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The Azerbaijani Conference on Sustainable Development and Corporate Social Responsibility - Baku CSR Conference 2015 - held in Azerbaijan on 15 October 2015 at the Fairmont Baku Hotel. The conference is held under the initiative and organisation of Caspian Event Organisers, CEO.
The aim of the conference is to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the current situation in the country, as well as to increase dialogue and cooperation between different structures, private and non-governmental organisations for the development of this sector. The relevance of the Baku Conference is underlined by the fact that, in September 2015, 193 UN member states agreed on a new programme of sustainable development entitled ‘Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,’ which lists 17 goals aimed at eradicating poverty, promoting prosperity and well-being of all people and the environment by 2030.
The need to enhance the contribution to sustainable development assigns companies a whole range of tasks that are solved within the framework of the implementation of the programme for corporate social responsibility. Social responsibility of business or corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a new concept involving a voluntary willingness for companies to participate in the improvement of society and the environment. A number of companies in Azerbaijan have their own CSR policy, providing solutions to socio-economic problems, improving the quality of life of local communities, striving for the common good, as well as maintining environmental stability and the conservation of the environment.
The Baku CSR Conference 2015 is an excellent platform for the study of local and international procedures in the field of sustainable development and corporate social responsibility. The debut conference attended by 300 delegates and 30 speakers. Among the delegates to the conference are representatives from leading companies in Azerbaijan, such as SOCAR, Azercell, Access Bank, BP, EY, SAP, TeliaSonera, Temiz Sheher and XalqBank. The conference also attended by representatives of various ministries and other state structures, consulting companies, international organisations and foreign experts.
The theme of the plenary session is ‘Sustainability. Concept, Global Trends and Standards’. The main topics discussed during the conference are: ‘Green Economy. Sustainable Infrastructure. Public Private Partnerships (PPP). Role of Science and Innovations in Sustainable Development’; ‘Effective Youth Policy as a Key Driver for Bright Future of Sustainable Development of the Country. Role of Universities in Growth of Responsible and Educated Young Generation. Partnership With Private Sector. Strategy, Projects, Challenges.; ‘Agriculture Sector in Economy of Azerbaijan, Prerequisites for Sustainable Growth. Food Security. Food Safety. Value Chain Management’. The themes of panel discussions 5 and 6 are entitled respectively as ‘Business for a better society - responsible finance, responsible business’ and ‘CSR Activities and its Impact on the ICT Sector’. And lastly, the final 7th session is ‘Sustainable Development of Public, Corporate and Non‐Governmental Sectors. Their Success and Outlooks’.
The following persons deliver their presentations at the conference: Intigam Babayev, Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports of the Republic of Azerbaijan; Suleyman Gasimov, Vice‐President of Economic Issues, SOCAR; Prof. Dr. Urkhan Alekberov, Rector of the National Academy of Public Administration under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan; Bakhtiyar Aslanbeyli, Vice‐President, BP; Wayne Visser Associate Partner, Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, Chair & Professor, Gordon Institute of Business Science; Vilayet Veliyev, Director, Institute of Scientific Research for Economic Reforms of the Ministry of Economy and Industry of the Republic of Azerbaijan; Vugar Bayramov, Chairman, Center for Economic and Social Development; Olaf Heidelbach, Program Manager, EU; Mustafa Imir, Representative in Azerbaijan, FAO; Anar Hasanov, Deputy CEO, AccessBank and others.
The conference adheres to concept of environmental protection and therefore all presentations will be published within the electronic collection of conference materials, which can be downloaded from the event’s official website or conference mobile applications.
Furthermore, the exhibition dedicated to the Baku CSR Conference 2015 held in the Nizami Ganjavi Grand Ball Room of the Fairmont Baku Hotel. The exhibition attended by companies and organisations including Azercell, AccessBank, ASAN Khidmet, EY, FAO, SOCAR, the National Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan, as well as a number of youth and non-governmental organisations (NGOs). Visitors will have the chance to be acquainted with the organisations’ activities and projects in the field of sustainable development and corporate social responsibility at participants’ stands. NGOs, youth organisations and start-ups will present topical projects to potential investors and participants within the framework of the exhibition.
The General Sponsor of the 1st Azerbaijan Conference on Sustainable Development and Social Responsibility is SOCAR, the bronze sponsor is Access Bank and the conference’s consulting partner is EY. Official support for the conference is provided by the United Nations’ Development Programme, UNDP Azerbaijan.
Thus, the Baku CSR Conference provides a unique opportunity for the study of local and international experience in the field of sustainable development and corporate social responsibility. The conference will promote dialogue in this area between the different sectors and will be an additional impetus for further actions in the field of sustainable development in Azerbaijan.