UAE calls on the global community to join efforts to instill and maintain human dignity through storytelling

  • Dignified Storytelling, an initiative led by Dubai Cares, Expo 2020 Dubai and UAE MOFAIC, upholds the UAE's vision of furthering human dignity around the world
  • Dignified Storytelling Forum to take place on 10 December 2021 at Expo 2020 Dubai, the first World Expo to be held in the MEASA region

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, May 25, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Dubai Cares, Expo 2020 Dubai and the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation (MoFAIC) have come together to launch Dignified Storytelling, an initiative with an aim of creating an ecosystem that fosters a shared understanding and practice of storytelling that maintains and upholds the dignity of all persons and contributes to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Today, thousands of stories are being told regardless of who tells them and how they are told. Many of these stories lack authenticity, transparency, or are driven by ulterior motives which serve a predetermined narrative. These are just some of the few obstacles that get in the way of honest, wholesome and dignified storytelling within development and humanitarian contexts. In order for a piece – be it visual, written or spoken – to reach an audience, it goes through a long process of filtration, revising and editing that sometimes alters the original content and makes it almost fictional. This in turn, ends up painting the wrong picture of the contributors who oftentimes are not aware of where their stories, visual or written, will be displayed and to what purpose will they be used.

Dignified Storytelling was born out of the need to unite the voices of content makers, editors, journalists, photographers, filmmakers, storytellers, and contributors and equip them with the awareness and hands–on knowledge that will enable them to capture moments and tell stories without compromising human dignity. In order to fulfill this need, Dignified Storytelling kickstarted global consultations a year ago, to solicit cross–sectoral perspectives on storytelling within development and humanitarian contexts, as well as set and agree on the Dignified Storytelling Principles that today serve as guidance and an advocacy tool for bringing together various stakeholders from around the world to form a global movement that will be a game changer in maintaining and promoting human dignity through storytelling.

These foundational principles are also guiding the consultative development of an accessible and practical Dignified Storytelling Handbook which provides "how–to' guidance and concrete best practice case studies. Cross–sectoral perspectives and insights from a diverse group of storytellers and experienced stakeholders from governments, UN agencies, international and local NGOs, and civil society are currently informing this valuable framework and resource.

To truly embed Dignified Storytelling in the day–to–day policies and practices among international development agencies and various storytellers within the development and humanitarian sectors, Dubai Cares, Expo 2020 Dubai and UAE MoFAIC have established a Dignified Storytelling Alliance. The Alliance is a network of champions that provides advocacy, in–kind support, and input on program deliverables. Representation in the Alliance includes a deliberately diverse range of viewpoints from organizations, individuals and governments who are able to share best practices from their on–the–ground experiences within a range of development contexts.

Her Excellency Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director General, Expo 2020 Dubai, remarked: "At a time when it is needed most, Expo 2020 will bring the world together in a spirit of hope and optimism, building bridges and inspiring action towards a brighter future for us all. This will be the ideal setting for strengthening Dignified Storytelling as we join our resources to reinforce the highest standards and increase the impact of those stories we choose to share with the world. The initiative also reflects the UAE's commitment to advancing responsible storytelling for the greater good of humankind, and its central role in international humanitarian and development efforts more widely."

Stressing on the importance of storytelling in the development context, Dr. Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer at Dubai Cares and Member of its Board of Directors, said: "Storytelling is a powerful communication tool in both development and humanitarian settings. Stories, both visual and written, provide an avenue for understanding different perspectives and can be an impetus for action. This is why it is important for us as a global community to tackle irresponsible storytelling, a practice that has been left unaddressed for far too long, which I believe is rooted in the absence of widely available and comprehensive guidance on how to best tell stories that maintain the dignity of all persons. I invite all storytellers, governments, agencies, and civil society to join us in this effort to instill an understanding and practice of storytelling that brings us together and reminds us of our shared humanity."

