09.06.2022

Global Compact Network Ukraine has held the Information Warfare and Information Operations Forum

ЧИТАТИ УКРАЇНСЬКОЮ

On June 6, UN Global Compact Network Ukraine, in partnership with Starlight Media, held the Information Warfare and Information Operations Forum. This event gathered the representatives of Ukrainian media groups and leaders of the public and private sectors of Ukraine and the EU.

The Forum began with opening remarks by Tatiana Sakharuk, the Chief Executive Director of the UN Global Compact Network Ukraine:

“For the first time since a full-scale war has started, the UN Global Compact Ukraine has entered the information space to start a dialogue about the future and restoration of Ukraine. The international community is ready to help Ukraine recover. However, donors will not give us money until they do not understand how we are going to spend them. Today, we are confident that we want to be part of the European Union. But we have to do a lot to build trust. We have to understand how the Western world works and speak with the foreign partners in the same language of business standards.”

Olga Rudneva, Executive Director of Elena Pinchuk Foundation and Coordinator at Help Ukraine.center, was a keynote speaker at the event. Olga is in Poland and helping Ukraine in the war as a volunteer. She works in a logistics hub, which gathers medical and humanitarian aid and delivers it to the Ukrainian military. Olga, like most Ukrainians, did not believe that a full-scale war was possible, but she was ready for it:

“When I say I was ready, I do not mean an alarming suitcase. I knew I would have a place in this war. Knowing what I do for the victory is important not only to the individual but also to the company. If you do not understand how you are joining the fight, you burn out.”

Alina Konovalchenko, COO of the UN Global Compact Network Ukraine, thanked the companies that left the Russian market and invited everyone to sign the Memorandum on Joint Anti-Corruption Actions in Ukraine.

The Forum featured a high-level dialogue on Ukraine’s experience in countering information special operations at the national and international levels. Leaders from various spheres of governance discussed the first findings of countering Russian propaganda in a full-scale war and new challenges in the transparent assessment of the ESG and business governance principles that would provide conditions for attracting foreign investment and rebuilding Ukraine.


Combating Misinformation and Information Security of the Country: The Unity of the Ukrainian Information Front

 

On the Journalist’s Day, the first panel of the event was dedicated to the role of the media and the truthful information coverage during the war. All panel participants are taking part in the United News Marathon. It brings together Ukrainian TV channels to provide objective information about the war and protect the information security of the country.

According to Olena Frolyak, the host and editor-in-chief of Fakty ICTV and the Environmental Ambassador of the UN Global Compact Ukraine, there are three areas in which the Ukrainian media should work to effectively counter Russian propaganda. Firstly, Ukraine should have timely assessed the power of Russian propaganda, which the aggressor country has been conducting much longer than since 2014.

“We should have paid more attention to what was coming from our “neighbor’s” TV channels. I believe that the role of propaganda was underestimated even by its apologists who developed and created it,» Olena Frolyak stated.

Secondly, Ukraine’s position in the information war could be strengthened by a more powerful foreign language broadcasting to an international audience. Thirdly, we need to provide only truthful information:

“The truth is the best fighter against hostile propaganda.”

In addition, the Environmental Ambassador of the UN Global Compact Ukraine believes that the educational system should pay maximum attention to the training of journalists because only quality journalism can counter the enemy in the information war.

Natalia Ostrovska, the host of the 1+1 channel, noted the intensification of Russian propaganda in the foreign media over the past two weeks, which reports on the concessions that Ukraine, in the point of view of Russia, must make in this war.

“Russia hopes that the world will tire of the war and hostile to Ukraine narratives will work,” Natalia said.

Ukraine must provide objective and verified news, even if it requires concessions of efficiency.

Olena Tsyntyla, the host of the Ukraine 24 TV channel, admitted that the most important thing for her in working on the United News Marathon was not to become a person who spreads false news. After all, it undermines the credibility of both journalism and the Ukrainian state. The journalists’ goal is to tell the truth.

“Right now, people, including our defenders, are listening to the news on the radio and watching it in Diia. Now is not the time to divide the audience. It does not matter where you work. It is important who you work for,” Olena is convinced.

Oleksiy Fadeev, the host of the Inter TV channel, believes that TV viewers today need not only a statement of facts but also emotions and life stories of real people.

People are tired of the war, but it must not be forgotten. Journalists are challenged to keep the attention of the audience. Natalia Yastrubenko, editor-in-chief of the Rada channel, is convinced that journalists must learn to talk about our losses, military injuries, etc. This is a very complex and painful topic, but it is our reality, and journalists must tell their viewers about it correctly.

The conversation was moderated by Oksana Hutzayt, the host of Fakty ICTV, who also hosted the Information Wars and Operations Forum.


