UN Global Compact Takes Sustainable Development Goals to Local Business in Dubai Events

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UN Global Compact Takes Sustainable Development Goals to Local Business in Dubai Events

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UN @globalcompact takes #GlobalGoalsLocalBusiness multi-year strategy to Dubai with week-long series of events #SDGs http://bit.ly/2dP1HLD
Thursday, October 27, 2016 - 10:55am

CAMPAIGN: Sustainable Development Goals

CONTENT: Press Release

DUBAI, October 27, 2016 /3BL Media/ – This week the United Nations Global Compact convened over 600 leaders from business, civil society, the UN and Government in Dubai to drive business awareness and action in support of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the region. Hosted by Global Compact Network UAE, the four-day series of events entitled Making Global Goals Local Business – Dubai explored the actions and partnerships needed to advance the SDGs at the local level, particularly in the realm of peace and the humanitarian agenda.

“Already in the first year since the launch of the Sustainable Development Goals, we are seeing companies around the world – and here in the UAE – responding to the vision of the global goals. The SDGs are helping to outline new markets and opportunities for companies to contribute to improving our world,” said Lise Kingo, Executive Director of the UN Global Compact.

The Global Compact Network UAE is one of the fastest growing country networks in the global initiative, reflecting the rising interest of business in the region on sustainability. Ms. Kingo urged more companies in the Gulf and MENA regions to join the UN Global Compact and determine how their operations, products and services can support the planet and better serve markets today and in the future.

Representing the Global Compact Network UAE, Mahmoud El Burai laid out the crises afflicting the world – including conflict, poverty, inequality and climate change – and the urgency of taking action right away. “It is a long way to go, and the SDGs are our starting point,” he said. “We are here to transform our world and we have to leave a legacy. We must unite and be one voice: the voice of wisdom and the voice of making a difference.”

Peace and the SDGs

A central focus of the week was the UN Global Compact’s Annual Business for Peace Event, recognizing the fundamental role of peace in advancing all of the SDGs. Held on 26 October, the event convened 250 participants across sectors to help move the peace agenda from aspiration to action and identify opportunities for companies to align their strategies with SDG 16 – the new universal goal on peace and good governance.

Addressing the peace event, H.E. Dr. Thani Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment in the UAE, emphasized the deep connection between peace and sustainable development and outlined the work underway in the UAE around the SDGs.

On the role of business, Minster Al Zeyoudi said, “We see business as an important partner in realizing the ambitious 2030 Agenda as governments alone cannot undertake all that is required. But this not to be taken as a mere charity or to be ticked off as a corporate social responsibility item on the list. Business should consider engagement with the SDGs as a business opportunity because they make business sense.”

Moderated by Zainab Salbi, author and media commentator, the Business for Peace event showcased how companies are taking actions to support peace and humanitarian crises in all regions of the world. Multi-national and domestic companies shared their experiences promoting rule of law and inclusive societies, empowering women and fighting corruption to support the achievement of SDG 16. With respect to humanitarian crises, the need for private sector support was emphasized by UN entities and NGOs to help respond to the large movements of refugees and migrants. Education, employment and basic needs were identified as key areas for business action.

Global Compact Local Networks from Brazil, Colombia, Egypt, Germany, Indonesia, Nigeria, Uganda, Ukraine, Turkey also shared their efforts to mobilize the private sector around issues such as violence containment, refugees, interfaith and intercultural understanding, and peace negotiations.

Additional Dubai events included:

  • 24-25 October: Global Compact Local Networks from nearly 60 countries and representatives from over 30 UN agencies, funds and programmes focused on building private sector action on the SDGs country by country. Discussions centered on how to accelerate collaboration among business, the UN Global Compact and UN partners in local contexts, and in coordination with national SDG action plans. Participants shared examples of successful and scalable UN-Business partnerships, as outlined in the recently released UN Global Compact Partnership Passport. 


  • 25 October: Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) Business for Peace Forum was hosted together with the American University of Sharjah, bringing together academics, practitioners, civil society, international organizations and NGOs to discuss cutting-edge academic research on how business can advance peace with a focus on peacebuilding and conflict-sensitive due diligence in alignment with SDG 16. PRME is a sister initiative of the UN Global Compact. 


  • 27 October: 2nd Regional Forum on Sustainability in Action: Business and the Sustainable Development Goals was hosted by the Pearl Initiative, Global Compact Network UAE and the UN Global Compact. Bringing together over 600 senior representatives from public and private companies, state-owned entities, government, the UN, civil society and academia across the MENA region, the Forum explored opportunities to provide solutions and innovate around the SDGs and the global goals’ themes of prosperity, people, planet, peace and partnership.





Margaret Fenwick
+1 (646) 884-7531
UN Global Compact