The initiative will include the Dignified Storytelling Forum, taking place at Expo 2020 Dubai on 10 December 2021 as part of the six–month mega–event. The Forum will serve as a powerful platform for key stakeholders "" including members of civil society organizations, governments, the private sector, and international agencies as well as advocates, activists, and storytellers "" to come together and collectively agree on a way forward in validating, adopting and integrating the Dignified Storytelling Principles. This will be achieved through a series of plenaries and an exhibition showcasing best practices in Dignified Storytelling, as well as side events including a press conference.

The Forum is part of Expo 2020's rich calendar of specialist programming, which reflects and celebrates the spirit of Dignified Storytelling all throughout. Encompassing cultural, social, economic, environmental and UAE–based themes, the program series has been curated in close collaboration with UAE entities, International Participants, Non–Official Participants, International Organisations and Commercial Partners and and seeks to garner solidarity around global challenges, spotlight areas of mutual interest and importance, and ensure the emergence of a meaningful legacy at the national, regional and international level.

Over the longer–term, Dignified Storytelling will create an environment of positivity that strengthens long–term relationships between the public, private, development and humanitarian sectors by placing dignified and ethical storytelling at the epicenter of knowledge sharing, stakeholder engagement, and capacity development to inspire and inform storytellers. To achieve this, the UAE calls on global stakeholders and partners to become advocates for this pivotal initiative by pledging towards the ten principles of Dignified Storytelling.

About Dubai Cares:

Since its inception in 2007, Dubai Cares, part of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, has been working towards providing children and youth in developing countries with access to quality education through the design and funding of programs that aim to be impactful, sustainable and scalable. To date, the UAE–based global philanthropic organization has successfully launched education programs reaching over 20 million beneficiaries in 60 developing countries.

Makram Bou Kheir

Photos accompanying this announcement are available at–9995–49ff–bce5–70eef1e3a51e–fca1–4305–a361–290d2e666528–18a0–423f–8d1a–adb44fffe5e2–561a–4485–b388–fa6a300c4775–6766–4b2d–abb6–1f851a3410ea–cf48–44dc–9f06–5d91464501fc–3d49–47f1–a742–cd166c5e6dca

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Sabin Vaccine Institute Names Richard Adegbola and Yacine Djibo to Board of Trustees

WASHINGTON, May 25, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Sabin Vaccine Institute (Sabin) announced that Professor Richard Adegbola and Yacine Djibo have been elected to the Board of Trustees. Professor Adegbola is a microbiologist, public health advocate and professor in Lagos, Nigeria. Ms. Djibo is founder and executive director of Speak Up Africa, a policy and advocacy action tank promoting public health and development based in Dakar, Senegal.

Sabin will benefit from their global health leadership, as well as their expertise creating community–led solutions to increase vaccine uptake and advance vaccine equity at this critical moment for immunization efforts worldwide, particularly in low– and middle–income countries. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that due to COVID–19, vaccination campaigns have been postponed in 50 countries: more than half of the affected countries are in Africa.

"As Sabin continues to meet today's changing immunization landscape, Richard's deep background in the lab developing vaccines and, on the ground, delivering them and Yacine's work developing cross–sector campaigns that spotlight the importance of vaccines and vaccine equity will be invaluable to Sabin and our work to ensure more people globally can get the lifesaving vaccines they need," said Regina Rabinovich, MD, MPH, chair of the Sabin Board of Trustees.

Professor Adegbola is a research professor at the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research and a consultant for Immunization & Global Health, RAMBICON. His 40–year career has focused on preventing infectious diseases, strengthening health care systems and mentoring young researchers. His dedication to making vaccines more accessible came while working in The Gambia. There, his research contributed to the widespread use of the Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) vaccine, which had been the leading cause of meningitis in children. When given routinely, this vaccine now results in a 90 percent decrease in severe Hib infections.

