UN Global Compact launched in Iraq
In a historic event, the United Nations Development Programme and the Iraqi Council of Ministers Secretariat launched today the UN Global Compact in Iraq, The Global Compact is a world-wide initiative to enhance the role of the private sector and promote responsible business practices through sustainable partnerships and commitments to human rights, labour standards, environmental sustainability and transparency in business operations.
"Today's event promoting Corporate Social Responsibility in the Iraqi private sector is yet another step that puts Iraq and its private sector on the global business agenda as a key partner in the region and around the world" said Christine McNab, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General in Iraq/ Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq.
Corporate Social Responsibility is increasingly recognized worldwide as a factor for positive change in a country, providing the private sector with a significant role in promoting economic and social development. The UN Global Compact provides a framework to put these actions into practice, with a global mechanism applied locally through country Local Networks.
"Such an important initiative in partnership with the private sector is key to supporting the Government's efforts to build a modern and democratic country" said Mr. Hamid Khalaf Ahmed (Chief of Staff of the Prime Minister's Office) Representing the Prime Minister of Iraq Mr. Nouri Al-Maliki.
The event, attended by representatives of the Government, local and international companies, civil society representatives, donors and the United Nations in Iraq, provided a platform to exchange knowledge on Corporate Social Responsibility principles, such as the ones defined by the UN Global Compact, and to discuss benefits and implementation within the Iraqi economic environment, while exploring opportunities for the private sector to be best engaged in such an initiative.
"The Government of Iraq supports this initiative as a mechanism to implement the global principles tailored to the Iraqi context in a time when economic reform is gaining momentum and the role of the private sector is more important than ever" said Dr. Ali Al-Alak, Secretary General of the Council of Ministers Secretariat (COMSEC).
The event featured the signing of an Memorandum of Understanding by the current members in Iraq, represented by Mr. Hameed Hilli, Chairman of the Iraq Centre for Business Community Development and nominated Representative of the Iraq Global Compact Network, and the United Nations Global Compact office in New York. The memorandum provides for the formal establishment of the Local Network of the Global Compact in Iraq.
"It is the duty of the private sector to participate in a country’s economic and social development, in partnership with the government. We should all work as one team to identify appropriate practices in compliance with the principles of the UN Global Compact. Through the Iraq Local Network I hope we will be able to provide an example that shows that Iraq is capable of great accomplishments" said Mr. Hameed Hilli.
Over 30 companies, civil society organizations and multinational enterprises operating in Iraq formally joined the Global Compact initiative over the past months, underscoring the significant increase in awareness and engagement of Iraqi and global business communities.
Juliette Touma, UNDP Iraq, +962-79-826-34-37 or juliette.touma@undp