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Business Pledge launched for growth
By our business bureau October 30, 2016
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DUBAI: A total of 166 leading businesses from across the Gulf pledged to prioritise sustainable development as a business imperative, at the second regional forum on ‘Sustainability in Business’ hosted by The Pearl Initiative and United Nations Global Compact in Dubai. The event concluded on a high note on Thursday.

The Pearl Initiative launched ‘The Business Pledge’ at the forum to serve as both a commitment to and a guide on the Private Sector’s journey towards responsible growth.

The guide provides details on four areas of sustainable growth and good governance practices, and suggests practical and implementable solutions for businesses in the Gulf Region. The four areas include: Setting Targets for Sustainable and Responsible Growth, a More Inclusive Workplace, Promoting Integrity, and Collaborations & Partnerships.

Held under the patronage and in the presence of Sheikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, the forum was themed ‘Sustainability in Action: Business and the Sustainable Development Goals’. The forum served as a successful ‘call to action’ — encouraging collaborative strategy and practical action towards creating diverse, inclusive and competitive economies.

‘Sustainability in Action’ was organised into five panel sessions focused on Peace, Planet, Prosperity, People and Partnerships. During the sessions, corporate governance was identified as a fundamental driver of sustainable economic growth, social development and job creation for the next generation of youth.

Keynote speakers included Sheikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development and Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary General, United Nations, the esteemed panellists shared their insights on identifying the most effective approaches towards achieving the UN global goals and highlighted the roadblocks that needed to be overcome. Experts headlining the sessions included Sheikha Hanadi Bint Nasser Al-Thani, Founder and Chairperson of Amwal, Abdullah Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah, Chairman of Abdullah Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah International Foundation for Energy and Sustainable Development, Razan Al Mubarak, Secretary-General of Environment Agency Abu Dhabi, Khalid Al Hussan, CEO, Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) and Sanjeev Chadha, CEO, PepsiCo Asia, Middle East and North Africa.

In his welcome address, Badr Jafar, CEO of Crescent Enterprises and Founder of The Pearl Initiative, said: “What is uniquely different about the SDGs’ inclusive and holistic approach, is just how clearly the role of business has been articulated in this new agenda. We are an essential component of humanity’s vision for a more sustainable world. Business also has a unique role to play in embracing technological change and globalisation to promote equitable prosperity, and thereby build resilience within our societies and economies. Our region’s vision for sustainable development utterly depends on the private sector’s ability to integrate our economy, society, and our environment.”

As part of her address at the forum, Ambassador Lana Nusseibeh, Permanent Representative of the United Arab Emirates to the United Nations said: “Accomplishing the SDGs will require us to build a global partnership and mobilize all available resources, bringing together national governments, private sector, civil society and the UN and its actors.

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