The United Nations Global Compact: the business implementation and accountability challenge
Abstract: The United Nations Global Compact, the world's largest voluntary corporate citizenship initiative, has enrolled over 1500 companies and two dozen Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and labour groups from over 70 countries since its inception in 2000. There is, however, a vocal chorus of critics of the Global Compact (primarily from the NGO community) that focus their criticisms on: the questionable level of participating company compliance with the ten principles that define the Global Compact (which address human rights, labour, environmental, and corruption issues); the lack of transparency of actual company results to outside auditors. In this paper, I offer a coherent set of recommendations that strengthen a self-regulation regime whose purpose is enhancing the efficacy of the Global Compact and transnational corporate citizenship. These recommendations focus on implementing a systematic approach to corporate accountability and transparency that is built on a foundation of the Global Compact's ten principles.