Speaker Bio

Executive Director
United Nations Office for Partnerships

"Innovative Partnerships and Creative Solutions - key to steps towards the Millennium Development Goals" - Mr. Dossal will highlight how the UN is developing strategic alliances with corporations, foundations and philanthropists to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) - which range from halving extreme poverty to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS and providing universal primary education, all by the target date of 2015. The MDGs, agreed to by all 192 UN Member States, present an unprecedented opportunity for the international community to address the needs of the unprivileged. While the current financial crisis has highlighted a number of challenges for companies, it also presents a unique opportunity to develop creative solutions which can help their financial bottom line, as well as address social goals.

The current financial climate poses new challenges for our collective effort to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. The international community working with Governments, Private Sector, and Civil Society, now more than ever must find innovative mechanisms to ensure the socioeconomic needs of the underprivileged are not forgotten. Thus, smart philanthropy has a key role to play in sustainable development.

Amir Dossal is the Executive Director of the United Nations Office for Partnerships and as such is the United Nations representative for public/private partnerships. He guides the development of strategic alliances with corporations, foundations and philanthropists in achieving the Millennium Development Goals. Amir is the UN's Chief Liaison for Ted Turner's $1 billion donation for UN causes, which involves over 450 programs and projects in children's health; women and population; climate change; and biodiversity. This includes "investments" of over $560 million from other donors and partners (such as the American Red Cross, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Coca-Cola Company, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Rotary International, Vodafone, etc.). He also oversees management of the UN Democracy Fund, which he established in 2005 to strengthen democratic institutions and enhance democratic governance in new or restored democracies. Amir has engaged the United Nations in numerous partnerships, including those with the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy, Commonwealth Business Council, Dow Chemical, European Foundation Centre, Google.org, LTB Foundation, The Synergos Institute, US Chamber of Commerce, Wal-Mart, and others. He has also spearheaded the UN's engagement in new areas in the technology sector working with Cisco Systems, Ericsson, Microsoft and Vodafone. Since joining the United Nations in 1985, Amir has led a number of new initiatives:

1997: Set-up the Management Policy Office to oversee reform within the United Nations.

1999: Established the UN Fund for International Partnerships, which serves as the interface for media mogul Ted Turner's $1 billion contribution through the UN Foundation.

2005: Established the UN Democracy Fund, to strengthen democratic institutions and enhance democratic governance in new or restored democracies.

2006: Set-up the first ever Peacebuilding Support Office to help bridge development gaps in post-conflict countries.

2007: Created a Business Advisory Council for the Greater Tumen Region to attract foreign direct investment in North East Asia, in the energy, environment, transport and tourism sectors. This unique public-private partnership involves business and government from five countries: People's Republic of China; Mongolia; Democratic People's Republic of Korea; Republic of Korea and the Russian Federation. Amir is a Chartered Accountant (FCA) having qualified from Deloitte, Haskins & Sells, London in 1975.

Prior to joining the United Nations, he worked in the business community for over 15 years. Amir has lived and worked in Asia, the Caribbean, Europe, Middle East, and North America. He is married with one son.