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United Nations Global Compact Launching Global Impact Initiatives for the Year 2020

2020-01-29 14:01
In the first week of November 2019, UNGC local networks from around the world gathered in the city of Lisbon in Portugal to attend two meaningful events, UNGC Regional Meeting and Web Summit. On November 6-8, 2019, In the UNGC Regional Meetings, the local networks shared their yearly activities and discussed future strategies. Earlier in the week, Web Summit, the world’s largest technology conference, was also held in Lisbon. In the conference, various representatives and specialists from the UNGC headquarter participated in the event as guest speakers and delivered speeches on women’s empowerment and SDGs to hundreds of attendees.

UNGC reaching out to IT Companies at the Web Summit

SDG Media Zone was set up at the Web Summit through November 5-7, enlightening the participating IT companies and startups about the UNGC’s 10 Guiding Principles and corporate sustainability issues. The SDG Media Zone held 24 sessions with experts and specialists on various SDGs-related topics, which include the environment, food, fashion, AI, and technology. The sessions were broadcast live on online channels such as YouTube and other social media. Ms. Lise Kingo, CEO & Executive Director of the UN Global Compact, also joined in the talk on ‘SDG Ambition’, a new initiative launched by the organization. Noting that many companies have yet to respond actively to the climate change and that discriminatory treatment for female workers is still prevalent in the global supply chain of multinational companies, Ms. Kingo suggested that SDGs be considered at the executive decisionmaking process for management strategies and operations, and partnerships with various stakeholders be established across corporate activities.


☞ Watch Ms. Lise Kingo, Executive Director of the UN Global Compact’s talk in the SDG Media Zone

During the Web Summit’s Future Societies session, Sue Allchurch, Director of the UNGC Headquarters Outreach & Engagement Department, and other renowned female leaders such as UFC player Paige VanZant and Turo’s CEO Michelle Fang joined in the talk “How do we overcome the gender gap?” Sue Allchurch stressed that CEOs have a vital role in reducing the gender gap by setting gender equality as the overall goal of the organization. In particular, she added that gender equality goals should be set in detail, just as companies set operating profit targets and that it is important to make “ambitious” goals. She also informed that female leadership plays an important role in facilitating gender equality, as the increased proportion of women in the corporate executive positions can facilitate mentoring between female employees and executives.

In addition, the Web Summit, which was attended by leading IT companies from around the world, featured lectures and discussions on various subjects such as immigration and peace, social responsibility, public interest, and inclusive growth. The conference demonstrated the enthusiasm for sustainable management amongst IT companies from all around the world.

Local Networks getting together to discuss the development direction of the UN Global Compact

On November 7-8, the UN Global Compact Regional Meeting was held in Culturgest, a historic concert hall in the city of Lisbon. At the meeting, approximately 100 delegates from UNGC local networks across continents gathered together.

UNGC headquarter shared the organization’s efforts to expand its role and partnerships with various UN agencies, international organizations, and governments throughout the year and emphasized the growing influence of UNGC at the local level. Also, a briefing session was held on the updated policies of the UNGC operating system and the local network members actively participated in the follow-up discussions

The UNGC local networks shared their achievements throughout the year and discussed various programs implemented in each country. In particular, with the UNGC’s 20th anniversary and UN Global Compact Leaders Summit 2020 coming up in the next year, the headquarter and local network members discussed the roles and responsibilities to be carried out for a successful event.

Growing Importance of Global Impact Initiatives (GII)

In 2020, the UN Global Compact will continue its efforts to help companies achieve sustainable management goals through the implementation of the 10 Principles and the SDGs. In particular, the UN Global Compact delivered its plans for the three initiatives.

▲ ‘SDG Ambition’ – For companies to establish specific and ambitious SDG-related targets

▲ ‘Target Gender Equality’ – To diminish the gender gap and strengthen women’s capabilities within companies

▲ ‘Target Climate 1.5 °C’ – To set corporate management goals to limit the global temperature rise to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels

At the Conference, Lise Kingo emphasized that gender inequality and environmental protection are the most important and urgent issues in corporate management. In response, local networks are actively preparing to share the tools and guidelines, operate working groups, and hold workshops and conferences to promote and disseminate the Target Gender Equality and Target Climate 1.5 °C initiatives. As companies have a high interest and demand in narrowing the gender gap in Korea, the UNGC Network Korea is also working on initiative implementation plans.

The local networks, gathered together in Lisbon, took parts in in-depth discussions and dialogues to define ‘Gender Equality’ and ‘SDG Ambition’ and to devise effective activities. In particular, GC Network Korea introduced an event called UNGC Korea Leaders Summit 2019, where 16 companies in the private and public sectors pledged to empower women at workplaces. Furthermore, GC Network Korea is looking forward to launching the Target Gender Equality Initiative in 2020 and to work collaboratively with the UNGC headquarter and other local networks.

Getting Ready for the UN Global Compact’s 20th Anniversary

The year 2020 marks the 20th anniversary of the UN Global Compact and the 75th anniversary of the United Nations. At the same time, it is also the time that only a decade is left to achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. In celebration of this meaningful year, the UN Global Compact will host the UNGC Leaders Summit on June 15-16, 2020 at the General Assembly of the United Nations Headquarters in New York and the Jacob Javits Center. In this meaningful event, corporate leaders and experts will share and find best practices for implementing human rights, labor, environment, anti-corruption as well as networking with participants from companies, UN agencies, governments, academia and civil society across nations. The early bird discount rate will be available until January 31, 2020.

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