More than two weeks. That's how long the war in Ukraine is ongoing. A war that almost seemed unthinkable until recently. The horrifying images are now presented to us on a daily basis. The consequences are unforeseeable but it is clear that this war has drastic humanitarian, geopolitical and economic long-term effects for the entire world.
The people in Ukraine are in need of immediate and concrete help. So what's the value of words in a situation like this? What is the benefit of these words to people who are affected directly by this war? A statement doesn't change their situation. But at the same time, APG stands amidst of society and we feel a commitment to everything that's going on. We stand for long-term income security but always from a sustainable perspective of humankind, the climate and the earth. The invasion of Ukraine by Russia is an attack on that perspective and the associated values.
Solidarity is an important part of the foundation underlying the Dutch pension system and, with that, an important, inherent value to APG. That value has now become even more important. Our thoughts are first of all with the victims, the people in Ukraine who had to abandon their homes and the ones who are now suffering directly from the acts of war. We also think about our employees from Ukraine, Russia and Belarus who have family and friends living in that area or who are otherwise affected by this war. As an employer we will do whatever we can to give them the support, guidance and attention they deserve. I also see the emergence of the prompt solidarity we witnessed in our society and across Europe within the organization of APG. Colleagues of different nationalities want to help the victims and have established some initiatives to this end.
The Board of Directors is obviously also looking at the impact of this conflict on the customers of APG. The pension funds and participants we work for can count on the required advice and the resulting actions. The decision made by bpfBOUW, ABP and SPW to sell their investments in Russia (less than 1 percent of the total) is one example.
Although the impact can in no way be compared with the consequences for the people who are affected directly, we are all struck by what's happening in Ukraine right now. We are stunned, concerned and our collective feeling of security has suddenly been undermined. The disappearance of the obviousness of freedom and security makes us realize just how fundamental certain values are to us. These values are currently under pressure, but the unity with which society responds also shows that we are still willing and prepared to promote those values.
Annette Mosman, chairperson of the Board of Directors of APG