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UN Global Compact

UN Global Compact was launched in 1999 at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, by Kofi Annan, the former UN Secretary-General. Business leaders were invited to join an international initiative to encourage companies worldwide to adopt sustainable and socially responsible policies. The Global Compact is a voluntary network where companies are brought together with UN agencies, labour groups and civil society.

The UN Global Compact's ten principles

The UN Global Compact challenges business to operate according to ten principles covering human rights, labour, the environment and corruption and bribery. They are derived from:

Human Rights

Businesses should:

1. Support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights; and
2. Make sure that they are not complicit in human rights abuses.

Labour Standards

Businesses should uphold:

3. the freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining;
4. the elimination of all forms of forced and compulsory labour;
5. the effective abolition of child labour; and
6. the elimination of discrimination in employment and occupation.


Businesses should:

7. support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges;
8. undertake initiatives to promote environmental responsibility; and
9. encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies.


10. Businesses should work against corruption in all its forms, including extortion and bribery.

More on UN and Global contact

Human rights, conventions and declarations

UN documents and publications in catalogues and databases

  • United Nations Digital Library. UN official documents and open access publications, UN maps, UN voting data and speeches.
  • UN iLibrary. UN publications online covering different topics.
  • ODS. UN documents published from 1993 onward and scanned documents published between 1946 and 1993 in the official languages of the UN.
  • Daily list of documents (ODS). Documents published for the day, with full text links, can be found in the United Nations full text database ODS.
  • UNBIS Thesaurus is a multilingual database of the controlled vocabulary used to describe UN documents.
  • Index to proceedings is an annual bibliographic guide to the proceedings and documentation of the major UN organs. The index includes:
    • a list of all documents
    • a comprehensive subject index
    • an index to speeches
    • a voting chart of resolutions


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