Diplomatic leaders from around the world gathered online this past week for the 75th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. UN General Assembly (UNGA) Week, which normally draws thousands of people to New York City each September to discuss international policy for the upcoming year at the UN Headquarters, took place almost entirely virtually this year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite the lack of in-person meetings, UNGA Week also involved participation from individuals across sectors and industries, including corporates, nonprofit organizations, and celebrities. Global Citizen was proudly represented by many of our team leaders and executives, who showcased our action model, discussed the impact of recent campaigns like Global Goal: Unite for Our Future and One World: Together At Home, and highlighted our wide range of partners.

Global Citizen’s core corporate partners appeared in a variety of roundtable discussions throughout the week to address sustainable solutions to many of our key issue areas surrounding the fight to end extreme poverty. P&G, WW, Cisco, Verizon, and Delta executives showed up as thought leaders on the topics of responsible business related to education, pandemic prevention, climate change, social justice, and more. 

The corporate and nonprofit presence at UNGA week this year signifies how the event is broadening its reach to include different stakeholders from around the world. What was once a week for diplomats to discuss governmental relations has gradually become an opportunity for thought leaders from multiple industries to share their insights for a more sustainable future. This inclusion speaks to how Global Citizens can all work together to improve systems worldwide. 

During the UN Global Compact Business Summit, corporate executives from Global Citizen’s partners Delta, WW, and Cisco discussed the different initiatives and best business practices that have been undertaken in the context of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Delta Chief Marketing Officer Tim Mapes emphasized the opportunity COVID-19 has created to “slow down as humanity,” allowing for business leaders to re-evaluate their practices to create better and more equal circumstances for all people.

Fran Katsoudas, chief people officer at Cisco, and Gail Tifford, chief brand officer at WW International, focused on the unique moment that corporate social responsibility is currently experiencing, and how businesses can play an influential role in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals. 

“I’m a big believer that companies can do tremendous good,” said Katsoudas. “And when we come together the possibilities are exponential. I want to join any effort that drives significant progress. We’re going to have to empower our people and I think together we can see impact.”

Similarly, our partners at P&G joined forces with the president of the UN General Assembly, Conservation International, and youth climate activist Clover Hogan during the UN Summit on Biodiversity. P&G Chief Sustainability Officer Virginie Helias highlighted the importance of collaboration between private and public stakeholders to protect biodiversity and tackle the climate crisis. Each speaker also recognized the link between the degradation of biodiversity and natural habitats and growing threats to human health and food security, including pandemics and increased rates of extreme poverty. 

Global Citizen’s Global Goal: Unite for Our Future partner SAP led a panel during the World Economic Forum Sustainable Impact Development Summit on how multi-sector partnerships create meaningful impact. The discussion, titled “Equity Reimagined,” involved participation from leaders at SAP, P&G, the We Are Family Foundation, the Global Startup Ecosystem, and Global Citizen to explore how cross-sector partnerships can advance equity around resource distribution, create opportunities for marginalized populations, and build a road to systemic change. 

Damon Jones, P&G’s chief communications officer, prioritized communicating brand values and forging partnerships that will drive progress for underrepresented groups like women and minorities. 

“At our core, being a marketing company, one of the things that sets us apart is using our voice in advertising to call out bias, to call out issues of inequality, and using creativity to spark people to think differently about it,” Jones said.

The corporate, diplomatic, and nonprofit presence at UNGA week this year highlights the variety of key players that must be involved in creating systemic changes at the international level. Partners at P&G, Cisco, WW, Delta, and others explored the influence of purpose-driven business, encouraging greater interconnectedness among all Global Citizens. 

To learn more about Global Citizen’s corporate partners, click here.  


Demand Equity

How Global Citizen's Partners Showed Up During UN General Assembly Week

By Liza Gellerman