Programme Overview


Chaired by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit 2013: Architects of a Better World will bring together chief executives with leaders from civil society, Government and the United Nations to unveil a new global architecture for corporate sustainability. As the Millennium Development Goals 2015 deadline approaches, the Summit will set the stage for business to shape and advance the post-2015 development agenda – putting forward a framework for business to contribute to global priorities, such as climate change, water, food, women's empowerment, children's rights, decent jobs, and education, at unprecedented levels.


The United Nations has worked since its founding to achieve a shared, secure and sustainable future for all of the world's people. The vision and aspirations of the first United Nations members in 1945, as they set out to be "architects of a better world", remain a beacon today – not just for Governments, but also for the thousands of companies and civil society organizations that have become key partners in tackling our world's most pressing challenges.

Delivering a better future for all requires action by all – an increasingly clear proposition for businesses everywhere as environmental, social and economic challenges are more relevant and urgent than ever before. Progress has been made within the business community to orient towards sustainability. A growing number of companies are adopting a principles-based management and operational approach, and corporate sustainability is charging ahead as a collaborative and innovative space for action based on the risks and opportunities at hand.

Now, the challenge is to transition from incremental progress to transformative impact on markets and societies. Doing so will require aligning and scaling up corporate sustainability efforts within a global architecture designed to drive business action and partnerships on a massive scale. The UN Global Compact Leaders Summit 2013 will put forward this new architecture and begin a process of engaging business participants and key stakeholders in its development and implementation leading up to 2015 and beyond.


The Leaders Summit will launch on 19 September with numerous special events and a Leaders Dinner. The official programme of the Leaders Summit will be held on 20 September. Due to the ongoing renovation of UN Headquarters and capacity limitations, the Leaders Summit will be held at the Grand Hyatt New York, at 109 East 42nd Street in New York City.

Please note the agenda is subject to change ahead of the Leaders Summit.


Special Events, 09:00 - 17:00

Dozens of special events on a range of corporate sustainability topics will be convened throughout the day by the Global Compact and other organizations. See Special Events for more details.

Global Compact Action Fair, 09:00 - 17:00
Learn. Connect. Collaborate.

This exhibition event will provide a collaborative space for participants to explore, navigate and commit to key actions and partnerships to address global sustainable development priorities.  

Leaders Dinner at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), 19:00 - 22:00

Ahead of the Leaders Summit official opening, participants will have the option to attend the Leaders Dinner - a formal opportunity to network with the Global Compact community - on the evening of 19 September at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). As part of the reception-style dinner, the museum's world-class galleries will be open exclusively for guests, including a special exhibit "Le Corbusier: An Atlas of Modern Landscapes". Due to limited capacity, participation at the Leaders Dinner will be on a first-come, first-served basis.  


Leaders Summit, 08:00 - 18:00

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will officially open the Leaders Summit on 20 September at the Grand Hyatt New York. Through a mix of plenary and executive working sessions, the Summit will solicit input by participants on the development and implementation of the corporate sustainability architecture leading up to 2015.  

United Nations Private Sector Forum: Africa, 12:00 - 14:00

Since 2008, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has convened a Private Sector Forum during the opening session of the General Assembly. This year's Forum is being organized as the high-level luncheon of the Leaders Summit - focusing on the role of the private sector in the post-2015 development agenda, with an emphasis on unique opportunities and challenges in Africa. The private sector Forum will feature high-level roundtable discussions focused on four themes: Employment and Inclusive Growth, Education, Women's Empowerment, and Innovative and Sustainable Finance. Participation at the luncheon will be at the highest level, only open to chief executives, Heads of State/Government, and heads of UN and civil society organizations.