CEO Monika Froehler meets with IOC Director General Christophe De Kepper

Director General Christophe De Kepper of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), who is also a Board member of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens, welcomed CEO Monika Froehler in Lausanne, Switzerland on November 19th, 2018. During the meeting, further collaboration was discussed while exchanging updates on the work of BKMC and the IOC that includes the IOC Executive Board meeting and the Olympism in Action Forum held in Buenos Aires and the launch of the “Sport for Protection Toolkit.”

The “Sport for Protection Toolkit: Programming with Young People in Forced Displacement Settings” was launched during the Olympism in Action Forum in Buenos Aires, Argentina on October 5th, 2018. The toolkit was created by the IOC, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and Terre des hommes to be used by the Olympic Refugee Foundation to guide organizations and stakeholders to better understand and implement effective sport for protection programming on site.

The IOC established the Olympic Refugee Foundation in 2017 to “reaffirm the commitment to supporting the protection and empowerment of vulnerable displaced people through sport and through the creation of safe spaces,” said the IOC Preisdent Thomas Bach. He added that the “recent announcement of the Refugee Olympic Team for Tokyo 2020 will again put the spotlight on the continuing global refugee crisis and the role sport can have in protecting vulnerable youth around the world.”

Young people make up the majority of the estimated 68.5 million refugees and internally displaced persons worldwide, often living in precarious conditions. Sport is a powerful driver for social change, uniting people, promoting a culture of peace and fostering youth development, education and social integration.

Source: https://www.olympic.org/…/projects-for-young-people-affecte…

The Global Fight against Corruption and the Notion of Global Citizenship

colloquium on the topic of “The Global Fight against Corruption and the Notion of Global Citizenship” was co-organized by the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens and its partner International Anti-Corruption Academy (IACA) in Laxenburg, Austria this morning. The event attracted more than 70 attendees from students to professors in academia, delegates from the Embassies, and other stakeholders from different sectors.

BKMC Co-chairs Ban Ki-moon and Heinz Fischer and IACA Dean & Executive Secretary Martin Kreutner delivered a keynote during the event moderated by Senior Coordinator Richard Eames of IACA. During the Q&A session, the participants actively engaged themselves in the discussions, bringing up questions and sharing ideas. Co-chair Ban said that “anti-corruptions and global citizenship go together hand in hand,” emphasizing that organizations from all different sectors must cooperate.

He added that transparency and accountability is important for any type of organization or company, following the 10 principles that the United Nations Global Compact has set. Co-chair Fischer said that for a state or an organization to be stabilized based on the Rule of Law, they have to “fight corruption.” He added that “corruption is a poison for democracy and for Economic Growth” of any country, emphasizing that it must be cleaned up for a country to prosper.

“There is still a way to go in addressing issues of corruption. What’s important is extending knowledge, focusing on implementation, and encouraging ownership. We need to have the courage of using our own understanding to achieve the common good,” Kreutner concluded. On the margins of the colloquium, BKMC Co-chairs and CEO Monika Froehler also had a bilateral meeting with Kreutner.

Ban Ki-moon speech at the IACA colloquium

Dear President Heinz Fischer, Co-Chair of the BKMC Centre,
Executive Secretary, Mr. Martin Kreutner,
Excellencies,
Dear Students,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
And Dear Global Citizens,

It is my great honor, and pleasure to visit IACA again and address during this Colloquium, hosted by the IACA, this morning. Thank you for your participation.

On behalf of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens co-chaired with the President Heinz Fischer and myself, I wish to inform you that last August our Centre signed a Mamorandum of Understanding of cooperation with the IACA on the occasion of the European Alpbach Forum.

I am very much happy to be back eight years after participating in the inauguration of this very important organization here in Vienna while I was serving as the Secretary General.

How to make this world free from corruption lies on the top of the agenda. People say that the most beautiful palace will collapse, if you build it on sand. It is important to make this world free from all forms of corruption.

But unfortunately, corrupt practices are still a part of reality.

I’d like to highly commend the Dean Martin Kreutner and his hard-working staff as well as its 76 member states. The organization has seen a huge growth in terms of size. The IACA has also worked in close cooperation with the United Nations, the European Union and other regional organizations and I would like to highly commend this.

In 2017 Transparency International asked 160.000 people globally to identify which institutions were the most corrupt. The police and election officials were listed as number two of the top corrupt institutions according to the questioned people.

