UNGC Iraq network first general meeting and elections
The First General Meeting of United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) Iraq Network was held in mid-December 2011 in Baghdad, at the Council of Ministers Secretariat (COMSEC), to agree on the action plan for the Iraq Network.
About 60 participants attended, representing private companies and NGOs from all over Iraq including Basra, Anbar, Ninewa, Najaf, Babylon, Diyala, Thi-Qar, Dahuk and Erbil, with representatives of the government, UNDP, the international community and the media.
The meeting provided the opportunity for the Iraq Local Network members to present their companies, explain why they joined the Global Compact and discuss key items of the action plan suggestions and recommendations were shared by companies and NGOs alike about promotion of Corporate Social Responsibility. The meeting defined the governance structure of the Iraq Network through elections to appoint the Network Representatives (Mr. Hameed Hilli was re-confirmed by unanimous vote) as well as a multi-stakeholder Steering Committee to guide and implement the activities of the LN, composed by four companies, two NGOs, one business association, one academia representative – in addition to the Representative and the two focal points of government and UNDP in the Secretariat.
In consideration of gender and geographical factors, the elections led to a Committee formed by 11 members, inclusive of 30% women and representatives from centre (companies and NGOs in Baghdad and Babylon), north (company in Erbil), south (business union in Basrah) and a member from academia who also represents the Iraq business council abroad. The action plan was approved as a basis for the work of the Steering Committee in 2012.
Key areas identified by members as relevant for the work of Iraq Network include: assessment of legislative and regulatory framework to identify gaps and obstacles to responsible business, in particular on corruption, promotion of human rights and women empowerment within business practices, raising awareness on the ethical responsibility of businesses; building capacity for the civil society and the media to monitor the private sector’s conduct, establishing dialogue and partnerships with the government and the local authorities to come up with public policies in support of responsible business.
Another topic discussed was the need to strengthen communication and awareness rising, welcoming initiatives taken by the Secretariat and supported by volunteering member companies to produce brochures, newsletters and a dedicated website to UNGC Iraq Network - accessible at www.ungc-iraq.org.