Global Compact Network Korea 2020 Annual Meeting Results
The 2020 Annual Meeting of the Global Compact Network Korea was held in Seoul on Thursday, May 28th. At the Annual Meeting this year, a special lecture by the former United Nations Secretary General, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, the launching ceremony of Target Gender Equality, and the publication release of “COVID-19 and Corporate Sustainability – Korean UNGC participants’ Response Cases” took place in addition to passing the resolutions.
Dong-Kurn Lee, the President of GCNK, started his opening remarks with an emphasis on public hygiene and safety: “Although it was inevitable to hold the Annual Meeting due to several important decisions that could no longer be delayed, since we are still in an uncertain situation, I ask of you to pay special attention to hygiene and safety.” He continued his speech saying, “I plead all participants to take interest in GCNK’s role of sustainability-related activities and research, take time to think together about sustainable solutions for a more inclusive and fair society in a collective manner, and work together in line with the Ten Principles of UNGC and the 17 SDGs while leaving no one behind in the process.”
This year’s general meeting was held in the following order: (1) adoption of the 2020 General Meeting agenda and approval of the former Meeting minutes, (2) decision on the changes in the Board of Directors (3) presentation on the financial report and resolutions in 2019, (4) provisions of budget proposals, mid- to long-term program reports, and the resolutions for 2020. The meeting participants voted and approved each matter unanimously.
In consideration of the uncertainties and difficulties across the society caused by COVID-19, Mr. Ban Ki-Moon, the 8th UN Secretary-General and Honorary President of the Global Compact Network Korea, gave a special lecture on COVID-19 and the UN Global Compact.
“My predecessor, Mr. Kofi Annan, launched the UN Global Compact in 2000 with the neo-millennial spirit, and this year we celebrate the 20th anniversary of the initiative. It also has been 13 years since I took office as honorary president of the Network Korea and I would like to express my gratitude to all participants that helped us develop. For the past 20 years, the UN Global Compact has been working to internalize the Ten Principles in four main areas, human rights, labor, environment, and anti-corruption within companies and to ensure that their activities are aligned with the Global Goals. I would like to congratulate the Network Korea for its continuous growth since its establishment in 2007.
Due to the recent pandemic breakout, the relationships between countries, regions, and individuals have been challenging. One can easily recognize inequality and problems such as racism and xenophobia are emerging due to the fear of infection. In such a difficult time, we need more solidarity, compassion, and a warm heart towards our neighbors. I would like to emphasize once again that humanism and multilateralism must be respected. Furthermore, Global Citizenship is also crucial. We must all be global citizens before seeing ourselves as part of a city or a country. Without the presence of creative ideas and mature civility, we cannot overcome the pandemic.
In media worldwide, South Korea has been portrayed as an exemplary case for disease management since the outbreak of COVID-19. Although this makes me proud, we also need to be more cautious and try to see the bigger picture, which is climate change. As I always stress to the Korean Government, while the efforts to develop vaccines for COVID-19 and recover from the economic damage caused by the pandemic are crucial, we should never put Climate Action in the back seat. President Moon Jae-in recently mentioned ‘the Green Deal’. I believe the role of businesses is important in eradicating the mark of disgrace that South Korea is a ‘climate villain’. All activities by the UNGC participants in Korea should aim to support the transition from a gray economy to a green economy based on the Green New Deal.”
- Excerpts from the Special Lecture
The full list of the Board of Directors is as follows:
Lee Dong-Kurn, Global Compact Network Korea President,
Sun Joon-Young, Honorary Chairman of UN Association of the Republic of Korea,
Yang Il-Sun, Yonsei University Foundation Director,
Moon Hyeong-Gu, Professor at Korea University,
Choi Kyu-Bok, CEO of Yuhan Kimberly,
Park Seok-Beom, Global Compact Network Korea Secretary-General
Kim Ki-Chan, Professor at the Catholic University of Korea,
Kim Joon-Dong, former Vice Chairman of the Korean Chamber of Commerce and Industry,
Son Hee-Gul, Special Advisor of the World Military Sports Committee
Lee Min-Joo, Chairman of Atinum Partners,
Hyun Chun-Wook, Managing Partner of Kim & Chang,
Woo Tae-Hee, Vice Chairman of the Korean Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Furthermore, the women’s leadership empowerment initiative of UNGC, Target Gender Equality, was launched in Korea as well at the Meeting. Target Gender Equality (TGE) is one of the UNGC’s Global Impact Initiatives launched this year in more than 20 countries with the goal to increase women’s leadership in the board and executive management levels. Companies participating in TGE will set ambitious targets and implementation plans to improve female leadership through the following efforts: striving to provide “Equal Opportunity for Women’s Social Participation and Leadership”, a detailed goal (5.5) of the SDG 5 (Gender Equality); participating in performance analysis based on WEPs, gender gap analysis tool, capacity building workshop; and initiating more dialogues with stakeholders.
