Monday 10, October 2016

Dubai – MENA Herald: Pearl Initiative, a leading Gulf business-led, non-profit organisation promoting a corporate culture of accountability and transparency as a key driver of competitiveness across the region, in partnership with the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative will host their second regional forum themed ‘Sustainability in Action: Business and the Sustainable Development Goals’ on Thursday, 27th of October in Dubai.
The Forum will convene under the patronage of His Excellency Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, UAE Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development and Honorary Chairman of the Pearl Initiative, who will also present the opening keynote address.
Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of the UN, is expected to deliver a special video address to open the session.
Set to take place at the Conrad Hotel, more than 700 regional and international business leaders are expected to gather at the forum, as well as representatives from the United Nations, the public sector, and members of civil society to discuss the region’s business approach and capabilities in advancing the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Some of the distinguished speakers who will share key insights at the Forum include Sheikha Hanadi Bint Nasser Al-Thani, Founder and Chairperson, Amwal, His Excellency Abdullah Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah, Chairman of Abdullah Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah International Foundation for Energy and Sustainable Development, Former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Energy and Industry, Qatar, Her Excellency Razan Al Mubarak, Secretary-General of Environment Agency Abu Dhabi, His Excellency Dr. Mohammed Al Zuhair, Chairman, Kuwait National Fund for SME Development, , Arif Naqvi, Founder & CEO, The Abraaj Group, Lise Kingo, Executive Director, United Nations Global Compact, Badr Jafar, CEO, Crescent Enterprises and Founder, Pearl Initiative, Khalid Al Hussan, CEO, Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul), Sanjeev Chadha, CEO, Pepsico Asia and Middle East, Patrick Chalhoub, CEO, Chalhoub Group, Khaled Al Huraimel, Group CEO of Bee’ah, Fahd Al Rasheed, Group Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Emaar the Economic City (EEC) and Dr. Dalya Al Muthanna, President and CEO of General Electric Gulf.
This year’s theme follows the January 2016 launch of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. The 17 goals cover a broad spectrum of global sustainable development challenges and opportunities. The Forum seeks to convene business leaders and their stakeholders across the Gulf Region to explore ways to foster economic growth, sustainable development and job creation for the benefit of succeeding generations.
Samer Khoury, President, Engineering and Construction, Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC) and Board Member, Pearl Initiative, said: “It is extremely important that we understand the region’s leadership’s vision and recognise key issues and challenges to productively move forward in shaping more competitive and diverse economies. We are thus proud to support this landmark forum for the second consecutive year, and look forward to the rich insights to be shared by the government representatives and business community. Pearl Initiative and UNGC’s ‘Sustainability in Action’ comes at the perfect time, and will serve as a constructive platform to kick-start dialogue on how the Private Sector can collectively help realise the SDGs.”
The 2016 edition of the forum seeks to highlight the role of the private sector in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals through five themes, namely: Prosperity, People, Planet, Peace and Partnership highlighting the inextricable links between good governance and sustainability in today’s rapidly changing economic and social landscapes. The Forum’s Partners are The Abraaj Group, Al Jomaih Group of Companies, Chalhoub Group, Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC), Crescent Petroleum and RWE.
Carla Koffel, Executive Director, Pearl Initiative, said: “This year we will discuss the ways in which the Private Sector in the Gulf Region can address critical sustainable development challenges in ways that are practical, effective and profitable for business. The GCC region is recognising the importance of corporate governance and accountability in achieving holistic progress. Our efforts to integrate these concepts into the business culture are well underway and events such as this one go a long way in generating awareness, acting as a ‘call to action’ for business leaders and entrepreneurs.”
The inaugural 2015 forum, which welcomed over 500 high-profile attendees, also marked the launch of Pearl Initiative’s ‘Women’s Careers in the GCC,’ an extensive report that polled more than 600 businesswomen across the region to provide insights and recommendations on diversity in the workplace.