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Environmental interest and awareness rekindled

Environmental interest and awareness in 2002 have been stimulated by preparations for the World Summit on Sustainable Development. There have also been a number of other interesting developments which may have far-reaching impacts. One of these is the greater willingness among disparate groups to work together on a common cause. The United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has supported the establishment of the Global Compact (see box), which aims to build synergy between the private sector and three United Nations organizations - UNEP, the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UN 1999). For the first time, principles that embrace protection of human rights, sound labour laws and environmental responsibility are addressed by these offices in a single international agreement.

Principles of the Global Compact

Human Rights

  • Principle 1: support and respect the protection of international human rights; and
  • Principle 2: ensure that corporations are not complicit in human rights abuses.


  • Principle 3: 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; and
  • Principle 6: the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.


  • Principle 7: 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.
Source: UN 1999