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GPF to call on Ottawa companies to beef up social responsibility
written by Elizabeth Howell
published by the Ottawa Buisness Journal, October 9, 2012
Amir Dossal usually spends his days asking companies and wealthy individuals to help him assist some of the world's most impoverished people. The former executive director of the United Nations Office for Partnerships, perhaps best known for acting as chief liaison for Ted Turner’s $1 billion donation to the U.N., will speak in Ottawa Nov. 6. He will be the keynote evening speaker at the Canada Conference: Corporate and Community Social Responsibility, which will be held at Algonquin College. “Corporate social responsibility represents a line item in the budget for (many) companies,” Mr. Dossal says. “I say we should include that as a core value of the business. It should be integrated into the DNA of the company.” Mr. Dossal is also chair of the Global Partnerships Forum. It is a board soliciting money from private corporations and individuals in pursuit of fulfilling the Millennium goals, which address such aims as ending hunger and combatting HIV/AIDS. Collaborators include giants such as Microsoft and MetLife. Another example is the company Nestle, he says. The firm buys a lot of milk and dairy products, and some of its sources comes from African farmers. “They’re now training the farmers so they can produce better products. If they have better products, they increase the quality of the products. In turn, it helps reduce the risk of recall, for example. It’s a win-win.” Mr. Dossal is issuing a call to companies to talk to members of the community in which they work to find out about local issues. Often, there’s a way the firm can assist the community if these issues are brought to light, he said. As for what he’s doing at the United Nations, Mr. Dossal speaks principally of two programs. One is called Education First, an initiative aimed to improve the training and health of students so that they are better able to study and succeed. The second is ongoing work to find successor goals to the Millennium Development Goals, which “technically” expire in 2015. But Mr. Dossal acknowledges there is more work to be done. Mr. Dossal says he’s a strong supporter of a “post-2015 task force” that is working on developing the next set of UN goals. To view the original article, please click here.