#WeChampion Interview with Yasmine Sherif

On Tuesday 28 June 4 PM CEST, the Ban Ki-moon Centre (BKMC) is organizing the next “We Champion Speaker Series” session which showcases best practices and innovative approaches to Transformative Education. Register here. The event will welcome Director of Education Cannot Wait Yasmine Sherif to discuss the importance of delivering quality education in humanitarian crises like those occurring in Ukraine, Afghanistan, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo – especially to children and adolescents. Learn how Education Cannot Wait supports rapid responses to urgent education needs, turns investments into concrete public goods, and faces challenges in the field. Building on Mission 4.7’s #WeChampion social media campaign, the “We Champion” speaker series showcases best practices and innovative approaches to Transformative Education from across the Mission 4.7 community and beyond. The series will help further collective thinking around SDG 4.7 implementation and gather momentum on various thematic areas pertaining to SDG 4.7. AGENDA:
  • Interview with Director of Education Cannot Wait Yasmine Sherif and BKMC CEO Monika Froehler
  • Q&A Session with audience
Register here.

Virtual Roundtable “Voices of Hope: Realities of Afghan Women”

On Wednesday 25 May 5 PM CEST (8:30 PM AFT), the Ban Ki-moon Centre (BKMC) and its Afghan fellows from the Global Citizen Women Empowerment Program hosted a virtual roundtable “Voices of Hope: Realities of Afghan Women” to highlight the activism of Afghan women on the ground. 

International Gender Champions Her Excellency Manizha Bakhtari, Ambassador of Afghanistan to Vienna, and BKMC CEO Monika Froehler spotlighted Afghan women as resilient and active agents of change fighting for sustainable peace.

“The spirit of Afghan women will never die”  – H.E. Manizha Bakhtari

 

Both iterated the risks to civil society leaders, activists, and reporters, especially women, and their shrinking involvement in public life due to the Taliban’s fundamentalist hardliner policies. Their resistance is moving more and more off the streets and onto social media and smaller underground movements.

“We are currently experiencing a new generation of [ Afghan women] that is more enthusiastic and more focused.”  – Gender and Feminist Researcher at the McMaster University of Canada, Executive Director of the Immigrant Culture and Art Association (ICAA), and former Law Professor at Kabul University Marufa Shinware

With their knowledge and independence gained over the last 20 years, Afghan women are increasingly trying to transform the system they are living in and resisting the Taliban’s oppression. They also question the international community’s silence and condemn global misbelief in a new and more liberal Taliban regime. 

Increased solidarity is needed to fight for democracy, human rights, and peace. 

Watch the recording of our Roundtable via YouTube. 

Join us for our Virtual Roundtable “Voices of Hope: Realities of Afghan Women”

On Wednesday 25 May 5 PM CEST (8:30 PM AFT), the Ban Ki-moon Centre (BKMC) and its Afghan fellows from the Global Citizen Women Empowerment Program are organizing a virtual roundtable “Voices of Hope: Realities of Afghan Women” to provide a space for local, regional and international Afghan activists to come together and share their stories to a wide audience.

The event seeks to raise awareness about the current situation of Afghan women on the ground and spotlight local women’s activism as well as the international Afghan diaspora and their efforts in fighting for sustainable peace. The roundtable should serve to devictimize Afghanistan’s women and instead portray them as active agents of change. 

AGENDA:

Moderators: BKMC Program Officers Jessica Besch and Viola Christian

Welcome Remarks: BKMC CEO Monika Froehler

Opening Remarks: H.E. Ambassador Manizha Bakhtari, Ambassador of the Republic of Afghanistan to Vienna

Roundtable Discussion:

  • Hooria Sardar, Former Director-General of Women’s Economic Empowerment and Child Care at the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs in Afghanistan (MoLSA), Gender and Women Studies Expert, Women’s Rights Activist, and BKMC Global Citizen Fellow

  • Marufa Shinware, Gender and Feminist Researcher at the McMaster University of Canada, Executive Director of the Immigrant Culture and Art Association (ICAA), and former Law Professor at Kabul University

  • Dr. Zahra M., Dentist and Leader of the Afghan Women’s Unity and Solidarity Group 

BACKGROUND:

In 2019, at the margins of the first BKMC Women Empowerment Program, the Centre together with the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna and Women in International Security Austria organized the event “ A Long Road to Peace – Realities, Hopes, and Visions from Afghanistan”, featuring five of its stellar Afghan women fellows and activists as speakers. Processes of peace talks between the United States and the Taliban in that year gave reason for hope for a secure, democratic, and equal Afghanistan. Including women in these negotiations was deemed crucial for the achievement of sustainable peace and women’s rights. The fellows suggested solutions for their country’s challenges, talked about their own initiatives, and discussed women’s roles in decision-making and peace processes.

