Ban Ki-moon: South Koreans “play a key role” in the corona crisis

Checkout our Co-chair Ban Ki-moon’s interview with the APA.

“Since I was the Secretary-General of the United Nations, I have always emphasized that problems of global scale require solutions of global scale. The fear of infection has sparked a rise in racism and xenophobia. Such deplorable action would not help in deterring the spread of the virus in anyway. We must never forget that we are all in this together. The global outbreak, and any other global challenge in that matter, can only be overcome by concerted effort and unity.”  Go to article.

Checking in with Aya Chebbi, The African Union Youth Envoy

The Ban Ki-moon Centre had an informative online session with the first ever African Union Special Envoy on Youth and award-winning Pan-African feminist, Aya Chebbi, on Thursday, April 2.

 

The discussion was centered on the AU Youth Envoy´s amazing campaigns and projects in relation to the Coronavirus pandemic that she and her peers have put into action. Aya Chebbi emphasized that the young people of the African continent were working together and in synchronization in their fight against this difficult challenge. Access the African Union Youth Envoy website here.

 

Similar to the calls for solidarity from global leaders, she explained “The young generation is working on coordinated efforts and trying to reach every single person we can.” Mentioning the economic challenges of the situation, she underlined the importance of global response funds such as the one led by the World Health Organization and the donation of one million masks made by the Jack Ma foundation to the continent of Africa. Much more is still needed!

 

Working with volunteers and young change-makers, the African Union Youth Envoy has initiated multiple programs to include, educate and mobilize all countries in the region. Aya stated that young people are following the situation closely, trying to be a part of the solution and coming up with remarkable initiatives and action plans.

 

A pioneering project, the Collective Youth Program is a series of virtual consultations, now completing its 8th round, that allows groups of young people to meet online to discuss emotional and physical issues caused by the virus. During these sessions, the attendees are able to learn from each other, brainstorm and come up with action plans on how to tackle urgent problems. The project highlights cross-border cooperation. These enlightening consultations can be held by any person or institution interested. You can find more information and the registration process here.

 

Aya Chebbi also informed the BKMC on the launch of a new initiative called the African Youth Charter Hustlers, a youth-led Pan-African accountability movement, to engage African youths in continental, regional and country-level advocacy across the continent. For more information on youth policy makers you can click here.

‪Another response of the African Union Youth Envoy was to create hotlines for every country on the continent. Anyone who needs support can call these hotline numbers and reach out for the help they need.

 

The Union is leading many more inspiring projects on topics such as policy making, youth advocacy, women entrepreneurship and fundraising. Visit https://ayachebbi.com/ to follow this great initiative and get updates on African efforts and Aya Chebbi.

AS GLOBAL CITIZENS, HOW ARE WE ALL TACKLING #COVID19?

AS GLOBAL CITIZENS, HOW ARE WE ALL TACKLING #COVID19?

As of today, Monday 23rd of March 2020 the Coronavirus has affected 329,000 people. According to the World Health Organization’s reports at least 14,522 people have died, while the virus has reached more than 160 countries around the world. This pandemic has truly shown how the world has no boundaries and the virus itself does not respect borders, race, ethnicity, age or religion. The world is one and we are all human beings.

Therefore, now is the time to act as Global Citizens. It is vital for us to not only think about ourselves and our own country but about others and the globe. The world has seen epidemics, pandemics and viruses before, but the world has never been as interconnected as it is now. The Information flow has never been as easy as now. Countries have never been as accountable to each other as now. As the Ban Ki-Moon Centre for Global citizens, we encourage our staff, our partners, our fellows and all sustainable development goal advocates to act now, innovate, communicate and continue bettering our future.

AS GLOBAL CITIZENS, WHAT CAN WE DO?

 

Take Care of Your Hygiene

 As respiratory viruses like COVID-19 spread through human contact, “Wash your hands!” was the first recommendation given to people all around the globe in an attempt to stop the spreading of the virus. Physical contact is the most common way to transmit the virus to the next person. Keeping in mind SDG 3: Good health and well-being, we must encourage and promote the importance of personal hygiene. In cooperation with the WHO, our Co-Chair Ban Ki-Moon has prepared an explanatory video on the correct and effective way to wash our hands. Share the video and help others too. For people and populations with limited access to  clean water and soap, the WHO has prepared a DYI guide to homemade disinfectant. You can find the guide here.

