The UN Global Compact complements other corporate citizenship initiatives by promoting dialogue on the relationship between business and society. At the same time it is the only truly global corporate citizenship initiative. It is not an auditable standard; indeed, it is not a standard or a code in the way that these are normally viewed. It is a set of principles through which business and the United Nations can work in partnership for global social development. For some businesses it is a simplified codification of their existing policies and management practices, but for many engagement represents a challenge and an opportunity to raise their game by aligning profitability with the common good.  As the only genuinely global corporate citizenship initiative, the Global Compact draws its moral authority from the UN Secretary-General and its moral and political legitimacy from the UN as the only global political body. It can be viewed as a series of nested networks involving the Secretary-General's Office, the ILO, UNEP, UNHCHR, UNDP and UNIDO, business, NGOs and labour. It can variously be described as an international learning network, as a social network of people and organizations engaged in a global conversation, as a global public policy network, and as a multi-stakeholder dialogue. It is all of these things, but more than anything its greatest success has been in providing a convening platform for a growing global conversation about social development among a variety of actors.  However the Global Compact is viewed, it is time to reflect on the first tentative steps of an initiative born in the aftermath of the Cold War, in the "triumph of global economic liberalism" and mass demonstrations against "globalisation". In its first few years, the world has experienced 9/11 and the Iraq War, not forgetting the forty or so civil wars that are ongoing at this time. Whatever is written about the UN Global Compact or its success will be tentative. But there can be some serious reflection on its aims and origins; some telling of stories of engagement; and discussion on how this initiative has quickly become an important reference point in the dialogue on global and corporate governance.

chapter |14 pages


ByMalcolm McIntosh, Independent Commentator Sandra Waddock, Boston College, USA

part |1 pages

Part 1: The origins and development of the UN Global Compact

chapter 1|4 pages

An appeal to world business: 31 January 1999

ByKofi Annan, Secretary-General, United Nations

chapter 2|11 pages

The theory and practice of learning networks: corporate social responsibility and the Global Compact

ByJohn Gerard Ruggie, Harvard University, USA

part |1 pages

Part 2: The Global Compact and human rights

part |1 pages

Part 3: The evolution of the UN and the UN Global Compact: critical perspectives

chapter 11|12 pages

The UN Global Compact: a triple-win partnership

ByMichael Hougård Pedersen, Novozymes, Denmark

part |1 pages

Part 4: Action and learning

chapter 12|9 pages

Reflections on the Global Compact

chapter 14|19 pages

Learning from experience: the United Nations Global Compact Learning Forum 2002

BySandra Waddock, Boston College, USA

chapter 15|10 pages

Learners and leaders: evolving the Global Compact in North America

BySandra Waddock, Boston College, USA

chapter 16|14 pages

Pfizer: A new mission in action

ByNancy Nielsen, Pfizer Inc. USA

part |1 pages

Part 5: The unfolding world of the UN Global Compact

chapter 19|13 pages

Responsible excellence pays

chapter 21|16 pages

Learning by doing: the Global Compact and the ethic of corporate citizenship

ByJames E. Post, Tanja D. Carroll, Boston University, USA

chapter 22|10 pages

The living world of the UN Global Compact

ByMalcolm McIntosh, Independent Commentator