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Dreamers with their feet on the ground

The UN Day 2022 Gala, organized by the UN Global Compact Network Poland, took place on October 24 in Warsaw. 

October 24 – United Nations Day – was created to commemorate the establishment of the UN Charter on October 24, 1945.

This year’s meeting was attended by representatives of the UN Global Compact Network Poland, business partners of the organization, representatives of government administration and non-governmental organizations. 

“The UN Day Gala is a unique event during which we meet to talk about programs implemented in the UN Global Compact Network Poland, summarize the past year and thank our partners for their joint activities. This year, however, was completely different than we would have expected. The outbreak of the war in Ukraine on February 24 changed everything. With all the horror taking place just next door, this situation shows how much good and empathy there is in us, in people. The scale and pace of providing help touch the heart and prove that by working together we can solve many problems,” said Kamil Wyszkowski, Executive Director of UN Global Compact Network Poland.

The UN Global Compact is the largest sustainable business initiative in the world. Since its establishment in 2000 by then UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, it has been working for the environment, human rights and anti-corruption.

The UNGC currently has over 10,000 members from all over the world. Through cooperation with governments, international organizations, companies and institutions, it carries out a number of ambitious activities, acting as a catalyst for global changes.

The Global Compact Network Poland is the secretariat of Polish UNGC members and an accelerator of local programs and activities. It carries out its activities in four areas: an Anti-Corruption Program, Business & Human Rights, Climate Positive and United Business for Ukraine, which arose from the unexpected needs arising from the situation.

“We, as an organization, did not have any humanitarian aid powers. However, when the war broke out in Ukraine, we were asked to organize help for the attacked inhabitants of Ukraine, for the refugees. We managed a lot and still do, thanks to cooperation with business partners focused on providing long-term assistance,” Wyszkowski said.  

Companies involved in the implementation of the goals of the organization under the above-mentioned programs were present.

“The Sustainable Development Goals will not be implemented without the involvement of business. This is why the UN Global Compact was founded 22 years ago. Today, the UN Secretary General sets a great task for us all to build a mass and global business movement around the UN Global Compact, so that the SDG, the Paris Agreements or the Universal Declaration of Human Rights are respected, implemented and promoted by every company,” Wyszkowski added.

During the event, statuettes for Architect of Sustainable Development 2022 were presented in the UN GCNP’s program areas. Szymon Jadczak, a journalist from Wirtualna Polska, was awarded for his fight against corruption. For supporting people in the homelessness crisis, Adriana Porowska received a distinction. She said that if she were to write a book, it would not be about helping, but about the indifference of today’s world. “Indifference can do more harm than open aversion,” she said.

Another statuette – for the Architect of Sustainable Development – went to Alina Czyżewska, a representative of the watchdog, Polska Civic Network. Also an actress and civic activist, Czyżewska drew attention to the role of education in shaping civic attitudes in adulthood. In her speech, she said that if they did not sensitize young citizens in schools, where they spend 12 years of their lives, to the issues of civil rights violations, it would be difficult to expect them to see abuse and react to it in adulthood.

A statuette was also awarded to Michał Kurtyka, former Secretary of State in the Ministry of Energy and the Ministry of the Environment, later the Climate Minister; best known for his ability to build consensus, which is so much needed to face the climate challenges.

More: Yearbook UN GCNP 2022

Sylwia Ziemacka
Sylwia Ziemacka
“I believe our unique selling point is that we focus on what brings us together. Poland Weekly offers something you will not find anywhere else: a truly international and unifying perspective focused on content that builds cooperation and mutual understanding. This attitude doesn't make us naïve, but it allows us to focus on mutual understanding and a search for solutions. There are so many new challenges that we are all facing, such as energy transformation, climate change and supply chain disruption, to name but a few. By working together and sharing good practices, we can achieve so much more.”