On 8 March, Secretary General Roberto Antonione opened the final charitable auction event in Milan organised in the framework of the “The Saving Lives humanitarian initiative”. The latter was created by Metinvest Group in coordination with the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation at the beginning of the war to help Ukraine. It provides large-scale and continuous assistance to Ukrainians with foodstuffs and essential items.
The auction - featuring rare artifacts from both wartime and peacetime donated by Metinvest, Ukrainian cultural figures and stars from the world of sports - gathered representatives of the business community from Italy, Germany, Austria, Bulgaria, Poland, the Czech Republic, Belgium, and Ukraine.
During his opening speech, SG Antonione underlined how the activities of the CEI aimed at promoting European integration and sustainable development in its Member States and how it was guided by the principles of the UN Charter and the Helsinki Act; he pointed out, in particular, how the Organisation had immediately responded to Putin’s war both politically, by delivering a firm message through the suspension of Belarus from its rights of representation within the CEI, and through tangible actions, such as: a direct donation to the International Committee of the Red Cross; partnerships with international NGOs to assist the most vulnerable people in the Eastern regions of Ukraine, also giving our contributing to the establishment of a field hospital; setting up an “Educational Hub” in Warsaw to facilitate the social inclusion of displaced people, in particular, the youth; through dedicated call for proposals to finance small projects aimed at mitigating the consequences of the war.
The auction event began with a panel discussion on the future of Ukraine and Italy's contribution to the country's recovery in both industrial and intellectual terms. Yuriy Ryzhenkov, the CEO of Metinvest Group, executives of A2A Group, Acciaierie d'Italia, Danieli, and Fratelli Cosulich, as well as a representative of EUROFER, the European Steel Association, took part in the discussion. All profits and donations from the auction will go towards providing prosthetics and rehabilitation to Ukrainians affected by the war.
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