The developments since August 2021 and the internationally unrecognized governmental rule by the Taliban have once again crushed the rights and dignity of women and girls, spiraling into a humanitarian crisis as we speak. While some were able to leave Afghanistan on time, many are still stuck or staying voluntarily to defend their country against the authoritarian and extremist Taliban regime.

Adhering to its mission statement of empowering women and leaving no one behind, the BKMC wants to create a safe platform for its Afghan fellows to raise awareness about the situation of Afghan women and youth on the ground by jointly organizing an virtual roundtable. 

Register for the event here to join or zoom or click here to set a reminder for our live stream via YouTube. 

Investing In Development Programs Means Investing In Our Future

As host of this year’s G7 summit, Germany can set an example. Ban Ki-moon
  Author: Ban Ki-moon May 19, 2022

The world is stuck in a tangle of alarming, severe crises that demand urgent action. The worsening climate crisis is impacting every aspect of our lives. It is further increasing the threat of violent conflicts, health issues, and food insecurity. More than ever, we need developed countries like Germany to uphold and increase their development assistance budgets and lead as an example.

In Yemen, the war has been raging for almost eight years; Syria’s crisis grinds on into its eleventh year. Over two million people have been forcibly displaced by the ongoing fighting in the Tigray region of Ethiopia due to brutal violence against civilians. While Afghanistan’s humanitarian crisis plummets to extreme levels of deprivation, Myanmar’s military factions expand the scale of conflict, increasingly involving civilians. Most recently, Russia’s unjustifiable invasion of Ukraine forced more than five million people to flee the country while almost eight million are internally displaced.

These complex emergencies are set against a backdrop of transnational, planetary challenges like the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which has cost the lives of more than 6 million people worldwide. All of these extremities have consequences far beyond their immediate impacts, most particularly in the realm of food production.

 

There is a need for investments in climate-resilient agriculture

Agriculture, in particular, is both foundational to human wellbeing and also highly vulnerable during crises. In recent months, the Russian invasion of Ukraine has shown the devastating impact conflict can have on our ability to cultivate and transport food, with looming surges in hunger anticipated worldwide. The COVID-19 pandemic has similarly sent shockwaves throughout local food systems, causing the highest levels of hunger seen in modern history. The reduction in yields, the increase in pest infestations, and unpredictable weather patterns have made the impact of climate change more evident than ever. The severity of these disruptions often stems from a lack of investment in the people who produce food and the inevitable precarity they experience on a day-to-day basis.

Two thirds of adults living in poverty work in the agricultural sector, meaning the very people who provide us with nutrition often struggle to get it themselves. Without drastic climate action, these inequities will only increase. Global demand for food is predicted to increase by 50% by 2050, while agricultural yields will likely decrease by up to 30% over the same period due to worsening environmental conditions.

Investing in climate resilient agriculture is essential to improving the lives of 500 million small-holder farmers around the world and bolster local, resilient food systems. Currently, smallholders receive only 1.7% of total climate finance. World leaders need to keep their promise to deliver $100 billion Dollars to climate finance and significantly step up their commitments towards agricultural adaptation to build the resilience of smallholder farmers. In this regard, global champions like CGIAR need to receive more funding for the acceleration of adaptation in agriculture, to ensure food security, increase resilience and protect biodiversity. The right investments in innovation, research and development will lead to food production increases, rather than decreases in the decades ahead.

Just as we cannot prioritize our obligation to meet the human rights needs of one crisis over another, underfunding critical development programs will severely hamstring our ability to prepare for and prevent the crises of tomorrow. That is why global leadership, bold action, and strategic programming are needed now more than ever.

