United Nations global compact and worldwide businesses
United Nations Global Compact refers to an initiative of the United Nations formed with the responsibilities of worldwide business encouragements. It is to embrace sustainable and socially responsible policies, and report on the implementation of these policies (Black & Kid, 2010). It was announced by the then secretary-general Kofi Annan when he was addressing delegate in the world economic forum in January, 1999. In July the following year it was officially launched at the UN headquarters in New York. It is a principle-based framework for businesses with ten principles covering areas such as labor, human rights, anti-corruption and the environment. It stipulates how companies are brought together for interaction with labor groups, civil society, and UN agencies. In situations where cities wish to join they do that through the cities program. UN global compact considered the world largest cooperate citizenship enterprise accommodating more than ten thousand corporate participants and additional interested parties from over 130 countries. Its activities are guided by two main objectives that are too mainstream the ten principles in business activities all over the world. Also to catalyze actions that support UN’s broader goals such as the MDGs, which have since been changed to sustainable development goals (SDGs) (United Nations, 2011).
The office of this initiative is supported by seven other UN agencies. It also boasts to be a founding member of other four different UN initiatives that work in unison to better business conditions around the world. When UN global compact was initiated it did not have guiding principle until June 2004 when it adopted nine principles but under Kofi Annan he added the tenth one that dealt with corruption. The ten principles were grouped broadly according to the areas in the society that they address. According to Michael Bloomberg, he praised New York City for the efforts it was taking to improve on sustainability majorly focusing on environmental conservation. He said that the New Yorks act had earned consumer respect that no advertising or marketing campaign can buy. He urged all leaders to practice sound business policies to advance their principles. Final remarks were that we leave our children a cleaner and freer home more secure than we found it (Lawrence & Beamish, 2013). That could only be achieved by all involved doing the right thing no matter where we are, where we come from and where we live. The Four Corners interview also looked at the impacts of our lives in terms of business to the environment where we live.
Therefore everybody should take care of his or her immediate environment to avoid future harm. So far, UN global compact have been opening its branches in various countries such as Syria, France, India, Australia and Bulgaria. For the executive director, he is concerned that the businesses were not complying with the principles and felt that a little is done to enforce them. For the multinational industries to thrive well, their operations need to be guided well by the principles contained in the UN global compact. Since they are organizations that own and controls the production of goods and services in more than one country, their operations need to be checked (Rasche & Kell, 2010). For this reason, UN global compact may come in to ensure that all these multinational companies promote the principles they have more so if they are signatories to the United Nations. Some of these companies include Lenovo, LG Electronics, Coca-Cola and Toyota. UN global compact acting on a multinational company takes several considerations into the breach of any of the principles.
For instance, when a company wants to start its business in a given country clean and clear protocols should be applied. In cases where bribery takes place then the UN global compact is likely to terminate the move because it goes against the tenth principal. The multinational companies should also check on the wage standards of the laborers and that there should be no exploitation of some state workers at the expense of others. The UN initiative will also check on the level of health of the production activities of the company. The move is to ensure that the principles of an environment are well catered for, and none is being violated. In this issue, several companies such as those related to mining have been barred from operating their businesses in some countries because of the failure to conduct impact research before the company is operational. Therefore, for the UN global compact initiative they have a greater deal of say on what grounds should a multinational establish its new business when it so wish (Cornejo, 2009). The human rights are so many and encompass a wide range of social life. Therefore, for a multinational to full fill all of them then various considerations along the company’s objectives should come into place. For the right to life, the business must take the obligation of producing safe goods and services that do not compromise the life of individuals using them.
For this reason some companies that are working seven days a week without closure to alternate workers. For example for the Adventists and Protestants they should be scheduled in a manner that it does not compromise one's religion. The companies are not able to meet all of them as they come with various dynamics that is not readily accepted by the companies. According to the UN global compact, a business should recognize and respect people’s rights (Global Compact, 2010). So for the companies they play around with their rules and legislations in the name of catering to them but in a real sense some of them are breached.
All the businesses that tend to thrive must check on their environment. Before they invest in any country or open a branch in the same country, they need to survey several aspects that will impact both negatively or positively to their business. The company should look at consumer perspectives so that they produce what will be useful in the market. Develop cost- benefits analysis according to the scope of the company (United Nations, 2007). Supply chains, engagement plans, accounting, auditing, reporting and offering ethics training should also take place. In this manner, companies will be having higher chances of knowledge on where and how they should deliver their goods and services to the people in line with their business objectives.
The supply chains in a company determine how business goes on for a company. To start any supply chain it looks at the selection of where the business will thrive and various aspects should come out openly. The company’s affordability to pay for all the services rendered in terms of labor. Thus, any company should be responsible for its supply chain and breach according to the UN goals compact should take its course. Therefore, a company needs to be responsible and should be held accountable for its supply chains. The responsibility should be there because for any company to operate it needs to fulfill all the obligations in place for its set up. Thus, before they opt to start that must have looked at the best supply chains available and that they can afford and to an extent enter into a legal agreement with them. So whenever a wrong occurs resulting from the supply chain, then the company should take full responsibilities.
A business supply chain can face various challenges that cannot be realized by a company but through the consumer of its products and services (Williams, 2014). When engaging supply chains, some of them may go through dubious means in order to work with you. After engagement that is the time complaints arise from those interacting with those in the supply chains. To address these concerns prior to engaging any chain publish all your policies related to human trafficking and slavery clearly to them. Take due diligence with the potential chains, investigate their recruitment practices and engage them to be corporation whenever you wish them clarify you something.
Whenever a business makes steps, it undergoes various transformations. Some have been through dilemmas. Thus, business difficulties make the involved company think between a rock and a hard place before passing out rules that regulate their business and do not go against human rights. In line with freedom of movement, there have been concerns about the working conditions of migrant workers. In this case, the company should provide a right to appropriate working conditions, freedom from forced labor and right to migrant workers. Here the companies have been accused of exploitation, poor working conditions and infringement of their freedom by holding back their id or passports (Gonzalez-Perez & Leonard, 2015).Some pay recruitment fee and can end up working without pay. The approach to be taken from where she works for was to identify all the agencies that recruit them and audit them and reimbursement done for all the fees they paid. Code of Ethics was revised, grievance procedures increased and handling of id and passports done in a better manner.
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