At the World Economic Forum, Davos, on 31 January 1999, UN Secretary-General Kofi A. Annan challenged world business leaders to "embrace and enact" the Global Compact, both in their individual corporate practices and by supporting appropriate public policies. These principles cover topics in human rights, labour and environment:

Human Rights

The Secretary-general asked world business to:

Principle 1: support and respect the protection of international human rights within their sphere of influence; and
Principle 2: make sure their own corporations are not complicit in human rights abuses.

Labour

The Secretary-general asked world business to uphold:

Principle 3: freedom of association and the 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.

Environment

The Secretary-general asked world business to:

Principle 7: support 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.

These Principles are consistent with Cisco's own Corporate Code of Conduct and Cisco supports these Principles as set forth above.

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As the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet, Cisco Systems Inc. is committed to helping people from all walks of life benefit from the Internet.

Cisco was founded in an environment of open communication, empowerment, integrity and trust. These values remain at the forefront of our culture and our business decisions. In addition, Cisco has consistently demonstrated our commitment to our employees and the environment over the years. Specifically,

Cisco is committed to conducting our operations not only in compliance with the law of each country where we operate, but also according to globally accepted ethical principles. We adhere to hundreds of local, state, federal and international laws and regulations on labor and environmental matters, and we expect our suppliers to also comply with local laws on labor and environmental issues.
Cisco recognizes that our most valuable asset is our workforce. Our employees make possible our continued success. Cisco has numerous policies in place to maintain a work environment free from harassment and discrimination and to insist that employees be treated with dignity, respect and courtesy. Cisco's operations worldwide are also subject to corporate employee, health and safety standards that in many cases are more stringent than local law.
Cisco takes very seriously our responsibility to ensure the safety of our operations, to minimize their impact on the environment and to conserve natural resources. Our worldwide labor and environmental policies and practices show that we take this responsibility seriously.

The Internet is changing the way the world works, lives, plays and learns. One day soon, everyone and everything will be connected. At Cisco, our business is about connecting communities and helping them prepare for the Internet Age. We are working to translate the networking skills and resources that we possess as a company into powerful possibilities for progress.

In much the same way, Cisco's Community Investment organization is committed to being a catalyst for positive social change. We're dedicated to providing tools – whether in the form of cash funding, volunteers or equipment – that enable people around the world to help themselves.

That's why for years, Cisco and the Cisco Foundation have given to communities around the world on a local, national and international level through programs such as our adopted schools, City Year, Habitat for Humanity International, Second Harvest, the Cisco Networking Academy Program, American Red Cross and NetAid. After all, some of most significant values we can contribute in our communities are education and the skills needed in the workforce of the future.