United Nations Global Compact “Virtual Leaders Summit 2020”

16 June 2020

UN Global Compact organizes Virtual Leaders Summit 2020, a global virtual summit on which over 200 leaders share their insights and visions on sustainable development and how businesses can recover better from the COVID-19 pandemic. The Summit is organized under the theme of “Recover Better, Recover Stronger, Recover Together”and welcomes over 15,000 participants from 193 countries, broadcasting non-stop for 26 hours.

Mr. Suphachai Chearavanont in his capacity as CEO of C.P. Group and Chairman of Global Compact Network Thailand, the sole representative from Thailand on this stage, participated in the panel discussion, "Reflections on Change & Roadmaps to Recovery." He reaffirmed the importance of public-private partnership (PPP) as key to “build back better” and leadership development with sustainability mindset as an essential foundation, which will ultimately help reduce socio-economic inequality.

Bangkok, 16 June 2020

Global Compact Network Thailand (GCNT), a local network of UN Global Compact consisting of companies, non-profit organizations, and leading educational institutions joins the "UN Global Compact Virtual Leaders Summit 2020" to mark the 20th anniversary of the UN Global Compact. The Summit invites all participants to come together and discuss various sustainability topics that are relevant for driving global development, and is being held on a virtual platform and broadcast globally from New York for 26 hours non-stop, on 15 – 16 June 2020. Currently, over 15,000 participants from 193 countries have been registered.

High-level speakers at the Summit include Mr. António Guterres, UN Secretary-General; Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Former UN Secretary-General; Mr. Al Gore, Former US Vice President and a strong advocate on climate change issues; Mr. Paul Polman, ex CEO of Unilever, and Ms. Lise Kingo, CEO and Executive Director of UN Global Compact.

The Summit has underlined the importance of UN Global Compact with its 20 years of experience, in setting the global agenda for the post-COVID-19 recovery on economic, social, and environmental fronts, as well as for the achievement of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. The next ten years ahead, which has been called the "Decade of Action" by Secretary General Guterres, will need full commitment from all business organizations to integrate the 10 principles of the UN Global Compact as well as the 17 SDGs into their core business strategies, setting clear, measurable, and inclusive targets. Multi-sector collaborations and private-public partnerships should also be strengthened.

The first extraordinary session of the Summit's opening ceremony discussed under the topic of "Reflections on Change & Roadmaps to Recovery" led bySuphachai Chearavanont, Chief Executive Officer of Charoen Pokphand Group and Chairperson of the Global Compact Network Thailand, the sole representative from Thailand's business sector; Clara Arpa Azofra, Chief Executive Officer of ARPA Equipos Móviles de Campaña, Spain; Karmany Reddy, Sustainability Innovation Developer of Distell, South Africa; and Philip Jennings, former General Secretary of UNI Global Union; with international journalist Femi Oke as session moderator.

Suphachai Chearavanont pointed out that while the adverse impacts of climate change will be much larger in magnitude compared to the current COVID-19 crisis, the global effect of COVID-19 has highlighted the health and well-being will be a key challenge for all of us. "The COVID-19 crisis is a wake-up call to private sector to fast-track actions towards sustainability. This is a good opportunity to push for reforms. We need to incorporate these new changes into our business strategies, and enhance our ability to change our operations quickly to respond to the situation,” said Mr. Suphachai. He emphasized that as business leader, protecting the workforce has been his top priority, starting from the implementing the no-layoff policy, reskilling and creating new jobs that meet the demands of the evolving crisis, such as in e-Commerce.

“Developing knowledge and raising awareness through disclosure, reporting sustainability performance via existing framework, such as the capital markets, will be key to reinforcing the sustainable development agenda within the business. Leaders must be change agents with a mindset that drives for real progress. It is essential to recognize that we cannot achieve economic, social, and environmental sustainability alone, but we need to build network of partners and learn from each other. Corporate leaders must work together to catalyze changes in society through their business processes, products and services, technology, and innovation through concrete and meaningful actions."

Expanding on the theme of innovation, Mr. Suphachai said “the true meaning of innovation is not limited to new technologies, but also include new ideas and new mindsets. The new generations of business leaders must have a sustainability mindset that recognizes social and environmental values, in addition to business value creation.” He stressed the importance of investing in human capital development as the most crucial investment, training people in technological skills, creativity and entrepreneurship, as well as understanding of sustainability. “This kind of innovation and energy will propel businesses toward addressing social and environmental challenges such as COVID-19, climate change, and waste management. and strengthen the confidence of our customers and society at large that our business is strong and resilient, contributing positively to our stakeholders and future generations,” Mr. Suphachai concluded.


About The United Nations Global Compact

As a special initiative of the UN Secretary-General, the United Nations Global Compact is a call to companies everywhere to align their operations and strategies with ten universal principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. Launched in 2000, the mandate of the UN Global Compact is to guide and support the global business community in advancing UN goals and values through responsible corporate practices. With more than 10,000 companies and 3,000 non-business signatories based in over 160 countries, and more than 60 Local Networks, it is the largest corporate sustainability initiative in the world.

For more information, follow@globalcompact on social media and visit our website at unglobalcompact.org .

About Global Compact Network Thailand (GCNT)

Founded in 2018, Global Compact Network Thailand (GCNT) is currently joined by 51 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.

Global Compact Network Thailand
Tel. +66 89 0302411, +66 92 2709111