The International Day of Peace 2018 celebrated in Korea

To celebrate the International Day of Peace on September 21st, the Korean Organizing Committee for UN International Day of Peace (KOCUN-IDP) organized a three-day event on the topic of “Together Finding the Korean Peninsula Solutions for Building Peace in Northeast Asia.”

The Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens’ Board member Ambassador Kim Won-soo, Former Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, featured at a panel discussion during the event at Kintex in Goyang, Korea. CEO Monika Froehler delivered remarks and interacted with youth participants discussing the meaning of global citizenship and how peace can be achieved in Korea through reunification. KOCUN-IDP also hosted a reception at the National Assembly of Korea.

The International Day of Peace was established in 1981 by the General Assembly of the United Nations. Two decades later, in 2001, the General Assembly unanimously voted to designate the Day as a period of non-violence and cease-fire. The United Nations invites all nations and people to honor a cessation of hostilities during the Day, and to otherwise commemorate the Day through education and public awareness on issues related to peace.

Source: https://www.peaceday.kr/programs-2018

Premiere of “Not Our Fate” – European Forum Alpbach 2018

This past August at European Forum Alpbach in Austria, Nour Barakeh premiered her theatre piece “Not Our Fate,” a powerful play about the societal dynamics that perpetuate conflict and the pursuit of peace. Ban Ki-moon Centre Co-chairs Ban Ki-moon and Heinz Fischer as well as Board members joined the audience at the premiere.

Barakeh is a young playwright who has experienced life as a refugee firsthand. To create the play, Barakeh conducted interviews in her native Syria, gathering firsthand accounts of life during war and the stages of mutual accusation, estrangement, and finally, shared awareness. The characters in the piece are portrayed by youth of different nationalities and backgrounds, underscoring the universality of the topic.

The play opens with Doaa, a character portrayed by Doaa Al Zamel, real-life subject of the book “A Hope More Powerful than the Sea: One Refugees’s Incredible Story of Love, Loss, and Survival” by Melissa Flemming. In the play, Doaa speaks about her experience of war, loss, and of her survival.

After Doaa, other characters share their stories and slowly begin pointing fingers at one another, blaming others for their fates. This climaxes in anger and accusations coming from all sides. Suddenly, the room falls silent and the characters turn their backs on one another.

Zina, portrayed by Barakeh, seeks to mediate by explaining the circumstances that led to their current plight, calling for cooperation and understanding. Slowly, the actors turn one by one to face one another, taking hands. This final symbol of unity and peace is profound and moving.

When asked about her experience premiering the play in Alpbach, Barakeh stated,

“’Not Our Fate’ is a real revelation from the heart and a rational analysis seeking methods to build peace among youth in conflict situations. Together with my colleagues from different continents we worked and represented diversity at European Forum Alpbach 2018.”

Having former Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and former Federal President of Austria Heinz Fischer in the audience was particularly meaningful for Barakeh,

“As the Syrian problem symbolizes our world’s interrelated problems, I was honored to perform this piece in front of the man who looked at the core of our interrelated problems and said, ‘leave no on behind.’ Dr. Ban Ki-moon and former Austrian President Dr. Heinz Fischer honored us with their presence.”

 

To learn more about the play, check out the video produced by the ORF Akademie 18’ at European Forum Alpbach (German).

Photo by Laurent Ziegler / European Forum Alpbach

“Building Peace through Sports, Culture, and Economic Cooperation” – Changwon World Peace and Democracy Forum

Changwon World Peace and Democracy Forum was organized in the occasion of the 52nd ISSF World Championship in Changwon, South Korea on September 1, 2018. ISSF stands for the International Shooting Sport Federation, and for the first time in history North Korea’s shooting team participates in its championship this year.

The forum focused on “The Realization of World Peace through Economy, Culture, and Sport” and gathered world leaders, intellectuals, and experts of each field to deliver a message of peace.

During his keynote speech at the forum, Ban Ki-moon Centre’s Co-chair Ban Ki-moon emphasized the importance of sports for peace with the example of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.

“Sport and peace have a profound relationship. Sport can contribute to peace as it has the power to promote tolerance and mutual understanding.” He continued, “We have witnessed it at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, that will remain as an historical moment of peace for the Korean peninsula.”

ISSF President Olegario Vazquez Raña also mentioned about the recent Olympics during the forum:

“Earlier this year, the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics launched a powerful message of peace to the world. We will never forget the image of the athletes from South Korea and North Korea parading together with the flags of South Korea, North Korea and the Korean Peninsula. This was an inspiring example of sport promoting peace and unity.”

Ban expressed his appreciation for the opportunity for both Korean athletes to get closer through the championship,

“This is a great occasion to promote inter-Korean relationships and to build on the momentum. I believe it’s great that athletes from the North and from the South will get to compete in the same events.”

President Raña also added that world peace through sport is a common goal of the UN, the IOC, and the ISSF and emphasized how the sport has positive impact on peace and unity.

Along with the forum, the Opening Ceremony of the 52nd ISSF World Championship in all shooting events took place with 1806 athletes from 90 nations.

Source and Photo: https://www.issf-sports.org/news.ashx?newsid=3116

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 urges reinforcement of global citizenship and international collaboration for peace and prosperity in Asia at the Jeju Forum

Ban Ki-moon participated as a panelist and a keynote speaker in the Jeju Forum for Peace and Prosperity held in Jeju, Korea on June 26-28, 2018. The forum was hosted by the Government of Jeju Special Self-Governing Province with support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea.

