Global Compact is Nothing More than Corporate
July 28, 2000
Washington- Congresswoman McKinney expressed her concern
over the recent announcement of the United Nation's Global Compact,
which will give corporations the right to use the UN emblem and
logo to help rebrand their image. Corporate executives have been
invited by Kofi Annan to sign up to a voluntary "partnership" scheme
to encourage companies that operate across borders to spread Western-style
human and environmental values.
"Once again, the UN has proven its resolve to pander to known
human rights abusers. Many of the corporations who have joined the
global compact are known and consistent abusers of worker rights,
the environment, human rights, and child labor. The idea that the
UN expects these corporations to voluntarily change their ways is
ludicrous. The global compact will quickly degenerate into nothing
more than commercial window dressing." said McKinney.
The scheme will require companies to post on a UN website regular
information about the steps they are taking to end sweatshop conditions
and environmental degradation. But they will be under no obligation
to observe a code of conduct or set minimum standards.
"Companies like Nike have always placed profits and publicity
over people. Now the UN is throwing them a softball that will allow
them to gain credibility in the global marketplace without any sort
of monitoring or verification. Multi-national corporations have
resisted any movement towards instituting a serious code of conduct
for their overseas operations. The fact that corporations are embracing
the global compact demonstrates how ineffectual it will be. The
global compact will allow abusive corporations to hide their immoral
activities behind the UN flag." said McKinney.
The Global Contact has faced criticism from a broad spectrum of
organizations. Many human rights, environmental, and labor groups
have thrown their support to a more sensible alternative offered
by Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, H.R. 4596, the Corporate Code
of Conduct Act.
"The only solution to corporate wrongdoing is a mandatory code
of conduct that requires corporations to follow strict standards
in terms of human rights, labor rights, and environmental protection.
I offer a challenge to corporations and the UN to endorse real protections
such as those as I've laid out in the Corporate Code of Conduct
Act. If the United Nations wishes to pursue this misguided global
compact they might as well change their charter to 'Just Do It'"