UN volunteers programme teams up with BASF to help developing countries
The United Nations Volunteers programme (UNV) today announced the launch of a cooperation agreement with BASF, one of the world's leading chemical companies, to promote the services of corporate volunteers in developing countries.
The first volunteer under the new arrangement has taken up an assignment to support partnerships between the UN system and the private sector in Panama, according to UNV. "The Global Compact Development Project is a partnership project itself intending to create partnership projects," said UN Volunteer Andreas Bluethner, a lawyer specializing in globalization issues for BASF's Department of International Economic Affairs.
Under provisions of the UNV-BASF agreement, the company pays the salary of its employees during the volunteer mission, while UNV covers administrative costs related to recruitment and support. The agency has similar volunteer arrangements with other private sector companies.
The project aims to prepare UN country teams and the local business community for cooperation within the framework of the Global Compact - an initiative pioneered by Secretary-General Kofi Annan which calls on business leaders to help build the social and environmental pillars required to make globalization work for all the world's people.
"As a company committed to sustainable development and a dedicated founding member of the United Nations Secretary-General's Global Compact we are convinced that this partnership is a significant contribution to promote the aims of the Compact," said Matthias Hensel, Senior Vice President and Chair of BASF's International Steering Committee on Sustainable Development.
In Panama, Mr. Bluethner and Berangere Magarinos from the UN Staff College in Turin, Italy, are working with UN agencies to examine the principles underlying the Global Compact. They will also meet business representatives in charge of social responsibility programmes and members of chambers of commerce to create joint programmes to implement the initiative.
Following their work in Panama, Mr. Bluethner and Ms. Magarinos will carry out four-week pilot testing missions to Ghana in July and Thailand in August.