The Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia Maja Gojkovic opened the on-line conference “Social Responsibility in Times of Crisis” today, stressing that the social unity, humanity and solidarity shown in the face of the COVID-19 crisis gives us hope that together we have again revived the awareness on the importance these values have for the entire community.
Gojkovic said that, looking at the whole picture of our fight against COVID-19, she is sure that as a state and society we have shown how well we react in times of trouble, taking responsible decisions to tackle modern challenges for which no state, even the ones more developed than Serbia, were ready for.
“Most of the people understood how important this common fight is as evidenced by the many examples of solidarity, dedication and assistance for those who needed it most, building strong ties across generations as seen in the help young people provided for the elderly”, said Gojkovic.
The Assembly Speaker said that responsible individuals, among them many public figures, athletes and companies were an important segment of the common social response, leading by example to show how important humaneness is, especially in circumstances such as these.
“Companies supported the society’s response to the challenge in many ways”, said Gojkovic mentioning the socially-responsible operation of all the companies which, despite operating difficulties, did not fire their employees. The Assembly Speaker said that this is the opportunity to commend the companies which adapted to the new situation and made it possible for their employees to work from home, providing on-line access to everything they needed and directing production toward ways to overcome the crisis. She also praised the responsible and sensible actions of the supermarket chains which kept the public supplied with staple foods in times it was faced with images of Europe’s empty markets and product shortages.
Gojkovic said that, much like Italy where famous fashion brands started the production of face masks and donated many, Serbia’s textile industry rose up to the challenge and promptly, as everyone on the global market struggled to procure face masks, began production of its own, adding that many individuals, athletes, as well as companies which donated respirator to the hospitals in Serbia, deserve praise.
Gojkovic went on to say that the organizer of this conference is an example of corporate social responsibility with its “Help the Elderly” campaign met with an overwhelming response in Novi Sad where volunteers helped the elderly and vulnerable with getting food and medicines, walking their pets, adding that she had the privilege to support the campaign as a volunteer herself.
Gojkovic stressed that successful business operation has long since become more than just about profit, product quality, consumer volume and market share – care for the community it is part of is also the measure of any modern company and especially in times of crisis the people want to see the humane face of the company whose products they buy or services they use.
“That gives me hope that, in the times that come, many companies will view socially responsible behaviour as an integral part of their overall business model”, Gojkovic said.