The 4th Conference on Corporate Social Responsibility was held from May 28 to May 29, and was located in Doha. Doha is the capital of Qatar, which is located in Western Asia. It is on the northeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula, and borders Saudi Arabia. The theme of this conference was “Deepening of Responsible Practices in the Business Community.” Basically, the goal was to focus on corporate social responsibility through the various practices of businesses, particularly those of which attended the conference. The host of the conference was the Ministry of Business and Trade of the state of Qatar. The Minister of Business and Trade, H.E. Shekh Jassim bin Abdul Aziz Al Thani, said that the Ministry of Business and Trade wants to continue to support the Conference on Corporate Social Responsibility because they wish to continue the culture of corporate social responsibility by deepening its culture and stimulating the business sector in Qatar. Plus, the ministry supports social corporate responsibility throughout the entire country, and in countries beyond that of Qatar.
One of the themes explored in the 4th Conference on Corporate Social Responsibility was human rights, and the importance of human rights in the context of the business world. In general, there is a need for businesses to uphold human rights through their practices. Human rights are real issues for companies as well as society as a whole, and if a company wishes to have a good image, as well as be morally correct, supporting human rights is a necessity. An example of human rights gone bad was in Bangladesh, where more than 1,000 workers died in a Rana Plaza clothing factory when the building collapsed. During the Conference on Corporate Social Responsibility, it was agreed that human rights is an important thing to uphold in Qatar in order to create a positive international image, as the world is particularly strict in regards to Arab countries.
The Conference of Corporate Social Responsibility had speakers from the UN Global Compact network as well as the World Bank to talk about Corporate Social Responsibility. The Ministry of Trade and Business wants to spend time creating principles of Corporate Social Responsibility within Qatar by improving local standards as a whole. This conference was also an initiative to reflect Qatar’s support for sustainable development within their country and to raise awareness on the issues of corporate social responsibility, particularly in reference to upholding human rights.
Other themes involved in the conference included governmental implementation of policies in regards to corporate social responsibility, creating a network of corporate social responsibility within Qatar, discussing corporate social responsibility in reference to the Qatar National Vision 2030 (which is an overall goal of sustainable development), the benefits of corporate social responsibility, and the obligations of companies to their local communities.
Qatargas, a natural gas company, gave a presentation at the end of the conference to discuss their own corporate social responsibility practices. The presentation, given by the Corporate Citizenship Officer, Rand Agha, focused on education, environment, health, and community development. These initiatives are full of corporate social responsibility and are aligned with the Qatar National Vision 2030. See this article to read more.
Overall, the conference succeeded in detailing the importance of corporate social responsibility, and will hopefully result in an increase of support of human rights within business and company policies.
– Corina Balsamo
Sources: Gulf Times, BQ Doha, Qid Qatar