Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre and UNDP launch new partnership in support of the SDGs

March 9, 2020


Dubai-UAE, 9 March 2020 – Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre (DIEDC) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to enhance their collaboration and the alignment of DIEDC’s stakeholders with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The agreement provides a framework to leverage the natural synergy between the two organisations with a focus on producing knowledge and research related to the Islamic economy and the SDGs, as well as on applying UNDP’s SDG expertise in DIEDC initiatives across Islamic economy sectors and help DIEDC’s stakeholders to align their activities with the SDGs.  The agreement builds on the UN Secretary-General’s call-to-action on financing, including through the promotion of new partnerships to unlock Islamic finance for the SDGs.

Commenting on the MOU, His Excellency Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy and Chairman of DIEDC, said: “DIEDC is driving the Islamic economy sectors’ contribution to Dubai’s economic diversification that testifies to the UAE’s ability to achieve sustainable economic growth. Under the wise vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and the supervision of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai and General Supervisor of the Dubai: Capital of Islamic Economy initiative, we are committed to fulfilling the objectives of Dubai’s Islamic economy strategy and creating an enabling environment for sustainable development and responsible investment.”

He added: “The world is witnessing a demand for sustainable and inclusive models of economic diversification, and this agreement underpins the UAE’s role as a key player in the global Islamic economy domain that is growing steadily. Through boosting our ability to engage with stakeholders around the globe, this MoU empowers us to widen our horizons and maximise the potential of the Islamic economy.”

The core principles of Islamic finance – channeling funding to the real economy, avoiding excessive speculations, and limiting debt to the value of assets – and Islamic social finance tools are highly aligned with the spirit of the SDGs. The Islamic Development Bank found Islamic Finance to be especially relevant in addressing 10 of the 17 SDGs, including goals pertaining to poverty alleviation, infrastructure development, financial stability and beyond. Islamic finance encourages investors to create positive non-financial value alongside financial returns to support a socially conscious, environmentally friendly system. It also shares a broad understanding of the relationship between business and society, centered on advancing society's wellbeing.  

“UNDP is proud to launch this new partnership with DIEDC, which will bridge development and finance partners to help accelerate progress towards the SDGs.  Leveraging Islamic finance instruments will be vital to help protect the planet while ensuring shared economic prosperity, and we look forward to working together to translate those instruments into SDG-aligned investments and impact,” said Marcos Neto, Director of UNDP’s new SDG Finance Sector Hub.

“By utilizing its global network and local knowledge base, UNDP is well placed to bring its development expertise to help DIEDC members’ to leverage and measure the important contribution of the Islamic economy to the SDGs,” he added.

Abdulla Mohammed Al Awar, CEO of DIEDC, said: “We welcome this landmark agreement to help advance our goal of establishing a robust Islamic economic system. We are confident that our partnership with UNDP will facilitate the integration of sustainable practices into our stakeholders’ activities and bolster the global reach and impact of the Islamic economy. This agreement reaffirms our shared commitment towards building a sustainable future for all, and I look forward to future collaboration in unlocking opportunities to enhance global sustainability.” 

DIEDC is the principal agent tasked with developing the Islamic economy as a key pillar of Dubai’s economic diversification. Its mandate – carried out through strategy direction, stakeholder support, and initiative execution – is to establish Dubai as the global capital of Islamic economy, increase the contribution of Islamic economy sectors to the UAE’s GDP, and foster a conducive environment for Islamic innovation and entrepreneurship in the emirate.

UNDP partners with people at all levels of society to help build nations that can withstand crisis, and drive and sustain the kind of growth that improves the quality of life for everyone. On the ground in nearly 170 countries and territories, it offers global perspective and local insight to help empower lives and build resilient nations.

Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre and UNDP launch new partnership in support of the SDGs

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