 

Flatten the Curve

Flattening the curve: A measure that promotes community isolation in an aim to reduce daily case numbers so they are manageable for local medical providers, without overwhelming our health systems. Globally, we are all encouraged to practice social distancing. The rapid growth rate of the virus combined with a lack of resources contribute to high infection and mortality levels. Measures now being implemented such as school and restaurant closure, working from home and the prohibition of public gatherings have been successful in China, Singapore, South Korea and many more countries. To check the latest curves in different countries click here.

The Ban Ki-Moon Centre and its affiliates are all practicing social distancing. We are working from home, connecting with our peers through online meetings and calls. We encourage all businesses that can, to do the same. Here is a list of online tools you can use to work from home.

Mental Health and Online Communities

As most countries encourage their citizens to self-isolate, it is normal to feel anxious, lonely and isolated. As people are finding new ways of coming together in this time of crisis, creative outlets have become available to help individuals who are struggling to keep their spirits high.

As the BKMC, we recommend to our staff and to you to maintain your daily structure and adapt it to the situation. Include social calls to your day and reach out to friends and family. Help them if they are not so well-versed with online tools. Measure your social media use and try to focus on uplifting content. Read the book you’ve been wanting to finish for so long. Go through your movie list at last! Spend some me-time, focus on what is important to you. Accept your feelings and assess them. Here are some interesting resources available to the public:

  • Read through the extensive guide the WHO has prepared covering collaborative and individualistic suggestions.
  • Solidarity Concerts organized by Global Citizens in cooperation with the World Health Organisation. Follow #TogetherAtHome on twitter or visit here to watch previous and future concerts.
  • Many libraries, museums, opera halls are providing online virtual tours and concerts, such as the Vienna State Opera, the New York Public Library, the Uffizi Gallery in Florence and many more.

Online education platforms are becoming more and more important with different Universities providing free courses on a wide range of topics.  If you are interested in learning about sustainable development, we have two free courses on our website. Give them a try at your own pace.

Donate

Every individual around the globe can help in some way, and as an interconnected community we can achieve anything and have a great impact. The period we are going through is calling for an urgent collective movement. This is why we would like to call on everyone who can, to donate to the World Health Organization COVID-19 Solidarity Respond Fund. The COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund is a secure way for individuals, philanthropies and businesses to contribute to the WHO-led effort to respond to the pandemic.

 

Our Role as Global Citizens 

Now is the time to understand what we need and want in life and what we can live without. As global citizens this is something we should all do. We must see how the world is changing around us, how education, health, gender equality, sanitation, economic growth, innovation, sustainability, climate and above all international cooperation is affected. Let’s take this situation as a lesson and change our ways moving forward. As global citizens this is our responsibility.

“While these challenges might seem almost insurmountable at times, there is still hope for a better, a brighter, and a more sustainable future.” BKMC Co-Chair Ban Ki-Moon

Mobilising to Advance the SDGs – A Joint Event and Interactive Panel

On March 3, the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens together with European Union Delegation in Vienna (Twitter: @euunvie), Joint SDG Fund (Twitter: @JointSDGFund), and The OPEC Fund for International Development (Twitter: @TheOPECFund) hosted a panel discussion on the successes and challenges of mobilising to advance the SDGs and the 2030 Agenda.

The event was opened by His Excellency Ambassador Stephan Klement, EU Ambassador and Head of Delegation of the European Union to the International Organisations in Vienna. Followed by the warm welcome from Deputy Head of Representation of the European Commission in Austria, Wolfgang Bogensberger.

Co-chair Heinz Fischer delivered opening remarks before the panel discussion. Sharing his personal experience of his presidency of the Republic of Austria, he emphasised the importance of cooperation to achieve the SDGs.

Co-chair Heinz Fischer went on to talk about the previous Millenium Development Goals and how the Sustainable Development Goals developed, integrating lessons learned from the MDGs. Co-chair Heinz Fischer did not hesitate to also mention the difficulties when it comes to the implementation of the SDGs.

“Even if the the SDGs might not be entirely perfect, they are currently the best instrument to indicate the diverse situations of each country and stress that each country must do its share to achieve a world in which peace and prosperity is a given, leaving no one behind.”