This means identifying and resourcing the communities that exist at the intersections of extreme poverty.

 

Germany has a special responsibility to step up

In recent years, Germany has taken on a leading role in the global fight against hunger. The government has substantially invested in global food security and rural development and when it comes to the overall provision of official development assistance, Germany ranks second. The leadership the government has shown in recent years when it comes to global development cooperation could not come at a more crucial time. Looking at the multiple crises the world currently faces, funding for development cooperation and strengthening of multilateral institutions will be crucial to be able to respond to the medium and long-term consequences and to prevent future crises.

The German government must therefore consistently continue its commitment to strong development cooperation. Especially in a year in which Germany holds the G7 Presidency, the government’s actions and decisions will have wide repercussions at the international level. With a clear commitment to strengthening development cooperation, the German government can send a strong signal of support for the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the most marginalized people worldwide. To get the world back on track at the G7 Summit at the end of June, it is important that Germany continues to take on a leading role in international development cooperation.

The last time Germany held the G7 Presidency, back in 2015, G7 countries made a commitment to lift 500 million people out of hunger and to increase funding accordingly. This commitment still remains to be followed-up upon. The war in Ukraine, the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan and the increasing droughts and floods we witness across Africa and Asia have only amplified the urgency. It is the drastic consequences of conflict and climate change that put the livelihoods of millions of people at risk. What is needed by the G7 countries is to take urgent climate actions and to step up their ambition with regards to international climate finance, especially targeting agricultural adaptation measures.

If we don’t respond adequately and equitably now, the world will see a worsened situation for every crisis to follow — from access, availability and affordability of food, fuel prices, climate shocks and exposure to extreme weather events, the Covid-19 pandemic, and the ongoing displacement of people.

In this extraordinary time of need, citizens must urge their government to step up and do all that they can to provide support. That will mean donors raising development budgets to cover rising costs. This year, Germany can be in the driving seat for international solidarity and cooperation.

GC Scholars Discuss Sustainable African Cities at Bordeaux Summer School

Our 2022 Global Citizen Scholars attended the Bordeaux Summer School on “Sustainable African cities: multidisciplinary research to meet health, demographic, economic and political challenges” as their academic training for the scholarship program. 

Guest Blog: Shalom Abebaw, GC Scholar 2022

My personal experience with the Bordeaux Summer School program can be summarized as intense, insightful, and collaborative. I’ve had the honor and privilege of learning about the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the sustainability of African Cities from experts from the Ban Ki-moon Centre and Bordeaux University. I’ve gained an interdisciplinary understanding of what it takes to create a sustainable African community. My favorite lecture would be one on air pollution, which is more related to my field of work and my chosen SDG-Micro Project. I’ve also participated in a workshop with other scholars on the SDGs, and I’ve had the opportunity to collaborate with peers from various countries and backgrounds. I’ve also learned how businesses and individuals who incorporate SDG concepts into their work can benefit from increased productivity, new market opportunities, and improved stakeholder engagement.

Rania, Khaoula, Greta, and Sharon presented about Green Infrastructure investment in Lusaka, Zambia.
 

The BKMC Global Citizen Scholars of 2022 participated in a Bordeaux University intense summer school program on “Sustainable African cities: multidisciplinary research to solve health, demographic, economic, and political concerns” from 2 to 6 May.

The program featured an interdisciplinary approach, with professors, researchers, and representatives from Cote d’Ivoire’s Ministry of Health participating to provide deeper insights into sustainable African cities.

The program covered the following topics: African population dynamics, migration, pollution, and transportation, the political economy of food crises and food riots in the MENA region, and diet quality enhancement.

During the summer school week, 8 scholars participated in the tutored group work session with Bordeaux. 7 scholars attended a special workshop on the 17 sustainable development goals with the BKMC.

Food systems and stakeholder interactions in Côte d’Ivoire were presented by Joseph, Anna, and Emmanuel Hanyabui.
 
Aurian and Esmael gave a presentation on African air pollution.
 
Moussa and Dula discussed the issue of informal settlements and transportation issues in Addis Ababa.

Dorcas and Shalom presented recent trends on each SDG, providing a great overview of the current state of the global goals.

