[Recording available] CBi Virtual Event: Building Beirut Back Better: How the private sector can support response and recovery

Connecting Business initiative Secretariat
Event date 22 Sep '20 06:00 - 07:00
Event location Online

Global Impact Forum | Session:  Building Beirut Back Better: How the private sector can support response and recovery 

The 4 August Port explosions in Beirut came as Lebanon faces a multi-faceted crisis. In recent months, increased COVID-19 transmissions, economic contraction, poverty and rising prices have compounded needs among Lebanese and non-Lebanese communities. The Beirut Port explosions created significant immediate humanitarian needs and severe long-term consequences.   

In response to the explosions, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), United Nations Global Compact and the Connecting Business initiative (CBi) released the UN-Business Guide for the private sector to support the response and recovery efforts. As the city and country move to rethink, rebuild and reconnect its communities, the UN Global Compact’s Local Network in Lebanon, plays a critical role in supporting systematic efforts to foster this change. 

While the primary responsibility rests with governments and the humanitarian-development community, the private sector can add significant value in preparing for, responding to and recovering from disasters. Recognizing the importance of multilateral solidarity and building back better, private sector contributions should ensure they do no harm, respect the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact and support the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals. 

This session explored how the private sector can support the Government, UN system, civil society and others in responding to and recovering from the multi-faceted crisis in Lebanon. It helped participants understand the role of public-private partnerships and principled business operations in strengthening national capabilities. The conversation also highlighted solutions to build resilient communities and businesses while respecting the Ten Principles and supporting the Sustainable Development Goals.  

This session is part of the UN Global Compact’s Uniting Business Live events series organized to mark the opening of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly.

speaker card


6:00-06:05 am EST 

Welcome by moderator 

  • Ms. Dina Harake, Executive Director, Global Compact Network Lebanon 

6:05-06:10 am EST 

Opening remarks 

  • Ms. Najat Rochdi, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, Lebanon 

06:10-06:45 am EST 

Interactive panel discussion  

  • Mr. Ole Lund Hansen, Chief, Global Operations, UN Global Compact 

  • Mr. Sebastian Rhodes Stampa, Chief, Emergency Response Section, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) / Operations Management Committee of the Connecting Business initiative (CBi) 

  • Ms. Maissa Abou Adal Ghanem, Board Member, Holdal - Abou Adal Group 

  • Mr. Neemat G. Frem, Chairman & CEO, INDEVCO Sal. 

  • Ms. Dima Jamali, President, Global Compact Network Lebanon 

06:45-06:50 am EST 

Session Wrap-up 

  • Ms. Dina Harake, Executive Director, Global Compact Network Lebanon  


About the organizers 

United Nations Global Compact 

The United Nations Global Compact is the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative. Launched in 2000 as a special initiative of the UN Secretary-General, the mission of the UN Global Compact is to mobilize a global movement of sustainable companies and stakeholders to create the world we want. 

Businesses that join the initiative commit at the CEO level to align their corporate strategies and operations with Ten Principles on human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption and take actions to support the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Through providing authoritative guidance, training, tools and support, and connecting stakeholders across the globe, the UN Global Compact enables businesses of all sizes and from all sectors to achieve their sustainability objectives. 

Global Compact Network Lebanon 

Global Compact Network Lebanon (GCNL) is one of 69 Local Networks around the world that operates through a signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the UN Global Compact. Local Networks have the unique mandate to provide direct local support to UN Global Compact participants based in their respective country with direct communication and guidance from the UN Global Compact. GCNL advances the UN Global Compact initiative, its Ten Principles, and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the country level. It helps companies build a strong understanding of responsible business within the national context and put their sustainability commitments into action as well as facilitate local connections – with other businesses and stakeholders from NGOs, government and academia.  

Connecting Business initiative (CBi) 

The Connecting Business initiative (CBi) transforms how the private sector engages before, during and after crises. The initiative is jointly managed by UNDP and OCHA, and supported by partners including the UN Global Compact. It increases the resilience of companies and people, while integrating private sector networks into disaster management mechanisms. In 2019, CBi Member Networks and their partners responded to 31 crises including earthquakes, cyclones, political unrest and health epidemics. CBi Networks play critical roles by participating in search and rescue operations, collecting and distributing relief aid, restoring critical infrastructure, sharing information, making financial contributions and working alongside governments and aid organizations. More information at: www.connectingbusiness.org 

United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) 

OCHA is the part of the United Nations Secretariat responsible for coordinating humanitarian action to ensure crisis-affected people receive the assistance and protection they need. It works to establish and sustain a framework within which each actor can contribute to the overall response effort, to overcome obstacles that impede humanitarian assistance from reaching people affected by crises, and to provide leadership in mobilizing assistance and resources on behalf of the humanitarian system. OCHA is not an operational agency directly engaged in the delivery of humanitarian programs, and its added value is as an honest broker, facilitator and global advocate, providing support to the humanitarian system. In fulfilling its coordination mandate, OCHA is guided by the humanitarian principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence. 

About Uniting Business Live 

To mark the opening of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly, the UN Global Compact special event Uniting Business LIVE from 21 to 23 September will virtually convene leaders from business, Government and civil society to showcase their commitment to the UN’s mission. 

Over a series of three forums, leading Chief Executives, corporate sustainability experts and business leaders will come together to take stock of the state of the world, address gaps in progress, drive business ambition on the SDGs and highlight cooperative and actional solutions that are ready — today. These themes will run throughout multi-stakeholder panels, live General Assembly presentations and CEO interventions, and will encourage a global cross-sector dialogue through programme-themed meet-ups, interactive breakout-sessions and exposition booths.  

As the world moves from reflection to action, join us to learn how business can take clear steps and demonstrate bold leadership for the Decade of Action to transform business models and economies to become more just and inclusive, ensuring we leave no one behind. 

For more information, please find the icon below to view the concept note.  

Photo: UNOCHA/Farid Assaf