With more than 21,000 participants from over 160 countries, the Global Compact is the world’s largest voluntary corporate citizenship initiative committed to the advancement of corporate social responsibility. Companies are becoming more alert to the possibilities that responsible business practices offer in terms of improving their overall performance in the increasingly competitive Serbian economy. The National Bank of Serbia is not only one of the initiators of the Global Compact in Serbia, but also an active member of this initiative.
The Global Compact is a framework for sharing expert knowhow and promoting the business practices of its participants, which are committed to aligning their operations with the ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labour, the environment and anti-corruption.
The Global Compact is not a regulatory instrument – it does not “police”, enforce or measure the behaviour or actions of the participants. Rather, the Global Compact relies on public accountability, transparency and the enlightened self-interest of companies, non-government organizations, civic associations and academic institutions to initiate and share substantive action in pursuing the principles upon which the Global Compact is based.
The Global Compact’s ten principles in the areas of human rights, labour, the environment and anti-corruption are derived from:
- The Universal Declaration of Human Rights;
- The International Labour Organization’s Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work;
- The Declaration on Environment and Development; The United Nations Convention against Corruption.
The Global Compact asks companies to embrace, support and enact, within their sphere of influence, a set core of values in the areas of human rights, labour standards, the environment and anti-corruption:
- Human Rights
- Principle 1: Businesses should support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights; and
- Principle 2: make sure that they are not complicit in human rights abuse.
- Labour Standards
- Principle 3: Businesses should uphold the freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining;
- Principle 4: the elimination of all forms of forced and compulsory labour;
- Principle 5: the effective abolition of child labour;
- Principle 6: the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.
- Principle 7: Businesses should support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges;
- Principle 8: undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility; and
- Principle 9: encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies.
- Principle 10: Businesses should work against corruption in all its forms, including extortion and bribery.
The Global Compact Initiative in Serbia was launched on 6 December 2007, and it has more than 40 participants.