24. Investors and regulators shall compel all businesses to comply with the U.N. Global Compact.

Rapporteur: Robin Collins

I. Corporate Responsibility and the Connection to Existential Threats

There are many debates around the kind of economy the globe needs to best service a growing population of seven billion people in over 190 countries, with a wide range of talents, cultures, laws and levels of democracy. This plank is not intended to solve the problem of economic systems. Rather it collects some of the levers at hand (international and national investors and regulators) and points to some of the institutional and legal mechanisms they can draw upon to compel businesses to meet necessary human rights and climate standards. Many will, as they must, reference international Conventions and the SDG framework, because these are the agreeable tools the international community has agreed to. This short piece is not intended to be a comprehensive outline of measures or mechanisms, but it offers some examples of progress and required attention in the areas of the UN Global Compact, the International Labour Organization, Fair Trade, and Shareholder/Investor Activism and Ethical Investment practices.

The United Nations Global Compact

The UN Global Compact was created in 2006 to “mobilize a global movement of sustainable companies and stakeholders to create the world we want”. It is funded by The Foundation for the Global Compact, a U.S.-based non-profit organization, incorporated in New York State, that was established to financially support the GC through fundraising (from the global business community and broader private sector) and promotion of its Ten Principles (see below). The philosophy of the UNGC is that public-private collaboration will resolve “pressing global problems”. The achievement of this mission the GC, which is now made up of […], promotes doing business responsibly “by aligning strategies and operations with Ten Principles on human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption; and taking strategic actions to advance broader societal goals, such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals, with an emphasis on collaboration and innovation.
All ten of the Ten Principles are sourced from existing international agreements, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the ILO’s labour rights principles, the Rio Declaration and the UN Convention Against Corruption.

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