1963-2013 - 50 years of Research for Social Change

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Back | Programme Area: Technology and Society

UN-Business Partnerships: Whose Agenda Counts?



This paper questions the validity of the partnership approach from the perspective of fulfilling the UN's goal of promoting development and human rights for all. It begins by briefly describing the changes that have occurred in UN-business relations during the past three decades. It then identifies the various forces and rationales that are driving the partnership phenomenon, and suggests that some of these give rise to concerns about the motivations and agendas underpinning partnerships. It goes on to look at certain problems that have arisen with partnerships as they operate in practice. The paper concludes by suggesting that the goal of promoting greater corporate environmental and social responsibility requires the UN to be an ally of the global corporate accountability movement.

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