Over two dynamic days, the conference brought together a diverse array of governance leaders, experts, and industry luminaries, fostering insightful dialogues on the intricate interplay between financial ecosystems, corporate stewardship, and the transformative COP28 climate agenda.
Attending the event alongside Khalifa Ahmed Rabba Al-Shehhi, Chief Operating Officer at Dubai Financial Market, were distinguished figures including Her Excellency Dr Maryam Al Suwaidi, Philip Armstrong, Alya Al Zarouni, and Mohamed Saleh Al-Shaikh and Hawkamah board members. Global leaders from the UK, USA, China, France, and Japan, including ICGN CEO Kerrie Waring, were also in attendance.
The conference opened with a welcome address by Dr Ahmad Bin Hassan Al Shaikh, Chairman of Hawkamah, expressing the institute's commitment to driving meaningful conversations shaping the future of corporate governance. He stated, "We are thrilled to host the ICGN-Hawkamah conference in Dubai, synchronising with COP28. This event serves as a crucial platform for fostering empowered leadership and inclusive governance, shaping a legacy of positive change. At Hawkamah, we firmly believe in corporate governance as a catalyst for significant impact. Beyond mere profitability, we envision a transformative journey that safeguards values, ensures sustainability, and celebrates diversity. We are committed to collaborating with our international and regional partners to bring this vision to fruition."
Kerrie Waring, CEO of ICGN, remarked, “ICGN is proud to have convened investors from all over the world to meet with companies, regulators and other stakeholders in Dubai in partnership with Hawkamah. As we prepare for Cop 28 next week, never has it been more important to ensure effective governance and stewardship to preserve and enhance long-term corporate value upon which we all rely. Our hosts in the UAE have made it clear that this is important for attracting global investment into the region - ultimately contributing to sustainable economies, societies and the environment and we look forward to continued dialogue.”
With ESG firmly on the agenda, the conference explored MENA countries' pursuit of net-zero carbon neutrality by 2050, emphasising the crucial role of governance oversight aligned with international standards and highlighting the role of corporate boards' to sustainability governance. Regional and international experts discussed the pivotal role of human capital management in long-term value creation, addressing post-COVID considerations and emphasising productivity and innovation.
During a keynote address by Daniel Blume from the OECD, the Revised G20-OECD Principles of Corporate Governance were unveiled, followed by a Hawkamah Certification Ceremony in which recent graduates of the Director Development Programme and Board Secretaries Workshop were presented with certificates.
In his closing remarks, Dr Ashraf Gamal El Din, Chief Executive Officer of Hawkamah, expressed gratitude for the engaging discussions, diverse perspectives, and collaborative spirit that characterised the event. He said, "I sincerely thank all speakers, sponsors and participants for their invaluable contributions, diverse perspectives, and unwavering commitment to forging a path towards sustainable governance. As we embrace the collective wisdom cultivated over these two dynamic days, let us continue collaborating, innovating, and demonstrating responsible leadership. Together, we have laid the groundwork for a future where corporate governance not only meets the challenges of today but paves the way for a resilient and sustainable world tomorrow."
The ICGN-Hawkamah Conference has not only set the stage for a more sustainable and responsible future but has reaffirmed the crucial role of international cooperation in addressing the pressing issues of our time. The event served as a strategic platform for shaping the future of corporate governance in the face of evolving financial ecosystems and the imperative of COP28 climate goals.