board is also expected to play a role in the implementation of the Global Compact’s integrity measures. In addition to their overall Board responsibilities, the civil society and labour constituency groups are expected to provide close liaison to their communities and share insights into the most recent trends and best practices of corporate sustainability in their respective domains.