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Sat 11 Apr 2015 12:36 PM

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Pearl Initiative, UNGC forum aims to improve Gulf business transparency

Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State, will be giving keynote speech at event in Dubai on April 16

Pearl Initiative, UNGC forum aims to improve Gulf business transparency
Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State.

The Pearl Initiative and the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) will hold their inaugural Forum in the Gulf region next week, with Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State, giving the keynote address.

The event at the Dubai World Trade Centre on April 16 is expected to bring together over 500 regional and international business leaders, representatives from UN organisations, government and civil society around the theme ‘Corporate Accountability Matters; Business Integrity and Value Creation Beyond 2015’.

The Pearl Initiative is and independent private sector-led not-for-profit organisation working across the Gulf region to encourage better business practices, while the UNGC is the world’s largest voluntary corporate sustainability initiative with 8,000 corporate signatories and 4000 other stakeholders in over 160 countries.

“Improving corporate accountability, transparency and governance is fundamental to fostering future competitive economic growth, spurring job creation and enhancing sustainable social development in the Gulf region,” said Badr Jafar, founder of the Pearl Initiative.

“Through our partnership with the UN Global Compact, and events such as this Forum, we aim to raise this awareness amongst regional business leaders, and encourage more measures that will lead to greater levels of corporate accountability and transparency,” Jafar added.

Designed to advance corporate sustainability and responsible business practices, this one-day event aims to enhance the role of the Private Sector in making progress towards regional competitiveness and the advancement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Georg Kell, executive director, UNGC, said: “There have been significant steps taken in the region to usher in an era in which businesses are far more aware of their potential to impact their communities, and we are pleased to play a role in fostering greater understanding through our partnership with Pearl Initiative. As a regional business hub, Dubai and the UAE as a Country is the ideal location to host the first Pearl Initiative and United Nations Global Compact Forum in the Gulf region.”

The inaugural Forum will begin with a video address from the Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki Moon, and include keynote speeches and panel discussions from international and regional business leaders including Sir Mark Moody Stewart, president & chairperson, Foundation for the UN Global Compact, Sheikha Hanadi AlThani, vice chairman of Nasser Bin Khaled AlThani & Sons Group, Mahmoud Al Kooheji, CEO, Mumtalakat and Nasser Al Nowais, chairman, Rotana Hotel Management Corporation.

The Forum will also mark the launch of Pearl Initiative’s “Women’s Careers in the GCC: The CEO Agenda”. This extensive research report, which polled more than 600 business women across the GCC, aims to inform all business leaders about the existing landscape of women in business in the region, and provide insights and recommendations for attracting, retaining and developing more women into senior company positions across the GCC. The key findings of the report will be revealed at the Forum.

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