Chelsea Clinton and Susan Blaustein receive the ‘Ban Ki-moon Award for Women’s Empowerment’

At the 17th Annual Asia Initiatives Gala on October 18th, 2018 in New York, US, Vice President Chelsea Clinton of Clinton Foundation and Susan Blaustein, Founder and Executive Director of WomenStrong International were conferred the ‘Ban Ki-moon Award for Women’s Empowerment’ created in recognition of Ban Ki-moon’s leadership in support of women’s rights and gender equity. As the award’s first honoree, BKMC Co-chair Ban’s vision led to the creation of UN Women and its HeForShe Campaign, the first High-Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment, and to his appointment of the first UN female force commander to head peacekeeping operations and the employment of increased number of women at the UN system.

“It is such an honor for me to be able to properly recognize these amazing women. During my tenure as Secretary-General, I always worked to make women’s empowerment a top priority, and I can see that Asia Initiatives is carrying on that legacy,” said Ban.

Asia Initiatives is an international non-profit organization that leverages social capital to promote sustainable development and has annually held the gala to recognize women for their work advocating for women and girls. Women empowerment is an important asset to achieving the SDG 5: Gender Equality.

To empower women and girls, Clinton has endeavored to provide them with more opportunities to be engaged in society. She has written a couple of books as a series titled She Persisted to share the stories of empowered women to help children cultivate new perspectives on women’s role and gender equality. Susan Blaustein works to catalyze women-led initiatives around the world, including those in Ghana, Kenya, Haiti, India, and the United States. She has also worked on solving poverty problems.

“Empowering women and girls worldwide is key to peace, to eliminating all forms of violence, and to enabling families, communities, and nations to thrive,” said Blaustein. “Asia Initiatives’ Ban Ki-moon Award is such an honor and such an important recognition of the brilliance and hard work of women and girls everywhere, who know best what they need to succeed and whose truthful, clarion voices deserve to be heard, now more than ever.”

Source: https://bit.ly/2AmRkNs
Source: http://asiainitiatives.org/

Ban Ki-moon emphasizes on the importance of achieving peace through the sports

“Never in the past in my life have I seen together with all the people around the world, such excitement and hope that soon there will be peace and security, and even reunification on the Korean peninsula. That is the moment we witnessed the power of sports. Power of sports. Both South and North have been really trying to reconcile during last at least 3-4 decades, but during last February, we have really seen some moment of truth that one day soon, hopefully, that we will be able to reconcile and promote much better understanding and even reunify the Korean peninsula,” said Ban Ki-moon at the Olympism in Action Forum in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

As Chair of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Ethics Commission, the Centre’s Co-chair Ban discussed the importance of achieving peace and the global goals through sports on the topic of the power of the Olympic truce with Journalist Sonali Prasad.

Dating back to 776 BC and the Ancient Olympic Games, the Olympic Truce was announced before the Olympic Games. The Olympic Truce was revived by the United Nations in 1993. Even under the most tense and volatile of circumstances, the Olympic Truce reaffirms that the Olympic values of peace, solidarity and respect are important across the world. Taking the most recent inspiring example of the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, Ban Ki-moon praised that the two Koreas and the IOC are working towards unity and that the values of Olympism have the power to unite a fractured world.

Co-chair Ban also emphasized on the importance of youth empowerment as “now more than half of the global population is under the age of 24. That means this world is much much younger … there are many young people whose opportunities are not given properly.” As many young people have already taken leadership roles today, Co-chair Ban mentioned that it is just a matter of empowering them and supporting what they have done as the youth are “equally qualified and equally intelligent.”

He said that there are still people suffering from hardships and discrimination due to their given circumstances:

“What is important at this time with all trans-formative development of technology and science and communication is only natural that we should be living in a world better for all, but there are still many people who are suffering from poverty, suffering from discrimination because of sex or because of social and economic status, because of ethnicities, etc.”

Watch the full conversation here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FryWFa0VRuQ
Source: https://www.olympic.org/olympism-in-action/the-power-of-the-olympic-truce

 

Co-chair Ban Ki-moon Delivers Speech at the UN Global Compact Conference

Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens’ Co-chair Ban Ki-moon delivered keynote speech at the 10th China-Japan-Korea Roundtable Conference hosted by the UN Global Compact Network Korea (UNGC Network Korea) on August 31, 2018. The conference is annually hosted by each of three countries respectively in order to facilitate discussions on the UNGC and CSR (corporate social responsibility) in Asia.
 
