Lebanese President Michel Suleiman calls for increased actions on corporate sustainability
Jedioioh, Lebanon, 8 November 2012 - With a strong call to scale up sustainability efforts in companies and management education institutions in Lebanon and the Middle East by H.E. Michel Suleiman, President of Lebanon, the 2nd PRME MENA Regional Meeting concluded today. A delegation of participants including leaders from faculties of business and management met with the President at his office. President Suleiman stressed the need for increased awareness among companies and higher education institutions for corporate sustainability practices to address some of the most pressing issues faced today in many countries across the Middle East and North Africa.
The 2nd PRME MENA regional meeting, hosted by Holy Spirit University of Kaslik (USEK) under the patronage of H.E. Prime Minister Najib Mikati, attracted more than 1,000 participants from faculties of business and management schools, leaders from business and government as well as business students.
Titled "Doing Business Responsibly - When Corporations become Citizens", the two-day forum featured seven panel discussions which focused on the role of corporate responsibility in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and the implications for management education.
While speakers from the business community acknowledged that corporate responsibility practices of companies in the Middle East are still predominately focused on philanthropy and community outreach programs, they pointed to an increasing number of companies which embed sustainability values into core business operations.
The regional meeting was co-organized by the USEK Faculty of Business and Commercial Sciences, the American University in Cairo School of Business as well as the PRME Secretariat of the UN Global Compact Office. At the sidelines of the meeting, participants discussed and planned the activities for the PRME MENA regional chapter. One of the proposed activities for the Chapter is a faculty development program to be offered during the next PRME regional meeting. Dean Sherif Kamel of American University School of Business announced that his school had offered to host the Chapter secretariat. Participants of the PRME community interested to learn more about the PRME MENA Chapter are asked to contact Prof. Ahmed Abdel-Meguid at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"This meeting showed the resolve of business schools and faculties across the Middle East and North Africa to implement curriculum change based on the Principles for Responsible Management Education," said Jonas Haertle, Head of the PRME Secretariat of the UN Global Compact Office. "USEK's mission statement reflects the values of responsibility and we are strongly committed to implement the PRME Principles in our institution as well as encourage other academic institutions to join into this partnership" said Dean Nehme Azoury of USEK Faculty of Business and Commercial Sciences.
Photos from the event are available here. A conference report including links to all presentations and papers will be made available on this website shortly. The conference website can be accessed at: http://webapp.usek.edu.lb/prme/accueil.aspx.
Please also see the article, "CSR in Education," from CSR Lebanon's Responsible Business Magazine (Issue No. 3, July - September 2012) for a detailed discussion of the efforts business schools in the region are taking to promote responsible management.
For more information, contact:
Head, PRME Secretariat
UN Global Compact Office
About the United Nations Global Compact
Launched in 2000, the United Nations Global Compact is both a policy platform and a practical framework for companies that are committed to sustainability and responsible business practices. As a multi-stakeholder leadership initiative, it seeks to align business operations and strategies with ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption, and to catalyze actions in support of broader UN goals. With 7,000 corporate signatories in 135 countries, it is the world’s largest voluntary corporate sustainability initiative. www.unglobalcompact.org.
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