Around the world nearly 1 in 4 said that they paid a bribe when accessing public services in the last year.  Looking at the Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index of 2017 and the recent 2018 Global Peace Index we discover that the five countries perceived to be most corrupt also rank among the seven least peaceful countries. The good news is more than half the people around the world – and particularly young people – agreed that citizens could make a difference.

Now, 58% of young people up to 24 years feel empowered to make a difference. 50% of those aged above 55, elder people, also agreed that they can influence things to the better.

From development perspective, the resources lost through corruptions are simply drained without being used for productive purposes.

The Davos World Economic Forum estimated that the cost of corruption is $ 2.6 trillion annually, while at the same time $ 16 billion could wipe out world hunger, $ 8.5 billion could eradicate malaria, $ 1 trillion could bridge the global infrastructure worldwide and $ 26 billion could provide basic education for all children. Therefore, $2.6 trillion lost through corruption could make our societies much better. Having all children into the school.

Effective anti-corruption efforts provide a huge potential in this regard.

Not many people like all these statistics. When I was starting my job as Secretary-General, I had some media training. All these anchormen and anchor women advised me, “SG don’t use all these numbers nobody remembers number. You may be aware of these numbers but the people will forget. They only remember you face and one or two keywords. Don’t use abbreviations like IACA. What does IACA mean? Nobody remembers IACA. Don’t use abbreviations. Don’t use statistics. But I’m not the Secretary-General anymore. I’m just telling you some secrets without receiving any money. I paid a lot of money for this media training. So that is one thing. Particularly ambassadors should remember this training to make your interview impressive without using all these statistics.

Corruption has disastrous impacts on development when funds should be devoted to schools, health issues, but are actually going to wrong directions. Corruption even exacerbates political insecurity and conflicts.

The United Nations Convention against Corruption provides a comprehensive platform for governments, non-governmental organizations, civil society, and individual citizens to combat corruption.

Through prevention, criminalization, international cooperation and asset recovery, this Convention advances global progress toward ending corruption.

Anti-corruption efforts are indeed a vital part of achieving the SDGs.

To combat corruption and its vicious cycle, the international community must join hands with the public and private sector and there must be civil society watchers.

There is a saying that goes, “you cannot catch a thief with ten policemen on earth. ten police officers can easily be fooled.” We have the civil society as a guard and watcher to end corruption.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In a recent report by the Bertelsmann Stiftung on Sustainable Governance Indicators in OECD and EU regions, the findings show much room for improvement.

The quality of democracy for the cases evaluated in the report, included a sub-category of “Rule of Law” for corruption prevention.

The findings of the report are troubling and show that not even the major industrial countries of the world are immune to the erosion of democracy and corruption.

There is still corruption in Canada, the United States or in European Union.

Of the 41 OECD and EU countries profiled, 26 showed signs of deterioration in the quality of democracy compared to a report done 4 years ago.

Combating corruption is key to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda.

In the process of finalizing the Sustainable Development goals, some OECD countries were pushing to include a goal that represented justice, accountability, strong institutions like IACA. Many developing countries opposed this, stressing that development issues should not include justice issues that would interfere with their domestic politics in the name of Sustainable Development Goals.

There was a lot of final negotiation. Developing countries were threatening to reject the Goals, while the European Union threatened to not support developing countries anymore. That was a big final confrontation. In the end there was an agreement that peace, justice and strong institutions should be added to the Goals as the SDG 16.

The SDGs should be implemented as a whole. You cannot choose only one. We have to do more.

SDG 16 is IACA’s main purpose. It is committed to avoid bribery, extortion and other forms of corruption, but also to proactively develop policies to make our institutions stronger and accountable.

Large cases of corruption happen among big companies and smaller and medium-sized companies that work together with bigger companies.

Other International Organizations such as IACA continue to play an important role in fighting corruption.

Another important area is education: how do we teach our young generation, from the beginning? In that regard I believe it is important to stress the notion of global citizenship. This concept is often perceived as very vague. It is not like mathematics or science. But anti-corruption and global citizenship go together, hand in hand.

The International Organizations, like IACA or NGOs as well as other entities in the private and public sector – we have to work together.

My Predecessor, Secretary General Kofi Annan, initiated the Global Compact. About 12.000 big and medium-sized companies are members to this Global Compact and have pledged to follow ten principles. Among them principles about human rights, democracy, a good relationship between management and neighbors, transparency and accountability. Transparency and accountability are very important items of these ten commandments, as we call them. The business communities have it under their control to make business practices free from corruption.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We launched the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens in Vienna because here we have a United Nations headquarters, we have the IACA, we have all these big international organizations. It is a quasi-international organization. In fact, my name Ban, is a surname that can mean “half” and now I am co-leading a half-international organization.

