Side-event: Introductory remarks by Ambassador Wittig on Global Compact

Dec 14, 2012

(Introductory remarks by Ambassador Wittig during a Global Compact Board Meeting in his function as Chair of Global Compact Donor Group)

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Global Compact is a success story – I am happy to say that the worldwide growth of the initiative is reflected in a thriving German Local Network with currently almost 200 corporate participants - and the number is steadily rising. Germany as Chair of the Donor Group and Switzerland as Chair of the Group of Friends of the Global Compact are pleased to host this luncheon. The Rio+20 Conference earlier this year gave impressive evidence of the growing importance of the collaboration of the UN and its member states on the one hand and the private sector- with significant support of the Brazilian government- on the other. Therefore we are pleased that Ambassador Dunlop joined as host of this luncheon today. Rio+20 has indeed initiated the processes to develop a comprehensive UN development agenda post-2015. Business has a critical role to play in this process, as recognised in the Outcome Document of the conference. In this respect, we very much welcome and also support the plans of the Global Compact to address this topic with the private sector at the “UN Global Compact Leaders Summit” to be held during the 68th UN General Assembly in September 2013

  We are looking forward to hear the conclusions of the Board Meeting. Let me say from the Donor’s perspective that we are pleased to see that Global Compact under the able direction of Georg Kell is growing. It must grow to scale if it is to effectively induce and support collective action in support of the global sustainability agenda – at the same time, however, in order to keep its momentum, a clear focus on the Global Compact’s mandate must be preserved, i.e. "to advance United Nations values and responsible business practices within the United Nations system and among the global business community", and I quote from last GA resolution on partnerships.

  If the Global Compact is to grow, we need all available support, political as well as financial. Government donors agreed at their last meeting, that greater private sector contributions will be needed in order to fund the growth envisaged.

  In this context, I would like to strongly support the further strengthening of the Global Compact local networks and a closer involvement of the local networks in the governance structure of the Global Compact. It is at the local level that the transformative partnerships promoted by the Global Compact have to stand the test!

  Germany supported not only the Global Compact from the start, but also the wider partnership agenda of the UN. Your <the SG's> announcement earlier this year to strengthen and improve the UN's capacity and performance in entering partnerships, therefore is most timely and welcome as an important complement to the successful work of the Global Compact.  We are delighted to have you <the SG> with us today. You have made the promotion of partnerships one of your flagships and given it a new strategic dimension. With a view to the post 2015-agenda it is clear that we need multi-stakeholder initiatives to support our common endavour. Germany has and will continue to support your initiatives. And let me assure you that the donor governments feel that the Global Compact Office has valuable experience and knowledge relevant to the development of the partnership agenda and that the donors will be happy to join the discussion on the development of this agenda.

  Let me conclude by thanking you, the Board members, for your continued support which gives the strategic development of the initiative direction and substance. Special thanks to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon for his guidance and inspiration as Chair of the Board! And last but not least to the Vice-Chair, Sir Mark Moody-Stuart, who is at the heart of all of these efforts.  Thank you for your attention.

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