2020 RAUN Conference kicked off in Vienna, Austria on January 15th. In cooperation with the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens, University of Vienna, and the International Security and Conflict Analysis Network (iSCAN), this 2-day annual conference was hosted by the Regional Academy on the United Nations (RAUN). This year, the conference had the theme of “Environmental and Socioeconomic Sustainability: How to Create Lasting Impacts,” and was attended by BKMC CEO Monika Froehler and COO Katrin Harvey.
Today, on the 2nd day of the conference, Froehler chaired a panel session on “Innovations for Sustainable Development.” During the session, two research groups actively presented their ideas and the research outcomes and raised critical questions, highlighting the importance of community engagement, needs assessment, clear communication, and courage.
CEO Monika Froehler said,
“RAUN research groups looked at sustainable development and innovation through the lens of cities and SMEs. One group explored best practices in Vienna, Hamburg, and Prague. The other explored SMEs in Vietnam and how the 4th Industrial Revolution impacts them.”
Learn more about RAUN 2020: http://ra-un.org/2020-raun-conference.html
Yesterday, Ambassador Prakash Kumar Suvedi of the Embassy of Nepal to Austria visited the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens.
In his meeting with CEO Monika Froehler, Ambassador Suvedi was briefed on the work of the Centre. Then they talked about the challenges and pressures existing in Nepal, including the climate issues, natural hazards and issues with a good number of qualified workers leaving the country. Ambassador Suvedi also introduced SAGARMATHA SAMBAAD, a permanent global dialogue forum initiated by the Government of Nepal.
Today, prior to the 2020 RAUN Conference “Environmental and Socioeconomic Sustainability: How to Create Lasting Impacts” which will take place on January 15-16th, a group of researchers from the Regional Academy on the United Nations (RAUN) visited the Ban Ki-moon Centre to present their paper on the topic of SDG11 and best-practices. BKMC CEO Monika Froehler, COO Katrin Harvey, and Officer Jessie Basch participated in the meeting to give them feedback.
Eva-Maria, Jakub and Christopher worked out a set of recommendations for project managers and policymakers to best implement sustainable city projects and SDG11: Sustainable Cities and Communities. This research group will make a presentation on a panel “Innovations for Sustainable Development” chaired by CEO Froehler on January 16th.
RAUN trains young scholars in issues related to the United Nations and international cooperation. RAUN’s aim is to provide participants with in-depth knowledge about the #UN and its functions, to raise their cultural awareness and openness, and to offer a forum for networking and academic exchange.
BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon delivered the “Ethics Commission Report” to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session taking place in Lausanne, Switzerland during the 2020 Winter Youth Olympics on January 10th. As Chair of the IOC Ethics Commission and former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban focused on three specific points.
First, he indicated that the mechanism of preventive disclosure of interests will be extended to the full IOC membership as a new implementation of the Rules Concerning Conflicts of Interests. This decision by the Ethics Commission followed a thorough analysis of the Rules adopted in 2002 and of the mechanisms in place in other organisations. In order to comply with the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), IOC Executive Board Members and IOC directors have been required to disclose their interests since 2015.
Second, in order to reaffirm the leading role of the IOC Ethics Commission and its efficiency in dealing with potential breaches of the ethical principles of the Olympic Movement by IOC Members holding positions in other sports organisations, specific and appropriate mechanisms will be put in place between the IOC Ethics Commission and the ethics com
missions of other sports organisations.
Finally, the IOC Ethics Commission Chair informed the Session that the Ethics and Compliance Office has been reinforced with the integration of a newly created Compliance, Risk Management and Internal Control Unit, which is aimed at strengthening the efficiency of the ethical mechanisms for the IOC administration.
“A culture of ethics is key to the success of any organisation, including the IOC,” said Ban. “We all agree that sport is a unique vehicle for peace; but it can be efficient only if it has credibility,” he stressed.