Promoting the notion of global citizenship is a critical tool in educating the youth of today and instilling in them a sense of collective responsibility for humanity and the planet.

Promoting the notion of global citizenship is a critical tool in educating the youth of today and instilling in them a sense of collective responsibility for the planet.

It is, at its core, the encouragement of empathy rather than blame, open-mindedness rather than the putting up walls, and partnership rather than isolation, global thinking rather than nationalistic notions.

I encourage all of you here today to take-on the mindset of a global citizen in your work and in the fight against corruption.

There is no room and indeed no time for corruption to persist and to derail our efforts toward providing a sustainable future for us all.

With a global perspective, collective responsibility, and compassionate leadership, I think we should work together to make this world a better place.

Thank you.

 

Mayor of Vienna invites the Ban Ki-moon Centre for a luncheon

On November 13th, 2018, Mayor Michael Ludwig of Vienna invited the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens to a luncheon meeting at Rathaus (City Hall) in Vienna, Austria. The attendees included BKMC Co-chairs Ban Ki-moon and Heinz Fischer, Board Members Ambassador Sadiq Marafi and Andrea Pfanzelter, and CEO Monika Froehler as well as other stakeholders that are keen to learn more about the Centre’s work and that the Centre could possibly seek for supports and/or partnership from.

At the luncheon the City of Vienna announced to fund the Centre with a generous amount of € 50.000 for the year of 2019. The Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens deeply appreciates the support by the city in which the Centre is headquartered and which was ranked the most liveable city worldwide by the Economist (Global Liveability Index) in 2018.  In the past years, Vienna has eagerly invested in projects that further the conservation of resources, innovation and life quality. The City of Vienna thereby demonstrates its ongoing commitment to promote and pursue the Sustainable Development Goals and is very much aligned with the mission of the Ban Ki-moon Centre. Thus, we are looking forward to a fruitful and engaging partnership in the coming year.

On the margins of the network meeting, BKMC Co-chairs and Mayor Ludwig gave interviews to the Austrian broadcaster ORF.

“Perspectives on the Energy Future and Global Developments”

Keynote Address
Launch of the World Energy Outlook 2018
World Energy Outlook 2018 Launch
International Energy Agency & VERBUND
Technical University Vienna, Kuppelsaal Karlsplatz 13
November 14, 2018, 11:30 – 14:30

Your Excellency Minister Elisabeth Köstinger,

Mr. Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency,
Mr. Gerhard Roiss, President of Verbund,
Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I thank the International Energy Agency and VERBUND for bringing us all together for the launch of the 2018 World Energy Outlook in Vienna.

It is a great privilege for me to address such a distinguished group of global leaders and experts across a wide variety of sectors and regions to talk about “Electrification” and “Making it Happen”.

As a child growing up during the Korean War, I studied with candlelight. Electric conveniences such as refrigerators and fans were largely unknown.

I had to study until I was a freshman at University under candle light.

Yet within my lifetime reality changed utterly. Easy access to energy opened abundant new possibilities for my family, my community, my country and so many others around the globe.

We have come a long way and one thing is clear:

Energy transforms lives, businesses and economies. And it transforms our planet —our climate, natural resources and ecosystems.

Since 2010, less than a decade ago, the average costs of solar power has dropped 73% and the cost of wind energy has dropped 23%, respectively. It may be kind of meaningless for me to point this numbers out in front of many experts like yourselves.

The costs of battery storage technologies are forecasted to decline by as much 60% over the next decade.

In many scenarios, renewable energy is now more competitive than conventional fossil fuel-based energy.

In other words, we have arrived at the tipping point where investing in renewable energy is no longer only the right thing to do to, it is also the sensible thing to do. If we were to push for the new construction of traditional fossil fuel power plants, we would be at risk of being viewed as not only “immoral” but also as “unwise”.

 

Still, real world change is not occurring as rapidly as we want, and current electrification rates are insufficient to achieve Sustainable Development Goal No. 7.

Today still nearly one out of every five people lacks access to electricity.

More than twice that number — 2.8 billion people – still rely on wood, charcoal, animal and crop waste or other solid fuels to cook their food and heat their homes.

For example, Sub-Saharan Africa is far behind the rest of the world in terms of electricity generation capacity, per capita electricity consumption and household access to electricity. If the current trend continues, 674 million people will remain without access, even in 2030.

At the same time the global thermostat is rising, threatening development goals and economies small and large.

Still we need to make modern energy services available to all, increase efficiency and increase the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.

