Saturday, May 12, 2007

UN Global Compact Singapore Network Launch

Originally written for the Toddycats Project Manager Moblog, published on 5 October 2005. Transfered here due to a revamping of the Moblog.

September 16, 2005 (Friday) saw the launch of the United Nations Singapore Compact, which is essentially the Singapore network or branch of the UN Global Compact (UNGC) which launched in Singapore in January 2005. The UN Global Compact is an initiative first proposed by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to promote corporate citizenship in the global economy. This marks an important establishment of a cross-sector initiative that seeks to encourage voluntary membership amongst the world’s business sector to adhere to the 10 universal principles in human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption declarations that have been endorsed by the United Nations and specified by the UNGC committee.

UNGC Brochures

The local champion of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is Ms Claire Chiang, the president of the Singapore Compact network. She is passionate in emphasizing the importance of local companies to join the network, not only because CSR and corporate governance is important in today’s local economy but also that it makes business sense. It is noted during the launch that consumers are now increasingly conscious about their consumption choices and would support companies who are known or seen to practice CSR.

Ms Claire Chiang

During this launch, ten pioneering companies, consisting of banks and oil companies and including Ms Chiang’s Banyan Tree resorts, signed to join the UNGC Singapore Network and in doing so, promises to publish in their annual reports ways of which they are making changes in their business operations to support the 10 principles.

The 10 signatories and witnesses at the back

The launch was attended not only by the representative from the business community in Singapore, but also from NGOs and representatives from the United Nations, Mr Andrew Toh, Assistant Secretary-General and Dr Uddesh Kohli who shared the UNGC India network’s experience. Minister from the Prime Minister’s Office, Mr Lim Swee Say also graced the event as the guest of honor.

Panel Discussion Q&A
(l-r)Mr Jean-Louis Champseix (STMicroelectronics Director of Asia Pacific HR), Mr Andrew Toh (UN Asst Sec-Gen), Mr Thomas Thomas (Chair of Panel and Hon Gen of Singapore Compact), Dr Uddesh Kohli (Senior Advisor, UNGC India)

The committee hopes that this trend towards CSR will snowball into a prevalent attitude in Singapore and the world. CSR could truly be the first step towards responsible corporate practices. Perhaps, now we can have more effective communication in effecting change with the companies that have signed on with the UNGC. Who knows, soon we may have more companies offering refill packs for shampoos and bathing foams!

More photos of the event

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