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UN-Business Focal Point Newsletter Issue 13 (May 2010)

The Information Bulletin for UN Private Sector Focal Points.

Welcome to the 13th issue of the UN-Business Focal Point newsletter – the first housed on business.un.org .

From the Global Compact

Letter From the Global Compact
By: Georg Kell, UN Global Compact Office
I am pleased to present to you the 13th issue of the UN-Business Focal Point newsletter. As you may have noticed, the newsletter is now in an updated format and is almost fully integrated with the new UN-Business website (business.un.org), thus providing a one-stop shop for information on UN partnerships with the private sector.

New Partnership Projects

The Global Fund and Partners are “United Against Malaria”
By: Celia Deitz, The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is currently engaged in an exciting and innovative partnership that brings together high-profile figures from the world of sports, politics, non-governmental organizations, global health, and business in the run up to the World Cup in South Africa this summer.

MTS and UNDP Provide Mobile Medicine in Rural Ukraine
By: Yuliya Shcherbinina, UN in Ukraine
Back in 2009, the UNDP office in Belarus launched a pilot telemedicine project which helped pave the road for the engagement of the private sector in telemedical development; an area usually reserved to international agencies and government bodies. Now, a new telemedicine project based on this pilot model has been launched in Ukraine and is making some waves.

The Proteus Partnership: Making Biodiversity and Ecosystem Data Available to All
By: Garrette Clark, UNEP
In 2003, the United Nations Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) initiated the Proteus Partnership between oil and gas, mining and technology companies with the goal of making biodiversity and ecosystem information available to support decision-making.

Every Drop Matters: UNDP and Coca-Cola Aim to Increase Access to Safe Drinking Water
Water is a source of life and a natural resource that sustains our environment and supports livelihoods – but it is also a source of risk and vulnerability. At least 1.2 billion people currently lack access to safe drinking water and water resources are becoming scarce day by day. Recognizing the significant challenges related to water, both The Coca-Cola Company (TCCC) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have committed to identifying and supporting solutions to these challenges.

“I Can Manage My Money”
By: Deniz Ozturk, UNDP Turkey
A new partnership in Turkey called the “I Can Manage My Money” aims to reach 60 thousand young people within the first year to help develop financial awareness among young people, including resource utilization and budget and debt management.

Transforming the Turkish Textile Sector: Integrating SMEs into Value Chains
By: Deniz Ozturk, UNDP Turkey
Aiming to transform the Turkish textile sector into a competitive industry, a new UN Joint Programme (UNJP) will enhance the international competitiveness of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the textile and clothing sector of Turkey.

Themes and Debate

UN Private Sector Focal Points Meet, Discuss Advancing Business Partnerships
On 13 – 14 April 2010, over 100 representatives of UN Agencies, Funds and Programmes gathered for the United Nations System Private Sector Focal Points Meeting at the International Labour Organization in Geneva. The meeting offered participants the opportunity to share their experiences in partnering with business, with the overall objective being to improve coordination and collaboration.

Role Playing for Developing Partnership Skills: The Global Fund Simulates Discussions with the Private Sector
By: Ximena Escobar de Nogales, The Global Fund
Last December, the Latin America and Caribbean Team of The Global Fund prepared and ran a role-playing simulation exercise on private sector engagement. The exercise took place in Asunción, Paraguay during a regional meeting of Country Coordinating Mechanisms from South America.

The UN Global Compact in Armenia – A Critical Review
By: Sevak Amalyan, UNDP Armenia
While the story of the UN Global Compact (UNGC) in Armenia may look quite similar to those of many other countries, it has its own fascinating features and history which may be interesting and even useful for those who are attempting to localize global ideas.

Taking Stock of the Real Contribution of Enterprises to HIV Programs
By: Elvira Goetz, ILO
Analyses of public-private sector partnerships on HIV often overlook the important financial and in-kind contributions companies make in prevention and care for their own workers. Well-targeted programs can contribute significantly to reducing HIV transmission and increase access to care and treatment services for large segments of the community. The International Labour Organization (ILO) has developed a survey to better quantify the actual contribution of the private sector to HIV programs.

UNAIDS Holds Workshop on Role of Private Sector in AIDS Response
By: Marie Engel, UNAIDS
A strategic combination of private sector know-how and technologies with public sector expertise and funding could lead to improved health and a more efficient AIDS response in West and Central Africa. This was the message from a one day workshop held in Ghana focusing on the role of the private sector in Global Fund processes that brought together 60 companies, 10 national business coalitions tackling HIV and employers federations, as well as trade unions and development partners from all over West and Central Africa.

Moldovan Business Community Pursuing Sustainable Development and Poverty Reduction through Education and CSR
By: Zuzana Polackova, UNDP
Moldova these days can be characterized by its battle between the shadows of the past, represented by the long presence of pro-communist government, and hopes for the future brought by the results of the last parliamentary election held in June 2009 when a pro-European government was elected. Despite influences and innovative trends coming from abroad, which are being slowly integrated into the fabric of the country, Moldova is still carrying a heritage of the old days on its shoulders and the business sector is at the crossroads.

CEO Water Mandate Convenes Fifth Working Conference
The UN Global Compact’s CEO Water Mandate convened its fifth working conference on 14 – 16 April 2010 in New York City — an event that drew more than 75 senior representatives from business and finance, civil society, the public sector, the United Nations, and other interests.

