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Global Compact Steps Up Anti-Corruption Efforts

New Sub-Working Groups to Address Reporting and Supply-Chain Management

(New York, 18 November 2008) – The United Nations Global Compact, in collaboration with a broad alliance of business participants and other stakeholders, has stepped up efforts to increase awareness and advance implementation of its tenth principle on anti-corruption.

The integration of anti-corruption into the corporate responsibility agenda has sent a strong worldwide signal that business shares responsibility for the challenges of eliminating corruption. Yet, the issue still presents one of the most difficult implementation challenges.

To further advance the anti-corruption agenda, the Global Compact Working Group on Anti-Corruption has established several sub-working groups to address implementation gaps, improve reporting and to better disseminate information on available tools and resources. Two of these sub-working groups – the Task Force on Tenth Principle Reporting and the Task Force on the Supply Chain: MNCs HQ to Subsidiaries, Suppliers and Subcontractors – met in Athens in early November on the occasion of Transparency International’s 13th Annual Anti-Corruption Conference.

Task Force on Tenth Principle Reporting
The Task Force on Tenth Principle Reporting will aim to mainstream the reporting of companies on anti-corruption efforts in non-financial and/or sustainability reports. Its chief responsibilities include elaborating and promoting the benefits of reporting on companies’ implementation efforts on the tenth principle; collecting and showcasing positive experiences of reporting on anti-corruption; benchmarking how environmental issues have been mainstreamed within CSR reporting; and developing a set of anti-corruption indicators that can be used both in common law and in continental law systems.

“The fight against corruption is an ongoing process which needs dedication and support”, said Eckart Suenner, Chief Compliance Officer at BASF. “To report on progress in that fight means that you not only look back and report what has been done but that you also become aware what else can - and should be - done in future. This is real value for the own path in the fight against corruption”.

MNCs HQ to Subsidiaries, Suppliers and Subcontractors
The Task Force on the Supply Chain: MNCs HQ to Subsidiaries, Suppliers and Subcontractors will identify ways of ensuring that policies or practices of major MNC headquarters are applied to their subsidiaries, suppliers, and subcontractors for the effective implementation of the tenth principle. This sub-working group will also serve as the collective action platform for small and medium-size enterprises.

“Multi-national companies face significant corruption risks in their supply chains, where many small and medium-size local businesses may be unable or unwilling to avoid temptations to corruption”, said Mark Snyderman, Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer & Assistant General Counsel, The Coca-Cola Company. “MNCs are uniquely positioned to educate, help and direct these suppliers in dealing with corruption”.

In addition, the following sub-working groups have been established:

Anti-Corruption Education Initiative
In collaboration with Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME), the Anti-Corruption Education Initiative aims to promote the integration of anti-corruption and ethics courses into the curricula of business schools.

Anti-Corruption Tools and Resources
The Sub-Working Group on Anti-Corruption Tools and Resources will develop an inventory of existing anti-corruption tools and resources that companies can easily review and access. The inventory will include a short description of each tool, including its purpose; the types of corruption the tool addresses; target audiences; and how the tool is related to different socio-political realities.

Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue Networks Initiative
In an effort to promote public-private partnership on anti-corruption issues, the Dialogue Initiative will aim to expand multi-stakeholder dialogue networks to the local level, ovolving public counterparts. At the initial stage, these dialogue networks will serve to foster trust between different stakeholders.
Eventually, the Dialogue Initiative may lead to the development of a joint training session on transparency and anticorruption which involves public procurement actors and bidding companies in selected countries.

CEO Statement Initiative
The CEO Statement Initiative will develop a CEO statement addressed to governments on the implementation of an effective UN Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) review mechanism. Through the endorsement by business leaders, the CEO Statement Initiative aims to increase business awareness on UNCAC and promote good practices.

Media Engagement Initiative
As an ongoing project, the Media Engagement Initiative will identify ways of inducing more positive engagement of the media on companies’ anti-corruption efforts. It specifically aims to draw media attention to positive stories and progress that business has made in the fight against corruption.

“Widespread corruption is a cross-cutting challenge to the advancement of the Global Compact’s ten principles”, said Georg Kell, Executive Director of the UN Global Compact. “ The important work of the Global Compact Working Group on Anti-Corruption will give practical meaning to the tenth principle and help companies develop effective policies and practices that ultimately benefit all their efforts at becoming more sustainable”.

The UN Global Compact encourages all participants to contribute to the efforts of the Working Group on Anti-Corruption. More information is available on the UN Global Compact website: http://www.unglobalcompact.org/Issues/transparency_anticorruption/.

Contact

Olajobi Makinwa
Senior Issue Manager
UN Global Compact Office
Tel: + 1 917 367 2283
makinwa@un.org