A new agreement with the World Economic Forum gives multinational corporations influence over matters of global governance. A new corporate and government marriage quietly took place last week when the leadership of the World Economic Forum (WEF) and the United Nations (UN) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to partner with each other. While this MOU is proudly displayed on the WEF website, it is nowhere to be found on the UN website. The only indication on the UN website of this important new development is a picture of the pen used to sign the agreement, and two pictures of the signing ceremony. One reason for this difference is that the UN’s corporate-centered Global Compact has received a good deal of bad press. Now the new WEF-UN agreement creates a second special place for multinational corporations inside the UN. There is no similar institutional homes in the UN system for civil society, for academics, for religious leaders, or for youth. It is hard to imagine a national government signing a similar formal partnership with one of its business organizations.
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