Ban Ki-moon Institute for Global Education in Support of UNAI opens at Handong Global University

The opening ceremony of the ‘Ban Ki-moon Institute for Global Education’ (IGE) in Support of United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI) Korea was held at Handong Global University (HGU) in Pohang, South Korea on May 27th.
 
The ceremony was attended by distinguished guests from around the world, including BKMC Co-chair Heinz Fischer, Juan Antonio Samaranch, Jr., Vice President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and Ramu Damodaran, Chief of UNAI.
BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon delivered the welcoming speech as Honorary President of IGE.
In his speech, he stressed that “the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals is not possible without the cultivation of global citizens. That is what IGE is all about. IGE will contribute significantly to realization of the United Nations’ 3 pillars and its 17 SDGs by nurturing global citizens through comprehensive and holistic Global Citizenship Education.”

IGE was established at HGU, a higher education institution, in response to calls by the United Nations and the international community to implement GCED as a new educational paradigm, a paradigm for providing sustainable solutions for transforming the world in the era of the SDGs. Founded and administered through cooperation between HGU and UNAI Korea, IGE will offer such education at its Globally Responsible and Advanced Citizenship Education (GRACE) School. GRACE School will incorporate essential subject areas and the essence of GCED into 6 core courses and offer its students as part of a program leading to a Certificate in Holistic Global Citizenship.

In his congratulatory speech, Fischer said, “I want to stress the importance of Global Citizenship Education (GCED). I am impressed that IGE is incorporating GCED into its curriculum and promoting it as an invaluable tool for sustainable peace and prosperity in the 21st century.”
At the inauguration, IOC VP Samaranch received an honorary doctorate degree from HGU. He shared his vision of olympism as a “philosophy of life” achieved through the “combination of sport, culture, and education.”

Ban Ki-moon urges the UK to go carbon neutral by 2050

As the UK’s Climate Change Committee publishes its latest recommendations for UK government action to drastically reduce carbon emissions, BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon, former UN Secretary-General and Deputy Chair of The Elders said:

“The Elders welcome the recommendations of the UK’s Climate Change Committee. Committing the UK to become carbon neutral by 2050 will send a clear message to other G20 nations and beyond that the UK truly is a leader on climate action. Such a decision, should the UK Government take it, will be unprecedented and will put pressure on other nations to do the same. The scale and urgency of the climate challenge we face needs this kind of ambitious #leadership – it would mark a significant political moment in efforts to keep global temperatures in line with a 1.5C rise.”

Source: https://www.theelders.org/news/ban-ki-moon-uk-must-commit-go-carbon-neutral-2050
Photo by David Iliff

RELX SDG Inspiration Day Delhi: Inspiring collaborative action on the 17 global goals

On 2 May 2019, BKMC partner RELX held its fourth SDG Inspiration Day in Delhi to catalyze action on the UN Sustainable Development Goals. This event took place at the iconic Imperial Hotel in partnership with Global Compact India, Responsible Media Forum and the Ban Ki-Moon Centre for Global Citizens. The theme Sustainable Cities: SDG 11, critical to the rest inspired rich discussion among participants from business, government, civil society and academia who explored the interconnection of SDG 11 with cross-cutting themes, such as health and the rule of law.

In the opening plenary, BKMC Board member Marcia Balisciano, Director, Corporate Responsibility at RELX, explained that India is in the top 10 countries for research on SDG 11 and in the last five years India’s research output on sustainable cities has more than doubled. A keynote from Ambassador Kim won-soo, BKMC Board member and former UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, highlighted the need for smaller cities and the role of technology to harmonize this.

The day featured an expert café with contributions from Arunava Dasgupta, Head , Department for Urban Design, Centre for Urban Design Innovation; Amit Sharma, BU Head, Energy and Sustainability Services, Schneider Electric India and Aditi Haldar, South-Asia Director, GRI among others, who explored the challenges of health planning for urban populations, the role of data, technology and smart infrastructure, circular and green energy systems and the future of jobs and skills.

Youth were well represented during the partnership fair, with a number of student presentations from the School of Urban Planning who shared their proposals for cities that were greener, more resilient and were more caring for older populations.

SDG Inspiration Day Delhi was the fourth of a series of inspiration days held across the world: London in 2017, which launched the RELX SDG Resource Centre; Silicon Valley which explored disruptive technology to advance the SDGs and Amsterdam on the importance of partnerships for the Goals, both in 2018.

