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6 Mar 2024

60 civil society organisations in Ukraine, scholars, human rights and environment defenders

Ukrainian civil society calls on EU to promote more resilient and responsible business conduct, incl. through CSDDD

Ukrainian civil society calls the EU to be consistent in promoting more resilient and responsible business conduct

Ukraine is facing historic challenges, confronting the devastating consequences of the Russian invasion. The war has also revealed an urgent need for responsible business practices that meet key standards on corporate respect for human rights, labour rights, inclusiveness, accountability, and more.

The international community is increasingly raising expectations for responsible business practices through international initiatives, such as the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and Guidelines of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development for multinational companies. Implementation of these standards offers an opportunity for businesses to play a positive role in the just recovery of Ukraine.

The Environmental Compact for Ukraine, a plan of measures to address the environmental damage Ukraine has suffered due to the full-scale Russian invasion and war, has also called on Ukraine to ensure that international principles of responsible business conduct are integrated into all recovery and reconstruction planning, making, in particular reference to the EU's proposed Directive on Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence.

Ukrainian civil society – CSOs, human rights and environmental defenders, the academic community, trade unions and business associations - have always considered the EU as a driver of sustainability transformation that leads by example. We count on the EU's support to promote more resilient and responsible business conduct by European companies in the EU and beyond, in their operations and in their business relationships. Ukraine should be able to establish a new gold standard for a successful green recovery post-war. To succeed, both public and private investments need to align with Ukraine's efforts towards inclusive, just, and sustainable development. But Ukrainian civil society can not be alone in this aim. Promoting responsible business conduct in Ukraine, in the EU and globally is key to this endeavour …

We call on the EU to be consistent in promoting more resilient and responsible business conduct, the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive is a crucial part of these efforts.

This statement is supported by more than 60 civil society organisations in Ukraine, scholars, human rights and environment defenders.

[full list of signatories attached]