The International Media Forum on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) was launched today in Kyiv at the Opera Hotel, according to the UN Office in Kyiv. The Forum, organized by the United Nations in partnership with the Expert magazine and MTS-Ukraine is held on 12-13 July 2007 to give floor for discussion on the role of media in promoting, challenging and implementing CSR.

Opening the event, Mr. Francis O’Donnell, UN Resident Coordinator to Ukraine stated, “Today, corporate social responsibility is becoming of ever greater importance in the world agenda. Media is the main driver in communicatingthevalue of Ukraine’s engagement in CSR and is also society’s watchdog on its implementation”. “Besides, media is, in its own right, business that can promote social and environmental responsibility by observing CSR principles”, he added.

Mr. Taras Petriv, Head of the National Commission on Freedom of Speech, welcomed the participants on behalf of the President of Ukraine and read out his address.

The International Media Forum brings together more then 100 prominent journalists and editors from nine countries together with experts from the private and public sector as well as government and academia to discuss how media can reinforce the CSR development. The speakers of the Forum include Mr. Simon Derry, Regional Director for the BBC World Service Trust, Mr. Savik Shuster, Head of the new projects group TV channel “Inter”, Mr. Kevin Marsh, Editor-in-Chief, BBC College of Journalism, Ms. Ceditha Anne M. Rimando, Business Editor of Newsbreak Magazine, Mr.Alexandre Gorelik, UN Information Centre Moscow, Mr. Iskander Hisamov, Editor-in-Chief of the “Expert-Ukraine”, Kazbek Bektursunov, Head of “Kyivskiy Media Holding”.

During this two-day international event, three working group discussions and a debate session will focus on such aspects as the role of the media in CSR, and media as socially responsible businesses and frameworks enabling media to promote CSR.

The International Media Forum on Corporate Social Responsibility is conducted in the framework of the UN Global Compact that was successfully launched in Ukraine in April 2006.

As of today, 72 Ukrainian companies have signed the UN Global Compact. By joining this initiative, the companies are committed to observe ten principles including addressing corruption and labour discrimination, promoting sustainable environment and protecting human rights. Globally, 3800 companies from 100 countries worldwide signed the UN Global Compact.