In subsequence, the panel discussion, moderated by Ms. Mona Khalil, provided more detail on how international institutions mobilise to advance the SDGs. The speakers included

  • Ms. Katrin Harvey, Chief Operating Officer, Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens
  • Mr. Gautam Babbar, Chief of Strategic Planning and Interagency Affairs, United Nations
  • Mr. Walid Mehalaine, Head, Grants and Technical Assistance Unit, OPEC Fund

It became evident, that the organizations concentrate on strategically investing their efforts and resources in projects and programs that promise the biggest impact to advance the SDGs. Nevertheless, the speakers highlighted that the impact of any project remains minimal if the commitment of national governments towards the SDGs is limited. The annual 2.5 trillion USD funding gap that continues to exist needs to be tackled through multilateral partnerships if the SDGs are to be achieved by 2030.

In the Q&A session, following the panel discussion, the audience showed through interactive and dynamic engagement that the SDGs are a priority issue, not only for international organizations but also for academia, the private sector and civil society actors.

We thank our partners for the fruitful cooperation that made this event a success!

Ban Ki-moon launches a comprehensive global soft power research study with Brand Finance in London

BRAND FINANCE PRESS RELEASE

Ban Ki-moon, 8th UN Secretary-General, to launch world’s most comprehensive global soft power research study

  • Ban Ki-moon to give keynote speech at first Global Soft Power Summit hosted by Brand Finance over two days in London & Oxford
  • Ban Ki-moon to say: “Soft power transcends borders and builds bridges”
  • “K-Pop music, Korean food, and Oscar-winning film Parasite are increasingly popular. Korean Wave has captivated foreign publics the world over”
  • Summit serves as unveiling of Global Soft Power Index – world’s most comprehensive research study on perceptions of soft power, surveying opinions of over 55,000 people across 100 countries
  • Soft power superpower – USA tops ranking despite reputation damage
  • Runner-up Germany admired for governance and Angela Merkel’s international leadership
  • Brand Britain undented by Brexit, ranks as world’s 3rd soft power nation
  • Japan ranked first for Business and Trade, thanks to brands the world loves
  • China and Russia rank high on influence, while Nordic countries among most reputable; Greta Thunberg earning Sweden top spot for climate action
  • World’s most generous nation, Canada ranks in top 3 for more soft power disciplines than any other nation, but wins too few golds to top medal table
  • Spain is the world’s friendliest nation, but lags behind on Governance
  • UAE is Middle East’s top scorer, familiarity high following Nation Brand launch
  • Full ranking, charts, commentary, expert contributions, and in-depth spotlights on Australia, India, Ireland, Israel, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, UAE, UK, Central & Eastern Europe, and Latin America available in the report.

View the Global Soft Power Index report by Brand Finance here

London & Oxford, 25th February 2020: His Excellency Ban Ki-moon, the former Secretary-General of the United Nations inaugurated the Global Soft Power Summit organised by Brand Finance, the world’s leading independent brand valuation consultancy. The two-day conference was held at London’s Queen Elizabeth II Centre and the University of Oxford’s Blavatnik School of Government on 25-26 February and welcomed over 600 delegates representing more than 100 countries. The summit was attended by government officials, nation branding experts, academics, diplomats, and international media.

Speakers representing the various pillars of soft power included Sir Ciáran Devane, Chief Executive of the British Council; Lord Sebastian Coe, President of World Athletics; Dr Yu Jie of Chatham House China Programme; Dr Maleeha Lodhi, Pakistan’s former permanent representative to the United Nations; Paul Brummell, Head of Soft Power at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office; Amish Tripathi, Director of the Nehru Centre; and Omar Salha from SOAS Centre of International Security and Diplomacy.

In his keynote address, Ban Ki-moon said:

“Building on the strength of the Brand Finance Nation Brands report, and featuring the opinions of over 55,000 people in more than 100 countries, I am confident that the Global Soft Power Index will serve as a great contribution to the theory and practice of diplomacy and foreign policy moving forward.

As Secretary-General of the United Nations, I led the Organization with the understanding that soft power is an essential ingredient in international diplomacy. Additionally, soft power can help further the peace and development goals of the United Nations, particularly the UN SDGs, and reinforce global progress.

