"A necessary supplement" : what the United Nations global compact is and is not

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Rasche, Andreas (2009)

The United Nations Global Compact is with currently more than 6,000 voluntary participants the world's largest corporate citizenship initiative. This article first analyzes three critical allegations often made against the Compact by looking at the academic and nonacademic literature. (1) The Compact supports the capture of the United Nations by "big business." (2) Its 10 principles are vague and thus hard to implement. (3) The Compact is not accountable due to an absence of verification mechanisms. This article discusses these three allegations and argues that they rest on a misunderstanding of (a) the nature of the Compact as well as its mandate and (b) the goals it tries to achieve. From this discussion of what the Compact is not, the article then outlines a perspective that classifies the initiative as a necessary supplement to incomplete state and nonstate regulatory approaches in order to illustrate what the Compact is.
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