 

The scholars underwent the one-week intense summer school program and now have a basic understanding of what is required to build a sustainable city and community, which they will use when implementing their SDG Micro-Project. Stay tuned as our scholars start working on their SDG Micro-Projects! 

 

Launch Global Citizen Scholarship Program 2022

On 29 April 2022, the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens launched its 5th Global Citizen Scholarship Program in partnership with RELX and Université de Bordeaux. 17 young changemakers from Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, and the Philippines will turn their passion for sustainable development into SDG Micro-Projects and empower their communities. CEO Monika Fröhler and Program Officer Jessica Besch held an introduction call to welcome the cohort and guide them in the different steps of their 8-months journey.

 

This week, from 2 to 6 May, the scholars are joining the online Summer School hosted by the University of Bordeaux to learn more about sustainable African cities. The program will continue virtually with expert workshops, mentoring sessions, and the SDG Micro-Project implementation phase.

 

Learn more about the Global Citizen Scholarship program and this year’s cohort here.

Ban Ki-moon Centre Board Members and CEO Monika Froehler reappointed

The Ban Ki-moon Centre is delighted to announce the prolongation of its board members, and the reappointment of Monika Froehler as Chief Executive Officer for four more years.  

“We have four more years of continued growth & consolidation.”  

said Co-chair Heinz Fischer at the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens virtual board meeting on April 5, 2022.

CEO Monika Froehler moderated the Board Meeting, briefing the Co-chairs and the board members on developments of the Ban Ki-moon Centre US Foundation in New York, and the Ban Ki-moon Centre’s programmatic activities. She highlighted the Centre’s efforts in particular the Leadership Program for African leaders in Climate Adaptation, the Global Citizen Mentorship Program on Global Health and the Global Citizen Scholarship Program and its SDG Micro-Projects, the success of the Agricultural Adaptation Program, and the cooperation with the Austrian government for the SDG Dialogforum 2022.  

The Board discussed strategic methods for promoting the Centre’s activities as well as effective ways to amplify the messages through the Centre’s various partnerships, affiliated offices and channels.  

Check out our board HERE.

Check out our activities in 2021 and our goals for 2022 HERE

Closing Ceremony – Online Executive Training “Young Women Leadership on Climate Adaptation”

The first Online Executive Training “Young Women Leadership on Climate Adaptation” concluded on Thursday, 17 March 2022, celebrating six months of intensive learning amongst 30 young changemakers from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ghana, Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria and Zimbabwe. Organized by the BKMC, CARE Climate and Resilience Academy, the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna and supported by the Global Center on Adaptation and NORAD, the training served to strengthen the participants’ knowledge, skills and network to lead climate adaptation solutions.

BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon, CEO of GCA Patrick Verkooijen, and BKMC CEO Monika Froehler were amongst the high-level speakers who congratulated the young women for their remarkable accomplishments. The Closing Ceremony also introduced the outstanding work of the young leaders and their innovative ideas to #AdaptOurWorld. 

Representing her fellow trainees, Stephanie Eyram Akrumah, Valedictorian of the Online Executive Training, held an emotional speech to summarize their learning journey. Read her remarks below.

See the SDG Micro-Adaptation Project illustrations below. 

Online Executive Training "Young Women Leaders on Climate Adaptation" - SDG Micro-Project Illustrations Watch the Micro-Project Adaptation Pitches here.

Watch the Closing Ceremony below.


Valedictorian Speech by Stephanie Eyram Akrumah

“I’m grateful to be here, and I’m grateful to be speaking on behalf of all my colleagues here.

I can’t believe that it’s almost the end, actually the end, although it seems like just recently a friend shared the application of the training programme with me and to be honest, I was not sure what to expect from the training programme.

When I received the congratulatory email, I had knowledge as to what I wanted to do in climate change adaptation but honestly where I am today, my knowledge has been impacted, thus the high-level leadership that you wanted to impact in us has been impacted in me, at least.

 Honoured guest, fellow trainees, and the team that put all of this together, thank you for being here and good day, good afternoon, good evening to you, wherever you are.

I am honoured and elated to give the speech on behalf of my brilliant and inspiring fellow trainee of the Young Women Leadership on Climate Adaptation Executive Training program 2021/22 for women.