In fact, the three pillars of the UN – peace and security, development, and human rights – are all in line with the same objectives of soft power and can help bring nations and peoples together through cooperation and partnership.”

Ban also spoke about the soft power of South Korea:

“My country Korea is currently enjoying considerable soft power on the global stage. Korean soft power assets such as K-Pop music, Korean food like kimchi and bibimbap, and our Oscar-winning best picture film Parasite are incredibly well-known and increasingly popular around the world. This Hallyu, or Korean Wave, has captivated foreign publics all over the world.”

The world’s most comprehensive research study on perceptions of soft power
The Global Soft Power Summit serves as the unveiling of the Global Soft Power Index, the world’s most comprehensive research study on perceptions of soft power, surveying opinions of over 55,000 people across more than 100 countries. Respondents representing both the general public and specialist audiences were interviewed online and by telephone during Autumn 2019 about the influence that nations around the world exert upon each other.

Top 60 nations were scored across three key metrics: Familiarity, Reputation, and Influence, as well as the seven soft power pillars: Business & Trade, Governance, International Relations, Culture & Heritage, Media & Communications, Education & Science, People & Values.

Source: Brand Finance
© Fairlight Studios

The second BKMC x UNESCO APCEIU collaborative online course is now available on GCED Online Campus!

Today on February 21st, 2020, the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens is pleased to officially launch its second collaborative online course with UNESCO APCEIU on GCED Online Campus. Those who are interested in learning about the issues surrounding gender equality and how to effectively tackle the issues and contribute to empowering women and girls are cordially invited to take the course.

This course provides global citizens an opportunity to learn from global leaders, experts and advocates from across sectors: international organizations, universities, NGOs, governments, and corporations.

While our first course introduced the overall concept of global citizenship and the SDGs, our second course focuses on the topics of gender equality and women’s empowerment with a combination of the series of lectures by renowned international experts on concepts, theories and thematic areas, interviews with scholars, UN representatives, change makers, case presentations of innovative approaches and practices by global citizens all around the world.

Understanding the 5th SDG – the multifaceted issues around it and the efforts put forth worldwide to achieve it – is the foundation for this course. Particularly, the course aims to examine and critically reflect on the revolving issues around both gender equality and women’s empowerment with sustainable development by providing a platform where learners can virtually meet and learn from one another. It brings a critical eye to gender inequality and how it is addressed in the field of sustainable development.

Learners will be able to deepen their understanding of gender equality and women’s empowerment, exchange and embrace different perspectives, and challenge their own assumptions. The course invites those who see themselves as global citizens as well as who aspire to assume active roles in bringing meaningful changes to oneself and so the society they are in.

“Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment: A Pathways to Sustainable Development” is comprised of five modules:

(1) Introduction to Gender Equality and Women’s Rights
(2) Gender Equality in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
(3) Women’s Empowerment
(4) Critical Issues on Gender Equality
(5) Plan for Action Paving the Way to Equality

After completing all courses, students will received a Certificate issued by UNESCO APCEIU and the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens. Requirements for the completion are as followed:
1) Watch all lectures / videos
2) Participate in Form / Discussion
3) Take a quiz
4) Final Assignment
5) Course Evaluation

Please invite those around you, who see themselves as global citizens as well as who aspire to assume active roles in bringing meaningful changes to oneself and to global society! Register HERE.

The first BKMC x UNESCO APCEIU collaborative online course is still available on GCED Online Campus!

The first collaborative online course project by BKMC and UNESCO APCEIU, “Becoming Global Citizens for a Sustainable Society,” introduced us the SDGs and the notion of Global Citizenship through the series of lectures by renowned experts from all over the world, interviews with scholars, advocates and representatives from all different sectors, and case presentations by active global citizens.

The course aims to examine and critically reflect on the revolving issues around the globe at local, national, and international levels by providing a platform where learners can virtually meet and learn from one another.

Through this course, learners could deepen their understanding of the SDGs and global citizenship, exchange and embrace different perspectives, and challenge their own assumptions.

Launched in September 2019, this course is a self-paced course that is open all year round to anyone who aspires to assume active roles in bringing meaningful changes to oneself and to global society!