This is why I launched the Sustainable Energy for All initiative. It has three targets and the headquarters is now here in Vienna.

We must do all of that in a sustainable manner.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In order to address this, there are many ways in which we can redouble our efforts, including:

  • Aiming to achieve the scale of investment and deployment required, by focusing on interventions that develop a fully sustainable market chain from manufacture, to distribution, retail and end-user consumption;
  • Increasing the share of renewables for end-users, including heating, cooling and transportation and by utilizing the rapid technological advances;
  • Decentralizing renewable energy systems, including mini-grids, to ensure that people will have access to power despite disruption to energy services, especially targeting LDCs as energy services are simply non-existent in many regions;
  • Creating institutional arrangements that will increase international cooperation and collaboration; support research and development for green growth and spread those technologies to developing countries; and
  • Developing policies and other innovative ways for the private sector and public institutions—especially those that receive R&D funding from their governments—to be more active in transferring technologies to developing countries so they can decrease fossil fuel imports, reduce air pollution and create green jobs.

 

Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Earlier this year, I was elected as the President of the Assembly and the Chair of the Council of the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) located in Seoul, a treaty-based intergovernmental organization, by its Member countries.

I chose to lead GGGI because its mandate coincides heavily with the work I pioneered as the United Nations Secretary-General:

  • It supports countries to achieve sustainable development and climate action through new and innovative green industries and jobs;
  • It supports governments to develop socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable green growth plans and policies; and
  • It supports its Member countries achieve the NDCs (national determined contributions) by delivering climate action services in the areas of mitigation, transparency and finance.

GGGI has mobilized 1 billion USD in green investments in developing countries, despite being established only six years ago in 2012.

This Institute currently has thirty Member countries, and they are at the heart of this changing global energy landscape—as they seek to design their future energy systems against the background of population growth, rapid urbanization, economic growth and rising income levels—all of which will require governments to meet soaring energy demands. Additionally, as some of you might already know, only a few weeks ago in The Hague, Netherlands, on Oct. 16th, we launched the Global Commission on Adaptation, which I am honored to lead together with Ms. Kristalina Georgieva, CEO of World Bank and Mr. Bill Gates.

On the heels of one of the deadliest summers of climate-related weather disasters affecting countries all over the world, the new Global Commission on Adaptation aims to catalyze a global movement to bring scale and speed to climate adaptation solutions.

Even if countries meet the Paris Climate Accord goal of keeping the rise in Earth’s temperature below two degrees Celsius by rapidly adapting to new forms of energy, the effects of global warming will continue to manifest and intensify.

Millions of lives are being lost. And poor people who did the least to cause the problems are suffering the most.

Over the next two years, the Global Commission on Adaptation will make its action oriented “Action Plans” and will submit them to the United Nations Climate Summit meeting to be held in September next year. Based on that report adopted at the General Assembly, we will try to have a summit meeting for action on adaption. We will provide the roadmap for what new actions are needed and what must be done differently to secure our future.

The urgency around climate adaptation cannot be underestimated. We are at a point of no return. We can choose a path that can lead us toward a more climate resilient future, or we can continue with the status quo, putting at risk global economic growth and social stability that will undermine food, water, and energy security for decades to come.

Preparing for climate risks cannot be done by just one country, or in one sector, or just by governments alone. This is a global challenge requiring global coordination across boundaries. Climate impacts in one country can have effects on the other side of the world. We must learn from one another.

Adapting to climate will require a complete transformation of policies, programs, and projects across governments, the private sector, and civil society to ensure the well-being of humanity.

I believe that climate adaptation is achievable—at scale and at speed. In fact, the costs of adapting are less than the cost of doing business as usual. And the benefits many times larger.

Adaptation is not only the right thing to do, it is the smart thing to do.

 

Ladies and gentlemen,

I would like to emphasize that we have invested for mitigating the climate phenomenon; however, we have not done much to adapt to the situation. That is why we must balance our work between mitigating and adaptation. And in that, of course, I think energy can play a critically import role.

Energy is a cross-cutting issue. When we say cross-cutting issue, energy and water as well as others are cross-cutting issues. Without these, you cannot do anything. Starting from goal number one until goal seventeen, most of the goals are directly incorporated with energy. So, without energy, we cannot do anything at this time.

I was able to study without energy and I was even drinking water from a stream at that time. But if I drink water from a stream today, I will get sick immediately. We are living in a very dangerous world at this time. Without energy, you cannot do anything. You cannot operate any small community. Therefore, sustainable energy is the most important.

