The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an annual international campaign that kicks off on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and runs until 10 December, Human Rights Day.
The campaign was started by activists at the inauguration of the Women’s Global Leadership Institute in 1991. It continues to be coordinated each year by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership. It is used as an organizing strategy by individuals and organizations around the world to call for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls.
In support of this civil society initiative, the United Nations Secretary-General launched in 2008 the campaign UNiTE by 2030 to End Violence against Women, which runs parallel to the 16 Days of Activism.
Every year, the UNiTE Campaign focuses on a specific theme. This year’s theme is “UNITE! Activism to end violence against women and girls” and invites everyone to play their role in ending violence against women and girls, show support and solidarity to women’s rights activists and to resist the rollback on women’s rights. You can access the concept note here.
Say No - UNITING SINCE 2009
To support the system-wide UN campaign and build public engagement, UN Women launched Say NO–UNiTE to End Violence against Women as a social mobilization platform in 2009.
During its first phase, more than 5 million people signed a global petition to make ending violence against women a top worldwide priority. Between 2009 and 2013 the campaign also led to over 5 million actions in partnership with over 900 civil society organizations globally.
Actions showcased advocacy efforts by civil society, activists, governments, and the UN system. These ranged from online petitions and social media campaigns to grassroots national awareness-raising initiatives. It included outreach in schools, engaging young people and faith-based organizations and garnering concrete national commitments from governments, and more.
In 2012, ahead of the 57th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women which focused on ending violence against women. UN Women launched the COMMIT initiative, asking governments to take a stand by making new and concrete national commitments to end violence against women and girls.
By the end of 2013 the European Union as well as 63 nations had joined the initiative, announcing specific measures to address and prevent violence against women and girls. These ranged from passing or improving laws, ratifying international conventions, launching public awareness campaigns, providing safe houses or free hotline services and free legal aid to survivors, supporting education programmes that address gender stereotypes and violence. It has also led to increases in the number of women in law enforcement, peacekeeping forces and frontline services.
Ending gender-based violence in the context of COVID-19
To address the escalation of violence against women and girls in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, in 2020 the United Nations Secretary-General urged all governments to make the prevention and redress of violence against women and girls a key part of their national pandemic response plans. The appeal was answered in a statement by 146 Member States and Observers, expressing strong support.
As a follow up the Secretary-General’s Executive Committee adopted a “Political engagement strategy” for the UN system in order to mobilize commitments and action to end gender-based violence in the context of COVID-19.
All governments are called to make commitments and undertake policy actions around four key action areas: Fund, Prevent, Respond and Collect.
Today Say NO–UNiTE has transitioned into a network for social mobilization that continues to showcase advocacy, news, and actions on ending violence against women and girls by people from all walks of life.
A global network to end violence against women and girls
To keep the network informed about key developments and advocacy opportunities, UN Women develops bimonthly action circulars shared with partner organizations and women’s rights activists across the world.
To join the global UNiTE network you can sign up to receive updates, here. Be part of a global network of people committed to realizing a future that is free from violence against women and girls!
This article was originally published on UN Women Website.
The supply chain sustainability will be the main focus of the UN Global Compact Network Italy (UNGCN Italy) participation at COP27, the United Nations Climate Change Conference scheduled until November 18th in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.
UNGCN Italy, which represents the United Nations Global Compact - the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative - across Italy, will launch internationally the Position Paper on companies’ commitment in Sustainable Supply Chain Management.
The document is the brainchild of the work carried out since February 2022 by UN Global Compact Network Italy with a highly-committed working group of more than 30 Italian business participants of the United Nations Global Compact. This paper discusses the theme in terms of three main pillars, namely: the reduction of Scope 3 emissions, the promotion of human and labour rights and the circular management of negative externalities.
For the first time, UN Global Compact Network Italy is going to attend the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP), the main global event on Climate, with the international launch of the Position Paper “Sustainable Supply Chains: Responsibilities and Opportunities for Businesses”.
The Document was developed by the Italian Network with the contribution of more than 30 member companies of the UN initiative and particularly committed to the issue. The Paper focuses on the sustainable management of supply chains. It identifies challenges and opportunities with insights on the following topics: the reduction of Scope 3 emissions; the promotion and protection of human rights and decent work; and the management of negative externalities through circular solutions.
As the world faces many economic, political and climate-related challenges, the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 27) is more important than ever. From higher food prices and fuel costs to a lack of financing and political cohesion to tackle these challenges, we find ourselves in a global bind.
COP 27 is about closing the gap between ambition and action. At this defining moment, the UN Global Compact, the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative, aims to accelerate private sector action to prevent the worst impacts of the climate crisis.
Starting from the trends of participants in the initiative over the last few years, and proceeding with a focus on the activities carried out and the communication and financial results achieved by the Italian Local Network, we share with you another year of commitment, alongside companies and organizations, in order to promote sustainable development through the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact and the UN 2030 Agenda.
