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Global Compact Leaders Endorse New Architecture for Business Engagement

Global Compact20 September 2013: At the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit 2013, held on the theme 'Architects of a Better World,' over 1,000 corporate executives endorsed a new architecture for business engagement aimed at scaling up corporate actions to advance UN goals.

The architecture formalizes three new issue platforms for business support on education, agriculture and peace, which complement existing platforms on children's rights, women's empowerment, climate and energy, water and anti-corruption.

During the Leaders Summit on 19-20 September 2013, in New York, US, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stressed the need for all actors to work together to pursue a sustainable path that links economic growth, social justice and environmental stewardship, warning that “we cannot accept a rising tide that floats only some boats and leaves many to drown.”

UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson, addressing a Summit event on 'Corporate Water Stewardship and the Post-2015 Development Agenda,' reiterated the call for a dedicated goal encompassing universal access to safe drinking water. He explained that an increasing number of companies are embracing the holistic concept of corporate water stewardship, and said the business sector can play a major role on water-related issues by: setting and complying with high water and sanitation standards; and supporting action by the UN system and its partners.

Also launched at the Summit was a new Business Partnership Hub to match businesses with potential partners to facilitate collective action in support of UN goals. In addition, during a UN Private Sector Forum on Africa chaired by the UN Secretary-General, businesses announced 25 material commitments to progress in Africa.

The UN Global Compact, set up in 2000, is the world's largest corporate sustainability initiative, with the participation of 8,000 companies and 4,000 civil society organizations from 145 countries seeking to link business engagement with global priorities, such as poverty and disease eradication, climate change mitigation, women's empowerment, and children's and labor rights. [Leaders Summit Website] [Global Compact Website with Links to Press Releases from the Summit] [Business Partnership Hub] [UN Press Release] [Statement of the UN Deputy Secretary-General] [Publication: Global Corporate Sustainability Report 2013]