As a Swiss citizen, writing a paper for Ukraine seems to me to be rather courageous. I visited Kyiv for the first time in December 2018. I read a lot about the important role that this country has played for many centuries in culture, trade and food for entire continents. The tragic events of recent years - the conflict that is still ongoing - is in contrast to the country's beauty and cultural riches. I dare not give advice to Ukraine, but I wish it a future in which people could develop together in mutual respect and in partnership.
This dream, which I have for all of our planet, is a dream for which we can only work together. If you dare to dream, then I hope you will find friends that will embody your dream life!
Over the past few days, I have reviewed 35 projects submitted to me by the Ukrainian Global Compact Network. I have two important questions: 1. Why and how do we as partners form partnerships, and why should we build and expand partnerships with others in the private sector? 2. What is needed for a partnership to succeed and bring fruit in the long run?
What I discovered for myself in these diverse projects not only impressed me, but also strengthened my conviction that we could work together on a future in which the standard of living would be worthy of East and West in the North and South. "Let's make this dream come true," I would like to exclaim.
At the heart of all partnerships is a partnership between a woman and a husband. Need more than compassion or physical attraction to succeed. Common goals and a living project based on shared values, mutual respect, active listening and conflict resolution are just as important as joy, idealism and enthusiasm to build something together. We usually call it love.
In the social and economic context it would seem strange to first choose the term love. But if I carefully think about achieving the UN's 17 goals for sustainable development, then it is not just about cooperation and funding, but also about the general dream of a just land, where everyone can live together in peace, mutual respect and human dignity. According to our western traditions, we simply call it love for your neighbor or mercy. Perhaps we should use this term again more consciously, because it is very meaningful.
In order to make the "world we strive" to be real, we need an intensive and lasting partnership, characterized by strong mutual respect, honesty, trust and human and professional competence and knowledge. According to my traditions, I call it the orientation of all individual, political and state actions for the universal good of the world. This term, derived from the Christian social doctrine, is deeply rooted in our human subconscious and is fundamental to all cultures and religions. We depend on each other, we need each other to live dignity together.
It is true that in recent times, in today's politics and economy, greed for power, influence and money, on the one hand, and pure stupidity, on the other hand, again and again, destroys the dream of "the world we seek." Nationalist, religious, and racist extremists interfere with sustainable global development, like selfishness, volatility and hatred. Not to admit it would be naive.
But - and this gives me hope - many of the people I have met in the UN Global Compact Network in recent years have been advocating for a belief in a common future for all of mankind. Cooperation between different companies inside and outside national boundaries is a positive sign. Business is never an end in itself, it serves the people and the environment. Where business does not respect them and does not relate to them dignity, it ultimately destroys the basis on which the market economy is based. Without an intact environment and without people, economic activity makes no sense. Many projects in Ukraine are very open: NGOs, government, private industry, cultural communities, religious communities, etc., unite, create approaches for sustainable development and projects that bear hope and confidence. Greed, exploitation, corruption and lack of love no longer have a place there.
I will not let my dream come true that we, as a private sector business, can and must make an important contribution to a sustainable, humane world in which all people can lead a successful, happy life, and where nature as our "Mother Earth" is respected, understood and is perceived as part of ourselves.
I look forward to continuing to establish partnerships with Ukraine and Switzerland based on listening, respect, gratitude and mercy. We have knowledge, technology, as a means to do this with our goodwill. Do not let us destroy this dream because of volatility, anger, corruption and stupidity.
When someone dreams of a dream, it remains a dream. When many dream about it together, it becomes a reality!
Antonio Hatley, Executive Director of the Global Compact Network at Swiss