On 29 June 2022, Sanda Ojiambo - Assistant Secretary-General and CEO of the UN Global Compact, met with the Board of Directors of the UN Global Compact Network Italy. The meeting, held at the Circolo degli Esteri in Rome, was an extraordinary opportunity for discussion and exchange on achievements, challenges and future scenarios in the Decade of Action for Sustainable Development. The Italian Network presented also its trends over the last few years, showing a tremendous increase in the number of companies that support and apply the Ten Principles of the Global Compact and are engaged on critical issues such as Climate Action and Gender Equality.
According to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, more than 4 million Ukrainians have left the country, losing their homes, jobs, and sources of income. Moreover, 79% of Ukrainian companies were forced to stop entirely or almost entirely operating. Even after the end of hostilities, Ukrainians will not be able to immediately return home due to economic crisis, destroyed infrastructure and other factors that will take time to resolve.
UN Global Compact Network Ukraine, together with UN Global Compact Network Poland, launched the “Give a job for UA project”. The initiative aims to help Ukrainian refugees with employment and offers businesses from around the world an opportunity to support Ukraine by hiring them.
UN Global Compact Network Italy launches the English version of the paper “Guidelines on Diversity & Inclusion in the workplace”. The paper was produced in December 2021 by the Italian Network of the UN Global Compact, in partnership with ILO - International Labour Organization (Italian Office) and AIDP - Italian Association of Staff Management, as final output of the D&I Observatory, established in the same year by the UNGCN Italy with the participation of 17 Italian companies adhering to UN Global Compact.
The guidance paper collects several business best practices related to “Principle 6” of the UN Global Compact, which promotes the elimination of all forms of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation. The paper shows business initiatives, projects and strategic approaches on the topics of inclusive leadership, equal opportunities and treatment, considering specific groups of people: women, migrants and young people. Particular attention is also given to the disability management.
In the light of the analysis of the regulatory context and the experiences described, the Guidelines formulate a series of Recommendations addressed to business organizations and applicable across all levels and functions within them.
The UN Global Compact stands with the United Nations and world leaders in expressing our deep concern about the ongoing war in Ukraine and unequivocal demand for peace. This unlawful and unprovoked attack by Russia serves as a timely and tragic reminder that we need to reject conflict anywhere as an affront to peace everywhere.
The member states of the United Nations have responded to this war quickly and almost unanimously, deploring “in the strongest terms the aggression by the Russian Federation against Ukraine.” The message is loud and clear: End hostilities in Ukraine — now. Silence the guns — now. Open the door to dialogue and diplomacy — now.
The security situation in Ukraine deteriorated rapidly following the launch of a Russian Federation military offensive on 24 February 2022. The intense military escalation has resulted in loss of life, injuries and mass movement of the civilian population throughout Ukraine and to neighbouring countries, as well as severe destruction and damage to civilian infrastructure and residential housing. For a rapid scale-up of principled and effective humanitarian response in existing and new areas of Ukraine for a duration of three months from March to May 2022, humanitarian partners require US$1.1 billion to help more than 6 million people in need.
» Learn how the private sector can help in this brief OCHA Business Guide to the Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis.
"We are seeing Russian military operations inside the sovereign territory of Ukraine on a scale that Europe has not seen in decades.
Day after day, I have been clear that such unilateral measures conflict directly with the United Nations Charter.
The Charter is clear: “All members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.”
The use of force by one country against another is the repudiation of the principles that every country has committed to uphold.
On 22 of May 2020, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres announced the appointment of Sanda Ojiambo of Kenya as Executive Director of the United Nations Global Compact. As the second woman to be appointed in the role, she will succeed Lise Kingo of Denmark to whom the Secretary‑General is deeply grateful for her dedication and strategic leadership in steering the work of the Global Compact and broadening its contribution to the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Ms. Ojiambo, who assumes the role on 17 June 2020, will bring 20 years of experience to lead the UN Global Compact in its next phase to mobilize a global movement of sustainable companies and stakeholders and bring the full weight of the private sector to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). She has served as Head of Sustainable Business and Social Impact, Safaricom Plc, Kenya since 2010. Ms. Ojiambo was also the Senior Manager of Safaricom and MPESA Foundations, Kenya from 2008 to 2010, during which she led the implementation of several public-private partnership initiatives between Safaricom and UN organizations. Throughout her career, she has cultivated and managed relationships with key business entities and civil society organizations, including her capacity development work in Somalia with UNDP and CARE International. Ms. Ojiambo holds a Master of Arts in Public Policy from the University of Minnesota, USA, and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and International Development from McGill University, Canada.
