Our Framework

As the urban arm of the United Nations Global Compact, the Cities Programme is working to achieve fair, inclusive, sustainable and resilient cities and societies.

Complex urban challenges are overcome through focus on the:

Action is mobilised:

  •  on a platform of cross-sectoral collaboration, termed the Melbourne Model
  •  around a number of key focus areas.

cross collaborationThe Melbourne Model – Cross-sectoral collaboration to address complex urban challenges

The United Nations Global Compact established the Cities Programme in 2003 to give cities a framework to advance the Ten Principles that:

“catalyses and combines the resources of  government, business  and civil society in order to find concrete solutions to seemingly intractable urban social, economic and environmental problems”.

It is based on a simple but effective model of collaboration between government, business and civil society developed and trialled in Melbourne then piloted in eleven cities across the globe… Read More


The Ten Principles

The UN Global Compact encourages companies to embrace, support and enact, within their sphere of influence, a set of core values in the areas of human rights, labour standards, the environment, and anti-corruption.

Human Rights

Principle 1: Businesses should support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights; and
Principle 2: make sure they are not complicit in human rights abuses.


Principle 3: Businesses should uphold the freedom of association and 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 for 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.

The UN Global Compact’s Ten Principles in the areas of human rights, labour, the environment and anti-corruption enjoy universal consensus and are derived from: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights ; The International Labour Organization’s Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work ; The Rio Declaration on Environment and Development ; The United Nations Convention Against Corruption


The Sustainable Development Goals


The Cities Programme joins with cities, countries and organisations across the world to promote the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda  which was adopted on September 25th 2015 by member countries of the United Nations to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all.

We work to advance the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) that directly relates to cities – Goal 11 – ‘Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable’ . Given the many challenges and actions in the urban context cross-cut and correlate with numerous other goals, we also work to address all the SDGs.

We encourage a collaborative approach to SDG advancement. See the SDG targets.