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25 Jun 2010

Global Compact Leaders Summit

Klaus M. Leisinger, President and Managing Director of the Novartis Foundation, represented Novartis at the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit in New York from 24 to 25 June 2010. The Summit, which takes place every three years, also marked the 10th anniversary of the UN Global Compact.

Dr Daniel Vasella, Chairman of the Board of Novartis, was honored at the Global Compact Leaders Summit with a special award for his early and sustained support of what is today the world's most successful and internationally most broadly accepted corporate responsibility initiative. He had committed at the earliest possible moment when invited to do so by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in Davos in January 1999, at a time when no one could foresee such a successful development of this initiative.

Dr Vasella was the only private sector representative from an industrial country to receive such an award at the Summit. Klaus Leisinger accepted the award on his behalf. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon congratulated Novartis for its sustained commitment.

Klaus M. Leisinger with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the Leaders Summit

1,500 leaders from business, science, politics and society met in New York from 24 to 25 June for the Global Compact Leaders Summit 2010. In addition to numerous CEOs, the guests also included UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría, OXFAM Director Jeremy Hobbs, and Mary Robinson, President of Realizing Rights.

Novartis was represented by Klaus M. Leisinger, President and Managing Director of the Novartis Foundation for Sustainable Development and former Special Advisor to the previous UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan for the Global Compact. Leisinger had played an active part in the development of the Global Compact and advises Novartis in the implementation of the values and principles.

The UN Global Compact was initiated in 2000 with the idea that companies should commit to complying with ten internationally recognized principles in the areas of human rights, labor standards, environmental protection and the fight against corruption within their sphere of influence. Today, it encompasses over 7000 member organizations from 135 countries, making the Global Compact the world’s largest and most important network for corporate responsibility and corporate citizenship.

Novartis was one of the first signatories to the Global Compact and implemented the ten Global Compact principles in corporate practice in a manner that was described as pioneering by the Global Compact Office.

With reference to case studies, the new book “Novartis and the Global Compact”, published by the Novartis Foundation, shows how Novartis implemented the ten principles in daily business.

The Novartis Foundation also held a Side Event at the Summit to present the Global Business Ethos Manifesto. The Manifesto, drafted in 2009 by Hans Küng, Global Ethic Foundation, Josef Wieland, University of Konstanz, and Klaus M. Leisinger, focuses on individual morality and thus complements the Global Compact, which sets out principles for companies.

Download the “Novartis and the Global Compact” booklet [en] (PDF, 1.1 MB)

Visit the UN Global Compact website

Read the Global Business Ethos Manifesto [en] (PDF, 270 KB)