- Sultan Butti bin Mejren: “The success of the UAE network supports the progress of our pioneering efforts in sustainability.”
- Three sessions addressed the most important aspects of sustainability with the participation of international experts and 300 attendees.
- The event witnessed the announcement of a range of pioneering initiatives including the ‘UAE Sustainability Pioneer Award’.
Dubai Land Department (DLD) has hosted a discussion forum on the second anniversary of the United Nations Global Compact Network UAE. The forum took place in the Emirates Towers Hotel, Dubai, and was organised by Dubai Real Estate Institute – the educational arm of DLD – in collaboration with the UN Global Compact and the local UN Global Compact Network UAE. The various panel discussions focused on Dubai’s ambitious endeavours to achieve sustainability across the board in line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
His Excellency Sultan Butti bin Mejren, Director General of DLD, commented: “Following the UN Global Compact conference that was hosted in Dubai two years ago, and to demonstrate our expertise in organising prestigious international meetings, we are pleased to have established a UN Global Compact Network UAE under the stewardship of DLD. We are extremely pleased to have attracted more than 120 members from organisations and companies operating across the country, and proud with the success of our growing network, which provides a bright model for the UAE’s ongoing efforts to achieve sustainability and adopt international best practices in this field. The network’s activities contribute to building a business environment where sustainability is a priority that is embedded in the culture and all day-to-day operations.”
Over 300 Attendees Mahmoud Al Burai, Executive Director at the Dubai Real Estate Institute and representative of the local UN Global Compact Network UAE, said: “The forum attracted over 300 people including a diverse range of stakeholders such as multinationals, family businesses, government entities, small and medium sized enterprises, academics, students and sustainability professionals.”
“Among other topics, the forum highlighted innovative solutions for furthering sustainable development goals, practical solutions for integrating sustainable development strategies, the principles of the UN
Global Compact in institutions, and methodologies for the UAE’s transition to a sustainable economy. It also reviewed efforts to support the UAE’s ‘Year of Giving 2017’, as well as ways to encourage participation in the UN Global Compact,” he added.
Global Initiatives In addition to the sessions, Al Burai ensured that the forum saw a wide range of initiatives announced. ‘UAE SDGs Pioneer Awards’ were launched to recognise companies and institutions that take qualitative leaps towards achieving sustainability goals, and to emphasise the important role of private sector participation in the success of the 2030 Agenda. The announcement is also aligned with the UAE’s ‘Year of Giving 2017’, which encourages companies to fulfil their community responsibilities. The UAE Sustainability Award winners will be announced in November.
The ‘Sustainable Development Goals Expo 2018’ was also announced, as the upcoming event will serve as an international platform for showcasing innovative technologies and solutions that aim to fulfil the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals by the end of 2015. The event will take place in Dubai and be the first of its kind to showcase the latest innovative global solutions in support of the goals of the 2030 Agenda. The forum also witnessed the launch of the Youth of Sustainability Program for the Global Compact Network UAE, which employs more than 150 young men and women from seven UAE universities. Future generations will motivate the private sector to adopt high ethical standards to act as a driving force in supporting the country’s efforts towards sustainability. It also trains young people to write sustainability reports and formulate their goals.
Speeches and Discussions Following an opening speech delivered by Mahmoud Al Burai, the audience enjoyed a number of keynote addresses including a speech by Giuseppe Saba, CEO of International Humanitarian City, and another by Osman Sultan, CEO of du.
Osman Sultan, CEO of du, a member of the UN Global Compact Network UAE, and one of the most prominent speakers at the forum, commented: “As a signatory to the UN Global Compact since 2011, and in line with the UN principle that companies can support positive change to benefit society, it is our duty to continue to provide greater support for meaningful community initiatives and promote sustainable development across all business sectors. As a global leader in one of the most dynamic sectors, we are dedicated to eliminating boundaries in the world of communication and digital services, providing all forms of support for such initiatives, and improving all aspects of UAE life.”
Several sessions were held during the forum including the ‘UAE Year of Giving’, which was moderated by Alice Laugher, CEO of CTG Global, with the participation of five experts. The second session – ‘Global Youth Network for Sustainability’ – focused on innovative solutions that have been generated by young people from around the world. The session was moderated by Barzan Jafar, President of the Global Youth Sustainability Network, with the participation of three international experts. At the third panel discussion – ‘Gender Equality’ – creative practices were highlighted in accordance with the UN’s Women’s Empowerment Principles and Goal Five of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals: achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
From 24th to 26th October 2016, Dubai hosted the annual meeting of the UN Global Compact – the world’s largest institutional sustainability initiative, attracting more than 13,000 global companies and a large number of other parties from 170 countries around the world. During the meeting, the ‘Global Strategy for Sustainability’ and the ‘17 Goals for Sustainable Development’ were discussed. The Conference session was attended by 84 United Nations Global Compact Network UAE representatives from 84 States.
The UN Global Compact Network UAE was founded two years ago and now has 120 members from major national and international companies. The network has also launched the ‘Youth Ambassadors for Sustainability’ programme to lead the country’s sustainability efforts. Local Global Compact networks are made up of a group of participants who meet to promote the ideals and principles of the Global Compact within a specific region, with Dubai being registered as a member of the Global Compact through DLD.