UN Global Compact Rejects Joint Inspection Unit Report, Urges Corrections

(New York) – The Joint Inspection Unit, an external review body of the UN System, has published a report titled “United Nations Corporate Partnerships: The Role and Functioning of the Global Compact“.

The report, produced in 2008/09, is a deeply flawed and inaccurate document which misrepresents both the UN Global Compact’s overall work and its long track record of positive impact. The report also threatens to undermine system-wide UN efforts to engage the private sector to address global challenges.

“We are greatly disappointed with this report,” said Georg Kell, Executive Director of the UN Global Compact. “Despite our repeated efforts to set the record straight, the JIU has released a document that not only contains egregious errors, but fails utterly to comprehend the critical role that the private sector must play in helping the UN work toward common causes. We urge the JIU to correct this report, and our doors remain open as they have from the beginning of this process.”

On two separate occasions prior to the release of the report, the Global Compact Office provided comprehensive feedback, including corrections, on draft versions. These were not addressed in the final version. (See summary of the most significant errors compiled by the Global Compact Office in March 2011).

Specifically, the report ignores the Global Compact’s comprehensive implementation surveys of thousands of businesses which document in great detail how the Global Compact’s principles have been translated into good practices around the world.

Further, the report fails to acknowledge that the Global Compact’s strict reporting requirements have led to the expulsion of now more than 2,000 companies from the initiative – a critical measure to protect the UN brand and the integrity of the Organization.

The report’s conclusions, especially those concerning the Global Compact’s mandate, fail to take into account that the UN General Assembly and the African Union, among others, have repeatedly recognized and welcomed the Global Compact’s important role as an innovative public-private partnership, and an important driver of UN reform.

The initiative has mobilized thousands of businesses in over 130 countries to take action in support of UN goals – building goodwill, driving advocacy and helping the UN to be more effective in the pursuit of its mission.


Matthias Stausberg
UN Global Compact