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Jun 28, 2010 / Richard Hall

DIRECT FROM UNITED NATIONS

At the United Nations in June 2010

Last week I was in the United States. Here are my notes.

Wednesday 23 June

I am writing today’s blog from the General Assembly Hall of the United Nations in New York. I am attending a business leaders’ summit for companies that have signed the UN Global Compact, which Zenith endorsed some years ago.

Two things strike me about this event. One is that the big picture really is big. It is about the future of our entire world. Sustainability of the planet. The responsibilities of business to society. The goals of true leadership. Good employment practice. Water availability. And the General Assembly Hall is imbued with symbolism.

The other thing is how few companies have actually signed up to the Global Compact, which consists of ten basic principles of ethical business conduct. Under 10,000.

In the past everyone was suspicious of everyone else. Politicians and pressure groups have been suspicious of business. Business is there to compete and yet, here, it must learn to co-operate.

It is clear that we are all in this together, which means we must all work together. Business leaders are not real leaders if they don’t take a leadership role in these areas.

The next day consists of a series of presentations and roundtables. Let’s see what this summit can achieve.

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