The Swiss Arab Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CASCI), represented by its Secretary General, Mrs. Hilda Al-Hinai, in collaboration with the Mission of Oman and the Union of Arab Chambers, was delighted to host a session at the WTO Public Forum on September 14, 2023, in Geneva with around sixty participants.
The session focused on the critical theme, “The Role of the Arab Private Sector in Environmental Conservation.”
The discussion revolved around the central role of the Arab private sector in environmental preservation. During this session, the speakers presented their remarkable contributions to sustainability and environmental conservation, highlighting their expertise in the service of various initiatives and organizations.
Session Summary: The private sector plays a significant role in the upcoming climate transition. Innovation, technology, investment in renewable energy, corporate sustainability, emissions reduction, and consumer awareness are all areas where the private sector takes the lead.
Sustainable actions announced and implemented by companies to control and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, with the aim of achieving net-zero emissions by mid-century, are an essential phase in achieving the goals of climate transition and sustainable development.
During this session, the sustainability initiatives undertaken by companies in the Arab region to contribute to the climate transition and their potential outcomes were presented. The session also addressed the challenges that companies face in complying with ESG standards, as well as difficulties related to access to finance, technology, and data.
The speakers have played a significant role in the field of sustainability and the environment. Here is an overview of their contributions and areas of involvement.
They have put their skills and expertise at the service of various initiatives and organisations. Here is an overview of their contributions and areas of involvement:
- Mrs. Habiba Hassan Sultan AI Mar’ashi Al Hashimi:
- Co-founder and Chairperson of the Emirates Environmental Group (EEG).
- EEG was the world’s first environmental NGO to achieve ISO 14001 certification.
- Established the Arabia CS Network, a pioneering multi-stakeholder platform in the MENA region.
- Co-founder of the Emirates Green Building Council and currently serves as Treasurer and Board Member.
- Engaged globally with the UN Global Compact, UNEP, Global Reporting Initiative Stakeholder Council, and other sustainability-related initiatives.
- Mr. Zhan:
- Senior Director of Investment and Enterprise at UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development).
- Responsible for editing the UN World Investment Report and the Transnational Corporations journal.
- Chairs the UN Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative and co-chairs the UN Family Business for Sustainable Development Initiative.
- Played a role in shaping investment policies used in over 130 countries.
- Established the prestigious World Investment Forum and holds advisory roles in esteemed academic institutions.
- Dr. Khaled Hanafy:
- Secretary General of the Union of Arab Chambers and Professor of Economics and International Business.
- Held various governmental, academic, business, and consultancy positions in Egypt.
- Served as Minister of Supply and Internal Trade in Egypt and developed a new food subsidy system.
- Worked on consultancy projects for organizations such as the Arab League, World Bank, IMF, WTO, UN, ILO, and the EU.
- Shemina Amarsy:
- Advisor on Sustainability Standards & Value Chains for the International Trade Center (ITC).
- ITC focuses on trade development for developing and transition economies and supports SME internationalization.
- Previous experience in the retailing industry and work with Fairtrade International.
- Engagement in promoting sustainability standards and responsible value chains.
These individuals contributed their expertise to major initiatives in the fields of sustainable development during this session at the WTO Public Forum.
Their actions aim to promote economic and environmental sustainability on a global scale.