Nine Korean companies (BGF, CJ CheilJedang, DGB Financial Group, Hankook Tire & Technology, KT Corporation, LG Chemical, Ltd., Lotte Corporation, SK Telecom, and Slowalk) are participating in the initiative.
At the Meeting, a very special publication was introduced. “COVID-19 and Corporate Sustainability – Korean UNGC participants’ Response Cases” is a collection of response strategies that UNGC Korean participants undertook against COVID-19. Responding to the pandemic, 26 companies and institutions shared their internal, external, and future recovery plans that demonstrate their industrial characteristics and expertise. GCNK also plans to publish the English version of the book in June 2020 in hopes to provide an inspiration to promote health-for-all and help those in need.
Companies and institutions that participated in the Korean version of the book are the following: Arts Council Korea, Bucheon Woman & Youth Foundation, Busan Economic Promotion Agency, DGB Financial Group, Doosan Corporation, Doosan Infracore, Incheon Facilities Corporation, KOLON Industries Co., Ltd., Korea Evaluation Institute of Industrial Technology, Korea Forestry Promotion Institute, Korea Institute of Ceramic Engineering and Technology. Korea Midland Power Co., Ltd., Korea Rural Community Corporation, Korea Trade Insurance Corporation, KT Corporation, LG Chemical, Ltd., LG Electronics, Inc., National Pension Service, POSCO, POSCO INTERNATIONAL Corporation, Seoul Housing and Communities Corporation, Seongnam Development Corporation, SK Telecom, Slowalk, Amorepacific, and Yuhan-Kimberly.
In addition to the COVID-19 Response Cases book, several materials were distributed at the Annual Meeting to promote GCNK’s 2020 plans and activities:
Launched in October 2019, Business Integrity Society (BIS) is a 3-year global anti-corruption project sponsored by the World Bank-Siemens Integrity Initiative (SII) as part of the initiative’s third funding round. BIS works in diverse forms and methods with UNGC Network Korea participants, conglomerates, SMEs, and government agencies in high-risk industries to lead the fight against corruption in our society. The BIS website(www.bis.or.kr) provides comprehensive information regarding the project, trends in ethical management, media reports, and anti-corruption materials.
Gender Equality Korea (GEK) Brochure
The online platform, Gender Equality Korea (GEK) website(www.gender-equality.or.kr) was set up in April 2020. This platform, partnered with Amore Pacific and the Women News, aims to help Korean companies and institutions establish policies for gender equality that are aligned with domestic and international standards. Furthermore, the platform will support Korean companies’ activities to enhance women's representation in leadership positions and competency. This online platform provides a wide array of information regarding women’s issues, such as gender lens investing and gender-related UNGC initiative and tools, in Korean.
SDG Action Manager Brochure in Korean
Introduced back in February 2020, SDG Action Manager is a practical web-based impact management solution that helps identify and manage business activities related to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
SDG Action Manager was developed in cooperation with B Lab and a number of experts and advisors from UNDP, GRI, the Danish Institute for Human Rights, etc. have also participated in the process.
Learn more about SDG Action Manager
Sustainable Ocean Principles Brochure in Korean
In September 2019, at the UN Global Compact’s Sustainable Ocean Business Action Platform, a subsidiary event for the 74th UN General Assembly, the UN Global Compact announced nine Sustainable Ocean Principles that urged businesses to secure a healthy and productive ocean.
Learn more about the Sustainable Ocean Principles
TI-UK’s Incentivising Ethics (Translated in Korean) Booklet
As a part of the BIS project, GCNK published a translated version of “Incentivizing Ethics”, a publication by Transparency International UK. The publication includes case studies and recommendations on how to manage incentives to encourage good and deter bad behavior.
This year’s Annual Meeting constituted an opportunity for UNGC participants in Korea to understand 2020 business plans, budget plans, and mid to long-term plans and build consensus around UNGC’s activities. GCNK would like to extend our sincere gratitude to all the participants for following our COVID-19 event guidelines. Also, GCNK is grateful for all the executive members and employees who have participated in the General Meeting, Target Gender Equality (TGE) initiative, and the publication of “COVID-19 and Corporate Sustainability – Korean UNGC participants’ Response Cases”.