The IOC Session elected Mrs. Amina Mohamed from Kenya as a new member of the IOC Ethics Commission. Cabinet Secretary of the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Heritage in Kenya since 2018, Mrs Mohamed was elected as an independent member in her capacity as a personality and non-IOC Member.
© IOC / Christophe Moratal
On January 9th, BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon and CEO Monika Froehler visited Dubai Cares founded by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who serves as Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
Dubai Cares plays a key role in helping achieve SDG4, by supporting programs in early childhood development, access to quality primary and secondary education, technical and vocational education and training for youth as well as a particular focus on education in emergencies and protracted crises.
At the Dubai Cares office, Co-chair Ban and CEO Froehler met with the staff and had an informative meeting with CEO Tariq Al Gurg. They were also briefed on the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI) that combines under its umbrella over 30 humanitarian and developmental initiatives and entities, most of which have been launched and supported by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
Ban Ki-moon’s Keynote Address
Opening of the Inaugural Model United Nations Conference
GEMS World Academy – Dubai
January 9, 2020
I am delighted to be here at the inaugural GEMS World Academy, Dubai Model United Nations conference. It is energizing to see so many individuals and schools represented.
To be an Ambassador of GWA MUN is a great honour and privilege for me. One of the main reasons I accepted this position from Mr. Sunny Varkey, Founder and Chairman of GEMS Education, was because I knew it would give me incredible insight into the way youth are thinking.
You are the world’s future leaders, and by being here it shows that you are committed to the world we live in and your passion to make a difference. I commend you all for that.
The theme of the conference, “Challenges of intervention in a complex world”, is so important. It gives you all the opportunity to explore global issues and look for solutions that perhaps world governments, NGOs, and many others haven’t thought of.
Yesterday, I had the privilege of meeting the GEMS World Academy Secretariat who organised this conference. I was impressed with the leadership of the entire Secretariat team led by their Director-General Lihong Wang, and Deputy General Aditya Joshi. Without them this conference would not have been possible. Their passion, enthusiasm, and their drive to make a change gives me great comfort.
Like all of you, they are so committed to the MUN concept. This fills me with so much pride.
You may ask “why?”
You are our future and I am confident that you will have prudent solutions to real 21st century problems.
But, this conference is about more than that… and I hope that when the conference is over you will realise that you have personally grown and have met inspiring people and that you will have learned a lot.
The conference will train some of your skills that will help you shape your future in many ways; from developing key leadership abilities to researching, writing and public speaking.
Some of you will learn
Moreover, finding realistic solutions to real world problems that are acceptable to a majority of representatives requires incredible skills of negotiation, conflict resolution and cooperation. This is easier said than done!
I hope that the biggest take away for your all will be OWNERSHIP. Ownership of the world we all live in. OWNERSHIP for the Sustainable Development Goals. OWNERSHIP of the Agenda 2030. OWNERSHIP of the principle of leaving no one behind.
When I ended my tenure as Secretary-General of the United Nations, I knew that there was much more work to be done… So, I founded the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens along with Heinz Fischer, the former President of Austria. The Centre is based in Vienna and focusses on empowering women and the youth in the framework of the SDGs and the Paris Climate Agreement.
You might ask why we chose to focus on Gender Equality and Quality Education because half of the world is women and half the world is under 25 years of age.
And, despite best efforts, in many developing countries, primary, secondary and tertiary education for girls STILL remains a challenge. We cannot ignore this.
Currently 264 Million children are not at school, a majority of them are girls.
In matters of access to education, professional opportunities, pay and representation there is no gender equality…yet!
Women are still under-represented in top positions…
1 in 3 women in the world have experienced physical or sexual violence…
And trafficking women and girls is still happening around the world.
Child marriage is still practiced and women and young people are the hardest hit in any conflict, war or crisis.
This has to stop!
The world is currently home to the largest generation of youth ever – with 1.8 billion young people worldwide. Nearly 90 per cent of which live in developing countries.
More than 70 million youth are currently unemployed and around 40 percent of the world’s active youth are either jobless or living in poverty – despite working.