There are some initiatives that I have taken – global education, quality education, global heath issues, gender equality, fighting against violence against women, and energy, and water. These are some of the initiatives I have taken in my time.

Sustainable energy for All is one initiative which is located in the beautiful city of Vienna led by Rachel Kyte who previously served as the Vice-President of World Bank. She is doing an excellent job.

We need to work very hard.

The International Energy Agency as well as everyone present here today are playing an important role for the promise of SDG 7.

Allow me to congratulate the World Energy Outlook team for the launching of WEO 2018.  I would also like to encourage the IEA, and all stakeholders here to continue your very important work for sustainable development, building new connections and partnerships with many existing international organizations like GGGI and other organizations to work together

We have the capacity to ensure sustainable futures not only for us, but for succeeding generations to come.

Therefore, ladies and gentlemen, use your energy wisely and sustainably. That’s my message to you. And I thank you for all of your leadership.

Thank you very much!

 

Photo: IEA

Ban Ki-moon stresses the importance of adapting to climate change at the World Energy Outlook 2018

The World Energy Outlook 2018 was launched by Verbund and International Energy Agency (IEA) at the Technical University of Vienna on November 14th.

This year’s edition of the WEO found that the world population without electricity access fell below 1 billion for the first time ever in 2017, led by India; but despite recent progress, efforts in sub-Saharan Africa need to redouble to achieve the goal of universal access.

The event on Wednesday drew more than 300 participants, including ambassadors from several countries, as well as former Vice-Chancellor of Austria Mr. Reinhold Mitterlehner and high level representatives from UNIDO and OPEC.

Under Co-chair Ban’s leadership as Secretary General of the United Nations, the UN adopted the 17 Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs) including SDG 7 related specifically to energy in the year 2015. Ban acknowledged the IEA’s role in tracking progress toward SDG 7 and congratulated IEA for the continued efforts in providing analysis and data on the SDG 7 through the World Energy Outlook.

Ban also stressed the importance of adapting to the climate change as Head of Global Commission on Adaptation and Chairman of the Board of Global Center on Adaptation:

“Climate change is a global challenge requiring a global coordination.”

“Adapting to climate will require a complete transformation.”

“Adaptation is not only the right thing to do but a smart thing to do.”

Minister Elisabeth Koestinger of the Ministry for Sustainability and Tourism welcomed this year’s World Energy Outlook as a source of information and data for political leaders while Ban spoke of his childhood experiences with access to energy growing up in South Korea, and highlighted the importance of international cooperation to improve energy access while tackling climate change.

During a dialogue session with Minister Koestinger and Executive Director Fatih Birol of IEA, Ban stressed 3 key points, urging that everyone has to use energy more wisely and sustainably in order to achieve the sustainable development of the future:

1. Enhance effectiveness of energy use
2. Make energy accessible for all
3. Develop renewable energy

Source: https://www.iea.org/newsroom/news/2018/november/executive-director-in-vienna-for-presentation-of-world-energy-outlook.html
Photo: IEA

President Alexander Van der Bellen invites BKMC to the 100th Anniversary of the Republic of Austria

On November 12th, 2018, the Republic of Austria celebrated its 100th anniversary, and Co-chairs Ban Ki-moon and Heinz Fischer and CEO Monika Froehler of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens attended the event upon the invitation of President Alexander Van der Bellen.

A hundred years ago on this day, Austria was reborn as a republic state from the embers of World War I and the Austro-Hungarian empire. The Austrian government marked this special day with an official ceremony at the State Opera House which was attended by distinguished guests, including the political, economic and cultural elite.

President Van der Bellen as well as Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and Vice-Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache made speeches calling for democratic consensus and for the respect of differing political opinions.

“Only a liberal democracy fights for joint solutions that benefit all… democracy means civilized debate and confrontation,” said the President.

With the Centre’s strong relationship with the Austrian government, BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon together with Madam Yoo Soon-taek also had a bilateral meeting with the President and First Lady Doris Schmidauer on November 15th, 2018, following up their previous meeting held in August in Alpbach, Austria.

“Sustainable Development: The Pathway to the Future” – Ban Ki-moon’s Keynote at the 4th International Growth in Transition Conference

4th Annual Growth in Transition Conference: Europe’s Transformation: Where People Matter

Keynote Speech followed by Moderated Discussion/Q & A – BAN KI-MOON

“Sustainable Development: The Pathway to the Future”

Location: Austrian Center Vienna, Bruno-Kreisky-Platz 1, 1220 Vienna

Madam Minister Elisabeth Köstinger,
Mr. Wolfgang Burtscher, Deputy Director-General of DG Research and Innovation of the European Commission,
Ms. Stientje Van Veldhoven, Secretary for Infrastructure and Water Management of the Netherlands,
Excellencies,
Distinguished participants,
Ladies and gentlemen,

It is a great pleasure to join you today for the 4th Annual Growth in Transition Conference.

