UN global compact leaders summit

Karachi, June 29, 2020: German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the Presidents of Botswana, Colombia, Costa Rica and Ethiopia joined the President of the UN General Assembly and UN Secretary-General alongside dozens of Chief Executive Officers and UN chiefs at the United Nations Global Compact Leaders’ Summit to address the private sector’s response to three unprecedented and interconnected global crises — health, inequality and climate change.

Over 26 hours of continuous virtual programming — including more than 100 global, regional and local sessions — the Summit was the UN’s largest, most inclusive and most sustainable convening of purpose-driven business leaders committed to tackling societal challenges and advancing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

More than 20,000 business and sustainability leaders from over 180 countries participated in their local time zones and languages.

At this remarkable event Local Networks were given a unique opportunity of hosting their own sessions. Global Compact Network Pakistan hosted two significant sessions.

 In a number of back to back sessions, the discussions centered on the theme of “The SDGs in 2020: A Reflection and Reinforcement of Pakistan’s Values”.

Prominent panelists comprising Mr. Farrukh H Khan, CEO PSX, giving his perspectives on the growth of impact focused investing as investors gained better understanding of the SDGs.

Dr. Nasim ul Ghani Sahito, Secretary Industries & Commerce, Government of Sindh; Mr. Nadeem Ahmed & CEO & Managing Director at SEARLE shared this insight on business not as usual and the opportunities COVID could present if business, the Government and citizens align better.

Furthermore, this was followed by a session on activating Generation Z, their role as catalysts for delivering on the SDGS and how the SDGs be a springboard for Pakistani startups with viewpoints from Mr. Fahad Qadir, Director Communications at Coca Cola Ms. Jehan Ara, Founder & The Big Bird of the Nest I/O joined the panel discussion which was moderated by Mr. Fasihul Karim Siddiqi, Executive Director GCNP & Dr. Zubair Anwar Bawany, Deputy Executive Director GCNP.

The panelists shared their experiences and initiatives on the SDGs taken by their organizations which developed resilience in them to combat the challenges of COVID-19.

In a joint statement, Mr. Siddiqi & Dr Anwar-Bawany, commented, “It’s never been more important to create shared value. We’re at the greatly different intersections in society to solve problems. And we are so excited by the conversations we’ve had both in the run up to the Summit & during it as well as the actions after the summit will present to unlock value, that Company Leaders, Startups and Governments will need to forge in multi-stakeholder collaboration as we are Uniting Business”.

The next session was jointly organized by Local Networks of Pakistan, Bangladesh & Nepal on the theme of “Jump start the Economy – COVID 19 and Beyond: South Asia Response”. The Speakers in this session covered a vast and diverse area of activity reflecting their countries response on the current crisis of COVID-19 and suggested solutions to various challenges arising out of the COVID crisis.

The diverse range of Speakers comprising of H.E. Mr. Saeed Ghani, Minister of Labor and Education, Government of Sindh, Pakistan; Ms. Katie Beirne Fallon, EVP & Global Head of Corporate Affairs. Also, Vice Chair, International Tourism Partnership; Ms. Farzanah Chowdhury, MD & CEO (SDG Pioneer 2016), Green Delta Insurance Company Limited; Ms. Chandni Joshi, Enforcer, Homenet South Asia, Patron, SABAH Nepal; enlightened the audience with the current challenges and solutions.

Mr. Saeed Ghani, Minister Labour in his intervention spoke about the activities and initiatives taken by Government of Pakistan to handle the situation arising out of COVID-19 crisis.

Evermore, he called upon the Governments, Private Sector and Civil Society in South Asian countries to join hands in developing joint strategy to address the issue of Unemployment, Job Security and Future of Work which posed serious threat of survival and sustainability in the post COVID era.

Executive Directors of all three Networks Ms. Shahamin S. Zaman, GCN-Bangladesh; Mr. Fasih-ul-Karim Siddiqi, GCN-Pakistan; Mr. Krishna Shah, GCN-Nepal also joined the session and shared their views on the South Asia response to COVID-19. GCO Representative, Ole Lund Hansen, Chief, Global Operations, UNGC presented the concluding remarks. The session was moderated by Ms. Munmun Ahmed from Bangladesh.

Moreover, Both of the sessions followed Q/A session allowing participants to directly interact with the speakers. Since this year’s forum held virtually, so the larger and wider audience participated in the sessions from around the world. 

This virtual Summit provided a platform where leaders from business, civil society, Governments and the UN were challenged to reflect on the importance of collaboration and public-private partnerships, and increase their ambition to achieve the SDGs.

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