The topic of this year’s conference was “SDGs for Business: Challenges or Opportunities?”.

Co-chair Ban, who is also Honorary Chair of the UNGC Network Korea, praised the conference as an outstanding example of regional cooperation that helped three countries diffuse CSR and that contributed to global cooperation. He urged that the SDGs must be achieved in order to leave no one behind, to reach gender equality, to sustain people’s health, and to protect the environment.

 

The conference featured President Dong-gun Lee of UNGC Network Korea, President Goto Toshihiko of UNGC Network Japan, President Brian Gallegher of the United Way Worldwide, CEO Gyubok Choi of Yuhan Kimberly, CEO Wu Nianbo of Suzhou Good-ark Electronics, and many other leading figures from both private sector and public sector.

 
Student representatives from all three countries, Korea, Japan, and China, had presentations on the topic of “Business for Peace in East Asia.” The representatives prepared the presentations throughout two-month-long research and discussions on the main issues of human rights, labor issues and conflicts, and the roles of the government, corporations, academia, and civil society. They actively proposed suggestions to solve the issues and also screened a film produced by themselves about “The Fourth Industrial Revolution and Sustainable Business.”
 
 

Women Mediators Networks: Connecting for Inclusive Peace-making

As regional women mediator networks have emerged around the world, the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Norwegian Centre for Conflict Resolution, and the Peace Research Institute Oslo organized a meeting with these networks from Africa, Mediterranean Sea, ASEAN and different regions of the world in Oslo, Norway in March 2018.

The Ban Ki-moon Centre participated and learnt from the expertise of the OSCE, the EU, the UN DPA Mediation Support Unit and many others. The meeting was to discuss cooperation and the possible establishment of a global alliance of women mediators. Now a video on the importance of building a global network said by the women mediators is available online.

“If we connect all the mediating networks, we can pull resources; we can exchange best practices; we can reinforce each other.”

  • Magda Zenon, Mediterranean Women Mediators Network (MWMN)

“All of us are different levels of development, different levels of violence, and different levels of peace. Women have been working in isolation for a number of years, but now we are realizing that we should be working together. And having a network like this brings together the women from all works of life on the continent to bring about peace and security, and stability.”

  • Stella Sabiiti, FemWise-Africa

“I think the networks that have been created over the last few years are incredibly important, and the reason is that they are linking together with each other, they are sharing good practice and experience, but also they are building a movement. And that is about insuring that mediators and member states know that women have this experience. They have this impact, and we need to look at their access to this process.”

  • Nahla Valji, Senior Gender Advisor Executive Office of UN SG

“[It is important] that different networks know about each other and that you can use women from across the globe in different mediation efforts.”

  • Hilde Salvesen, Nordic Women Mediators

Source: https://spaces.hightail.com/space/WY5vWfNKYS/files/fi-0a8250db-ee49-43a4-8c04-f187a56fcda2/fv-fd4d1fcb-6caf-4ebb-82c4-be119ec41e1d/0610_Noref1_v6.mp4

Ban Ki-moon Stressed the Importance of Collaboration and Reaching Gender Equality and Global Citizenship at PAS 2018

PATA Annual Summit 2018 (PAS 2018) took place in Gangneung, Republic of Korea on May 17-20, 2018 under the theme “Building Bridges, Connecting People: How Collaboration Creates Opportunities.” As PATA stands for Pacific Asia Travel Association, the association hold the 4-day international summit in the field of tourism with 372 delegates from 182 organizations.

“The PATA Annual Summit is a unique opportunity for us to highlight the issues that are affecting our industry, and for our delegates from both the public and private sector to come together to addresses the challenges and opportunities facing our various organisations,” said PATA CEO Dr. Mario Hardy.

During the one-day conference on May 18, Ban Ki-moon gave a special keynote through which he emphasized the importance of cooperation and collaboration in world’s most pressing issues and the significance of the tourism industry that also fosters multicultural understanding and empathy.

