UAE, October 2, 2016 - The Arab Region’s most talked about CSR Forum will be happening on October 19, 2016 in Dubai. Taking place annually for the past six years, the forum has become known all over the Region and even beyond as a platform that promotes latest thinking and current philosophies around CSR and sustainability.
This year too, the forum will present fresh thinking and current topics, particularly on the subject of critical importance, namely, the Sustainable Development Goals. The forum will raise the curtain on the Arab Sustainable Development Agenda and its priorities.
The theme, ‘Accelerating the Arab Sustainable Development Agenda Through Innovation and Collaboration’ will reflect this and more. The theme is bold and gives out a call to action in the region.
Habiba Al Marashi, Chairperson of Arabia CSR Network, pointed out that the Forum will address four sessions. The first will focus on the current state of sustainability in the Arab world in the wake of the Millennium Development Goals, and what are the most pressing development priorities in light of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The second session will dwell on partnerships for the SDGs; enhancing Corporate Social Responsibility for policy coherence and resilient collaborations. Specifically, this will discourse policy coherence with the SDGs from a global perspective; evaluate if extractive industries support the SDGs from a regional perspective and study the business case for Arab collaborations.
She goes on to discuss the third session as “interdependencies and disparities between private, public and civil society collaborators. To what extent are businesses in the region equipped with knowledge and awareness of the post 2015 development agenda?” Further, bridging the gap between expectations and reality: what is the role of each key stakeholder state and non-state player in the Arab sustainability scene? Last but not least, there will be focus towards the nexus of youth, innovation and social enterprise addressed in the fourth session. Primarily, “what is the role of academia in developing the capacity of Arab youth to innovate and collaborate towards inclusive sustainable development?” and what are “the new and appropriate business models and technologies” needed to do so.
The forum therefore promises to be a great opportunity to gain firsthand knowledge about all the key issues within CSR and sustainability that people in the Region should be cognizant of. It will bring together 25 thought leaders, government and business leaders, UN officials and youth spokespersons. Some of the acclaimed speakers will be HE Dr. Mohammed bin Ibrahim At-Twaijri, Assistant Undersecretary General of Economic Affairs from the League of Arab States, HE Mr. Saeed Al Tayer, Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer of DEWA, Dr. Iyad Abumoghli from UNEP ROWA, Dr. Abdullah Al Dardari, Deputy Executive Secretary at UN ESCWA, Professor Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the Earth Institute, Columbia University, Dr. Shahira Wahbi, Chief of Sustainable Development and International Cooperation at the League of Arab States, among many others.
As it’s clear from the list, it has the right balance of local and global perspectives, which will make for an exciting round of discussions. A special session on youth has been arranged, keeping in view that youth are among the most potent force in society and one that is demanding that its voice be heard. The 7th Arabia CSR Forum is therefore offering the youth a high class platform where they will be able to rub shoulders with the leaders and change makers in sustainability, and gain an enhanced understanding about why such issues are important for their future.
The Forum is being organized by Arabia CSR Network, the leading think tank and training center based in the UAE, under the patronage of the League of Arab States and supported by the United Nations Environment Program. The forum is also supported by a range of public and private organizations such as ENOC as a Strategic Sponsor from the UAE, Maaden as a Platinum Sponsor from the KSA, Diamond Developers as a Gold Sponsor from the UAE, GPIC from Bahrain and Tristar Transport from the UAE as Silver Sponsors, Emirates Environmental Group as Environmental Partner, Expert Consulting on Governance as Strategic Supporter in addition to myclimate, as well as Media Partners like 7 days, Gulf News, Moon Media Consultant, Orient Planet and Cyber Gear. The forum will be held from the 19th to the 20th, whereby the two days will see a combination of plenary sessions, creative labs and keynote presentations, moderated by well-known sustainability champions.