Professor Adegbola's expertise has also helped shape pneumonia research at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and community–led decision making with GlaxoSmithKline. He holds a PhD in medical microbiology and bacteriology from University of Dundee (UK). "With vaccination in low– and middle–income countries, you have to start thinking from day one, how will this be sustainable? You must bring people into the process to take ownership," he said. "Sabin shares these values and I'm delighted to be joining the board."

Ms. Djibo founded Speak Up Africa in 2011 to help fill a gap in African voices and leadership contributing to global development policies and the United Nation's sustainable development goals. Today, the organization works in 10 countries in West and Central Africa driving economic sustainability through bolstering public health. In response to the pandemic, she helped form Stay Safe Africa, a platform for organizations and communities to create tangible actions that build trust around vaccines, as well as a campaign advocating for vaccine equity. Currently, only 0.3 percent of COVID–19 vaccine supply is going to low–income countries.

While pursuing a career in finance, Ms. Djibo's interest in global health began when she joined the Malaria No More's Senegal office as its country director. There, she led public and private–sector collaborations to promote malaria treatment and prevention. Ms. Djibo holds a master's degree in business administration and a bachelor of arts and science in international relations from Boston University. "Community engagement is key to overcoming mistrust and building confidence through actions like using proven channels of communication, engaging trusted messengers with roots in the community and working toward equitable access," she said. "I'm excited to support programs like Boost, a community dedicated to the needs of immunization professionals, in building capacity sub–nationally and then applying lessons to other places."

"Richard and Yacine are respected thought leaders, tireless advocates and innovative problem solvers who share our belief that communities and families everywhere must have equal access to the vaccines they need," commented Amy Finan, Sabin's chief executive officer.

With the appointment of Professor Adegbola and Ms. Djibo, Sabin's board consists of 14 members. Learn more at–trustees.

About the Sabin Vaccine Institute

The Sabin Vaccine Institute is a leading advocate for expanding vaccine access and uptake globally, advancing vaccine research and development, and amplifying vaccine knowledge and innovation. Unlocking the potential of vaccines through partnership, Sabin has built a robust ecosystem of funders, innovators, implementers, practitioners, policy makers and public stakeholders to advance its vision of a future free from preventable diseases. As a non–profit with more than two decades of experience, Sabin is committed to finding solutions that last and extending the full benefits of vaccines to all people, regardless of who they are or where they live. At Sabin, we believe in the power of vaccines to change the world. For more information, visit and follow us on Twitter, @SabinVaccine.

Media Contact:
Mary Beth Wooden
Vice President, Communications
Sabin Vaccine Institute
+1 (202) 842–5025

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WHR Group Releases Employee Relocation Benchmark Results

MILWAUKEE, Wis., May 25, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — WHR Group, Inc. (WHR), a leader in the global employee relocation industry, conducted a Global Mobility Benchmark study surveying some of the largest U.S. companies from a variety of industries. Findings shed light on how companies have changed their employee relocation policies, even during 2020 and a pandemic. Respondents included corporate staff working in HR, mobility management; talent management; and benefits and compensation departments. Some findings include the following:

  • Relocation benefits are still going strong even with the COVID–19 pandemic.
  • 85% of companies offer some type of home sale benefit to transferees.
  • 67% of respondents have experienced a talent shortage but include their mobility program in candidate recruitment strategies.
  • Lump sum benefits are trending but often used as a complement to basic relocation benefits versus a standalone benefit package.

Over 57% surveyed have an international relocation program, and 88% have expatriate or international permanent transfer policies. Over 50% found immigration laws to be the most challenging part of international relocations with Africa and Asia reported as the most challenging. For Africa, immigration laws and political climate were reported as creating the greatest challenges. For Asia, immigration laws and language barrier created the greatest challenges. Temporary housing; destination services and settling in; household goods; Visa and immigration assistance; and tax assistance are considered core benefits for international transfers and assignments.

Of the 68.5% offering destination closing costs, 76.5% don't cap this benefit, even though capping the support is a way to control organizational costs. Most companies reported creating benefit packages based on the average transferee, not always considering individual cultures and family dynamics. This can lead to policy exception requests by employees.

