Initiatives

This section contains information on initiatives of relevance to the Pearl Initiative.

SME Toolkit Lebanon

The SME Toolkit is a program of the International Finance Corporation (IFC).

There is an extensive set of “how to” articles and case studies in the section on corporate governance in family firms:

http://lebanon.smetoolkit.org/lebanon/en/category/11338/Family-Business

OECD Working Group on Bribery

The Anti-Bribery Convention is a cornerstone of the OECD’s efforts to create a stronger, cleaner and fairer world economy.

The Convention is the only international, legally binding instrument to focus exclusively on the bribery of foreign public officials in international business. This focus has allowed the Parties to the Convention, under the auspices of the OECD Working Group on Bribery, to rigorously monitor performance of each of the Parties since the Convention’s entry into force in 1999. The Working Group’s peer reviews—which Transparency International calls the “gold standard” of monitoring—holds Parties accountable to their Convention obligation to prevent, detect, investigate and prosecute this crime.

The Annual report on 2012 activities of the OECD Working Group on Bribery is available at http://www.oecd.org/daf/anti-bribery/AntiBriberyAnnRep2012.pdf

Middle East Investor Relations Society

The Middle East Investor Relations (IR) Society was founded in July 2008 as a non-profit organization for the sharing of best practices among IR professionals, who are focused on providing clear, consistent and timely information to the regional and international investment community. They believe that as the capital markets of the Middle East continue to grow and develop, IR professionals will play an increasingly critical role in ensuring the very highest standards of disclosure and transparency at the firms they represent.

The Middle East Investor Relations Society is holding the 4th Annual Conference and Awards Ceremony in Abu Dhabi on 29th November 2012. The event will bring together key capital market participants including regional regulators and exchanges, senior management of listed companies, buy and sell side representatives, private companies, family offices and firms, advisors and international IR Societies and related entities.

The Pearl Initiative is a supportive partner of the society Attendance at the Annual Conference is free of charge. Register your place at http://www.me-irsociety.com/annual-conference-registration.php

UNICEF Children’s Rights and Business Principles

UNICEF (the United Nations Children’s Fund), the UN Global Compact and Save the Children have together developed a set of global Principles to provide guidance to companies on how they can support children’s rights. The Children’s Rights and Business Principles (the Principles) are the first comprehensive set of principles to influence companies on the full range of actions they can take in the workplace, marketplace and community to respect and support children’s rights.

The 10 Principles provide businesses with a framework to uphold children’s rights through their policy commitments, due diligence and measures for change, according to a set of guidelines. They cover a wide range of key issues – from child labour to marketing and advertising practices to the role of business in aiding children affected by emergencies. Child-friendly policies and practices indicate good corporate governance and better risk management, support enhanced brand value, increase employee satisfaction, drive consumer loyalty and contribute to more sustainable value creation in the long term.

For further information, visit www.unicef.org/csr

International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC)

The International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) is leading the development of a global framework for Integrated Reporting.

On 12 September 2011, the IIRC released a Discussion Paper on Integrated Reporting. The Discussion Paper Towards Integrated Reporting – Communicating Value in the 21st Century considered the rationale for Integrated Reporting, offering initial proposals for the development of an International Integrated Reporting Framework and outlining the next steps towards its creation and adoption. Its purpose was to prompt input from all those with a stake in improved reporting, including producers and users of reports.

The next steps for the IIRC will be the development of an Exposure Draft, followed by a final version of the Integrated Reporting Framework.

A pilot programme is being run between 2011 and 2013 to ensure the Integrated Reporting Framework can be applied in practice. Sixty-one leading companies are testing the principles of Integrated Reporting in their corporate reporting cycle as part of this Pilot Programme

For further information, visit www.theiirc.org

GCC Board Directors Institute

The GCC Board Directors Institute (BDI) is dedicated to making a positive impact on the economies and societies of the region by promoting professional directorship and raising the level of board effectiveness. The GCC BDI holds regular Senior Director workshops, in which participants discuss contemporary issues and challenges that boards in the GCC face and, through experience-sharing, faculty and participants explore potential solutions, tools and best practices. Topics covered include Board composition, Directors’ roles and accountabilities, Board structure and processes, effective Board dynamics and Board evaluation. The GCC BDI has also published reports on Board effectiveness in the Gulf – in 2009 and 2011.

