(New York/Dubai, 7 April 2008) - A new regional network of Global Compact participants in the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) was launched in Dubai today. The event was organized by the Emirates Environmental Group (EEG), under the leadership of Global Compact Board Member Habiba Al-Marashi, who serves as the Focal Point in the Gulf region. Over 150 high profile business leaders, government officials, Heads of diplomatic and UN missions and civil society representatives attended the launch. The initiative received the support of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, who was the patron of the event.
Keynote speakers included Habiba Al Marashi, Chairperson of EEG and Board Member of UN Global Compact; Georg Kell, Executive Director of UN Global Compact; Mohammed Al Sarhan, Vice President Al Faisaliah Group, Secretary General of Al Safi Club for Friends of the Environment, and Member, Steering Committee Global Compact Network GCC States; and Rami Ghandour, Executive Director, Metito.
The Global Compact was introduced in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and neighbouring states by the Emirates Environmental Group (EEG), the UAE-based NGO. EEG launched a Corporate Social Responsibility Network in year 2004, as an extension of its long term successful engagement with the business and corporate sector. The network currently has over 42 members from both public and private sectors, and has undertaken a range of value add initiatives to promote good CSR practices among business. Through promoting the Global Compact among its own constituencies and beyond, the EEG seeks to align local CSR practices with international standards of excellence, and facilitate a constant flow of ideas and exchange among companies in the Region and those globally.
The Local Network for the GCC States will operate out of the Secretariat within the EEG, which will be tasked with facilitating membership applications, processing participation in GC activities locally and internationally, organizing GC forums, providing inputs for preparing and submitting annual reports to the Global Compact, making GC resources and tools available to companies and so on.
The launch event was sponsored by companies across the GCC states including Emirates NBD from the UAE, Al Safi Club for Friends of the Environment from Saudi Arabia, Oryx Enterprises from Qatar, Metito from the UAE, Condor Building Contracting from the UAE and Sama Dubai from the UAE.
About the EEG
The Emirates Environmental Group (EEG) is a voluntary, non-government organisation (NGO) devoted to protecting the environment through means of education, action programs and community involvement. EEG is actively encouraged and supported by concerned local and federal government agencies. It is the first environmental NGO in the world to be ISO 14001 certified and the only organization of its kind in the UAE with accredited status to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). In 2005 EEG was awarded accredited status to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)’s Governing Council. It is also a member of the Board of the United Nations Global Compact and is a focal point for the Global Compact in the GCC States. Emirates Environmental Group is open to men and women of all nationalities, as well as to public and private organizations, academic establishments and international institutions.