 I am very fortunate to have met my fellow trainees from Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Democratic Republic of Congo and Egypt.

 It has been an exciting journey for us so far. It has not necessarily been very easy because this has been competing with other equally important things in our lives especially practical things in our jobs and our works, but this has been impactful enough for us to always be here, be punctual, be on time and try to do our best with our programme.

WE MADE IT ladies, WE MADE IT, fellow woman leaders, we have made it to the very end of our course, with glamour with grace and with a lot of wit.

I remember the days when some trainees were on the move, you could see that their cameras were on, not known to them, they were actively listening, the cameras showed that they were working with their phones on the field in some farm somewhere and trying to listen on the go.

 Thank you all, ladies, for having put in your best in the training programme and given it your best that we’ve learned from each other and we are here as it stands.

 Ladies, WE MADE IT till the end. I recount the gender sensitive adaptation solutions that we learned and realised that women have been left out of very important roles such as women farming in lands that they do not own, gender-based violence, women gap pays at the workplace, were interconnected with problems on gender sensitivity in climate adaptation and that if we needed to resolve these issues, we needed to see them as a comprehensive issue and provide a comprehensive solution.    

I remember when we were studying effective communication for adaptation, how we can Communicate effectively so we can get our message across to the respective stakeholders and involve the people that we wanted to include.

 I remember our talks on adaptation policies on local, regional and global policies that we could implement.

I remember when we said to each other some of the policies needed to tickle down to the local levels, in that, policy is very disconnected from local level practices.

I remember negotiating like a pro and understanding that we needed to communicate better and what we needed was a kind of negotiation that doesn’t leave out the other party but one that brings a solution to both parties.

I also remember that we need to be global leaders and global citizens to a complex world with complex problems and that we are capable of providing those solutions.

I have never in my life experienced a micro adaptation project and I am exceptionally sure that my fellow women leaders will agree with me that we’ve not had a practical micro adaptation project like this on an online programme that you think will be very theoretical.

I must say that from the beginning until now, we have become the very skilled high-level leaders that you wanted to create.

On moving forward after our graduation or finishing and completing this programme, that we show support to each other. We have already practiced as we have done things in teams and collaborated on different works. I recognize especially our Eagles-entrepreneurs for the green environment team when we went out of our way in the late-night calls and tried to finish our assignments on time.

I know all other groups and team members were also trying as much as possible to meet with their teams and finish assignments, even when we were late, we pleaded very actively that one thing or the other caught us up and that we wanted to finish as soon as possible so we can forward to you.

We are also very thankful for the patience of some of our leaders here, it helped us understand things we didn’t understand and when we were running late on some of these programmes, you were there to hold our hands and pull us up.

 I’m also grateful that we have learned to collaborate amongst each other and keep collaborating because of our alumni group that we’re putting together, and we intend to do certain programmes together after this programme.

I encourage that we continue to lead with the energy we have applied to the adaptation training and the strength and boldness that we need for sustainable solutions.

The executive training wanted to impact and show the ripple effects of investing in women and lead effective climate adaptation on local, regional and national levels, well from the people that I have seen and have worked with and the leaders here, I know that we are able to make this happen directly and indirectly, and we will keep impacting.

I don’t want to bore you too much, so I will here, say thank you so much to the team that put this all together, to Viola Christian, Alina Stinx, Aurélie Ceinos, Julia Németh & Maximilian Huck, Adriana Valenzuela to the team from Norad, thank you very much.

 I’m going to say a special thank you to the organizations; to the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens, to  CARE Climate and Resilience Academy, to the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna, to the  Global Centre on Adaptation (GCA) and Norad, thank you all so much.

Thank you so much to all our trainees who are spent time and energy of their busy schedules at work and school to be here to be impacted and have given it their best.

Before I leave, I must tell you, that there is an old Chinese proverb that says that women hold up half the sky and, in our case, it is quite literal, that we literally hold up half of our climate. We need to contribute our quota as women in the world for climate change to be able to meet our global goals or 1.5 average temperatures by 2030.

Congratulations again to my fellow leaders. YES! WE DID IT, let us lead the cause in climate adaptation and resilience building. Let us transform our continent and inspire the world.

