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As UN Global Compact's Sonera Linked to Uzbek Probe, UN Defers & Spins

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, March 14 -- Company join the UN Global Compact, but when they are charged with corrution and money laundering, what happens?

This week, Inner City Press put this question to new / old UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric:

Now that UN Global Compact member Telia Sonera has been linked to the Uzbek bribery and money laundering probe, what is the UN or its Global Compact's response? To assist you answering: http://yle.fi/uutiset/sonera_linked_to_uzbek_bribery_probe/7134014 News 

Sonera linked to Uzbek bribery probe One of Finlandís largest telecom operators has been indirectly tied to a money laundering investigation into the flamboyant daughter of Uzbekistan's president

and

http://www.teliasonera.com/en/newsroom/news/2013/teliasonera-becomes-a-member-of-the-un-global-compact/

TeliaSonera becomes a member of the UN Global Compact 21 February 2013 The UN Global Compact, with over 10,000 corporate members and other stakeholders across 130 countries, is the largest voluntary corporate responsibility initiative in the world. It is a leadership platform for the development, implementation and disclosure of responsible and sustainable corporate policies and practices. In February, TeliaSonera became a signatory and a member of the UN Global Compact.

  The first day, Dujarric just ignored the question as if it had not been asked. Inner City Press published a story, one in a series. On March 14, the following came in, which we publish the same day:

Subject: Your question on the Global Compact
From: UN Spokesperson - Do Not Reply [at] un.org>
Date: Fri, Mar 14, 2014 at 1:54 PM
To: Matthew.Lee [at] innercitypress.com
Cc: Stephane Dujarric [at] un.org

Regarding your recent question on the Global Compact, the Global Compact Office has the following information:

The UN Global Compact is a voluntary multi-stakeholder platform for dialogue, exchange of good practices and collaborative solutions in the business arena. It is neither the UN Global Compactís mandate nor its intention to monitor or judge participantsí performance, and participation in the initiative does not constitute a seal of approval.

Nevertheless, the UN Global Compact has in place Integrity Measures to promote continuous improvement and assist participants in aligning their actions with their commitment to the Global Compact principles. When it receives information suggesting that a participant company is not committed to continuous improvement, the UN Global Compact will endeavor to encourage dialogue (Dialogue Facilitation) between the company concerned and those who have raised the concerns. The UN Global Compact will make enquiries of its Nordic and Netherlands Local Networks about this matter. It will also forward the matter to the company itself asking for their reply.

  To which one UN observer opines, "That lame response dodges the main point: that shabby companies like this sign up for the UN Global Compact because they think it will make them smell better. The UN demands payola from these companies (for the blue-washing) and they get to use the UN's name on their websites and stationery as a sort of Good Housekeeping seal of approval. And when a story like this comes in, the UN paternalistically say that they will start asking questions to the company in question."

  Sounds like the UN... Watch this site.


 

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