Read more: https://sdgresources.relx.com/news-features/relx-sdg-inspiration-day-delhi-inspiring-collaborative-action-17-global-goals

Photo: RELX Group

 

Ban Ki-moon is appointed Ambassador for GEMS World Academy schools

  • GEMS World Academy Dubai students to receive valuable input and advice from statesman
  • Appointment complements existing innovative initiatives at GEMS World Academy, the UAE’s leading IB education school, including its Entrepreneurship Centre – GEMS X, Careers and Counselling Hub, and Student-led Innovation Committee

BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon, the former Secretary-General of the United Nations, is appointed the official Ambassador for the Model United Nations (MUN) at GEMS World Academy schools, including GEMS World Academy in Dubai. Ban will hold the position for the next three years, giving students the unprecedented opportunity to gain valuable insights from one of the world’s most admired leaders.

The UAE’s leading International Baccalaureate (IB) school, GEMS World Academy Dubai hosts the MUN as part of its curriculum. An education simulation activity in which students learn about diplomacy, international relations and the United Nations, MUN is designed to develop students’ skills and shape their worldview. Serving as Ambassador for the MUN, Ban Ki-moon will be invited to open the MUN’s annual conference, where GEMS World Academy Dubai students will be able to participate in simulated sessions of the General Assembly or Security Council and get advice on diplomacy skills and learn about key issues that impact the 21st century.

Ban said, “I am delighted to join hands with GEMS Education as the Ambassador for the Model United Nations at GEMS World Academy schools. It is critical that today’s youth take on responsibility for the world we live in from an early educational platform, and it is essential that educators empower students to talk about issues such as the environment and sustainability so that we can limit any adverse effects on our future generations. In partnering with GEMS Education, the UAE’s leading K12 education provider, we can reach a far-reaching audience to instil change for the betterment of humankind.”

Sunny Varkey, Founder and Chairman of GEMS Education, said: “Ban Ki-moon is a true statesman who has impressed the world with his diplomatic skills and his decisive stance on a variety of pressing issues faced by humanity. We are honoured that Ban Ki-moon has graciously accepted to be the official Ambassador for the Model United Nations at our GEMS World Academy schools. With several student-led innovations, GEMS World Academy Dubai has set benchmarks for academic excellence and underlined its position as the leading IB education school in the country. With the generous support of Ban Ki-moon, our students have an unrivalled learning opportunity to take notes from such an inspirational figure. They can develop a stronger understanding of diplomacy and gain a clearer worldview on current issues, helping them become truly global citizens.”

Ban Ki-Moon has also agreed to contribute to the Global Education Skills Forum, the annual event in Dubai that brings together leaders from the public, private and social sectors around the world and culminates with the Varkey Foundation’s $1M Global Teacher Prize. GEMS Education will play a key role in supporting donations to the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens.

For further information about GEMS Education, visit: http://www.gemseducation.com

Photo: Peter Lechner

“We need global concerted action,” says Ban Ki-moon at the Boao Forum

The Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) 2019 was held in Boao, China from March 26th to March 29th, 2019 under the theme for “Shared Future, Concerted Action, Common Development.”

Ban Ki-moon, who serves as Chair of the BFA delivered a welcoming speech at the opening of the Forum. National leaders such as Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith of Laos, Prime Minister Lee Nak-yeon of the Republic of Korea, Prime Minister Xavier Bettel of Luxembourg, and Prime Minister Jorge Bom Jesus of Sao Tome as well as representatives from the private sector also gave speeches at the Forum, stressing the importance of the international collaboration on solving global issues.

“We need global concerted action; then we have to work for common development in accordance with the Sustainable Development Goals the United Nations has presented to the world,” said Ban at the Forum.

Watch Ban Ki-moon’s interview with CNBC:

“Everyone can change the world!” says Ban Ki-moon in the interview with the Austrian Red Cross

Ban Ki-moon Interview
Magazine “My Red Cross” by the Austrian Red Cross

How is the world going to look like in 50 years?

In 50 years sustainability has hopefully become the global norm. The world now has the largest generation of young people in history. I place great hopes in their power and positive activism to shape our future. They are part of the first generation that can end poverty and the last that can avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Hopefully, even before 50 years have passed, quality education will be provided to all, gender equality will become the standard, health and well-being will be guaranteed for each human being and all the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will be achieved. It has to be an effort of everybody at all leaves to leave no one behind.

 

Are you afraid your children and grandchildren will have to live on a destroyed planet one day?

Climate change is the most pressing challenge we face as human beings today. It is not slowing down, and the clock is ticking. Natural disasters are becoming more and more frequent and devastating, from historic floods, fires, storms, tsunamis and earthquakes. To protect our planet for future generations, steps must be taken to both combat and to adapt to the changing climate and with accelerated action. It is our collective responsibility as global citizens to see that our planet remains inhabitable and safe for the generations to come.

 

There are more extreme weather events in the world and climate change seems to be speeding up. Do you think mankind has realized what is at stake?