For further information, visit www.gccbdi.org

The United Nations Convention Against Corruption

Good institutional governance and an anti-corruption ethos are important to poverty alleviation and sustainable development. Corruption creates poverty because it diverts capital into the pockets of a few, while it could be spent on public interest.Corruption is a complex social, political and economic malaise that taintspublic and private sector institutions worldwide, and ultimately society at large. Although precise numbers are difficult to determine, estimates of financial losses due to corruption in developing countries alone range from $40 billion to as much as $60 billion a year.

Read more »

The United Nations Global Compact

The United Nations Global Compact is a strategic policy initiative for businesses that are committed to aligning their operations and strategies with ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption.

For further information, visit www.unglobalcompact.org

World Economic Forum Partnering Against Corruption Initiative (PACI)

The World Economic Forum Partnering Against Corruption Initiative (PACI) is a global anti-corruption initiative, developed by companies for companies. PACI offers a risk mitigation platform to help companies:

  • Design and implement effective policies and systems to prevent, detect and address corruption.
  • Benchmark internal practices against global best practice through peer exchange and learning.
  • Level the playing field through collective action with other companies, governments and civil societyareas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption.

For further information, visit www.weforum.org

UNDP Programme on Governance in the Arab Region (POGAR)

UNDP’s Programme on Governance in the Arab Region (POGAR) has been working with Arab governments, parliaments, judiciaries and non-governmental actors to support governance reforms for more than a decade. The recently launched new regional anti-corruption project, will contribute to Arab countries’ efforts in the area of transparency, integrity and the implementation of the UNCAC, with a view to reinforcing good governance practices and promoting human development and human security in the region. Its overall aim is to provide Arab stakeholders with the requisite tools to work on reducing corruption risks and adopt better standards and practices in this field. The UNDP Regional Bureau for Arab States will implement this four-year project (2011-2014) with the support of strategic partnerships at the national, regional and international levels.

For more information visit http://www.pogar.org/anticorruption

Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI)

The EITI sets a global standard for transparency in oil, gas and mining. It is:

  • An effort to make natural resources benefit all
  • A coalition of governments, companies and civil society
  • A standard for companies to publish what they pay and for governments to disclose what they receive

For further information, visit www.eiti.org

Accounting for Sustainability

The Prince’s Accounting for Sustainability project helps organizations develop and implement robust systems and procedures to embed sustainability principles consistently and effectively into the "DNA" of their businesses, thereby enabling sustainability issues to be taken into account more robustly and consistently in day-to-day decision-making.

For further information, visit www.accountingforsustainability.org

United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment

The United Nations-backed Principles for Responsible Investment Initiative (PRI) is a network of international investors working together to put the six Principles for Responsible Investment into practice. The Principles were devised by the investment community. They reflect the view that environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) issues can affect the performance of investment portfolios and therefore must be given appropriate consideration by investors if they are to fulfill their fiduciary (or equivalent) duty. The Principles provide a voluntary framework by which all investors can incorporate ESG issues into their decision-making and ownership practices and so better align their objectives with those of society at large.

For further information, visit www.unpri.org

MENA Responsible Business Conduct Forum

The MENA Responsible Business Forum was launched in Cairo in October 2008 as an initiative of the MENA-OECD Investment Programme. Its aim is to help governments in the region, in cooperation with business and civil society organisations, to create a climate that seeks to maximise the potential for investment to contribute to sustainable economic and social development. The Responsible Business Forum Secretariat is provided by the Egyptian Corporate Responsibility Center (ECRC).

For further information, visit http://mena-rbcf.org