Ericsson has been working with the UN for many years, and was one of the first signatories of the UN Global Compact, a commitment to align business with 10 universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption.
Elaine Weidman-Grunewald, Ericsson’s Vice President of Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility, says: “It’s important to work in public and private partnership to achieve concrete and lasting results. The UN is crucial in driving global peace and development. Perhaps we should all spend a few minutes today reflecting on what the world would be like without the UN.”
One of the UN’s most high-profile initiatives is the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), set in 2000 to address global poverty and key challenges by 2015. Ericsson supports the UN’s work by providing connectivity – ICT is included in Goal 8 – but impacts all MDGs and is an essential participant for income generation, education and healthcare – for initiatives such as the Millennium Villages Project and Connect To Learn.
Supporting the UNHCR (High Commission for Refugees) and the refugee cause, a coalition of partners – Ericsson, Refugees United and mobile operators – developed a mobile phone app in 2010 that gives displaced people and those looking for them an easy way to connect by tapping into Refugees United’s anonymous global database.
On an individual level, our people have been working to support the UN’s ideals for more than a decade as part of Ericsson Response. Ericsson Response works with the UN and other humanitarian agencies to provide telecoms equipment in disaster areas, as vital infrastructure for successful relief efforts. Ericsson staff volunteer to transport, install, run and maintain that equipment.
And in the area of advocacy, our President and CEO Hans Vestberg is a commissioner of the Broadband Commission for Digital Development, established by the ITU (International Telecommunication Union) and UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) to determine how mobile broadband can best contribute to the Millennium Development Goals. Last year, Ericsson led the commission’s work on climate change (with Vestberg chairing its Working Group on Climate Change) and its subsequent report, The Broadband Bridge: Linking ICT with Climate Action for a Low-Carbon Economy. Ericsson also contributed to its report, entitled The State of Broadband 2012: Achieving Digital Inclusion for All, which was received by the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon in September.
“On this anniversary, we want to congratulate the UN on its continued leadership in addressing global issues,” Weidman-Grunewald says. “We are proud that our contribution can help make a positive impact on society.”