The United Nations members states -- the global family of sovereign nations collaborating peacefully for seven-plus decades to address common challenges -- got good news on its 75th anniversary.
More than one thousand business leaders from 100+ nations endorsed a Statement of Renewed Global Cooperation, pledging to further unite in helping to help to make this a better world…for the many, not the few. Some of the world’s best known brand marketers placed their signatories on the document.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres received the CEOs’ messages of support at a Private Sector Forum during the recent General Assembly in New York (September).
The Statement from Business Leaders for Renewed Global Cooperation was created as the nations of the world struggled with the impacts of the Coronavirus, economic slowdown, political and civic unrest, wars in different regions, climate change challenges, and more.
The CEOs’ commitments included demonstration of ethical leadership and good governance (the “G” in ESG!) through values-based strategies, policies, operations and relationships when engaging with all stakeholders.
Now is the opportunity, the statement reads, to realign behind the mission of the UN to steer the world onto a more equitable, inclusive and sustainable path. We are in this together – and we are united in the business of a better world.
“Who” is the “We”? Leaders of prominent brands signing on include Accenture, AstraZeneca, BASF, CEMEX, The Clorox Company, Johnson & Johnson, Moody’s, Nestle, Thomson Reuters, S&P Global, Salesforce, Tesla, and many other consumer and B-to-B marketers (the complete list of large-cap and medium and small companies accompanies the Statement at the link).
There are many parts of the global community’s “meeting place” (the UN) that touch on the issues and topics that are relevant to us, the folks focused on sustainability. Think of the work of the UN Global Compact (UNGC); the UN Principles for Responsible Investing (PRI); the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs – 17 goals with 169 targets). The SDGs build on the Millennium Goals (2000-2015). The Paris Agreement builds on the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) plays important roles in protecting the world’s environment. In all, there are almost three dozen affiliated organizations working to advance humanity through the United Nations System.
But even with all this activity, the UN needs support, and shared ideas, to build even stronger foundations. Our colleague, G&A Institute's Senior Sustainability Content Writer Faye Leone, has a decade of experience reporting on the UN.
Her perspectives: “It is exactly right for business leaders to express support for global cooperation– not competition- at this time. This is in the spirit of the UN’s 75th anniversary and critical for the next big challenge for multilateralism and solidarity: to fairly provide a safe vaccine for COVID-19.” She explains that leading up to its 75th anniversary in September 2020, the UN conducted a year-long ‘listening campaign.’The results, after over one million people around the world participated?They said they do not want “more of the same” from the UN.They overwhelmingly called for a more inclusive, diverse, and transparent UN that does a better job of incorporating businesses, cities, vulnerable peoples, women, andyoung people. They also said the UN should be more innovative. Read more about the UN’s 75th anniversary here.
Mark October 24 on your calendar. That’s the day we commemorate the UN’s official founding after WW II (on 24 October 1945). We invite you to think about how you can support the UN moving toward the century-of-service mark in 25 year (2025) – and what ideas you can share to help this organization of the family of nations to address 21st Century challenges!
This is just the introduction of G&A's Sustainability Highlights newsletter this week. Click here to view the full issue.
KEYWORDS: MEDIA & COMMUNICATIONS, business & trade, Corporate Social Responsibility, CSR, G&A Institute, GRI, Governance & Accountability Institute, G&A, SRI, socially responsible investing, Sustainability, Corporate Citizenship, ESG