September 15, 2017

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

The UN Global Compact (finally) throws the tobacco industry out

The UN Global Compact is an initiative to engage companies “to align strategies and operations with universal principles on human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption, and take actions that advance societal goals.” 
Given the fact that the tobacco industry works consistently against human rights, the environment, and is a huge corrupting force in the word, it has always been irritating that the UNGC allowed them as members.  The industry, of course, then used their membership as part of the “corporate social responsibility” PR efforts.  In particular, the industry has worked to undermine implementation of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, a UN treaty.
Thanks to the efforts of many people and countries for several years, the UNGC is throwing the tobacco companies out.  Here is their announcement, issued a few days ago:
UN Global Compact Integrity Policy Update
Updated 12 September 2017
Following a comprehensive integrity review  as part of its new 2030 strategy and vision,  the United Nations Global Compact has enhanced its policies and procedures to more closely align with the broader UN system. A number of updates have been agreed with the UN Global Compact Board.
Effective 12 September 2017, the UN Global Compact will increase scrutiny of companies upon entry into the initiative, review engagement with existing participants, and institute new exclusionary criteria for companies involved in certain high-risk sectors  – including the production and manufacture of tobacco products, and nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons.
Participating companies whose business involves manufacturing or producing tobacco products will be delisted effective 15 October 2017. Likewise, companies involved in the sale, production, manufacturing, possession, distribution and/or transport of nuclear, chemical or biologic al weapons will be delisted. (Currently, the UN Global Compact excludes from participation companies involved the production of landmines and cluster bombs.)
The new exclusions do not fundamentally change the nature of UN Global Compact. However, as the UN Global Compact implements its new 2020 strategy, enhancing the integrity of the initiative is critical to maintaining its trusted role in defining corporate sustainability leadership in support of the  Sustainable Development Goals.
For more information on the new integrity policy, please see here.
Contact:  [email protected]



In the last paragraph perhaps it should read 2030 instead of 2020.

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