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Conference on Responsible Business and Investment in Conflict-Affected Areas

1-2 March, Burj Elfateh Hotel, Khartoum, Sudan

The first joint UN Global Compact – Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) event on “Responsible Business and Investment in Conflict-Affected Areas” was convened in Khartoum, Sudan, on 1-2 March 2010. The meeting was organized by the Global Compact Local Network Sudan and the Sudanese Businessmen and Employers Federation with the support of a number of government ministries, UNIDO Sudan and UNDP Sudan. The meeting brought together over 120 representatives of business, investors, civil society, academia, the UN and Government.

Through interactive discussion sessions, participants explored what is considered to be “responsible” business practices in the context of Sudan with a view to building a common understanding among all stakeholders.  Participants also provided input to the development of a Guidance document that will assist companies in living-up to the Global Compact principles in difficult operating environments. The final Guidance will provide a common reference point to facilitate more constructive engagement among companies and investors on these issues and will be presented at the Global Compact Leaders Summit 2010, to be held on 24-25 June, in New York.

Key outcomes of the meeting include:

  • More dialogue around a definition of “responsible business and investment” would be appropriate, as well as continuous sharing of best practices and lessons learned among operating companies.
  • Participants emphasized the role responsible investors can play to ensure the future reconstruction and development of the country as a whole and stressed the role of the private sector in the transition from short-term recovery to long-term development.
  • More efforts to report and share information are needed to dispel misunderstanding and bridge communication gaps. The Global Compact Network Sudan was encouraged to continue addressing this.
  • The meeting also served to strengthen the Sudan Network’s active and continuing role in providing a multi-stakeholder forum where risks and opportunities highlighted in the Guidance can be discussed and challenges examined.
  • Feedback and input was provided for the Guidance so it may be better applied and understood by companies in areas affected by conflict.
  • The Minister of Energy and Mining encouraged all oil operating companies to join the Global Compact.
  • The Sudanese Businessmen and Employers Federation declared an initiative encouraging all members to contribute a percentage of their profits to investment in conflict-affected areas.

 

Resources and Outcomes

Presentations

 

Contact

Melissa Powell
UN Global Compact
powell1@un.org
+1-212-963-0566

 

(Last update 27 May 2010)