Running from April 13 to 15, 2009 at the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) headquarters under the theme ‘Arab and Foreign Experiences,’ the event is being held by the Arab Administrative Development Organization, in cooperation with SCCI.
The forum will gather high-level delegations from different Arab countries to discuss strategies related to social responsibility, which is a relatively new concept in the Arab World although it has already become crucial in helping Arab companies project and promote a positive image throughout the Arab business community.
The event will highlight the experiences of participating Arab countries and analyze them based on high international standards such as the economic and social framework of the country; current Arab business community; environmental issues; and resource conservation.
On its first day, the Forum discussed Social Responsibility and its importance in light of recent challenging circumstances and also reviewed the UAE experience in establishing partnerships for a sustainable future along with the Lebanese experience in implementing CSR initiatives.
The next two days will feature Saudi initiatives in promoting Social Responsibility principles; Qatar’s ethical investments; and related activities in Egypt, Syria, Oman, Bahrain and Jordan.
Ahmed Mohammed Al Midfa, Chairman, SCCI said, “This forum acts as an ideal platform for discussing the practical Arab experience in facing challenges and taking advantage of opportunities posed by the adoption of social responsibility principles. It will provide valuable insights on how to use these principles in accordance with the highest standards and refer to successful experiences as a starting point in implementing the concept of social responsibility within business communities. This is of great significance given the current global financial crisis.”
“We hope this event would yield positive results and that the resulting practical recommendations could lead us to the establishment of influential and vital partnerships and further motivate us to support the use of social responsibility strategies throughout the Arab World,” he added.
Othman Al Zubair, Consultant, Arab Administrative Development Organization said, “We are delighted to be one of the organizers of the first Arab forum on the concept of social responsibility because of its importance in light of the current crisis. Profitability and growth indicators are no longer the only criteria adopted to measure the success of companies and investments; other factors have also become just as important, particularly those related to sustainable development, preservation of environment and natural resources, and protection of the local societies. We will pursue the adoption of these new concepts across the Arab region through forums and workshops such as this.”
This first-ever CSR dialogue targets senior executives in Arab and multi-national companies from the private and public sectors; researchers; media professionals; activists involved in social responsibility; human rights organizations.
Social responsibility covers several areas, including business management in accordance with ethical rules and principles; protection and preservation of major resources such as water, forests, wildlife and soil; prevention of and resistance to corruption; and the protection of human rights which can be achieved by, for example, helping workers acquire economic and social benefits such as savings, insurance, and family care.
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