NRS International Participates in UN Global Compact’s 2016 Business for Peace Event in Dubai



by Nicole Malick, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at NRS International

NRS International and the UN Global Compact United Arab Emirates (UAE) Network helped to stage the Annual Business for Peace event during the recent UN Global Compacts’ Making Global Goals: Local Business week in Dubai. 250 international and regional leaders from government, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and the private and academic sectors participated in the event, making it an ideal platform for further collaboration.

With 65 million people – including 21 million refugees – displaced by conflict, and the cost of violence at 13.4% of global GDP, it has never been so urgent to step up efforts in support of peace, and business can play a strategic supporting role[1]. So this year’s event endeavoured to translate the peace agenda into a reality through multi-stakeholder collaboration and strategic alignment.

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Dubai as a regional hub

Many event participants, such as Majid Al Futtaim, PepsiCo, Inc. AMENA, Chalhoub Group, China Energy Company Limited, PepsiCo, Emirates NBD, Oando and CTG Global, highlighted the strategic importance of Dubai for business operations. They lauded its global connectivity, ease of doing business, and peaceful and inclusive society. Dubai has also grown into a regional hub for NGOs, governments and the private sector working in humanitarian and peace-building missions, and it is for all these reasons that NRS International opened its HQ in Dubai.

NRS International works towards peace

Our history can be traced all the way back to 1966, and throughout that time we have followed the same dual strategic vision, as summed up by Managing Director, Farhaj Sarwar: “Our first mission is to design and manufacture humanitarian, public health and development products that improve the lives of vulnerable populations. Our second mission, which goes hand in hand with the first, is to create job opportunities to promote economic empowerment. By following such a path, we can significantly contribute to the promotion of peace.”

UNGC-NRS International-tent-displayIn 2015-16, we supplied 54 million life-improving products to 95 million beneficiaries across the world, through 75 clients. These included innovations such as NRS Relief‘s fire retardant family tents and the HuggyPRO multi-purpose tent, as well as TANA Netting‘s DawaPlus® Canopy Hammock. The most recent innovation, the Oxfam Jerry Bucket, improves WASH practices in emerging countries and following emergencies.

With our HSNDS factory in Lahore, we are rapidly becoming one of the largest employers in Punjab, Pakistan. Job creation is the best way to pull families, communities and countries out of poverty, and this year we added more jobs, hence increasing the production workforce.

According to Mr Sarwar, “High unemployment can be a cause of social unrest and sustainable job creation is vital to peace promotion. Generally, we only enter a market if we know we can provide employment opportunities.”

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 16 and 17

SDG 16, Peace Justice and Strong Institutions, and SDG 17, Partnerships for the Goals, were emphasised throughout the one-day event, and our company values encompass these. Participants highlighted the importance of peaceful and inclusive societies and the need for comprehensive stakeholder collaboration.

Mr. Sarwar is a passionate advocate of our company value, loyalty. “At NRS International we embrace loyalty. We recognise the importance of developing long-lasting relationships with our customers and partners, as well as with the communities in which we work.”

SDGs can only be achieved through collaborations that tackle old problems, and the role of local businesses remains critical. Ms. Lise Kingo, Executive Director of the UN Global Compact, said “we are proud that the Global Compact Network in the UAE is one of our fastest growing country networks, reflecting the rising interest of businesses in sustainability. Many companies are leading by example in the Gulf – showing how businesses can take steps to advance anti-corruption, gender equality, green growth and sustainable building.”

To learn more about UN Global Compact’s Business for Peace platform please visit https://www.unglobalcompact.org/take-action/action/peace.

To view more photos from the event, click here.

About UN Global Compact

The United Nations Global Compact was founded in July 2000 in New York City, and is the largest global initiative for institutional sustainability. It brings together over eight thousand companies and four thousand relevant parties all around the world.  NRS International proudly co-chairs the Women’s Empowerment Principles and Business for Peace work streams in the UAE. To learn more about the UN Global Compact UAE Network please contact, Ms. Hidaya Mansoor Alfalasi at hidaya.alfalasi@dubailand.gov.ae.

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[1] UN Global Compact. 26 October 2016. https://www.unglobalcompact.org/docs/news_events/MGGLB-Dubai/B4P2016-agenda.pdf
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