Many of us are very aware of what is at stake, especially those who are making it their life’s work to mitigate and adapt to climate change. However, despite the many who are aware and active, some are choosing to turn a blind eye. This is troubling, particularly when it comes from national leaders. When the US and President Trump pulled-out of the Paris Climate agreement, this was deeply concerning. I have been speaking out that his vision is politically short-sighted, and economically irresponsible and scientifically wrong. So, he is standing on the wrong side of history. Despite this, I am encouraged and hopeful that the whole world will be united in moving ahead with this Paris Climate Change Agreement. It is the political and moral responsibility of our political leaders to support this.

 

You traveled to the US in 1962 with students from 42 different countries to visit the American Red Cross and meet president Kennedy. How did that influence you?

Thanks to the American Red Cross, I was given the opportunity to join students from 42 countries to travel across the United States visiting Red Cross chapters. This opened my eyes to the world. During the trip, I met then President John F. Kennedy, who said to us “there are no national boundaries; there is only a question of whether we can extend a helping hand.” This strong message has been engraved in my memory ever since and I continue to try my utmost to do my share as a global citizen to help those in need. All our helping hands are needed.

 

What are your feelings when you look back from our very different time with very different presidents?

The world has changed vastly since 1962. Since then, the world has faced rising global challenges. Leaders, in recent years, have turned towards nationalism and populism, putting up walls instead of extending helping hands. This is, plainly stated, not the way forward. Leaders must have and enlist a global vision in all that they do, seeing beyond their national borders. I have not met many that have a global vision. Nelson Mandela is one of the examples that comes to mind. Many around the world were greatly influenced by his selfless struggle for human dignity, equality and freedom.  He touched our lives in deeply personal ways.  At the same time, no one did more in our time to advance the values and aspirations of the United Nations.

 

You come from South Korea – and 80 percent of the people affected by natural disasters live in Asia. Who should start to accomplish the turnaround in climate politics?

Natural disasters are having a major impact around the world and indeed Asia is majorly affected. China has a great responsibility in the region as well as in the world in leading the turnaround in climate politics. Recently, the country has shown great leadership in cleaning up the air and has contributed greatly to the Green Climate Fund. Additionally, China reached its 2020 carbon emission target three years ahead of schedule with the help of the country’s carbon trading system. China will be key to getting other countries to comply with the Paris Climate Agreement.

 

What can individuals do to change the world?

I firmly believe that individuals have the power to change the world for the better, be it at a local, regional, or global level. Women make up half the world and half the world’s population are under the age of 25; therefore, it is vital to empower these groups to act as global citizens, showing solidarity and compassion towards the challenges the world faces. At the beginning of 2018 we founded the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens in Vienna, Austria together with my Co-chair Former Federal President of the Republic of Austria Heinz Fischer for this exact purpose. In the world today, there are plenty of people with passion, yet not enough with compassion. This is unfortunate, so we must educate the world’s youth to understand that their actions have ripple effects on other around the world. We must teach empathy alongside math and history, for without this and a global vision, we will not succeed in creating a sustainable future for us all, leaving no one behind.

 

What is necessary to achieve a turnaround – does the planet need a new economic system to find a path towards sustainability?

To achieve the turnaround, there are many steps the world needs to take. These may be at the systemic level, but also at the social and individual levels. Businesses need to understand the economic and additional benefits that come from operating more sustainably. The system may not need to change, but the structures within it and leadership can be transformative. The Global Compact has proven that companies who adapt to more sustainable practices will have a “win-win” situation as their success requires stable economies and healthy, skilled and educated workers, among other factors. And sustainable companies experience increased brand trust and investor support.

Additionally, engaging women more in the economic system will also cause a transformation of the global economy and vastly impact sustainability. When more women work, economies prosper and grow. An increase in female labour force participation and a reduction in the gap between women’s and men’s labour force participation, leads to faster economic growth.

These are just a few of the ways in which the turnaround, with regards to the economy, can be achieved.

 

You say global issues need global solutions, and that it takes responsibility and global citizenship. But isn’t growing nationalism around the world – and blaming globalisation for problems – preventing just that?

Nationalism is truly the antithesis of the notion of global citizenship and it is hampering our progress towards building a sustainable planet. Indeed, global solutions are necessary. However, when world leaders and nations retreat into their own bubbles, we are not able to have the difficult discussions needed to make progress towards achieving the 2030 Agenda and meeting the challenges we face today. Therefore, multilateralism must continue to be fostered wherever possible. We need to keep these avenues of discourse open.

