Business signatories to the UN Global Compact (UNGC) such as Rio Tinto, KPMG and Pacific Hydro joined UN Director (DPI), Eric Falt and CEO of World Vision, the Rev Tim Costello in endorsing business and industry playing a more inclusive role when it comes to finding solutions for some of the key challenges of our time, at a forum in Melbourne last week.
Speaking at the UN Global Compact forum in Melbourne, held to coincide with the 63rd annual UN NGO/DPI Conference, Mr Tukaki, Australia’s UNGC Network Representative and former CEO of Drake International said that business has the ability to find unique solutions to complex problems, hence the ability to translate these into issues around climate change, human rights, governance and anti-corruption.
“It is true that business is moving to adapt to a changing environment because, in part, we are being driven by consumer behaviour. But, we are also being driven because of own personal belief systems, watching what is happening around us and listening to conversations in our own professional and social networks. The benefit of the UNGC is then taking those conversations and translating them into action.”
Eric Falt, UN Director(DPI), and the Reverend Tim Costello, CEO, World Vision Australia emphasised the important role of business in addressing international development issues such as global health and poverty, with the recognition that business has the ability to galvanise action. For this reason one of the first activities of the UNGC Australian Network is to establish a Business and Human Rights Working Group.
According to Rosemary Sainty, Head, Secretariat of the UNGC Australian Network the group will provide regular briefings to members.
“The Business and Human Rights Working Group will draw on lessons learned and existing expertise from within the Australian business community and provide regular briefings on international and national issues.”