Cities have the potential to make enormous strides in creating sustainable societies – where economic, social, political and environmental issues are integrated and advanced. As the focus of population, business activity, economic wealth, government, academia, infrastructure and civil society, cities represent an extraordinary array of human, material and financial resources that can be used to translate the Global Compact principles into concrete and positive urban outcomes.
The Global Compact Cities Programme, launched in 2003, is dedicated to the promotion and adoption of the Global Compact’s ten principles by cities, and provides a framework for translating the principles into day-to-day urban governance and management. In the spirit of the UN Global Compact, the Cities Programme focuses on collaboration between all levels of government, business and civil society in order to enhance sustainability, resilience, diversity and adaptation within cities and in the face of complex urban challenges.
Administered by an International Secretariat based at the Global Cities Institute at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, the Global Compact Cities Programme provides unique expertise and guidance to participating cities.
The Cities Programme offers three levels of engagement: Signatory, Reporting and Innovating. Each successive level involves a progression in terms of the commitment by the city and the commensurate advice, tools and recognition provided by the Cities Programme. A city may choose to join at any level.
Signatory City: In a letter to the UN Secretary-General from the highest level city leader, a Signatory City commits to the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact, endeavours to enact and promote those principles in city management, and encourages businesses in the city to join the UN Global Compact.
Reporting City: In addition to the Signatory commitment, Reporting Cities agree to annually report progress on efforts to advance the Ten Principles in city management, as well as through advocacy with the local business community. The Cities Programme can provide guidance on relevant reporting indicators and metrics.
Innovating City: An Innovating City, beyond the commitments of levels 1 and 2 above, undertakes a multi-year project to address a complex or seemingly intractable issue within the city linked to the Ten Principles. The development and management of the project is done using the Cities Programme methodology – which includes tools that facilitate collaborative partnerships, and the establishment of rigorous monitoring and evaluation processes. Dedicated support is provided by the Cities Programme Secretariat. A fee is associated with this level of engagement which is invested into further development of research methodologies and related activities undertaken by the International Secretariat and made available to Innovating Cities.
Participants in the Cities Programme enjoy access to a broad range of benefits, including:
A city-focused forum to publicly register commitment to the principles of the UN Global Compact and to recognise the initiatives undertaken within cities in support of these principles;
City and urban networks, both locally and internationally, to promote projects, share learnings and facilitate collaboration;
Tools to assist in reporting on progress in implementing the UN Global Compact principles;
A comprehensive framework to facilitate engagement and collaboration across all levels of government, with business and civil society, in addressing complex or seemingly intractable urban challenges;
A detailed methodology, known as the Melbourne Model™, to assist in development, monitoring and assessment of collaborative projects that seek to address such challenges; and
Researchers who can offer advice on particular issues and assist in project implementation and evaluation.
Please visit the Global Compact Cities Programme website to learn more about our work and the existing initiatives of member cities.
UN Global Compact Cities Programme
Global Cities Institute, RMIT University