ISO (International Organization for Standardization) and the United Nations Global Compact Office (UNGCO) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to enhance their cooperation on the development of the future ISO 26000 standard giving guidance on social responsibility (SR).
ISO has emphasized since launching its SR initiative that its standard will complement and add value to existing public and private sector initiatives in the field, including declarations and conventions of the United Nations and its constituent organizations. In line with this approach, the MoU will help to ensure consistency between ISO 26000 and the 10 Global Compact principles, which address human rights, labour, the environment and anti-corruption.
The MoU reinforces ISO¡¯s partnership with this important UN programme, in which over 3 700 companies in more than 100 countries are engaged along with labour and other organizations representing civil society. However, the agreement does not give the UNGCO any rights additional to those enjoyed by the other international organizations taking part in the development of ISO 26000.
ISO 26000 is being developed by the ISO working group on social responsibility (WG on SR), in which experts nominated by 61 ISO member countries participate, along with 34 international organizations, including the UNGCO, from the public or private sector.
ISO Secretary-General Alan Bryden commented: "The MoU reinforces the global importance of the ISO SR standardization initiative and its future utility to the UN system and global business. It will also help to optimize our collaboration, in particular, within the framework of the Growing Sustainable Business Initiative where international standardization could help to cement interaction between the UN system and the business community."