DEEPEN DEMOCRACY AND LIBERALISE ECONOMY, SAYS UN
BETTER HEALTH AND HIGHER HUMAN DEVELOPMENT LEVEL POSSIBLE
LAUNCH OF GLOBAL COMPACT SIGNALS DONBAS REGION'S ECONOMIC MUSCLE, DRAWS ATTENTION TO POTENTIAL FOR GREATER INVESTMENT
Donetsk, March 21, 2007. On 20-21 March 2007 members of the UN Country Team in Ukraine – UN Resident Coordinator Francis M. O’DONNELL and Head of WHO Country Office Mr. Igor POKANEVICH visited Donetsk, joined by Ms. Severine DEBOOS, ILO Programme Coordinator in Central and Eastern Europe.
Meeting with Head of Donetsk Oblast State Administration Mr. Volodymyr LOGVINENKO and Head of Donetsk City Council Mr. Anatoliy BLYZNYUK, the UN Resident Coordinator introduced the strategic policy recommendations prepared by all UN agencies for the Government of Ukraine. “It’s all about deepening and consolidating democracy in Ukraine - and pursuing global values and European standards, in the Constitution, in institutional reforms, in empowering civil society, and in broadening the base of prosperity by reducing disparities, and ensuring access for all to essential services”, said UN Resident Coordinator Mr. O’DONNELL commenting on the recommendations.
The participants of the meeting also discussed such issues as joining WTO, enabling development of small and medium enterprises in the Donbas region, lifting the land sale moratorium, improvements of the labour standards and healthcare system, and ways to enhance the well-being of asylum-seekers and refugees, whilst congratulating Donetsk for receiving and hosting those who seek safety and security from persecution abroad.
WHO Head in Ukraine Mr. POKANEVICH stated, “Donetsk was the first city where the WHO projects on combating tuberculosis was started in 2004. Based on this experience, the recommendations were issued for other regions and implemented throughout the country”. Following this remark UN Resident Coordinator Mr. O’DONNELL noted that in improvement of the healthcare system, it is necessary to pay more attention to healthy lifestyles and preventive measures. Their counterparts noted the region’s economic growth is creating the prosperity for improvements to address all these issues more effectively.
Later this day, Mayor of Donetsk Mr. Aleksandr LUKYANCHENKO welcomed the UN delegation and briefed on the city’s current state of affairs with ecology, health services, industry. Energy featured high on the agenda, as the UN pointed out that “prices will continue to rise, but Ukraine can generate savings through increased efficiency. Reformed urban district heating schemes can even attract foreign investment” said Mr. O’Donnell.
The central event of the UN mission was the launch of the Global Compact (GC) in Donetsk to secure cooperation of Donetsk companies and agencies in voluntarily implementing the UN’s “ten commandments” of corporate social responsibility (CSR). This event was supported by the Donetsk Chamber of Commerce, local authorities and the representatives of the companies that already implements CSR principles in their activities including System Capital Management, ISTIL Ukraine, financial industrial group Altcom and others.
The launch was attended by more then 100 representatives of local businesses and media. In his opening address Mr. O’DONNELL emphasized the importance of GC principles adoption for the development of the Ukrainian economy and awarded certificates to three new members of the initiative from Donetsk.
On behalf of the Global Compact current members, SCM Director of International and Investor Relations Mr.Jock MENDOZA-WILSON said that for business, GC principles are also very relevant and small business solutions could be applied, for instance, in use of recycled paper or energy improvement. Emphasizing importance of anti-corruption efforts, he stated “Economy that works without corruption works more efficiently; it minimizes risks and increases the number of investments”. He also noted that well-governed companies pay less interest for investment loans, and attract the best staff.
Ms. Severine Deboos, International Labour Organization Programme Coordinator in Central and Eastern Europe noted “CSR means going beyond the minimum legislation standards”.
On March 21, 2007 members of UN delegation took part in the press-club and meeting with the civil society sector to discuss UN assistance to Ukraine and Donetsk in particular. Also, the journalists and experts were interested in the recently issued recommendations for the Government of Ukraine. Replying their questions, Mr. O’DONNELL emphasized, “We have a certain modesty about our recommendations. They were done by all the UN systems’ agencies in Ukraine without particular vested interests and we welcome any feedback. That said, we are generally very happy that all Ukraine’s governments in recent years have entertained a positive dialogue with us on policy matters, and usually accepted and implemented our recommendations”.
For further information, please contact UN Communications Officer Ms. Veronika VASHCHENKO at email@example.com, tel: 8044-254-0035 or GC Communications Officer Ms. Alexandra AFANASYEVA at firstname.lastname@example.org, tel: 8044-253-9363. More information at www.un.org.ua
Note for Journalists:
In 1999, the UN Secretary General Kofi ANNAN has launched the Global Compact with two main objectives: (i) to make its 10 principles on human rights, labour, corruption and the environment part of business strategy and operations around the world and (ii) to facilitate the development of partnerships between the private sector and the Governments, UN agencies, civil society to address the most topical challenges of today’s world. These 10 principles are:
Currently the Global Compact Network in Ukraine has 56 members (companies and organizations) including 35 are multinational and large Ukrainian companies, 8 business associations, 3 national employers and trade union associations, 8 civil society organizations and 2 public organizations. The mission of the GC network Ukraine is to promote corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives in Ukraine in line with the 10 Global Compact principles in four key areas of action - human rights and labour standards, environmental sustainability and anti-corruption.
More information at http://www.unglobalcompact.org