City, state and municipal governments make a commitment to the United Nations Secretary General to advance sustainable development and the Ten Principles of the United Nations Global Compact in the areas of human rights, labour, the environment, anti-corruption and good governance. They are encouraged and supported to work in partnership with the private sector, civil society and community to tackle complex global issues on a local level. Participants are supported by an international secretariat who provide services, tools, facilitation, advice and recognition.
See this page for information on joining, ways to advance your commitment and how to become a Leading and/or Innovating city or region.
We developed the City Scan to assist city participants and their partners to develop a holistic perspective of the environment in which their city is operating. This is from the lens of the Ten Principles and with City Scan Mark II, the SDGS. Challenges are identified across 157 issue areas, alongside related urban initiatives already in place. The results of this dedicated online platform provide a valuable base from which to collectively identify knowledge gaps, set goals, undertake integrated planning, develop projects and monitor progress.
Learn about the City Scan platform – the issue areas covered and the process – and the City Scan Service Package which is available to city participants of the United Nations Global Compact and to partners.
To enable the interchange of knowledge between city participants and partners about innovative practice and effective approaches to collaboration we have a number of systems in place. This includes a new self publishing system as part of this web platform and a flagship publication – Cities for the Future. These systems also enable public recognition and support Communication on Engagement and Communication on Progress.
Access instructions on these publishing systems, links to our catalogue of resources and new publication opportunities which are primarily developed from the innovative practice of our city and regional participants.
We encourage and organise events on different scales and locations for various purposes. We support events at a city scale to promote cities’ engagement at the local level, regularly organise international events, often as a component of larger international gatherings or with partners. This year in the lead up to Habitat III we are running a series of events as part of a campaign called Ethical Cities. We facilitate seminars and workshops to establish and advance collaborative projects. City participants are also encouraged to hosts events as part of their Global Compact participation and to promote improved practice and outcomes in other cities. Participants now have the capacity to list and promote events through their membership of this website.
Learn about the 2016 Campaign – Ethical Cities, other events and how to list your event.
We are committed to help strengthen the capacity of cities and regions to deal with the complexity of challenges that face them. Those challenges – and cities projects – also offer valuable learning for upcoming urban professionals. In addition to other services, we support university education, education and training for city practitioners and real-world experience for young professionals and graduates.
Learn about our ‘Ethical Cities’ Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), support for the ‘Global Cities – Global Challenges’ international inter-university seminar series, webinars and our Internship program.
The international secretariat team has specific expertise and services to support the development and implementation of cross-sectoral projects: development of project concepts, proposals and consortiums; facilitating the engagement of partners and the community in project teams and network groups; and helping GC participants in the design of projects. This support can be at the local level, providing advice or services to a lead local partner or through guiding the development of international collaborations and bids. The projects must address issues connected to the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact and/or the SDGs. We are supported by a growing community of technical and academic experts and urban leaders who hold positions as Urban Scholars, Global Advisors or Research Associates. They can provide advice, research and review services in their area of expertise. We also partner with leading organisations.
Learn about our project development and facilitation services and experts.
The private sector has a critical role in shaping sustainable cities and equitable, vibrant urban communities. Many business entities lead collaborations and work in partnership on a city level to address global issues such as climate change, urban poverty, water, waste and resilience. Others focus their organisation’s CSR strategies on cities and urban communities and form partnerships with government and community. We work closely with many Global Compact Local Networks who are an important mobiliser of the private sector at the country and local level and also facilitate city engagement with the Global Compact and private sector collaboration with cities.
See examples of private sector leadership and learn about ways for the private sector to engage with the development of sustainable, ethical, equitable, resilient cities.
The UN Global Compact – Cities Programme is managed by an International Secretariat, hosted by RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia. The secretariat works with partners and experts to provide services and support to city participants of the United Nations Global Compact – facilitation, advice, tools, project development, publishing, events, networking.
Read about the International Secretariat, its governance, our partners and the history of the establishment of the UN Global Compact – Cities Programme.