UN agency hails move by leading companies in Ghana to endorse Global Compact
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) today welcomed the signing of the Global Compact initiative - which aims to involve businesses in upgrading environmental, labour and human rights conditions - by five of Ghana's leading companies and several other organizations.
Alfred Sallia Fawundu, UNDP Resident Representative and UN Resident Coordinator in Ghana, called the signing a "ground-breaking" initiative for pursuing strategic partnerships and creating an enabling environment for all partners to promote business growth.
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan launched the Compact in 1999, challenging businesses and other groups to embrace its nine principles upholding universal human rights, labour rights and environmental standards to help build a social and environmental framework to sustain the new global economy.
At the recent signing ceremony in Accra, Ghana's Vice President, Alhaji Aliu Mahama, exhorted other businesses to pursue their enlightened self-interest by signing the Compact, since social responsibility was emerging as a major criterion in investment and purchasing decisions.
"We live in a globalized world, and though the anti-globalization movement may seem far away, it symbolizes the potential danger for companies and other partners ignoring social responsibilities," he said.
Ashanti Goldfields, whose CEO, Sam Jonah, is a member of the Global Compact Advisory Council, was among those companies joining the initiative. Others included Barclays Bank Ghana, Domod Aluminium, Interplast, and Standard Chartered Bank Ghana.
Three business groups joined, including the Association of Ghana Industries, Ghana Chamber of Mines, and the Private Enterprise Foundation. The Trades Union Congress and the Corporate Social Responsibility Movement, a civil society group, also signed on.