Business & UN

WCF supports youth initiatives at UN summit

  • 6 August 2008

ICC’s World Chambers Federation (WCF) lent its strong support to the Junior Chamber International’s involvement with the UN Global Compact at JCI’s annual summit here on 28 and 29 July.

The meeting, attended by delegates from every continent,  was designed to help tomorrow’s business leaders address a number of challenges, including learning about corporate social responsibility (CSR) and ways to promote prosperity worldwide through these initiatives.

Before the opening of the meeting, JCI Chairman Takashi Yokota said: “Through your wholehearted commitment, participation, and cooperation, this summit will serve as a valuable opportunity for all of you to further polish yourselves as youthful leaders, especially in relation to corporate social responsibility and the UN Global Compact.”

ICC is a founding partner and ICC’s Secretary General is a board member of the UN Global Compact, a framework for businesses that are committed to aligning their operations and strategies with 10 universally accepted principles in the areas of  human rights, labour, the environment and anti-corruption.

Delegates learned how JCI and the Global Compact are working together locally and globally. During the summit, JCI highlighted its work to the UN Global Compact team and described workshops on corporate social responsibility held at JCI Area Conferences.

WCF Director Anthony Parkes showcased ICC’s extensive work in CSR through its Commission on Business in Society, noting ICC’s “Nine steps to corporate responsibility,” a practical tool for business.

To support further work between chambers and JCI, Mr Parkes also unveiled initial results from a project to create a global map of all the joint partnerships between JCI chapters and chambers of commerce or ICC’s national committees. WCF sent a letter to 11,000 chambers, asking them to describe joint projects with JCI.

One of the projects included in the map is an evolving partnership between JCI Argentina and the Argentina Chamber of Commerce, begun thanks to recent introductions made by WCF. JCI and the Argentine chamber have developed a detailed plan of joint activities, including the stipulation that JCI members may join the chamber’s CSR committee.

Louise Kantrow, ICC’s Permanent Representative to the UN, also spoke to delegates on the role of non-governmental organizations working with the UN. ICC has held special consultative status with the UN since 1946.

The summit also offered JCI members a unique opportunity for professional learning and expanding their networks.

JCI and ICC WCF have been partners since 1984. Under their agreement, both organizations are committed to promote and develop partnerships for JCI and WCF at their respective World Congresses and competitions. ICC WCF also works extensively to foster local partnerships between chambers and JCI chapters.