I thank Minister Köstinger for her invitation to attend this conference and for the opportunity to share my insights on the sustainable development goals as the pathway for our common future. I also appreciate the leadership of Chancellor Kurz as the Chairperson of the European Union at this time.

It is indeed a timely topic and one which we all should take to heart with a strong ownership in our work, no matter the field or level you are engaging.

Today, we live in a time of great growth and transition globally.

This time is also characterized by heightened uncertainties, rise of populism worldwide, a widening gap between the “haves” and the “have-nots,” exponential population growth, climate hazards, vast migratory movements and new risks, some more impending than others.

Challenges to the post-modern international order and our multilateral institutions are being felt in a variety of spheres.

International treaties and agreements are being tested and multilateralism is strained as countries become more protectionist and nationalist.

However, this period in history is also defined by impressive and innovative advancements as well as by a growing sense of interconnectivity between societies around the globe.

It is now easier than ever before to be connected, access information, travel and trade and, with the help of internet, we are privileged to have endless information at our fingertips.

New technologies are altering how we communicate, live, and work. Sweeping advances in the fields of artificial intelligence, blockchain, bio- and nanotechnology, and robotics will alter the future of our countries, cities, businesses, and interpersonal relationships.

At a time characterized by waning internationalism and transition, we must continue to work together through expanded partnerships and cooperation as global citizens. We must continue to commit to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and hold up the notion of global citizenship to help cope with these seemingly insurmountable challenges.

The United Nations, during the last seven decades, has presented many important visions and promises to the world. But to my knowledge, the Sustainable Development Goals are by far the most ambitious, most discussed, and most far-reaching vision that the United Nations has ever presented to the world. This is ours, it’s not the United Nations’, now it is in your hands. In everybody’s hands.

Having said this, I will now address three key areas. First, I will discuss the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the need to see them achieved for all of us.

Second, I will address the most serious challenge we currently face globally: the climate change phenomenon.

Last, I will speak about the need for expanded youth participation and the role of global citizenship in forging ahead and in building a more sustainable, peaceful, and prosperous world for us all. This is the pathway to our common future.

Distinguished participants,

To meet the challenges the world faces, sustainable development must become the hallmark of this era. It must be the virtue that characterizes our actions.

The picture of a sustainable world is envisioned in the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals and the Agenda 2030, showing the path to sustainable development and peaceful co-prosperity of our planet.

Before the SDGs, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) made strides in the field of global development and undoubtedly improved human welfare around the world.

However, there is still much work left to be done.

First, sustainability means ensuring prosperity and environmental protection without compromising future generations and our planet.

We cannot consume all what we need today. We need to leave some and to make sure that the succeeding generations will use the planet’s resources equally and fairly.

Secondly, the sustainability means a world free from poverty where individuals can enjoy decent work without harming the earth’s essential ecosystems and resources.

A sustainable world is one where people can stay healthy and are guaranteed the food and water they need.
It means a world where everyone can access clean energy.
And it also means that women and girls are afforded equal rights and equal opportunities.

To achieve sustainable development, it requires the active participation of us all, especially of women and youth, those whose futures most depend on the realization of our Sustainable Development Goals. Indeed, without the engagement of women and youth, we will not succeed.

Again, during my time as Secretary-General, for the first time in UN history, I established UN Women and again for the first time, I appointed a Special Envoy for Youth. Never in previous United Nation’s history have we focused on these. Now, I am very glad that these two issues, women and youth, are being supported by world leaders.

People often say that half the world is made up of women. There is a book written by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn where they describe that “half the sky are women.” If we do not give them more, they should at least be given equal and fairly. This has been my consistent message to the world.

Therefore, we require their active engagement should we hope to realize our goals and to achieve sustainable development.

This year, as was introduced, I co-founded a new initiative in partnership with the former Federal President of Austria Heinz Fischer, the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens. Why global citizens? This is quite vague in terms of an academic definition. What I observed in the past 10 years, is that largely world leaders, particularly political leaders, come to the United Nations and speak grandeurs and ambitious goals, saying that they are global citizens, but as soon as they return to their countries, they immediately become national leaders. I have seen few global leaders, particularly at this time and  it’s the 21st century.   So, I thought together with Heinz Fischer, that we must foster global citizenship among the people, particularly political leaders and business leaders.