Finance for SMEs to Trade Their Way out of Recession
By: Roger Megelas, International Trade Centre
A dynamic private sector, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), is the most important vehicle for mobilizing savings and investment, creating meaningful jobs, meeting consumer demand, generating exports and contributing to government tax revenues. In the current global financial and economic crisis, SMEs can make a major contribution to recovery by helping developing countries trade their way out of recession.

Investors Representing US$13 Trillion Call on U.S. and Other Countries to Move Quickly to Adopt Strong Climate Change Policies
Climate change is an issue that requires close cooperation between the public and private sectors. In recognition of this need, and on the heels of the international climate treaty talks in Copenhagen, the world’s largest investors released a statement calling on the U.S. and other governments to move quickly to adopt strong national climate policies that will spur low-carbon investments to reduce emissions causing climate change.

Partnerships in Northeast Asia: The First China-Japan-Korea Global Compact Roundtable Conference in Seoul
By: Chulki Ju, UN Global Compact Korea Network
On 13 November 2009, the first China-Japan-Korea UN Global Compact Roundtable Conference was held in partnership between the China, Japan and Korea Global Compact Networks. To gather a collective voice for further advancement of corporate responsibility in the region, the networks of the three neighboring countries actively worked together to initiate this event…

Kilimanjaro Expedition Highlights Global Clean-Water Crisis
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is responsible for 40 million displaced people around the world, half of which do not have adequate access to clean water. In this context, the United Nations Foundation has teamed up with HP, Intel, Procter & Gamble’s PUR, Microsoft’s Windows 7 and First Ascent by Eddie Bauer for Summit on the Summit to shine a light on the global clean-water crisis.

Are Products Safe? If Yes, the Market is Open…
By: Gerardo Patacconi, UNIDO
“Less developed businesses” find new market opportunities as UNIDO implements a supplier development and compliance program with the METRO Group.

Meet a Focal Point

Meet a UN Private Sector Focal Point: Elvira Goetz, International Labour Organisation
In this issue of the UN-Business Focal Point newsletter, the editor spoke to Ms. Elvira Goetz, Focal Point for Public-Private Partnerships within the Department of Partnerships and Development Cooperation at the International Labour Organization (ILO).

Tools and Resources

New UN-Business Guidelines Issued
In November 2009, the Secretary-General signed and issued the revised Guidelines on Cooperation between the United Nations and the Business Sector.

New UN-Business Website Brokers Partnerships and Supports UN Development Mission
UN introduces business.un.org, a one-stop gateway to broker UN-business partnerships, facilitate donations and highlight success stories
Business.un.org, the new UN-business partnership gateway, was launched at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting held in Davos, Switzerland. The website provides a single entry point to match the capacities and resources of the private sector with the needs of the UN System, be it for humanitarian relief, poverty reduction, or the fight against global health challenges.

The Integrated Biodiversity Assessment Tool
By: Garrette Clark, UNEP
Whether screening projects for investment, planning new operations or assessing the risks associated with sourcing practices, there is an essential need for companies, development banks and governments to be able to access accurate and reliable information on biodiversity and critical natural habitats at the finest scale possible.

New Booklet Available to Help Companies Take Their First Steps into Global Compact
By: Helle Johansen, UNDP
99% of Danish businesses are small- and medium-sized enterprises (with less than 250 employees and a turnover of less than 50 million Euros) and most of them lack staff and resources dedicated to deal with corporate social responsibility. What they do not lack, however, is interest in the United Nations Global Compact due to its universal acceptance, worldwide networking opportunities and a strengthened competitive position by joining the initiative.

Report from UN Foundation and Vodafone Foundation details “New Technologies in Emergencies and Conflicts” 
The UN Foundation and The Vodafone Foundation commissioned a report to profile innovation on the frontlines of communications in emergencies, and to point to new opportunities for governments, civil society, and individuals alike to benefit in times of crisis from our increasingly connected world. Through the work of groups supported by the United Nations Foundation and Vodafone Foundation Technology Partnership, efficient information sharing has saved countless lives. This report profiles some of this work..

New ILO Helpdesk Available for Aligning Corporate Operations with Global Compact Principles
By: Emily Sims, ILO
The ILO Helpdesk is a free and confidential service to help companies align operations with the UN Global Compact labour principles.

Joint UN Pool Offer from RiskMetrics-Innovest
By: Antje Merschel, World Food Programme
during the revision of the UN Partnership Guidelines discussions, the idea of using a common research service within the UN agencies for screening private sector partners was once again raised. While some UN organization, such as UNICEF, the World Food Programme (WFP) and UNAIDS, already hold a subscription for the services of the strategic advisory and rating agency RiskMetrics-Innovest, not all UN organizations had access to the company’s helpful due-diligence tool despite their interest. To address the issue, WFP took the lead in discussing a joint pool proposal for all interested UN agencies with RiskMetrics while UNDP looked into the procurement procedures 

Are you a Green Leader? A New UNEP Publication on Business and Biodiversity
To celebrate the UN International Year of Biodiversity in 2010 and acknowledging that businesses can and are playing a role in addressing the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services, UNEP is launching “Are you a Green Leader? Business and Biodiversity: Making the Case”. 

UNU Press Publishes Book on Partnerships for Women’s Health
By: Martina Timmermann, TIMA International
Every minute, at least one woman dies from pregnancy or childbirth complications while twenty more suffer injury, infection, or disease. Despite medical advances and years of national and international policy declarations, this tragic situation remains particularly severe in developing countries.