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Corporate social responsibility recognized at awards ceremony

Chinese companies gathered at the United Nations on Tuesday to focus on corporate social responsibility.

Eight awards were presented at the 2018 Global Corporate Social Responsibility Summit to honor enterprises, entrepreneurs and nongovernmental organizations dedicated to making the world more sustainable.

Hassan El Kalla, first undersecretary of Curative Care Sector of the Ministry of Health and Population in Egypt, was awarded a CSR award.

After founding Futures Educational Systems more than 25 years ago, the vision of Kalla led to the successful establishment of 23 Futures Schools that serve 21,000 students throughout Egypt.

With the mission and commitment to making education accessible and affordable to all, while developing " … future generations of civically engaged citizens and world-class global leaders", Futures Educational Systems has become the largest private school system in Egypt.

The El Kalla Foundation for Education Excellence was established in 2016 as a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization to expand and vary educational opportunities in Egypt.

"I wanted to do my role, as I believe everybody can have a role (in taking social responsibilities)," he said.

Jasmine Wang, co-chair of the Worldview Global Culture Alliance, a non-profit organization committed to the promotion of the UN's sustainable development goals (SDGs) and global cultural exchange, who spoke at the event, said that Chinese companies increasingly are choosing to include social issues and SDGs into their corporate objectives and goals.

"SDGs or social responsibilities are in their business blood," she said.

John W. Allen, founding member of the Chinese Cultural Foundation and China Investment Group said, "Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a journey, is a marathon, not a fast race.

"The corporation is the best vehicle ever invented for constructive corporate change, for constructive social change," he told attendees. "There are four elements that have to be balanced, one of the elements that some people don't identify is that you have to be a good corporate citizen, you have to worry about the society, about social responsibility."

During the last several decades, CSR has gotten more attention.

Its impact reached the top echelons of the United Nations in 1999, when UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan proposed "The Global Compact" at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

The Global Compact has grown to encompass more than 6,000 business participants. Many government entities and civil society organizations have joined, bringing the total of organizational participants to nearly 8,000.

The Global Corporate Social Responsibility Summit, organized by the NGO/DPI Executive Committee, Global CSR Foundation and Worldview Global Culture Alliance, aims to provide a global stage for enterprises and NGOs to share their visions, missions and actions towards solving social issues.

It also hopes to encourage more entrepreneurs and NGOs to engage with the United Nations and take on more global social responsibilities.