Background on Business and Peace
All UN Global Compact participants are expected to respect, support and implement the Ten Principles wherever they do business. But for companies operating in “high-risk”, “weak”, “conflict” and “post-conflict” areas, there exists special challenges.
Failure to implement responsible business practices opens companies up to additional risks and unexpected costs, and can exacerbate tensions and instability in a society. Done right though, responsible business can make meaningful contributions to lasting peace, development and prosperity while ensuring long-term business success.
Supporting Responsible Business Practices Everywhere
Recognizing that high-risk areas of the world pose a number of unique dilemmas, the UN Global Compact has advanced work in this area for over a decade. Beginning
with the first multi-stakeholder dialogue in 2001 on “The Role of the Private Sector in Zones of Conflict”, the UN Global Compact, together with companies, civil society organizations, investors and the UN, have developed a range of guidance to support companies and enhance positive business contributions to development and peace.
Investors Driving Change
Investors too are interested in understanding how companies are managing risks and opportunities in conflict-affected and high-risk areas. In 2010, the UN Global Compact and Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) published Guidance on Responsible Business in Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas: A Resource for Companies and Investors to assist companies and investors in implementing responsible business practices in the most challenging operating environments. Building on this key resource, the UN Global Compact and PRI launched a pilot project to test the practical value of the Guidance and translate it into practical company-investor dialogue, decision-making and operations in conflict-affected and high-risk areas.
Supporting Peace at the Local Level
Peace is anchored in the local context. Therefore, a company’s policies, projects and initiatives need to be developed together with local stakeholders. Recognizing that greater impact is achieved in collaboration with other stakeholders, the UN Global Compact provides companies with an opportunity to advance collective action and partnerships in support of peace at the country-level. Global Compact Local Networks in 87 countries provide a platform for more in-depth engagement.
Join Business for Peace
Business cannot thrive in societies that fail. All stakeholders in society – including business – have a critical role to play. Learn how your company can take action by joining the UN Global Compact’s leadership platform, Business for Peace.