The FINANCIAL -- Istanbul – Recognizing that business cannot thrive in societies that fail, and that peace and stability provide a key foundation for economic development, more than 120 companies from around the world have now joined Business for Peace (B4P). The UN Global Compact together with 18 of its Local Networks have championed the initiative since its launch by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon last September, according to UN Global Compact.
Marking the first anniversary of Business for Peace, over 150 participants attended the inaugural B4P event, which concluded today. More than 20 companies joined the platform from Bangladesh, Indonesia, Iraq, Lebanon, Republic of Korea, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and the United States – bringing the total number of B4P signatories to 122. The Global Compact Network Ukraine also formally joined the initiative.
Hermes Equity Ownership Services Chairman and B4P Steering Committee Chair Sir Mark Moody-Stuart opened the gathering. “One year after the launch of Business for Peace, this meeting brings leaders from business and civil society together to discuss real practical examples of business contributions to peace, ranging from employment and reintegration of former militia members to inclusion of disadvantaged groups of different religious backgrounds,” he said.
Throughout the two-day meeting, the cross-sectoral and cross-thematic programme enabled participants to explore the challenges and opportunities of operating in complex environments. Special emphasis was placed on collaborative approaches to engage various types of organizations around thematic areas where business can make transformative contributions to peace.
Business for Peace is the first Global Compact platform in which Local Networks can join alongside companies. This bottom-up, grassroots approach offers hubs where companies and other stakeholders can share experiences and identify the factors critical to recovery within the country, according to UN Global Compact.
As more companies take up the challenge of advancing human rights, environmental protection, labour standards and anti-corruption in high-risk areas they not only can prevent harm, but can also make positive contributions to longer-term sustainable peace. Dr. Yilmaz Arguden, Chairman of Global Compact Network Turkey which hosted the event, highlighted this unique role of the private sector in a statement: “Without economic activity there cannot be peace and without peace there cannot be economic development. Therefore, the business world plays a critical role in maintaining peace.”