[New York | Author: Global Compact Office]
Over 100 representatives of UN Agencies, Funds and Programmes gathered for the United Nations System Private Sector Focal Points Meeting 2010, which was geared towards improving coordination and collaboration. The meeting offered participants the opportunity to share their experiences in partnering with business.
The meeting was organized by the Global Compact Office in collaboration with the International Labour Organization, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the UN Development Programme and the UN Children's Fund.
Discussions focused on leveraging the private sector contribution to advancing the Millennium Development Goals , recognizing that enlightened businesses understand the importance of these objectives to sustainable societies and markets.
Based on lessons learned in the aftermath of the devastating Haiti earthquake in January 2010 , a special focus was placed on how the UN can improve collaboration with the private sector in the wake of future disasters and emergencies.
Several business representatives with extensive experience in partnering with the UN provided their insights and recommendations to enhance the effectiveness of partnerships.
The importance of improving collaboration across the UN system was emphasized as a means of ensuring the integrity and brand of the Organization.
Keeping focal points engaged
Notable system-wide developments since the last private sector focal points meeting (3 October 2008) include the revision of the UN-business guidelines and the launch of the new UN-business website , which hosts an extensive archive of existing and past partnership projects between UN entities and the private sector.
The website, developed by an NGO - Global Hand - offers UN agencies, interested in private sector support, the opportunity to identify and describe needs and preferences, covering nearly all UN operations, from humanitarian relief to poverty reduction and HIV/AIDS prevention.
The website also allows companies willing to contribute to the United Nations to browse through a catalogue of humanitarian needs and partnership opportunities, or simply to submit ideas for collaboration. Based on shared interests, the site flags potential matches to be then connected directly.
With developments, such as the website, the UN now has greater capacity to engage in effective partnerships with the potential for enhanced capacity and reach. The Private Sector Focal Points meeting is an important venue for interagency dialogue and continued learning to enhance partnerships.
About the Global Compact Office
In support of the UN partnership agenda, the Global Compact Office undertakes a variety of ongoing activities to strengthen the UN System in its efforts to engage business. Activities include issuing the UN-Business Focal Point, a quarterly e-newsletter designed to enhance communication and collaboration among UN staff working with business and business.un.org.
In addition, on 24-25 June the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit 2010 will convene in New York. The event will bring together leaders from all sectors to elevate the role of responsible business and investment in bringing about the needed transformation to create more sustainable and inclusive markets.
The official meeting report of the United Nations System Private Sector Focal Points Meeting 2010 will soon be made available on the UN Global Compact website .