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Letter from the Global Compact

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By: Georg Kell, UN Global Compact

Dear Focal Point,

Welcome to the 18th issue of the UN-Business Focal Point newsletter!

First and foremost, I would like to thank all of you for your extremely valuable contributions to the Corporate Sustainability Forum which took place on the sidelines of the Rio+20 discussions. We were extremely pleased with both the high quality of the sessions as well as the solid commitment to sustainable development among the business community. Over 200 new voluntary private sector commitments were made covering areas ranging from low- or no-carbon footprints to re-forestation, business plans for subsistence farmers and renewal of clean, fresh water sources. Without your help and your commitment, we never could have achieved this.

I would also like to announce that the annual UN Private Sector Focal Points Meeting will be taking place in New York, with a date to be confirmed in March/April 2013. The meeting convenes over 120 representatives from UN agencies, private sector companies and NGOs to enhance communication, strengthen learning, advance coordination and improve collaboration among UN staff working with the private sector. A save-the-date message will follow shortly. Furthermore, under the direction of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the UN Global Compact Leader’s Summit is set to follow in September 2013, also in New York.

Moreover, in recent months, the UN-Business partnership portal (business.un.org) has had success connecting partnership needs from across the UN system, with private sector offers. Most significantly, a large law firm has reached agreement with several UN agencies, funds and programmes on the provision of pro-bono legal services. Private sector focal points interested in exploring a partnerships with this law firm are encouraged to contact Edward Mackle to discuss the opportunity further.

In this issue of the UN-Business Focal Point newsletter, you will find the usual array of articles focusing on new and existing partnership initiatives, for example, a partnership between UNICEF and Sansiri to promote policy change in Thailand regarding salt iodization; tools and resources which may be interesting to you, including a “Partnership Drivers” interview series from UN DESA; as well as articles on a number of themes relevant to your work, including a special thematic focus section on the successes of Rio+20.

On behalf of the UN Global Compact Office, I thank you for taking the time to contribute articles to this issue. It is always interesting to keep abreast of your work and we encourage you to contact us with your new partnerships, tools, events and ideas. We hope you enjoy this issue!

Best wishes,

Georg