From the latest IPCC report on climate change, the climate crisis has hit Africa the hardest, and every time things hit Africa, we need leaders that will stand up to the challenge and bring solutions.

African needs you, my dear woman leader, Africa needs you and the world needs you.

Thank you and I look forward to meeting you in person, hopefully at the next COP, COP27.

Thank you very much.”

International Women’s Day: Celebrating Women who #AdaptOurWorld

Guest blog post by Gabriela Díaz Musmanni for International Women’s Day. 

The Covid crisis has exposed the depths of gender inequality on a global and disquieting scale: from a spike in gender violence, to a sharp rise in women and girl’s unpaid care work fuelled by worldwide lockdowns and school closures.

Sadly, the pandemic is just the tip of the iceberg. With a similarly pervasive scope, the climate emergency is not gender neutral either:

In spite of being hit hardest, and possessing valuable local knowledge, women have limited access to climate decision-making and leadership roles that could improve their situation and the world’s. Their inclusion is crucial to effective climate adaptation action, yet this remains a global challenge.

This year’s International Women’s Day, celebrated today, focuses on “gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow.” The 2022 theme encompasses the contribution of women and girls all over the world who, despite insurmountable challenges, have taken the lead in climate adaptation and mitigation action to build a more sustainable future for all of us.

With a similar goal, the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens (BKMC), partnered with CARE’s Climate Change and Resilience Platform, and the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna to conduct a capacity-building training to elevate the leadership of young women in one of the world’s most climate-vulnerable regions, the African continent, in response to the climate crisis.

In October 2021, thirty African women between the ages of 20 and 35 embarked on the 20-week “Online Executive Training – Young Women Leadership on Climate Adaptation,” supported by the Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation.

The women, from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, and Zimbabwe, were selected from a pool of more than 400 applicants based on their community leadership skills and dedication to climate action and adaptation, according to Viola Christian, Program Officer at BKMC.

The participants shared some of the training’s many benefits, including the opportunity to belong to an empowering network of women in adaptation:

“The training gave me a platform to connect with more than thirty climate champions: the instructors, resource persons and other trainees,” said Jiata Ugwah Ekele, 24, a Knowledge Management and Extension Assistant at the Climate and Sustainable Development Network of Nigeria.

Dorah Momanyi, 29, a Kenyan food scientist and founder of the Nutritious Agriculture Network, applied for the training because she finds “a strong link between local food systems, climate change and the attainment of SDGs given local food systems play a critical role in climate adaptation.”

“In a continent where youth unemployment is on the rise, climate adaptation puts a meal on my table,” she said, highlighting that, “I am a bigger and better brand as a result of this online training. Being a millennial generation influenced by everything western, I appreciate more than ever the role of local climate adaptation strategies fronted, designed, and led by women.”

Patience Sibanda, 28, a Zimbabwean student and researcher in the field of Climate Smart Agriculture and resilience building at the University of Fort Hare, South Africa, said, “I gained priceless knowledge on climate crisis management, the nexus of gender, climate vulnerability, adaptation, resilience and advocacy and the pivotal role young women play in bringing attention to climate policy architecture.”

For Mariam Elsadek, 27, a marine scientist from Egypt who works as an Environmental Communication Manager at Hurghada Environmental Protection and Conservation Association, the training created “a powerful community of women who work in the field and support and encourage each other.”

“The idea is to bring these young leaders together and elevate them to another level so that they can be more effective at driving climate adaptation solutions,” said Christian, explaining that one of the training’s main goals is that, as women, its participants will transfer the knowledge gained into more gender inclusive climate adaptation practices.

“Another big reason is that we want to connect them and give them opportunities and platforms to show the world that they have knowledge and that they already do so much for climate adaptation but their voices are often just not listened to – bringing them into opportunities where they can network with high-level decision makers. That way we ensure that they can be more effective in what they want to achieve,” Christian said.

The training, which is designed to be replicated in future, will conclude on 17th March and CEO of GCA, Professor Dr. Patrick Verkooijen, will deliver a speech during the closing ceremony.

For more information about the training “Young Women Leadership on Climate Adaptation” visit the BKMC or GCA website. 

