When boards and management discuss corruption, it's
usually in the prism of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) or some other
ethics-related law such as the recent United Kingdom Bribery Act. However, the
United Nations is trying to change this mindset as it continues to implement it
newest principle to its Global Compact.
The Tenth Principle, which was adopted in 2004, states that
"businesses should work against corruption in all its forms, including
extortion and bribery." It defines corruption as "the abuse of entrusted power
for private gain." The UN Global Compact asks companies to embrace, support and
enact, within their sphere of influence, a set of core values in the areas of
human rights, labor standards, the environment and anti-corruption.
In December during the UN's celebration of the 62nd
anniversary of the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Ron
Berenbeim, senior fellow at The Conference Board, gave a speech [Read the full
text here.] to the Global Compact Working Group on the link
between human rights and anti-corruption. In that speech, he said the Global
Compact message is that corruption violates both human rights categories: in
political terms, such as freedom of speech and religion, and in terms of the
governmental ability to provide minimal standards of security, welfare and
Read the rest of this article on the Corporate Governance
Blog, a blog by Gary Larkin
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