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The UN Secretary-General meets with Russian entrepreneurs committed to corporate social responsibility

Russian business leaders pledge to promote the UN Global Compact social and environmental standards

Moscow, 10 April, 2008 Today, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon launched a Global Compact Network in Russia during the meeting with over 30 top executives of Russian businesses.

I welcome todays launch of a Global Compact Network in Russia as a great sign that Russian businesses, representing one of the worlds largest economies, are putting their weight behind the universal values of the United Nations, said Ban Ki-moon.

The networks role is to facilitate the progress of companies engaged in the Compact with respect to implementation of the ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption, while also creating opportunities for a multi-stakeholder engagement and collective action.

Leading Russian corporations are already involved in Corporate Social Responsibility activities, recognizing the role of business in societys development and the importance of non-financial risks for investors. As of today, there are 24 members of the Global Compact in Russia including big companies such as the United Company Russian Aluminum, the Russian Railways, Interros Group of companies, Renova, Sistema as well as the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP), other companies and NGOs. This is a clear indication that the Corporate Social Responsibility in Russia is set to gradually become a substantial part of corporate governance and management.

The priority of Russian business, -stated Alexander Shohin, Head of The Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, - is to ensure a solid position in national and global economies through improving competitiveness based on responsible business practices.

However, many Russian companies, including small and medium-size enterprises, have yet to make sufficient efforts to reach international standards in social and environmental responsibility.

Addressing the guests, Alexander Livshits, Director for International and Special Projects of the United Company Russian Aluminum, underlined that his company is proud to belong to the club and called on Russian business to joint efforts to become world champions in corporate social responsibility.


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For additional information please contact UN Global Compact Coordinator UN DP Russia, Asel Abdurahmanova Tel.+7 495. 7877717 e-mail: asel.abdurahmanova@undp.org
And Communication Specialist UN Resident Coordinator Office in Russia Victoria Zotikova, Tel..+7 495: 787 21 15/769 97 91,e-mail: victoria.zotikova@undp.org

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Information:

The Global Compact is a framework for businesses that are committed to aligning their operations and strategies with ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. The United Nations Secretary General Kofi Anna first proposed the Global Compact in an address to the World Economic Forum in Davos on 31 January 1999. The Global Compact operational phase was launched at UN Headquarters in New York on 26 July 2000. With thousands of participants from more than 100 countries, the Global Compact has since become the worlds largest voluntary corporate citizenship initiative. More info: www.unglobalcompact.org

The Global Compact was introduced in Russia in October 2001 during a round table jointly organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs in partnership with UNDP and other UN agencies representatives. More info about UN Global Compact activities in Russia: www.undp.ru/index.phtml?iso=RU&lid=1&pid=109

Members of the Global Compact in Russia: Advanced Technologies and Service;Aerofuels Group;Agrotechnopark Mir; Asset Management of Humane Developing Programs Limited; Avanpost; Centre for Re Estate Narlan; Construction concern Edinstvo; Coordination Council of the International Congress of the Territories of Aisa Pacific Countries; Foundation for promotion of science, education and medicine developmentICOS UNESCO IFAP - Russia; Institute for Comparative Social Research - CESSI; International Fund of Businessmen;International Telecommunications Academy; Interros; JSC ALTEN ; JSC AviaInvest ; JSC Foreign Trade Association - Rosneftegazexport Russian Foreign Trade Association; JSC Russian Railways; Medargo Ltd.; Primorsky Public Movement - Movement of Support of Social Programmes - MART; Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs - Employers; SUE Vodokanal of Saint Petersburg; Transaero Airlines; United Company RUSAL.

UN Development Programme is the UN's global development network, advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life. We are on the ground in 166 countries, working with them on their own solutions to global and national development challenges. As they develop local capacity, they draw on the people of UNDP and our wide range of partners.

Bringing corporate social responsibility to the country level and stimulating business partnerships for development, while using the Global Compact as a basis, is among UNDP main priorities in the Russian Federation. In conjunction with the Global Compact and in response to the increasing challenges of fulfilling the UNDP mandate of eradication poverty, it recognizes that all sectors of the society need to be mobilized and engaged.

www.undp.ru


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