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date: 18 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The UN’s relations with the private sector initially followed the pattern of the League of Nations in occasionally relying on funding from business leaders or their foundations. In the 1970s, the UN had a more confrontational approach to transnational corporations and established a code of conduct for their operations. This approach ended in the 1990s, when the UN began subcontracting some activities both to NGOs and TNCs. Secretary-General Kofi Annan sought to collaborate with companies to enforce global human rights, labor, and environmental standards through the Global Compact, a body endorsed by thousands of companies but with little impact. Nonetheless, cooperative partnerships with private companies have become a characteristic way in which the UN delivers development services.

Keywords: private sector, TNCs, subcontracting, partnerships, Global Compact, human rights, labor, environmental standards, development

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