As we know, unemployment breeds many problems from inequality, crime to terrorism.
And this has to be addressed.
Yes, progress is being made. But it is not enough. The Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens puts emphasis on decreasing youth mortality, supporting education, women and youth entrepreneurship – and raises awareness for global citizenship issues.
We want to make sure that all young people know about the SDGs and become agents of positive change. This is important given today’s challenges globally.
I am often asked: ‘but what can I do as an individual?’ believing that your contribution won’t make a difference. That is wrong! And if you think that it is someone else’s responsibility, then the world will continue to suffer.
It doesn’t matter how small your contribution to society is, as long as you are contributing in whatever way you can – within your capability.
We all know that the 17 Sustainable Development Goals are each mammoth tasks… but they are achievable if each and every one of us plays our part.
One of the biggest challenges is mobilising sufficient financing to effectively pursue the 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development.
But, it is also about human-power.
This brings me back to ‘what is achievable’ for an individual? You should never think your contribution won’t be enough to be a catalyst for change. Everyone can make a difference. And I want to give you a real example from within GEMS Education.
I was delighted to learn that many GEMS teachers are United Nations Climate Change certified – with one school, The Kindergarten Starters, recently becoming the World’s first fully-accredited UN:CC school with all 300-plus of its teachers and support staff certified.
I am even more pleased to hear that other teachers across GEMS Education schools are following suit.
This was all made possible after ONE single teacher from GEMS First Point – The Villa – Candice Wright – discovered that accreditation was ONLY possible for teachers in the United Kingdom. However, she questioned the process and now as a result of her perseverance, the qualification is available to everyone around the world.
This has now resulted in hundreds of teachers becoming UN:CC certified in less than a year. And, it is evidence – within your own network of schools – that one person CAN make a difference.
I would like to leave you with this.
Be inspired to go out into the world and to work not only for the betterment of your own country, or the country you live in but for the betterment of humankind.
Be a global citizen! Act with passion and compassion!
Together, we can make the world safer and more sustainable for today, and for generations to come.
This is our moral responsibility as human beings.
Today, Co-chair Ban Ki-moon, Madam Yoo Soon-taek and CEO Monika Froehler visited GEMS schools in Dubai to learn their educational system and meet with the students. The schools that they visited include the GEMS Dubai American Academy and the GEMS Wellington International School where lots of innovative and creative ideas are shared.
Meeting with the students, who warmly welcomed him, Co-chair Ban encouraged the aspiring leaders to be global citizens and stressed the importance of achieving the Sustainable Development Goal 4, which aims to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
Learn more about the GEMS Education: https://www.gemseducation.com/
BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon, Madam Yoo Soon-taek, BKMC Board Member Irina Bokova, former Director-General of UNESCO, and CEO Monika Froehler met with the leaders of GEMS Education and experts in education in Dubai on January 8th-9th.
From the left to the right are Dino Varkey, CEO of GEMS Education, Irina Bokova, former Director-General of UNESCO, BKMC Board member, Sunny Varkey, Chairman of GEMS Education and Founder of Varkey Foundation, Ban Ki-moon, Co-chair of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens and the 8th Secretary-General of the United Nations, Shanta Retnasingam, Special Advisor to the Chairman of GEMS Education, and Monika Froehler, CEO of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens.
The meeting on the 8th was hosted by Mr. Dino Varkey included:
- Dr. Siva Kumari, 7th Director General of the International Baccalaureate
- Dr. Saima Rana, Principal of Westminster Academy
- Mr. Shantha Retnasingam, Special Advisor to Founder of the Varkey Foundation & GEMS Education
- Mr. Christopher Stone, Global Chief Education Officer, GEMS Education
- Mr. David Fitzgerald, Vice President of Education, GEMS Education
On the next day, Chairman Sunny Varkey hosted another meeting with the BKMC leaders, which was attended by His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan and Anthony Seldon, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Buckingham, together with the leaders of the GEMS Education. They talked about the current political affairs and the education system in the region and the contributions made by the GEMS Education.