Pearl Initiative, UN Global Compact forum kicks off in Dubai

DUBAI, 27th October, 2016 (WAM) — The second annual regional forum of Pearl Initiative, held in collaboration with UN Global Compact, under the theme: “Sustainability in Action: Business and the United Nations Global Goals,’ opened on Thursday at Conrad Hotel Dubai.

“The UAE is engaged in sustainable development,” Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, said, citing the inspiring legacy of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, sustained by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

Efforts continue to motivate all public and private sector institutions to abide by the terms of sustainability and the development goals set by the United Nations, he added.

Sheikh Nahyan said the UAE’s leaders are committed to the principles of accountability, transparency and governance to achieve a sustainable economy. The Emirate of Abu Dhabi is committed to developing sustainable mechanisms to cope with the environment and protect its natural resources through the establishment of the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena), he added.

More than 143 companies operating in the UAE, including large, medium and small businesses and other educational and non-profit organisations, are part of the UN Global Compact through their commitment to the principles of transparency, accountability and institutional government, the UAE minister said.

He praised the efforts of Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, in developing the culture of sustainability and a rich heritage, built during his career at the United Nations.

Sheikh Nahyan expressed his gratitude to the Pearl Initiative and the UN Global Compact on creating the culture that links development goals with companies to promote awareness about the importance of accountability, transparency and governance in order to build a sustainable future.

The UN Secretary-General delivered a live video speech during which he commended the joint co-operation between the Pearl Initiative and UN Global Compact. The UAE has set a tone for pioneering model for companies to invest in renewable energy, while the UN Global Compact turned the Millennium Development Goals to local goals through the extensive network of relationships. The Pearl Initiative contributes to promoting corporate governance in the region, he said.

“This is important, especially after the international community agreed to unite to build a sustainable future,” Ban Ki-moon added.

The UAE mobilises efforts and encourages global discussions to look for innovative solutions to challenges in sustainable development, said Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment.

The UAE hosts international organisations, notably, Irena, based in Abu Dhabi and World Green Economy Organisation, which was established recently, and takes Dubai as its headquarters, he noted.

The event was convened under the patronage of Sheikh Nahyan.