Download WHR's Complete Benchmark Report.

About WHR Group, Inc.
WHR is a privately owned, client–driven global employee relocation management company distinguished by best–in–class service delivery and cutting–edge, proprietary technology. WHR has offices in Milwaukee, Wis., Switzerland, and Singapore. With its 100% client retention rate for the past decade, WHR continues to position itself as the trusted provider in global employee relocation., LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

Media Contact: Mindy Stroiman, Corporate Writer

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Blue California Opens New Possibilities in Functional Food and Beverages Following Dihydroquercetin (DHQ) GRAS Status

Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., May 25, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Blue California's Taxifolin BC–DHQ with super antioxidant and anti–inflammatory properties is now Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) in a range of foods and beverages following a letter of no objection from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Naturally found in a variety of fruits and vegetables, Dihydroquercetin (DHQ), also known as taxifolin, is a flavonoid commonly found in apples, olive oil and red onions. As a flavonoid, taxifolin possesses powerful antioxidant and anti–inflammatory properties that may support immune health.

"This GRAS status is good news for consumers and brands alike, because it opens new doors for brands to create products that will excite health–conscious consumers," said Dr. Linda May–Zhang, research, science and innovation officer at Blue California. "DHQ is a powerful antioxidant that has a greater antioxidant capacity when compared to vitamin C, and it is ideal in a variety of on–trend food applications, including beverages, yogurt and chocolate products."

Health–conscious consumers are actively exploring new functional food and beverages for supporting immune health and wellness. Immune health will remain a top priority for consumers as 64% of global consumers are looking to improve their immunity over the next 12 months, reported by FMCG Gurus, Top Ten Trends for 2021, Dec. 2020.

DHQ seeks and neutralizes free radicals in the body, and its unique molecular structure makes it especially effective at preventing cellular damage. It can also play an important role in skin health since it protects cells and stimulates collagen and elastin production in the skin.

"Taxifolin BC–DHQ has much to offer as a powerful antioxidant in food and beverages as it provides improved color stability for beverages, extends shelf life, and enhances flavor," said May–Zhang. "Not only is DHQ regarded as a promising ingredient to immune health, it may also be used in cosmetic applications for anti–aging and UV–protection."

Blue California offers food and beverage manufacturers its high purity Taxifolin BC–DHQ made by a sustainable process. Innovation partner Conagen developed a clean, reliable, and scalable DHQ using its proprietary bioconversion process, resulting in a sustainable production method.

“Conagen is unlocking novel compounds from nature which are more sustainable and offer better options for ingredient applications, said Dr. Casey Lippmeier, vice president of innovation at Conagen. "Our ability to rapidly scale–up and commercialize this and other novel ingredient solutions demonstrates our strength as a strategic service partner."


Taxifolin BC–DHQ, is a registered trademark of Blue California, Inc.

About Blue California

Blue California is an entrepreneurial, science–based solutions provider and manufacturer of clean, natural, and sustainable ingredients used in food, beverage, flavor, fragrance, dietary supplements, personal care and cosmetic products. For more than 25 years, Blue California has built a strong reputation for creating value in these diverse natural product and nature–inspired industries.

About Conagen

Conagen is making the impossible possible. Our scientists and engineers use the latest synthetic biology tools to develop sustainable, nature–based molecules bio–manufactured into the highest quality products available. We focus on the bioproduction of high–value ingredients for food, nutrition, flavors and fragrances, pharmaceutical, and renewable materials industries. For more information, visit


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Anaqua Acquires Actio IP to Offer Integrated Tech-Enabled Foreign Filing Solutions

BOSTON, May 24, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Anaqua, the leading innovation and intellectual property (IP) management technology provider, today announced that it has acquired tech–enabled IP services company Actio IP from Acapo AS. The transaction further strengthens Anaqua's strategic line of IP management solutions, offering corporations and law firms an intuitive, transparent, and efficient experience in managing the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) National Phase and European Patent (EP) Validation filing processes.

