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Hiwar Session: Governance and Sustainability crucial for success

September 4, 2014 11:00 am

The Abu Dhabi Sustainability Group (ADSG), a public-private partnership to promote transparency and sustainable development, in collaboration with the Pearl Initiative, today hosted a Hiwar discussion for experts in sustainability and governance.

“Today, our speakers presented a compelling argument that good governance is essential for sustainable development; it is a crucial pillar for success in any organisation,” said Huda Al Houqani, ADSG Director, in her opening statement. “Organisations that want a successful future need to be transparent, accountable, and have clear systems of governance.”

Hiwar is the Arabic word for dialogue. Today’s was the ninth Hiwar session to be held in Abu Dhabi, with high-profile speakers outlining key developments and trends in governance and sustainability. This session is part of a series of events focused on economic, social and environmental issues and their implications for Abu Dhabi and the wider region.

Al Houqani said: “Innovative and collaborative partnerships are important for a sustainable future. We are proud to be working alongside the Pearl Initiative to reach members’ organisations, stakeholders, and the people within our community to show how integrating sustainability is such an important step.”

After remarks by Imelda Dunlop, Pearl Initiative, Executive Director, and Huda Al Houqani, ADSG Director, the crowd was addressed by experts, including HE Khuloud Al Nuwais, Chief Sustainability Officer, Emirates Foundation, Ann Pettifor, and Director of Policy Research in Macroeconomics (PRIME), Andrew Robinson, Resident Partner at KPMG, and Mr. Robinder Singh, Investor Relations Director at Al Dana Gas.

Commenting on the event Imelda Dunlop, Executive Director, of the Pearl Initiative said: “With an increasing number of firms in the GCC looking to develop and enhance their corporate governance and sustainability structures, and a rising awareness of the critical role these elements play in the development and growth of modern business, knowledge-sharing events like these are key”.

“The Abu Dhabi Sustainability Group is clearly taking great strides to promoting the importance of organisational sustainability strategies in the UAE, and the Pearl Initiative are proud supporters of the great work that they are doing. We look forward to working together again in the future”, she added.

Ann Pettifor, Director of Policy Research in Macroeconomics (PRIME), said during the session “It’s an honour to be supporting the aims of the ADSG which promotes sound governance and understands the vital link between good governance and sustainability”.

Mr. Pettifor added “careful management of monetary policy and improved governance of the international financial system is vital for the sustainability of both the economy, but also of the ecosystem. Central to that task of sustainability is the Islamic finance principle of stakeholder finance – as opposed to rentier finance based on high rates of interest.”

The session made significant inroads into improving understanding of governance and the challenges faced when organisations integrate sustainability into their organisations, providing valuable opportunities to explore the subject in more details. The ADSG’s work aims to support the Abu Dhabi Government Vision 2030 and the UAE Government’s holistic policy development approach towards sustainability under a common vision, UAE Vision 2021 and the Green Growth strategy.