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Secretary-General Declares Global Compact at “Centre” of UN-Business Relations

(New York, 19 September 2006) – Today, Secretary-General Kofi Annan presented his final annual report on the work of the Organization immediately prior to the general debate of the 61st session of the General Assembly. The historic legacy report recognizes the importance of collaboration between the UN system and the private sector.

The tenth annual “Report of the Secretary-General on the work of the Organization” presents the Organization activities over the past twelve months on development; peace and security; human rights, rule of law and humanitarian affairs; and strengthening the United Nations. According to the Secretary-General, this year’s report also includes a section on global constituencies, including civil society and the business community, in order “to cover an area that has not previously been classified as central to the Organization’s work but has become increasingly important — and will, I believe, become even more so as the new century advances”.

On the burgeoning relationship with non-state actors, the report states that “for the first time in over 60 years of United Nations history, we are making business and other social actors vital partners in pursuit of our goals”. These new cross-sector relationships further the goals and work of the Organization, for example by helping to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and to advance UN reform.

The Secretary-General’s final legacy report emphasizes the Global Compact’s mission to align the interests of business with the interests of society, pointing to far-reaching changes that have resulted from the initiative’s engagement with thousands of participants from more than 100 countries. The report also outlines the Global Compact’s role within the United Nations as a key entry point for engaging business and improving the Organization’s ability to work with the private sector.

On the United Nations’ integrity measures and policy framework which together define the rules of engagement with the private sector, the Secretary-General reports: “The Global Compact Office has spearheaded many of these developments, and I am confident that it will continue to lead this promising reform from within the Organization.”

In a call for continued work with the private sector to align business interests with United Nations goals and to advance reform within the Organization, the Secretary-General states, “It is my hope that Member States will continue to support these efforts and that engagement with the business community and other societal actors will continue to evolve as an integral part of organizational change to make the United Nations fit for the twenty-first century”.

Download “Report of the Secretary-General on the work of the Organization” (A/61/1).

For more information, please contact:
Cecilie Hultmann
Global Compact Office
+1 917 367 5767
hultmann@un.org