Anaqua will continue to enhance Actio IP's tech–enabled foreign filing services platform, ACTIO Portal, while significantly investing in the integration of the services with Anaqua's IP management software and payment services. Actio IP, which also offers IP renewals, will add incremental volume to Anaqua's existing payments business.

"Both companies share a deep commitment to leveraging technology to optimize the IP workflow process," said Christine Jennings, President of Anaqua Services, who will lead the new business unit. "We believe this combination will enhance the customer experience by pairing our existing payments business with another high–quality service that can be seamlessly–integrated with our software platforms and other offerings."

All Actio IP employees will join Anaqua as part of the acquisition, as the business expands its current operations in Bergen, Norway under the management of Actio IP executives Spencer Vold–Burgess and Anders Osa–Svanberg, who will both report to Christine Jennings.

"The combination of the two companies will serve to address the growing demand for increased efficiency in global filings," said Spencer Vold–Burgess, who will join Anaqua as Director, Client Services. "Since our initial interactions with Anaqua, it has been clear that we share the same goals in providing unparalleled IP solutions and customer service to help our clients streamline IP management processes. Our team has been impressed with Anaqua's global scale and client base, and look forward to joining the Anaqua team and innovating to better serve this evolving industry."

"Anaqua will be a great partner for Actio IP going forward," said Hilde Vold–Burgess, Managing Partner of Acapo. "This acquisition will strengthen Actio IP's capacity to pursue strategic growth initiatives and continue delivering innovative solutions to the IP industry. We wish Actio IP and the team all the best under the Anaqua umbrella, and look forward to continuing using their services as they enter this next phase of scaling."

Latham & Watkins LLP and Wikborg Rein Advokatfirma AS served as legal counsel to Anaqua.

About Anaqua
Anaqua, Inc. is a premium provider of integrated intellectual property (IP) management technology solutions and services. Anaqua's AQX platform combines best practice workflows with big data analytics and tech–enabled services to create an intelligent environment designed to inform IP strategy, enable IP decision–making, and streamline IP operations. Today, nearly half of the top 100 U.S. patent filers and global brands, as well as a growing number of law firms worldwide use Anaqua's solutions. Over one million IP executives, attorneys, paralegals, administrators, and innovators in large and medium–sized companies use the platform for their IP management needs. The company's global operations are headquartered in Boston, with offices across the U.S., Europe, and Asia. For additional information, please visit, or on LinkedIn.

About Actio IP
Actio IP AS was founded in 2009 with the goal of developing Intellectual Property (IP) solutions to reduce costs and administration. Based in Norway, Actio IP is a team of patent and trademark professionals who understand the needs and complex demands of the IP industry, what is involved in developing and managing complex portfolios, and the importance of creating strong international relationships. The company provides administrative services for IP professionals via the ACTIO Portal. Through the portal, users access a one–stop global platform for streamlining global filings, validations and renewals. The portal provides a gateway to international top–tier IP firms, giving flexibility and providing cost and time savings. The ACTIO Portal is an advanced and automated platform. Combined with an experienced IP administration team, this simplifies customers' global IP filings, validations and renewals to free up time for higher–value tasks. For more information, visit, or on LinkedIn.

About Acapo
Acapo is one of the leading Intellectual Property consultancy firms in Norway with offices in Oslo, Bergen, Trondheim and Fredrikstad. The firm's services include advisory services within all fields of IPR. Filing and prosecution of applications for European and Norwegian patents is within Acapo's core field of business and their lawyers attend to litigation of cases pertaining to i.e. patents, trademarks and marketing law. The highly skilled staff of Acapo also handle filing of applications for Norwegian and European trademark and design registrations. As a full–service IPR–firm, Acapo also attend to maintenance of patents, and design and trademark registrations. For more information, visit, or on LinkedIn.

Company Contact:
Amanda Hollis
Associate Director, Communications

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