The session included an one-on-one interview by the BBC World News Presenter and Producer Sharanjit Leyl. During the interview, Ban showed his hope for the peaceful reunification of two Koreas and said that

“The US-North Korea Summit will make a good progress.”

He also stressed the importance of achieving greater gender equality and spreading awareness of global citizenship.

To achieve gender parity and women empowerment, Ban said he has been trying his best “to make sure that women are given equal opportunities if not more than men” as “considering the global population, there are more women in this world.” Furthermore, he urged world leaders not to erect wars but to “build the bridges and connect the people,” keeping the mindset of global citizenship.

Speech Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aMybkWDGMI8
Interview Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Fup2SjFdXs
Source: https://www.pata.org/h-e-ban-ki-moon-inspires-delegates-at-pata-annual-summit-2018/
Photo: E News Today

Ban Ki-moon Centre Hosts the First Breakfast Hub for Women Organizations

Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens invited women leaders and change makers from international organizations and NGOs in Austria to the Centre’s first breakfast hub. The breakfast hub was intended to create a network among like-minded people and to seek for ways to empower women and to reach gender equality, also in the light of Sustainable Development Goal 5 of the United Nations.

The CEO of the Ban Ki-moon Centre Monika Froehler gave welcome remarks and a brief overview of the Centre´s activities. She was followed by two keynote speakers on “women empowerment”, Mrs. Désirée Schweitzer, the President of the UN Women National Committee Austria and the Director General of the Department for International Development at the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Mrs. Lilly Sucharipa, the former President of the UN Women National Committee Austria.

Schweitzer highlighted how many women and girls are experiencing domestic violence and sexual harassment as well as forced childhood marriage.

Furthermore, she argued that “women provide 2.6 times more unpaid care and domestic work than men. Women still hold a mere 23.7% of parliamentry seats” and that “in the private sector, women globally occupy less than a third of senior and middle-management positions.” Schweitzer urged that “we have to work together to change this step by step.”

Sucharipa also emphasized that “not only the SDG 5, but all the other SDGs are important in connection with lives of women.” “If it is clean water or affordable energy; if it is health or economic empowerment, extremely important, and the most important education,” she said that “all these goals play into women’s lives and have to be considered when you talk about women.”

During the networking and brainstorming session, the participants actively shared the challenges and ideas for women empowerment in all national, regional, and global levels and how the solutions can be connected to the concept of global citizenship.

International Women’s Day 2018

March 8th is the International Women’s Day (IWD), a day to celebrate and empower women by reflecting on progress made in education, economics, politics, business, and many other aspects of society and calling for more changes to take a bigger step closer to gender parity. The Ban Ki-moon Centre works for empowering women as global citizens within the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals.

“Women hold up more than half the sky and represent much of the world’s unrealized potential. They are the educators. They raise the children. They hold families together and increasingly drive economies. They are natural leaders. We need their full engagement … in government, business and civil society,” said former UNSG Ban Ki-moon.

Though there have been significant improvements achieved, unequal treatments and norms against women in different places still continue to exist. Such restrictions emasculate women, and it requires efforts from all people regardless of their gender and synergy from varied organizations, institutes, governments, and media to make further changes. It is not solely women’s or a single entity’s responsibility to make a progress, but everyone’s as a world-renowned feminist journalist and social and political activist

Gloria Steinem points out, “The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights.”

Following the #PressforProgress campaign by the IWD, Women at the UN – Accountability Buddy Network (WUNABN) hosted a conference in Vienna, Austria today to actively engage women in exchanging their experiences of achieving gender parity and to give out practical know-hows on job applications, interviews, and how to find the right path in their career plan. Find more information on their website: https://wunabn.org/womens-day-2018/conference

The IWD thus brings everyone, every entity, and every country together to celebrate the day and to make a progress from individual level to governmental and from local level to global. As the world has witnessed empowerment being contagious with butterfly effect for the past century, one can hope that soon the IWD will be celebrated with reflections on achievements without any need for a call to action. Watch the UN Women’s inspirational video on International Women’s Day 2018: “The Time is Now” here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sXCnHvQzoOU

Source: https://www.internationalwomensday.com/

Photo: UN Photo by Ky Chung