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  • Ahmed Saleh

UNESCO and UN Global Compact discuss private sector's role

Diriyah, September 10, 2023, In a first-ever meeting in Saudi Arabia organized by Diriyah, The City of Earth, UNESCO and the UN Global Compact opened a discourse to consider the private sector's responsibility in preserving the world's cultural and natural legacy. During the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in Riyadh from September 10 to September 25, 2023, UNESCO and the UN Global Compact (UNGC) Saudi Arabia Network organized a forum on September 10 in At-Turaif, Diriyah, to recognize the significant potential of the private sector in creating a roadmap for partnerships that will increase accessibility while preserving and protecting cultural heritage around the world. The goal of this forum is to generate ideas on how to localize efforts to protect and safeguard the most significant heritage in the world. This forum is held under the firm belief that the corporate sector can play a crucial role in enhancing public access to natural and cultural heritage.

For roundtable talks on "World Heritage and Climate Change" and "Priority Africa and World Heritage," this seminar aimed to bring together a broad group of business executives from the Gulf States. About 40 business representatives, UN Global Compact participants, and experts from the World Heritage Committee and Ministry of Culture brainstormed ideas to create a road map for the collaboration's next stages. The World Heritage Committee will hear the conclusions of this meeting from the States Parties in a side event on September 12.

The forum, which is being hosted by Diriyah, offers a great chance to increase key stakeholders' engagement and have them make measurable contributions to Saudi Arabia's 2030 vision. By reflecting the rich tradition, culture, and hospitality of the Kingdom, it also helps Diriyah grow into one of the greatest gathering places in the world.

In his opening remarks, Mr. Lazare Eloundou Assomo, Director of the UNESCO World Heritage Center, said, "This Forum is a great opportunity to further engage the private sector as partners to collaborate with us as we work towards protecting our shared world heritage and achieving Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and future generations."

According to Mr. Ibrahim Al-Helali, UNGC Saudi Arabia's Executive Director, "The UN GC Network in Saudi Arabia, along with our cherished partner UNESCO, is proud to lead the way in acknowledging the critical role that the private sector plays in protecting our treasured cultural and natural heritage. Together, with the help of our unshakable commitment to corporate responsibility and the Sustainable Development Goals, we are paving the way for heritage places around the world to be resilient, sustainable, and have a brighter future.

We are thrilled to be hosting the 45th Session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in Diriyah," said Jerry Inzerillo, Group CEO of Diriyah. "Every day we celebrate the culture, heritage, and legacy of Diriyah, and we are excited to show the committee members the majesty of this destination, connecting people from all over the world through Saudi culture. Such occasions provide us a chance to consider the enormous role that our heritage has played in establishing who we are. Future generations can connect with those who came before them by preserving distinctive traditions and ways of living, strengthening communities, and enhancing lives. The forthcoming productive and significant conversations are anticipated.

The UN Global Compact and UNESCO are both adamant about carrying out the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Due to the way it fosters tolerance and respect as well as its contribution to the empowerment of women, young people, and communities, World Heritage has long been seen as a crucial component for the attainment of development goals.

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