Read the magazine (German) here: http://epaper.roteskreuz.at/MRK1Wien2019/

Photo: Peter Lechner

 

 

A ‘Small UN’ Ban Ki-moon Foundation to be opened in Seoul

On March 5th, the “Ban Ki-moon Foundation for a Better Future (tentative title)” was announced to be established in Korea at the meeting of promoters held in Seoul. Having BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon as the Chair of its Board, the Foundation will serve as a non-political, non-profit public organization that acts as a ‘small UN’ with below objectives:

  • To improve and promote Ban Ki-moon’s philosophy and vision as the 8th UN Secretary-General by realizing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and conducting academic researches and suggesting policies in order for everyone to ensured of human rights
  • To establish a perpetual peace in the Korean Peninsula as well as to promote peace in East Asia and the globe
  • To protect the future vision and the rights of women, youth, and children and to establish future-oriented values
  • To create and execute varied programs to eradicate poverty and disease in developing countries
  • To lead education on cultivating people of talents and global citizenship in cooperation with various international organizations, including the United Nations, and civil organizations, academic institutes, and  educational institutions both inside and outside Korea

Starting from May 2019, the Foundation will pursue projects with the above visions.

Ban mentioned that “I have tried to promote the agenda on climate change, sustainable development, and women’s empowerment while in the UN” and “now I would like to realize such visions both inside and outside the country in cooperation with the people from different sectors in Korea.”

The meeting of promoters had 46 participants, including:

  • Kim Hwangsik, former Prime Minister of Korea; Chairman of the Board of Directors at Ho-am Foundation (Head of the Meeting of Promoters for the BKM Foundation)
  • Gong Ro-myung, former Minister of Foreign Affairs; Chairman of East Asia Foundation
  • Lee Sang-hee, former Minister of National Defense
  • Kim Yong-hak, President of Yonsei University
  • Han Bi-ya, President of Global Citizen School of World Vision; Author of a best-selling book “Daughter of the Wind: Three and a Half Times around the Globe on Foot”
  • Kim Sook, former Korean Ambassador to the UN; former President of UN Women’s Executive Board
  • Rye Seung-min, Korean gold-medalist table tennis player; Athlete Member of the IOC
  • Son Yeon-jae, Korean retired rhythmic gymnast; 3-time Asian Championships All-around Champion
  • Yoo Dong-geun, Korean actor

BKMC strengthens its partnership with UNESCO APCEIU

On February 18th, 2019, the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens and its partner UNESCO APCEIU had an official MOU signing ceremony at the APCEIU office in Seoul, South Korea.

The two organizations electronically signed the MOU on October 19th, 2018 and have collaborated on promoting Global Citizenship Education (GCED), organizing experts’ meeting on education, and developing online courses on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and women’s empowerment. BKMC CEO Monika Froehler has also moderated a plenary session of the 3rd International Conference on GCED hosted by the APCEIU in Seoul in September 2018.

The MOU was signed by BKMC CEO Monika Froehler and APCEIU Director Chung Utak in order to work together on further promoting the notion of global citizenship and fostering many collaborative activities, including organizing meaningful workshops and conferences on GCED.

Upon the visit to the APCEIU office, the Centre also had an opportunity to introduce its work and mission to the professors of Kyung-Hee University, who were having a meeting to discuss implementing global citizenship courses as mandatory courses for all students at the university to take starting from this spring semester.

BKMC signs an MOU with the Austrian Chancellery

On February 14th, 2019, the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens and the Austrian Chancellery signed an Memorandum of Understanding in Seoul, South Korea on the margins of the Global Engagement and Empowerment Forum 2019.

 

The MOU Signing ceremony was followed by a bilateral meeting between BKMC Co-chairs Ban Ki-moon and Heinz Fischer and CEO Monika Froehler, and the Austrian delegation from the chancellery.

As the youngest head of government in the world, Chancellor Kurz resembles the important role that youth leadership plays to ensure a sustainable future of our planet. As the Centre received fund from the chancellery this year to pursue projects for youth fellowship, this gave the opportunity for the two partners to sign the MOU to work towards the implementation of the SDGs by empowering young leaders.

 

Photos: Arno Melicharek

BKMC signs an MOU with the Supreme Council for Planning and Development of Kuwait

On February 11th in Kuwait, BKMC Co-chairs Ban Ki-moon and Heinz Fischer signed an MOU with Dr. Khaled Mahdi, Secretary General of the General Secretariat of the Supreme Council for Planning and Development of the State of Kuwait. The two partners aim to empower women in GCC region by developing fellowship programs and more.

To further discuss the projects and potential areas of collaboration, BKMC CEO Monika Froehler and Associates Julia Zimmerman and Viola Christian had a meeting with Dr. Khaled Mahdi at the Secretariat.

Read Alrai Media’s news article on the MOU signing: http://www.alraimedia.com/Home/Details?id=ac9a5a67-b3de-426d-87fa-f3a05acfbd9d