For Close the Gap, it is very important to liaise with the United Nations on ICT4Dev. Close the Gap has been recognised as a United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) signatory and is a member of the United Nations Global Alliance for ICT and Development (UN GAID). Since 2010, Close the Gap has also been a member of the United Nations Department of Public Information (UNDPI).
The UNGC is a strategic policy initiative for businesses that are committed to aligning their operations and strategies with ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. Businesses, as primary drivers of globalisation, can help ensure that markets, commerce, technology and finance advance in ways that benefit economies and societies everywhere.
Endorsed by chief executives, the Global Compact is a practical framework for the development, implementation and disclosure of sustainability policies and practices, offering participants a wide spectrum of work streams, management tools and resources — all designed to help advance sustainable business models and markets.
For Close the Gap, participation in the UNGC is a great opportunity to share knowledge about sustainable development and another step in the process of emphasising the importance of high standards in its worldwide activities.The UN Global Compact has two main objectives:
- Catalyse actions in support of broader UN goals, including the Millennium Development Goals.
- Mainstream the following ten principles in business activities around the world:
- Principle 1: businesses should support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights; and
- Principle 2: make sure that they are not complicit in human rights abuses.
- Principle 3: businesses should uphold the freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining;
- Principle 4: the elimination of all forms of forced and compulsory labour;
- Principle 5: the effective abolition of child labour; and
- Principle 6: the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.
- Principle 7: businesses should support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges;
- Principle 8: undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility, and
- Principle 9: encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies.
- Principle 10: businesses should work against corruption in all its forms, including extortion and bribery.
A multitude of projects have demonstrated that ICT can contribute directly or indirectly to various UN Sustainable Development Goals. Through its sister organisation WorldLoop, Close the Gap ensures the end-of-life management of IT assets (Principle 8) and through partnerships with organisations that support environmentally friendly technologies, Close the Gap supports Principe 9.