Ban Ki-moon and CEO Monika Froehler mission trip to the UAE

BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon and CEO Monika Froehler travel to the United Arab Emirates for a mission trip on climate change and agricultural adaptation.  

Check out the photos from the visit on Flickr.

During 1-5 March 2022, the delegation held several meetings with government leaders, attended events, had private tours to key locations, and also spent a day at the EXPO 2020 Dubai to visit multiple pavilions. The Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens was excited to be in Dubai and Abu Dhabi to promote its advocacy work on agricultural adaptation and global citizenship education.

On the first day of the trip, Co-chair Ban Ki-moon and CEO Monika Froehler met Minister H.E. Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri وزارة التغير المناخي والبيئة Ministry of Climate Change and Environment. They discussed UAE’s leadership on climate action and also the importance of financing climate adaptation.

 
Ban Ki moon with Mariam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Almheiri
Ban Ki-moon with H.E. Mariam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Almheiri, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment.

As an end to the day, Co-chair Ban Ki-moon joined a panel to discuss recovery from COVID19 and accepted the Social Humanitarian Award at the Asian Business Leadership Forum.

Ban Ki-moon on stage the Asian Business Leadership Forum to receive the Humanitarian Award.

Starting the second day with a visit to the UAE Special Envoy for Climate and Minister of Trade and Advanced Industry Co-chair Ban commended H. E. Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber,  for UAE’s pledge to an economy-wide reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 at the COP26. 

The BKMC delegation at the IRENA.

In the afternoon, the delegation was welcomed at the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) in Abu Dhabi. Co-chair Ban Ki-moon and CEO Monika Froehler had a VIP tour of the agency together with DG Francesco La Camera and Deputy DG Gauri Singh as well as a discussion on how crucial renewable energy is in our path towards a sustainable and green future.

In the evening, H.E. Lee Seok-gu, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to the UAE hosted a warm dinner reception at the Embassy of the Republic of Korea to the UAE.

Starting the day with an extensive visit at the GEMS School, Co-chair Ban Ki-moon and CEO Monika Froehler had a meeting with GEMS World Academy CEO Dr. Saima Rana to discuss how to better implement global citizenship education around the world and best practice examples from their curricula.

As Ambassador of the Model United Nations (MUN) of the GEMS World Academy, Co-chair Ban Ki-moon delivered a keynote at the MUN opening ceremony. He addressed the students and Executive Committee with a clear and inspirational message:

“You are the young generation. Use your voice to speak up. You are soon going to be responsible for this world.”
Ban Ki-moon on stage at the GEMS World Academy for a session on the status of the SDGs.

Throughout the day Ban Ki-moon and CEO Froehler held several discussions with different student groups on topics such as How Koreans can have a global impact, Approaches to Leadership, Sustainable Development Goals, skills required to overcome challenges. Ban Ki-moon Centre contributor and CEO of GEMS Education Dino Varkey hosted a dinner reception welcoming GEMS World Academy CEO Dr. Samai Rana to discuss continued collaborations on quality education.

BKMC Delegation in front of the Dubai Cares Pavillion at Expo2020.

To end the mission trip the BKMC delegation spent the day at EXPO 2020. While visiting the Dubai Cares pavilion Ban Ki-moon met with CEO Dr. Tariq Al Gurg, discussing the future of education and the role of lifelong learning.

Amid the ongoing war between Ukraine and Russia Co-chair Ban Ki-moon expressed his support for the Ukrainian people at the Ukrainian Pavilion. It was a delight to participate in a tour of the UN Pavilion where Co-chair Ban Ki-moon and CEO Monika Froehler saw how the setup inspired daily visitors to act for the SDGs. At the Korean Pavilion, the delegation learned about the future of smart cities and listened to a concert to experience Korean culture and Kpop.

 
The BKMC delegation at the Ukranian Pavillion at the EXPO2020.

An intimate gathering organized by BKMC Program Officer Viola Christian who was also part of the delegation allowed BKMC Fellow alumni Nada Al Turifi and Huda Al Salah an opportunity to discuss their achievements with Co-chair Ban Ki-moon in person for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

READ THE PRESS RELEASE OF FORMER UN SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON’S VISITS TO THE CLIMATE MINISTER AND CLIMATE ENVOY IN THE UAE.