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Outreach and External Relations

March 5, 2008


The United Nations Global Compact is a UN initiative comprising 4,000 of the worlds' biggest C-suite leaders in business, government, non-governmental organizations, labour, foundations, academe and interna-tional corporate social responsibility.
1,000 of these leaders recently convened in Geneva for the 2007 Global Compact Leaders Summit , in which the Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communication Management also took part.
Perhaps the most important message coming from that meeting of decision-makers and organisational leaders was a clear reinforcement of the need to think the role of those different kinds of organizations in creating a better economy and a better society.
As Mr. E. Neville Isdell, Chairman and CEO of Coca-Cola Company, put it in Geneva: "we will change the world because we can and we must". At the end of the Summit, in which GA's Board Member John Paluszek (Ambassador at large) was present, the "Geneva Declaration" was issued. One of the areas of the document looks at the Role of Business in Society and how it has been changed by globalization. The belief of these world leaders was stated quite clearly: "through responsible business practices a more sustainable and inclusive economy can be realized."
Specific topics mentioned include better adoption of responsible business practices and an active communication of progress in the implementation of those practices, thus building multiplying effects. This is in fact a pivotal area for the connection of PR with this issue as well as the need to partner and cooperate with different stakeholders in order to solve problems. One other area in which PR is essential is in increasing the transparency and accountability which are fundamental principles in the Geneva Declaration - Mobilization, Engagement, Involvement, Encouragement. All of these represent the desired outcomes of the Geneva Declaration.