A Roundtable Discussion on the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC)


Event Name : Recent Events

Date : 23 September, 2008- ,

Description :

The Bangladesh Enterprise Institute (BEI) in conjunction with the CSR Center organized a roundtable discussion on the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) at the BEI Conference Room on September 23, 2008. The discussion was attended by leading business houses in Bangladesh, business chambers and associations, development agencies, academics and think tanks.

Mr. Farooq Sobhan, President, Bangladesh Enterprise Institute (BEI) chaired the discussion; Ms. Lopa Rahman, Project Director, made a presentation on the UNGC’s aims and objectives and provided a brief update on the current status of the Global Compact, detailing its growth in terms of the number of companies, SMEs, and associations who have joined this initiative. Ms. Shahamin Zaman, CEO, CSR Center made a presentation on the CSR Center’s objectives and activities and how it can facilitate the different organizations’ adherence to the principles of the Global Compact. The CSR Center was launched in September 2007 with private sector partnership to facilitate, expand and encourage CSR practices in Bangladesh.

In his opening remarks, Mr. Sobhan stressed the need for encouraging more organizations in Bangladesh to join the UNGC and also explained BEI’s role as the focal point of the Local Network in Bangladesh.  He called for more active participation with the chambers, SMEs and business houses to share and exchange ideas and information regarding CSR principles and practices. Participants at the discussion raised the need to generate more training, capacity building and awareness about CSR, highlighting the differences between corporate responsibility and corporate philanthropy. They also felt that CSR practices should be adopted in line with the local context for Bangladesh. Ms. Selima Ahmed, President, Bangladesh Women Chamber of Commerce and Industries, reflected that entrepreneurs in Bangladesh need to adopt CSR practices if they are to compete in the global market. Mr. Sobhan also announced that BEI would be launching a formal network in Bangladesh in February next year with participation from the UN Global Compact’s office in New York.

The idea for the Global Compact was drafted by then U.N Secretary General Kofi Annan in 1999, before it was formally launched at the U.N headquarters in New York in July 2000. It aims to bring together private sector companies around the world with U.N organizations, international labour and NGOs and civil society. The Global Compact encourages businesses worldwide to adopt sustainable and socially responsible practices that incorporate ten principles in the areas of human rights, labour standards, the environment and anti-corruption.

For further information, please contact Lopa Rahman, Project Director or Asif Ayub, Research Associate at BEI.

Posted Date : 3 March, 2012