ESG Evaluation Impact on Rebuilding the Economy of Ukraine

 

Rethinking ESG criteria, as well as reviewing business reporting requirements and sources of primary information, is necessary to set meaningful corporate goals that promote green transition and digitalization. At first glance, the Russian war against Ukraine is not about sustainable development. However, because of integrating global markets and economies, and especially because of the connection of the Russian oil and gas sector with the world’s energy needs, the war has had and will have consequences for the ESG.

Solomiya Petryna works for EBRD, the largest investor in Ukraine. For 30 years, the company has been financing projects that are being assessed for environmental and social impact. The EBRD has special environmental and social policies that set the rules for both EBRD and the investment firm itself. After evaluating the client, EBRD discusses the environmental and social action plan — what can be done if a certain component of the client’s project does not meet EBRD standards. Solomiya notes Ukraine is in an unprecedented situation because of the war, so EBRD team is working with Ukrainian clients to find reasonable and practical solutions for them.

Reid Steadman, Managing Director & Global Head of ESG at S&P DJI, said that ESG principles play two roles in Ukraine. Firstly, they set standards for working with international companies. Secondly, they build the trust of international business in Ukrainian business. There are many standards for reporting, but they all include human rights. S&P Dow Jones Indices also ask companies to explain how they monitor human rights. Reid Steadman notes:

“Besides annual reports, we monitor the activities of companies daily. For example, if a company does not comply with sanctions on cooperation with Russia, it will affect the company’s long-term assessment. “

For reporting, businesses can use standards such as the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) and the Corporate Sustainability Assessment (CSA), which allows businesses to communicate that they have good cybersecurity, do not bribe, etc.

Valeriya Melnychuk, Vice President at HIGHGATE (Boycott Russia co-founder), says that today the general discourse of ESG principles is much more advanced than a few years ago. Before, ESG policies used to be a “nice to have”. But now, they are a must for all businesses that want to attract international investment in the future. However, not only ESG reporting is important but also a comprehensive ESG strategy and its implementation as part of the wider company narrative. Investors like inspiring stories. So, companies should use their ESG policies, overarching strategy and proactive communications to build these stories.

The ESG sphere is only now assessing the consequences of the Russian aggression. Many have miscalculated the risks Russia carried. Many public companies operating in Russia have lost a lot of their value. Continuing business with Russia presents ESG, reputational, and profit risks.

“Closing a business in Russia and reassessing risks in other authoritarian states is a wise business decision,” Valeriya concludes.

Oleksiy Ryabchyn, Advisor to the CEO of Naftogaz of Ukraine on low-carbon business and the EU Green Deal, moderated this panel.


Re-Building Ukraine: Business Accountability, Integrity, Transparency as an Obligatory Pre-Requisite of Investments

 

Business transparency plays an important role in the sustainable development of the country. The place of Ukrainian companies in the war against Russia is also important today. The war changed a lot in approaches to business. Marianna Rozumna, Head of the Legal and Compliance Department at Datagroup, argues that compliance is based on business ethics. Today, every business attempts to help the economy and the country. For Datagroup, corporate responsibility lies in paying taxes honestly and social responsibility lies in taking care of employees.

“Our first step in transparency is the transparency of our values. Only then comes the understanding of how to move forward,” says Marianna.

The Ukrainian economy has suffered heavy losses. Every day the country loses billions of hryvnias. It will take us 5 years to catch up with the pre-war level of development. Serhiy Derkach, Head of the Department on Corruption Prevention at the National Agency on Corruption Prevention, admits that because of the complexity of business operations in the current situation, compliance is relegated to the background, giving way to the need for companies to survive. The NACP is working on corruption risks at the state level with a focus on the recovery of Ukraine and on risks to the business, where attention is paid to the work of compliance officers.

Andriy Borovyk, CEO of Transparency International Ukraine, is convinced that Ukraine must play a leading role in all reconstruction programs related to the reconstruction of the country. In his opinion, two principles will ensure the effective implementation of any program for the restoration of Ukraine. The first one is collaboration, which means the involvement of communities at different levels and local authorities in investor initiatives. The second one is transparency. As of February 24, Ukraine was a very open country, but because of the war, most of the data was hidden. According to Andriy, some of this data can already be published today. In addition, the state’s decisions on reconstruction must also be transparent.

Daria Ruban, Coordinator of the Anti-Corruption Collective Action Program of the UN Global Compact Ukraine, moderated the discussion.


We are grateful to Starlight Media for the help in organizing the event. Starlight Media is a Ukrainian media group and a member of the UN Global Compact, which has eight years of expertise in countering Russian disinformation and is involved in the United News Marathon.

You can watch the recording of the broadcast of the event by following the LINK.

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