Expo 2020 Dubai and the United Nations Global Compact are joining forces to hold a Sustainable Development Goals Business Forum during Expo’s Global Goals Week (16-22 January 2022), to unite businesses and spur further action towards a sustainable and inclusive future.
Announced on June 16th at this year’s UN Global Compact Leaders Summit, the collaboration reflects a shared and urgent commitment to advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and drive meaningful change.
Spotlighting the work of the UN Global Compact – the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative – the business forum will examine how the global community can foster economic prosperity for all, while ensuring the SDGs are achieved by the 2030 deadline. Dubai Chamber of Commerce, Official Business Integrator of Expo 2020 Dubai, will co-curate this and all other themed business forums throughout the six-month mega event.
The collaboration will leverage the presence of more than 200 international participants at Expo 2020 to encourage a new wave of UN Global Compact membership participation and drive progress towards sustainable and inclusive economic growth, in line with the UN Global Compact's mission to accelerate the collective impact of business at a global scale by upholding the Ten Principles and delivering the SDGs through accountable companies and enabling ecosystems.
Nadia Verjee, Chief of Staff, Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “Our collaboration with the United Nations Global Compact is another milestone in Expo’s wider relationship with the UN. It builds on our shared commitment to strategic action, collaboration and innovation to advance the SDGs and exemplifies Expo 2020’s mission to bring the world together to create a better future for people and planet.
“Sustainable growth is at the heart of the UAE’s strategic vision and underpins Expo 2020’s entire philosophy, before during and after the event. It cuts across Expo in all manner of ways, from highlighting how countries are placing sustainable development at the core of their strategies, exhibitions and programming, to actively engaging, informing and inspiring millions of visitors to make a conscious difference in how they live their lives.”
Aiming to be one of the most sustainable, inclusive World Expos in history, Expo 2020 has aligned its sustainability strategy with the SDGs, working with International Participants, commercial partners, stakeholders, and its entire supply chain to embed sustainability and inclusion into the physical site, the pavilion designs, and event operations.
Going beyond the environmental aspects of sustainability, Expo’s Better Together worker welfare strategy will leave a lasting legacy of change in the Middle East construction industry, while its policy of ‘one nation, one pavilion’ ensures that all countries, large or small, have an equal chance to participate and benefit from the opportunities associated with the global event. This commitment to building long-term, sustainable and equitable growth also extends to the wider Expo family, and many of Expo 2020’s Commercial Partners are already participants of the UN Global Compact.
The collaboration with the UN Global Compact also highlights the strength of the combined convening power of World Expos and the close relationship between the UAE, Expo 2020 and the UN. Just as the UN Global Compact brings together more than 12,000 companies and 3,000 non-business stakeholders, Expo 2020 will unite more than 200 participants, including 190-plus nations, as well as businesses, multilateral organisations and educational institutions, to form meaningful partnerships that can impact global change in an unprecedented way.
Dan Thomas, Chief of Communications & Strategic Events, UN Global Compact, said: “We are pleased to partner with Expo 2020 to engage more companies in driving the SDGs. We will use this opportunity to encourage more business leaders to set ambitious, measurable targets for sustainability. Tangible progress is essential for a just, inclusive and sustainable recovery from COVID-19 and to avert the climate and inequality crises that can hold human progress back if left unaddressed.
The UN announced its Expo 2020 participation in October 2019 and has already partnered on a number of cross-cutting thought leadership platforms. Its dedicated pavilion at Expo 2020, under the theme ‘We the Peoples: Shaping Our Future Together’, is an opportunity to engage millions of visitors from around the world and inspire action around the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Running from 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022 and coinciding with the 50-year anniversary of the founding of the UAE, Expo 2020 will bring the world together, creating an open, global dialogue that looks to the future. Millions of visitors from across the globe will be invited join the making of a new world, as they discover life-changing innovations that will have a meaningful, positive impact on both people and planet.