The Private Sector and the Arab Region’s Path to Sustainable Development Webinar

The United Nations ESCWA and the United Nations Global Compact hosted the third webinar of the series Sustainable Development Dialogues in the Arab Region entitled “The Private Sector and the Arab Region’s Path to Sustainable Development”.

This ultimate goal of the webinar was to present the findings of the Arab Sustainable Development Report (ASDR2020) and the Global Compact Progress Report 2020.

About the  Arab Sustainable Development Report 2020

The Arab Sustainable Development Report 2020 is the first in the region to review the status of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the 22 Arab States. The report presents quantitative and qualitative analysis of the SDGs, identifies the main barriers to progress, the groups and countries at risk of being left behind, and proposes entry points to dismantle barriers and accelerate action to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Broadly, ASDR 2020 finds the Arab region not on track to achieve the SDGs by 2030. A number of structural barriers across the different dimensions of sustainable development hamper efforts and stunt progress.

About the Uniting Business in the Decade of Action

The Global Compact Progress Report 2020 provides an assessment of how companies participating in the UN Global Compact are adopting the Ten Principles and taking action to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This report takes stock of how businesses are performing on critical sustainability topics. For the first time, the 2020 report reviews data from a sectoral perspective. It also dives into the current state of progress for specific industry contributions to the SDGs. Broadly, the report finds that companies need to take more ambitious actions, at scale, to meet the objectives of the 2030 Agenda and create the world we want.

This session convened Arab sustainability experts from the private sector and other stakeholders who raised awareness and discussed the challenges and opportunities in the SDG implementation across the region. During the session, the following questions were addressed:

  • What are the main barriers preventing businesses from taking transformative and ambitious steps to contribute to the SDGs?
  • In a post-COVID era of disrupted and realigned supply chains, what opportunities exist to embed the SDGs into sustainable corporate practices?
  • Which kind of support is needed by SMEs in the Arab region, including those embedded in regional and global supply chains, to align with the SDGs?
  • What practical steps can be taken by businesses, governments, and other stakeholders to help progress towards the SDGs?

The main findings of the webinar are that the Arab private sector is pivotal to an inclusive and sustainable path out of COVID19 and towards greater shared prosperity. Speakers emphasized on the important fact that sustainability is not a tick pocket exercise; sustainability is a strategic exercise. Therefore, business leaders must initiate a principle based approach aimed at enhancing integrated policy making, aligning to the universal rights and ending conflict to enhance governance structures.

In conclusion, without a social contract between the institutions and the citizen, actions on the development and fiscal fronts will remain insufficient.  Businesses carry immense opportunities to reforms, prosperity and sustainable development.

This webinar demonstrated the strategic fit that we cannot privatize profits and socialize losses. 

Recording link to the webinar

Click here to access the recorded session.
We do hope you found the session beneficial and we look forward to organizing more opportunities in the future. 


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