“Becoming Global Citizens in a Sustainable Society” is comprised of five difference modules in which lectures, discussions, interviews or documentary films are included in respective topics.

Speakers of this course includes BKMC Co-chairs Ban Ki-moon and Heinz Fischer and a number of other stellar speakers from UN organizations, universities, NGOs, governments, and the private sector.

After completing all courses, students will received a certificate issued by UNESCO APCEIU and the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens. Requirements for the completion are as followed:
1) Watch all lectures / videos
2) Participate in Form / Discussion
3) Take a quiz
4) Final Assignment
5) Course Evaluation

Here are some comments from the global citizen learners who took this course!

“This course was so insightful on such an important topic that we, unfortunately, do not talk about enough in our current education… It highlights topics that are so important in current events and link them together back to how there are so many ways, shapes and forms of innovative acts of global citizenship in our current environment.” – Hana Abdelatty

“This will enhance global participation towards sustainable development goals amongst youth across the globe.” – Samod Kadiri

“It is very helpful for us on how to create better solutions to fight against the problem in this world. This course is very important and teaches us to become a global citizen of our own.” – Cedrix Rodriguez

“This course has made me have a deeper understanding of what GCED is and am really encouraged take other courses in relations to global citizenship education.” – Glays Sakaula

The second collaborative online course on “Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment: A Pathway to Sustainable Development” is also out now on GCED Online Campus featuring amazing international figures including UN Youth Envoy Jayathma wickramanayake, Chair of The Elders Mary Robinson, Executive Director of UN Women Phumzile Mlambo-ngcuka and more. Check it out!

Co-chair Ban Ki-moon joins the SDG Academy’s edX online course “Conversations with Global Leaders.”

Today, BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon, former Secretary-General of United Nations, joined a Live Conversation in The SDG Academy edX Online Course “Conversations with Global Leaders.”
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During the live interview, Co-chair Ban talked about “The Importance of Global-Setting” with Professor Jeffrey Sachs, who also is a BKMC Board member.

The SDG Academy edX Online Course “Conversations with Global Leaders” is an initiative created by the United Nations Sustainable Development Social Network (UN SDSN), and this course aims to provide insights into questions about effective and inclusive leadership in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development such as Are good leaders born or are they made? What are the essential skills and strategies required when they must make tough decisions that impact global policies, people and our planet?

Throughout this course, professor Jeffrey Sachs, a BKMC Board member, interviews inspiring global leaders about an overarching theme that reflects the individual’s unique and diverse insights on the leadership necessary to create national and global movements towards sustainable development, including combating climate change, promoting and preserving human rights and ensuring peace and prosperity for all.

 

Click the photo to watch the Live Conversation.

 

BKMC CEO Monika Froehler meets with IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi

On February 18th, BKMC CEO Monika Froehler made an official visit to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) headquarters in Vienna and met with IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi.


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During this meeting, CEO Monika Froehler and Program Officer Julia Zimmerman briefed IAEA Director-General Rafael Grossi and his team on the works of BKMC and discussed potential avenues of cooperation, particularly related to education and the empowerment of women.
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© Dean Calma / IAEA

Ban Ki-moon emphasizes on the importance of youth engagement at TUM Speakers Series

“The climate crisis and the nuclear threat are two of the urgent issues that demand a collaborative global approach,” said Co-chair Ban Ki-moon.

Celebrating 20 Years of TUM Speakers Series and the 75th anniversary of United Nations, former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon delivered a speech at an official side event to Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany on February 14th.

Ban emphasized the importance of empowering and engaging youth in the process of solving global issues:

“All the topics that are on the agenda at this year’s Munich Security Confer
ence require  
a similar approach. From terrorism to violent extremism, gender and economic inequality, and how to adapt to new disruptive technologies. The voice and perspective of youth is critical to these conversations.”
Under the theme of “Global Solutions for Global Challenges – The Need to Defend Multilateralism in 2020,” the event was attended by students and aspiring global leaders, whom Ban encouraged to take actions as global citizens. TUM Speakers Series is organized by students for their fellow students to provide a platform for public figures to share their expertise and knowledge and to actively involve students and youth in discussing current challenges and issues around the world.
 
Watch the live-streamed video:

© Andreas Heddergott /TUM