13 December 2018 – Former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has recently visited Thailand to celebrate the official launch of Global Compact Network Thailand (GCNT) along with more than 500 business representatives from all manner of private industries. The collaborative network is part of a key initiative of the United Nations that has been established to drive Thailand towards sustainability goals by means of responsible business in line with global standards. 100 companies are expected to be registered in GCNT by the end of 2019.
Suphachai Chearavanont, President of Global Compact Network Thailand, says, “Global Compact is an important initiative set up initially in the United States under the auspices of the United Nations. It aims at enabling organisations worldwide to understand and adopt the sustainability principles to create impactful changes in their respective country. Organisations that sign up to Global Compact are committed to operating their business responsibly in accordance with four core principles encompassing human rights, labours, the environment and anti-corruption. For this reason, a number of leading corporates in Thailand that share the values have decided to join the membership of Global Compact Network Thailand.”
Ban Ki-moon, former Secretary General of the United Nations and the guest of honor at the inaugural meeting of Global Compact Network Thailand, says, “By assembling leaders from the Thai private sector to form a Global Compact local network, the critical work that you are undertaking to alight your business with the ideals of the United Nations has my deep respect. Our world is going through pronounced changes resulting in elevated uncertainties and new risks. Keep working to make business a force for good. Together, we can respond to the urgency of our global challenges and construct a better tomorrow.”
Global Compact Local Network Thailand is led by co-founding members from major industries. Convening corporates that belong to the agricultural and food industries include Charoen Pokphand Foods Public Company Limited, CP All Public Company Limited, Mitr Phol Corporation Company Limited and Thai Union Group Public Company Limited, while the members from the petroleum industry are Bangchak Corporation Public Company Limited, PTT Public Company Limited, PTT Exploration and Production Public Company Limited, Thai Oil Public Company Limited, IRPC Public Company Limited and PTT Global Chemical Public Company Limited. The telecommunications industry is represented by True Corporation Public Company Limited; the gems and jewellery industry by Pranda Jewelry Public Company Limited; the tourism and hospitality by Pinnacle Hotels and Resorts Company Limited; and the media and publishing industry by Print City Company Limited.
“With major private business organisations from all industries gathering in this launching event, their contribution can be leveraged to help scale up impactful programs and produce better results across a broad spectrum of supply chains, customers, partners and employees. The launch of Global Compact Network Thailand reflects how Thailand’s private sectors are on the lookout for sustainable ways to develop business and ready to foster a collective, responsible awareness while developing knowledge sharing and constructive activities within the network. These actions will eventually lead to a powerful driving force which is a key success factor of sustainable development and bring together all the positive changes in the country,” Suphachai adds.
GCNT’s operations will focus on encouraging the private sectors to operate their business with responsibility and engage in business strategies that correspond to the four core principles of sustainability. The majority of activities initiated by GCNT will be training courses about the latest discoveries and global trends relating to sustainable development, knowledge-sharing seminars on topics such as child labour, and other activities that allow participants to share experiences and discuss ways to promote responsible business practices for sustainable development.
“Regarding the four major principles of sustainability, Thailand will start with human rights because it is the critical issue that contributes to the country’s credibility and international economic relations. At GCNT, we realise that human rights is a very sensitive subject and concerns various aspects, including child labours, foreign workers, female labours, welfare, and several other lesser-known issues. Therefore, it is important for us to identify human rights as an urgent priority that needs to be addressed within a short timeframe. Apart from taking the role of center in sharing knowledge and opening up learning opportunity for members through activities as previously said, we also would like to invite business organizations across the country to join us in building a strong network capable of impacting a concrete change in the society, with aim to attain 100 members by end of 2019,” Suphachai adds.
GCNT’s primary mission in 2019 is to provide private organisations, especially leaders in the industries and companies listed in SET, with necessary guidance to ensure that they recognise the role of business case for the achievement of sustainable development and entre the GCNT membership to create high-impact collaborations. GCNT is looking to hold a series of roadshows at private sector facilities and the chambers of commerce nationwide. The network expects to increase the number of members from the current 40 to 100 by the end of 2019, and will continue to support and assist Thai private sectors through the network.
About Global Compact Network Thailand (GCNT)
Founded in 2017, Global Compact Network Thailand (GCNT) is currently joined by 40 leading Thai corporates whose common purpose is to facilitate balanced and sustainable economic, social and environmental development in accordance with United Nations Global Compact – a collaborative network of private sectors that encourages businesses worldwide to adopt sustainable and socially responsible policies with more than 13,000 members in 160 countries.