The Ten Principles of the United Nations Global Compact to guide business leaders in responding to the crisis
The Global Compact, the world's largest corporate sustainability initiative, calls on business leaders around the world to unite to support workers, communities and companies affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. A coordinated international plan, involving the private sector, will be critical to support the people and companies affected, limit further disruption to the economy and facilitate business continuity for a rapid recovery. The Ten Principles of the Global Compact can be a source of inspiration for companies to respond to the crisis and uncertainty of this time.
The Ten Principles and the SDGs are also an important guide to think about "afterwards", to continue working together – now more than ever – to create a new economy and a new society, both more resilient, healthy, fair and capable of living in balance with nature.
During the 8th edition of the Italian SRI Week last November, the Italian Sustainable Investment Forum (ItaSIF) published three reports on sustainable finance in Italy.
The studies provide insights on the action of the European Union for greening finance, the correlation between climate change and financial choices of savers, and the Sustainable and Responsible Investment (SRI) policies of pension plans.
The "Italian Sustainability Photo Award" is the photographic competition organized by PIMCO with the aim of raising awareness of sustainability in Italy (with three special focuses on the environment, society and governance). The prizes will be awarded to the photographs that succeed in telling, with more effectiveness and quality, the progress of the Sustainable Development Objectives at the national level. The subject of the shots should be situations and aspects related to everyday life in its many facets.
A prestigious jury of international photographers, photo editors and journalists will award the prizes for Best Single Photo and Best Photographic History.
In addition, the best proposal in terms of photographic project will be selected and will receive a contribution of 10,000 euros.
The initiative is organized under the auspicies of the Italian Network of the Global Compact, which will take part in the final award ceremony.
Deadline for submission is 28 February 2020.
The United Nations Global Compact's Sustainable Ocean Business Action Platform brings together representatives from governments, academia and business to determine how ocean industries can advance towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Platform's work is based on the Ten Principles of the United Nations Global Compact, which outline the responsibilities of business in the areas of human rights, labour, the environment and anti-corruption.
The ocean is vital for the well-being and prosperity of humanity. To realize the global ambitions outlined by the SDGs, we face the need to expand our use of the ocean.
However, the production of food, raw materials, energy and transport services will need to be sustainable in order to contribute to the reduction of global warming and environmental degradation. Today, threats such as overfishing, marine litter and acidification have made ocean health very fragile.
For the second year, the Global Compact Network Italy launches the "SDG Pioneer Local Round" campaign to identify a new SDG Pioneer Italy.
Using business as a positive force to support SDGs: in line with this vision, the competition aims to identify and celebrate a Business Professional active at any level within a Global Compact member company (directly, or as a Subsidiary) and daily engaged in the advancement of Agenda 2030.
On 15 and 16 June, the Leaders Summit 2020 promoted by the UN Global Compact will be held in New York at the United Nations headquarters and the Jacob Javits Center. On the occasion, the 20th anniversary of the Global Compact will also be celebrated.
The ceremony will be held in the iconic UN General Assembly Hall.
It was on January 31, 1999, when former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan launched the Global Compact at the World Economic Forum in Davos, inviting all actors of sustainable development to join the newborn movement.
Developed by the UN Global Compact together with B Lab, the SDG Action Manager is the new web-based solution for companies committed to advancing the Sustainable Development Goals, whatever the location, size and production sector. A new internal assessment tool on corporate performance related to sustainability, which allows to set growth targets in the most strategic areas where the development potential remains high. Internal assessment, such as dynamic self-assessment, benchmarking, and improvement.
More specifically, according to a logic “learn at every step”, the platform makes it easier for the company to: - select SDGs relevant to its business; - assess the impact of the business model and supply chain in terms of progress in Agenda 2030; - identify areas of risk/improvement; - plangrowth objectives and monitor them.
Dear UN Global Compact Participant,
Welcome to the Decade of Action: As we enter into 2020, allow me to share with you some reflections about my fears, hopes and great expectations for an important year — at the threshold of a critically important new decade that UN Secretary-General António Guterres has named the “Decade of Action".
I fear that we are running out of time: At the startline for the Decade of Action, the world is falling badly behind in the race to avert the climate crisis. 2019 was the hottest year on record, concluding the hottest decade on record. And the trend is set to continue. In November 2019, 11,000 climate scientists sounded the alarm, saying the Earth is “clearly and unequivocally” facing a climate emergency and warning that we are running out of time to reverse the trend.
We are all impacted by climate change. Heatwaves, wildfires, storms, droughts, floods and rising sea levels are threatening the livelihoods and safety of billions of people. For some, survival relies on global leadership and action NOW. In May 2019, the UN Secretary-General visited Tuvalu, a country that, together with other island countries in the Pacific Ocean, faces sea-level rise four times greater than the global average. And yet, despite hard scientific data and living proof, we all left disappointed from COP 25 in Madrid and its urgent call to Governments to transition away from dependence on fossil fuels. In fact, rather than falling, CO2 emissions continue to rise.