Successful meeting of companies, business associations, academics, and civil society representatives along with 18 Global Compact Local Networks, at the UN Global Compact’s Business for Peace first annual event
(Istanbul, 30 September 2014) – Recognizing that business cannot thrive in societies that fail, and that peace and stability provide a key foundation for economic development, over 150 participants attended the first anniversary of Business for Peace at its two-day inaugural B4P event.
Hermes Equity Ownership Services Chairman and B4P Steering Committee Chair Sir Mark Moody-Stuart opened the gathering. He said, “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.”
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 organisations around thematic areas where business and business education can make transformative contributions to peace.
The second half-day held a PRME and Business for Peace session where representatives from Higher Education Institutions, business, civil society and government came together in a dialogue around actionable steps and opportunities for collaboration.
In order to increase awareness of the contributions business can make toward peace, seven of the 18 Local Networks in B4P have hosted national or regional launch events, providing a platform to identify thematic areas where business can make its greatest contributions to peace in that country or area:
- In Indonesia interfaith dialogue is being facilitated by the business community. A private sector roundtable was hosted by the Global Compact during the Sixth Global Forum of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (August 2014) to promote inter-cultural and inter-religious peace and harmony.
- The Colombian Local Network has engaged the national business community in the ongoing peace talks, making progress towards ending the decades-long violence in the country. Businesses have committed to assist with social integration of ex-combatants by changing their hiring practices while also supporting victims of the conflict.
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. At this Event, 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.