The Jeju Forum is a regional multilateral dialogue where high-ranking public officials, experts, and world leaders gather to discuss and share future visions on how to approach sustainable peace and prosperity in Asia. For this year, “Reengineering Peace for Asia” was the theme for this 3-day forum as Asia has been facing an increasing array of security problems and challenges for the recent years.

The forum suggested that the task of re-engineering peace can be approached in the following ways:

  • to prioritize peace and prosperity in Asia
  • to energize the process of achieving and preserving peace and prosperity
  • to seek after Alternatives as new workable solutions
  • to seek Cooperation rather than competition or conflicts
  • to cultivate Eco-systems ripe for cooperative alternatives for peace and prosperity in Asia

At the Opening ceremony and World Leaders Session, Ban urged reinforcement of global citizenship, collaborative wisdom and cooperation between countries, and peaceful and harmonious way of denuclearization in North Korea. He also emphasized that there should be no more failure or repetition of the mistakes from the past.

Source & Photo: http://jejuforum.or.kr

Ban Ki-moon Speaks about the Importance of Youth Leadership for Sustainable Development

As the Honororay Chair of the IGEE, Ban Ki-moon gave a speech about the “Importance of the Youth Leadership for Sustainable Development” at Yonsei University Wonju campus. The lecture was given on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the campus’ founding, and about 700 students and general public attended the lecture. Among the attendees, there were foreign students from developing countries, who were selected for the KOICA’s master’s scholarship program to study at Yonsei University.

With focus on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the UN as well as visions of global citizenship, Ban’s words inspired aspiring leaders and youth to actively engage themselves to be part of making changes for co-development of global village. Ban emphasized on the need of youth leadership in rapid growth of the world and encouraged the young generation to grow as talented global citizens that contribute to the world’s peace and prosperity of all mankind.

Photo: Yonsei University Wonju Campus

UN Youth Envoy on Youth Empowerment in the Field of Peace and Security

Last week, Ms. Jayathma Wickramanayake, the Envoy of the Secretary-General on Youth, along with two other young female speakers, Sofia Pierre-Antoine and Kessy Ekomo-Soignet, delivered inspiring speeches at the UN Security Council (UNSC) on youth empowerment in the field of peace and security. Ms. Wickramanayake emphasized how young people, especially young women are engaging themselves in active movement to lead changes in the field.

The UNSC announced the resolution 2250 which was the first international policy framework to recognize young people’s roles in conflict prevention and resolution, and peace building in 2015. In accordance with the UNSCR 2250, a Youth4Peace community has been putting power of young men and women together to promote and maintain international peace and security.

As three years have passed now, she points out there are still existing issues of “the growing mistrust from young generations towards former political institutions” and “the exclusion of young people from political, civic, and economic life.” In attempts to solve these issues, the youth envoy strongly asked the UN Security Council to broaden opportunities for young people to participate and contribute in the matter while at the same time working on reducing the mistrust between the youth, their governments, and the multilateral system.

She made three suggestions:

  1. Support, recognize, fund, scale up, and protect the peacebuilding of young people.
  2. Prioritize political participation for young people to be fully engaged.
  3. Partner to continue efforts and promote the youth’s activities.

Watch Ms. Jayathma Wickramanayake’s speech at the UNSC 2018 here.

Source: https://www.youth4peace.info
Photo: UN Photo by Mark Garten

Ban Ki-moon and Heinz Fischer´s Remarks on Efforts for Peace and Denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula

A historic Inter-Korean summit between the Republic of Korea and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea took place on 27 April 2018 between South Korea´s President Moon Jae-in and the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

The summit took place after the two sides held several meetings in preparation for the joint attendance at the 2018 Winter Olympics. The summit was focused on the North Korean nuclear weapons program and denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

South Korea´s President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un “confirmed the common goal of realizing, through complete denuclearization, a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula.”

The Panmunjom Declaration for Peace, Prosperity and Unification of the Korean Peninsula was adopted. According to the declaration, North and South Korea agreed to work together on ending the Korean War, beginning a new era of peace and sharing commitments in ending divisions and confrontation by approaching a new era of national reconciliation, peace and prosperity and improvements to inter-Korean relations.

 

“A historic day for Korea! We sincerely wish that it will pave the way for lasting peace and denuclearization on the Korean peninsula”, the two Co-Chairmen of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens, former UNSG, Ban Ki-moon and former Federal President of Austria, Heinz Fischer remarked via Twitter.

 

Online course with Ban Ki-moon and Heinz Fischer on the SDGs

Our co-chairmen Ban Ki-moon and Heinz Fischer teach an online course on Coursera, and now registered students can access the videos and readings. Anyone from any part of the world interested in familiarizing themselves with the UN’s 2030 Agenda for sustainable development is invited to take the lectures. Throughout 7 weeks, students will be directed to learn about the SDGs through five foundations: people. planet, prosperity, peace & partnership, and youth & SDG implementation. These interconnected foundations then will lead students to tackle problems and encourage them to make changes and take part in integrating the SDGs in all countries.

Following the introductory session for the 17 goals of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, every week there are 8 to 13 lecture videos along with 5 to 8 readings to complete. Weekly quizzes and the final project will be graded if one decides to take the course whereas auditing the course is also an option. Check out the course on Coursera and register now.

https://www.coursera.org/learn/sustainable-development-ban-ki-moon

Photo: Porapak Apickodilok