News & Media

April 14 & 15, 2014
Corporate Governance across Ethics, Culture & Citizenship

On April 14 and 15, 2014, Under the high patronage of His Excellency The President of the Republic of Lebanon, General Michel Sleiman, represented by the Minister of Economy and Trade, His Excellency Dr. Alain Hokayem, the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik (USEK) and the Arab Society of the Faculties of Business, Economic & Political Sciences (BEPS) organizedan international colloquium entitled “Corporate Governance Across Ethics, Culture & Citizenship: What to Give and What to Expect”.

Minister Hokayem, Fr. Dr. Hady Mahfouz, President of USEK, Members of the University Council and a group of researchers, academics and economic figures from multiple Arab and foreign countries attended the inauguration session.

Following the Lebanese National Anthem, Dr. Lea Yahchouchi, Head of the International Relations Department of the Faculty of Business and Commercial Sciences, declared that after the success of the two previous conferences “Crises, Globalization and Governance” and “Doing Business Responsibly” in 2012, USEK has the privilege of organizing this conference to discuss governance from the point of view of ethics, culture and citizenship. She asserted: “So here we are again holding no less than 8 roundtables with more than 50 speakers, doing our utmost trying to remember that it is true that without civic morality communities perish; but without personal morality their survival has no value.”

Then, the General Secretary of the Arab Society of the Faculties of Business, Economic & Political Sciences (BEPS), Prof. Sultan Abou Orabi, took the floor and explained the Society which includes 270 universities from 22 Arab countries. He indicated: “In the age of technology and globalization, the higher educational institutions play major roles in providing nations with its leaders and elite, promoting intellectual development, giving birth to innovations and discoveries as well as producing schools of thought, artistic and social trends, which directly develop a knowledge-based society.”
The CEO of Global Intelligence Partners, Mr. Abdel Malek Allawi, pointed out the importance of the subject tackled by this conference, especially as the world is in an ever changing state. He also talked about some concepts, convictions and dilemmas in the corporate world, and how some companies try to preserve good management and ethics while abiding by international laws and standards.

The Founder and President of Talal Abou Ghazale Group, Dr. Talal Abou Ghazale, stated that “Corporate responsibility embodies the partnership relationship between the good company and the good citizen in the society…It is one of the economic balance tools and this is one of its raisons d’être.”

The Dean of the Faculty of Business and Commercial Sciences at USEK, Prof. Nehme Azoury asked: “What to give and what to expect? A question that remains a debatable subject with no unified answer…! The answer is easy. In fact, very easy…Trust generates trust and engenders hope, respect and solid long term relationships. It is therefore from this perspective, that corporations adopting these principles “expect” a good society capable of satisfying its own “expectations…”He added: “As Business Schools, our role is to cultivate leaders capable of providing the market and societies with professional, ethical and socially responsible undertakings. Our students are the seed that has to be properly sowed in order to grow and flourish.”

USEK President Fr. Dr. Hady Mahfouz stated: “It gives me an immense pleasure to see such an international gathering that will ponder corporate governance across ethics, culture and citizenship. The topic of this conference is quite evocative and is laden with theoretical as well as practical baggage, on one hand, and on the other hand, it carries a great weight of well identified corporate rules and unidentified, yet well-established, “beyond-rules”… It is up to you scholars and academicians to see how to pitch these rules to better serve an empowered society by the book, and also beyond the book, away from rigid considerations and under the umbrella of ethics.”

The representative of the President of the Lebanese Republic, General Michel Sleiman, His Excellency Minister Hokayem indicated that “The world has witnessed, during the last ten years, many economic and financial crises which have pushed economists and legislators to raise many questions on the adopted economic systems and financial and administrative laws.” He concluded: “There are many inter-related questions and issues that the conference will shed light on, and we count on the outcomes of the studies to provide us with answers to these issues.”

Finally, the inauguration session was brought to an end by the presentation of honorary shields to Mr. Mohamad Khammas, President and CEO of Ahli Golden Group, Professor Jaques Rougeaux, Professor at Panthéon Assas – Paris II University, Professor Jean Marie Peretti, Professor at ESSEC Business School, and Professor Tayeb Hafsi, Professor at HEC Montreal.
Holy Spirit University of Kaslik
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