The UN Global Compact Turns 20

Be a part of the 20th anniversary commemoration of the UN Global Compact!


The United Nations came to life in San Francisco 75 years ago this year, but the Global Compact is a much younger entity, called into existence by Secretary-General Kofi Annan in 2000.

We want you to help us celebrate both milestones by adding your voice to support global sustainability.

The UN Global Compact invites you you to take part in a simple social media activation to commemorate the twin anniversaries: add your photo to one of our photo filters. 

Select your language in the upper right-hand corner, click ‘add your photo’, then choose your frame from the UN Charter before sharing with your friends, families and co-workers on your social media platforms using the hashtag #UnitingBusiness.

Global Compact participant companies can still use these tools to communicate with their staffs about the Compact and the Sustainable Development Goals

  • Take the 30-minute UN Global Compact Academy course “How to Understand and Take Action on the Global Goals”, available in Chinese, English, French, Portuguese and Spanish.
  • Take action — as an individual, a community or business — and track your impact via the UN's Act Now campaign and the mobile app.
  • Stay up to date with all things Global Compact by signing up for our monthly Bulletin, which features success stories from our Local Networks, actions you can take on the SDGs, upcoming events and freshly developed communications tools.
  • Watch this SDG Media Zone session from Davos 2020: “Unleashing the Potential of a Purpose-Driven Workforce” to learn how engaging your staff on the SDGs makes for a solid business case.
  • Find the direct link for your language version, and watch Sanda’s ‘how-to’ video on the UN Day homepage

Please share any questions you may have about the activation. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!

20 Years of the UN Global Compact

Launched in 2000 by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, the UN Global Compact was initiated to bring business and the United Nations together to give a human face to the global market.

When businesses unite, they can be a powerful force for good by upholding universal principles in the areas of human rights, labour, the environment and anti-corruption.

Important progress has been made, but from runaway climate change to widening inequalities, our actions do not currently match the ambition and pace necessary to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. All stakeholders must unite to transform our collective aspiration into reality.

Through our Local Networks and over 10,000 companies around the world, the UN Global Compact is taking corporate sustainability from the fringes to the mainstream and uniting business for a better world.

Click here to show your support on social media.

Interested in joining the movement? Take the next step and join the UN Global Compact, and register to attend the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit 2020.

Sanda Ojiambo: 20 Years of the UN Global Compact

Welcome to the Decade of Action

2020 kicks-off a new Decade of Action to deliver the 17 Global Goals — the boldest agenda for humanity ever adopted. Responsible companies are ramping up their action and impact by embedding a principles-based approach into strategies and operations. More than ever before we need all stakeholders to unite in transforming our collective aspiration to reality.

20th Anniversary Leaders Summit

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the Presidents of Botswana, Colombia, Costa Rica and Ethiopia joined the President of the UN General Assembly and UN Secretary-General alongside dozens of Chief Executive Officers and UN chiefs at the United Nations Global Compact Leaders Summit to address the private sector’s response to three unprecedented and interconnected global crises — health, inequality and climate change.

Over 26 hours of continuous virtual programming — including more than 100 global, regional and local sessions — the Summit was the UN’s largest, most inclusive and most sustainable convening of purpose-driven business leaders committed to tackling societal challenges and advancing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). More than 20,000 business and sustainability leaders from over 180 countries participated in their local time zones and languages.

Under the theme of “Recover Better, Recover Stronger, Recover Together,” the event marked the 20th anniversary of the UN Global Compact, providing a platform of platforms where leaders from business, civil society, Governments and the UN were challenged to reflect on the importance of collaboration and public-private partnerships, and increase their ambition to achieve the SDGs.

Highlights from the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit


Highlights from the 2020 Leaders Summit

Re-watch full sessions from the Leaders Summit


4 simple things all companies can do to promote diversity and inclusion

We must act now to avert global water crisis

COVID-related hunger could kill more people than the virus

COVID-19 could cause a children’s mental health crisis

Why Covid-19 could kickstart global healthcare progress

The opportunities in the ocean industry

Why COVID has made SDG Ambition more urgent than ever

A formidable compass: How the SDGs can guide us to build back better

Three ways we need to change to meet the SDGs by 2030

Three Types of Sustainable Business Leaders

Time to stop taking ours oceans for granted

The most inspirational ideas from the SDG Future Lab

COVID-19: What makes a good leader during the pandemic 

How to make sustainability a part of your company DNA

Earth School: how the UN revolutionised climate-change education in three weeks

Purpose-driven marketing: How brands are attracting socially conscious consumers and creating change in the world

Three ways the Covid response can boost SDG efforts

How investment can drive sustainable energy progress

4 ways business schools can shape leaders for a better world

Four Ways to Accelerate Progress on Sustainable Water Management

3 ways business is making progress on SDGs - even through the pandemic

The Corporate Social Fabric: Protecting Employee Welfare and Social Values for Better Business

Contact Information

Mr. Dan Thomas