Through leadership, mediation, advocacy, and education, the Centre aims to empower those whose voices often go unheard, offering them the opportunities and potential to drive sustainable development for themselves and for future generations.

Distinguished participants,
Ladies and gentlemen,

It is essential that we acknowledge climate change and that we find sustainable solutions to mitigate and to adapt to its repercussions.

Climate change is altering the character of our planet.

We must increase our collective efforts to prepare and protect ourselves, our communities, and our world from existential threats that climate change will bring. We are running out of time.

I often say that nature does not wait for us. Nature does not negotiate with human-beings. It is us as human-beings that must negotiate with nature. We must harmonize the way we live with nature. Minister Köstinger already quoted what I often say, there is no “planet B;” therefore, we don’t have a “plan B” we only have “plan A.” To live harmoniously with nature has been my consistent message.

Even here in Vienna, I was told that you have experienced the hottest summer since weather was recorded. We have seen extreme patterns in weather. Wild fires, still it is happening in California. Still at this moment. Hurricanes, cyclones, and typhoons with strong intensity.

These weather patterns are clear warnings from nature that we must adapt to the changing climate phenomenon.
On the global stage, the world has seen mounting and devastating natural disasters. It’s not usual. Again, this is a clear message.
These and other natural disasters are not going to cease their destructive and deadly course.

Last month, under the leadership of Prime Minister Mark Rutte of the Netherlands, we launched a Global Commission on Adaptation. Why adaptation? We have done some for mitigation because we had to do it. When there’s destruction, you have to rebuild. But we have not been doing much to adapt to climate change. There is much more investment worldwide, for example in 2015 and 2016, in mitigating climate. The records say we spent around 380 billion dollars on mitigating climate change these years and only 20 billion were spent on adaptation. There must be equal efforts – mitigation and adaptation must go together.

The importance of adaptation has become clearer now, and that’s why, with the chairmanship that I’m taking with the co-chairmanship of Bill Gates and Kristalina Georgieva who used to be Vice-President of EU and now CEO of World Bank, we are leading this commission with strong political support from at least 17 heads of state and governments. From the European Union, the Prime Minister of the UK Theresa May and Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel and of course Mark Rutte of the Netherlands, are on board. Now leaders of China, Xi Jinping, and of India, Narendra Modi, are also supporting us. There are also many African leaders like in Ethiopia, Senegal, South Africa, and in Latin America, Mexico, Argentina and Costa Rica, who are also on board.

Also, as you may know, I am acting as President and Chairman of the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI). This is an international organization with 30 Member States.

So, with all this together, I am continuing what I used to do as Secretary-General. The Paris Climate Agreement, the Sustainable Development Goals, and gender empowerment, are the three most passionate positions that the United Nations presented to the world during my time as Secretary-General. I do not say that it was my own achievement. There are many achievements where Members States have been working together with a sense of unity. This is the time that we must implement, with a strong sense of passion and compassionate leadership among us.

In that regard, I really appreciate that we are working together today.

On September 25th, 2015 I was deeply moved. I never felt that kind of excitement. I was deeply touched by the long standing-ovation and applause we received by world leaders. I didn’t see any world leader, at that moment, with differing ideas. Mostly, this world is divided.

In Vienna you must have seen many beautiful concerts and operas. At the end of the concert, many people stand up and have an extended ovation. But never in my life, have I seen such a long and standing-ovation by world leaders. They were one, united. This is what we want to see among world leaders. Unfortunately, they are too often divided, starting from the biggest country in the world.

With the transformative advancement of science and technology, now everything is moving at lightening speed. We are now talking about artificial intelligence, bio and nanotechnologies and robotics. With the advent of this transformative advancement of science and technology, why are political leaders divided? Why are they not able to implement sustainable development and why are they divided regarding this common threat to our humanity and our planet?

In that regard, I see strong passion among you this morning. So lets work together and lets be united in implementing what has already been given to us: the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Agreement.

These are the answers to our common prosperity and the future for all of us.

Excellencies,
Ladies and gentlemen,
Let us work together to make this world better for all.

I thank you very much.
Dankeschön.

“Do not erect walls; build bridges!” Ban Ki-moon urges at the 4th International Growth in Transition Conference

“Sustainable development must become the hallmark of this era,”

claimed BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon at the “4th International Growth in Transition Conference” hosted by Austrian Presidency of the Council of the European Union 2018 at the Austria Center Vienna on November 14th, 2018. This year, the conference focused on topic of ‘Europe’s Transformation: Where People Matter.’

