Business & UN

Secretary General attends Global Compact in New York; addresses JCI in Geneva

  • 30 July 2009

Less than one month after taking office, ICC Secretary General Jean Rozwadowski visited New York where he participated in a UN Global Compact board meeting and met with ICC’s US national committee before returning to Europe to speak at the Junior Chamber International (JCI) Leadership Summit in Geneva.

“The Global Compact Anti-Corruption Working Group is quite active and has an excellent working relationship with ICC,” Mr Rozwadowski said. “As ICC was the co-sponsor of a recent CEO letter addressed to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in support of strengthening the UN Convention Against Corruption, ICC looks forward to continuing this productive relationship.”

The Global Compact is a UN initiative that encourages companies from around the world to ensure that their operations conform with 10 principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment, and anti-corruption. Because of its broad geographic reach and substantive capacity, ICC is recognized as the “business partner” of choice at the UN and is consistently selected as the business focal point.

In New York the Secretary General presented the Global Compact board members with the ICC book “Fighting Corruption,” which sets forth concrete recommendations on how to counter corruption in business transactions.

ICC is working with the Global Compact’s Anti-Corruption Working Group in preparation for the third conference on the United Nations Convention Against Corruption in Doha this November. ICC hopes the conference will establish a thorough monitoring mechanism, extend technical assistance to countries with weak institutions and budgetary constraints, and agree to the application of due process in asset recovery operations. The Convention came into force in 2005 and had been ratified by 136 countries as of 1 July.

Mr Rozwadowski also met with ICC’s UN partners in the Financing for Development Office, whose Business Sector Steering Committee is chaired by ICC to coordinate private sector contributions to UN development process. The Secretary General met with officials from the Global Alliance for Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) and Development, where ICC and its Business Action to Support the Information Society initiative works with governments and other stakeholders to help developing countries attract investment to spread the use of ICT’s and promote economic growth.

In his first visit to an ICC national chapter, Mr Rozwadowski met with Peter Robinson, President and CEO of the United States Council for International Business (USCIB). The discussion with Mr Robinson and later with key USCIB staff centered on increased collaboration and communication between the USCIB and ICC headquarters.

“We at USCIB look forward to working closely with Mr Rozwadowski as we help bring ICC into its tenth decade,” Mr Robinson said. “American business values its active participation in ICC and the privileged access the world business organization affords to major intergovernmental and regulatory institutions.”

In October, USCIB will host a gala dinner in New York to mark ICC’s 90th anniversary year.

While in New York, the Secretary General also saw ICC Vice Chairman Rajat Kumar Gupta, Senior Partner Emeritus McKinsey & Company, who will become ICC Chairman on 1 July 2010.

Immediately after returning from New York, Mr Rozwadowski went to Geneva to speak at the Junior Chamber International Leadership Summit at the United Nations, whose theme this year is climate change. He recalled the long relationship between JCI, ICC and the chamber community dating back to 1918.

In Geneva Mr Rozwadowski signed the “Seal the Deal” UN petition on behalf of ICC. The campaign, strongly supported by the UN Secretary General, aims to mobilize political, business, and civic leaders to urge governments to agree on a balanced and effective climate change agreement in Copenhagen in December.

“Meeting the great challenges of our time – reducing world poverty, respecting human rights, resolving the water, food and energy crises, and of course reversing the frightening trend on climate change – will depend largely on our vision and leadership,” Mr Rozwadowski said.

“Your idealism, commitment, and passion can truly make this a better world. I know that ICC can count on you, as tomorrow’s business leaders, to continue your passion and work at our side,” he told the young delegates.