The conference was facilitated by Mr. Peter Woodward, Co-Founder and Director of Quest Associates, and featured Minister Elisabeth Koestinger of the Federal Ministry for Sustainability and Tourism of Austria and Deputy Director-General Wolfgang Burtscher of the Research and Innovation Department at the European Commission.

The participants actively participated in discussing sustainability and were given time to introduce their work to each other.

During the moderated discussion session, Co-chair Ban said that “there is no country in the world that can solve the global issues alone no matter how powerful a country may be” and stressed that global citizenship should be fostered among people.

Ban also emphasized the importance of advancing the SDGs during his keynote speech. The implementation of the SDGs, he said, should be done in the effort of finding #challenges that the world faces. Doing so, Co-chair Ban stressed that empowering youth and women should be the priority. During his tenure as the UN Secretary-General, Ban has established UN Women and UN Youth Envoy.

During the press conference with Minister Koestinger, Ban shared his deep concerns that multilateralism is now under attack. He urged world leaders to be more united to better cooperate and address global challenges together.

“So many people are with passion, and not enough with compassion,”

Ban stressed the importance of tackling global problems with compassion and moral attitude.

“Do not erect walls; build bridges!”

 

Watch the live-streamed video of the conference here:

4th International Growth in Transition Conference: ‘Europe’s Transformation: Where People Matter’- Opening- Key Conference Challenges- Keynote – Sustainable Development: The Pathway To The Future- Political Panel: "Politics, People And Transition" – Introduction to the "Call To Action" Challenge

Gepostet von Austrian Presidency of the Council of the European Union 2018 am Mittwoch, 14. November 2018

 

Watch the live-streamed press conference here:

Jetzt live: Pressekonferenz anlässlich der 4. Internationalen Wachstum im Wandel-Konferenz mit Nachhaltigkeitsministerin Elisabeth Köstinger und Ban Ki-Moon (ehemaliger Generalsekretär der Vereinten Nationen und Vorsitzender des Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens)

Gepostet von Für ein nachhaltiges Österreich am Mittwoch, 14. November 2018

“Are International Treaties in Jeopardy?”

The Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens and the Austrian Federal Ministry of Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs (BMEIA) co-organized a forum titled “Are International Treaties in Jeopardy?” in Vienna, Austria on November 13th, 2018.

Prior to the forum, BKMC Co-chairs Ban Ki-moon and Heinz Fischer and CEO Monika Froehler had a meeting with Minister Karin Kneissl, Ambassador Andreas Riecken, Cabinet Karl Ehrlich of the Minister, and Deputy Spokesperson Peter Guschelbauer at the Ministry.

The forum facilitated discussions on international treaties and rapidly changing status quo of the global society to seek for global solutions for global challenges impacting international relations. Both Co-chairs of the Centre delivered a keynote.

Co-chair Fischer, former Austrian President, said that

“The commitment solves challenges and problems like migration through cooperation.”

He continued,

“there is still a long way to go, and we have learned that we must work this way together, respecting each other, compromising our own national benefit in order to sustainably pursue this project of humankind.”

Co-chair Ban, former United Nations Secretary-General, highly criticized that Austria has recently withdrawn from the global compact on migration.

“Ever since the Vienna Convention on the law of treaties was signed almost fifty years ago,” Ban said, “commitments are eroding, treaties are disrespected, and agreements are ignored.”

He emphasized that political leaders should approach global issues with moral perspective rather than following their political will.

“World leaders, they led global visions, global citizenship; they always speak loud and clearly that “I work for humanity.” But, when they go back to national governments, they all become national leaders. That is why I really want to foster global citizenship. We need to work together. Nothing can be done alone.”

In order to solve the global issues, Ban said that it is important for the states to advance the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that must be owned by the member states who should prioritize supporting “women, young people, and the least advantaged.”

During the panel discussion, Co-chair Fischer also pointed out that the international rule of law should be the final goal for a state to reach and that one has to rely on international treaties and agreements.

Minister Kneissl, Deputy Spokesperson Guschelbauer, and Head Thomas Hajnoczi of Disarmament Department of the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs were also featured on the panel as well as Ms. Mona Ali Khalil, former Senior Legal Officer with the UN Office of the Legal Counsel, and Professor Gerhard Hafner for International Law at the University of Vienna.

Watch Co-chair Ban Ki-moon’s keynote: https://youtu.be/dNlaAP0nP2s
Watch Co-chair Heinz Fischer’s keynote: https://youtu.be/JqaFieHNevM

Photo: Ashraf Mahmoud / BMEIA