“Building Bridges”: The BKMC promotes Youth Engagement for the Sustainable Development Goals and the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty

As part of the Decade of Action to advance the SDGs and the Paris Climate Agreement, the BKMC is taking part in the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization’s (CTBTO) “Building Bridges, Nurture Partnership, Embrace Dialogue” project series in partnership with the Government of Switzerland, which invites youth organizations to engage with CTBTO Youth Group (CYG)  members to share best practices, ideas for cooperation, and build partnerships to lead for sustainable development, climate action, peace, and security advocacy.

On March 18, BKMC Program Officer Julia Zimmerman participated in a panel at the CTBTO’s second webinar “Building Bridges, together with five other youth-led NGOs/community groups, and especially stressed the role of youth as key to speeding up progress for the achievement of the SDGs and the connection between sustainable development and disarmament 

“We need to take on these challenges collectively and apply a global citizen mindset. That also includes in disarmament. There is no sustainable development without disarmament. There is no equal world without disarmament.” 

Ban Ki-moon Centre  Program Officer Julia Zimmerman

Program Officer Zimmerman also highlighted the BKMC’s role in guiding its fellows, scholars, mentors, and mentees in the implementation of SDG Micro Projects for their communities. These are best practice examples of youth contributing to accelerating action for sustainable development, an essential part of which is disarmament for the insurance of peace and security. 

Spot the challenge and find the solution. Everyone can take action for the SDGs in their communities.

Ban Ki-moon Centre  Program Officer Julia Zimmerman

The BKMC is looking forward to cooperating with the CTBTO, CYG, African Young Generation in NuclearGlobal Young Academy, Nuclear and Strategy Network – New Generation, YOUNGO, and the Sustainable Development Solutions Network to strengthen young people’s role in tackling challenges and leading within the global peace and security agenda. 

Click HERE to watch a recording of the Building Bridges Webinar.  

For more practical insights, check out “Youth, Peace & Security: A Programming Handbook”

Ban Ki-moon Centre 2020 Annual Report is Out!

We are thrilled to share the 2020 Annual Report of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens with you. We hope to inspire you with what we have accomplished together in 2020  and with what we will build on it in 2021 and beyond with your place in our valuable global network.

“We want to thank our co-chairs, our board, and all our partners and supporters for an unprecendented yet impactful year that gave us hope that with dedication, hope, and team spirit we can continue to contribute to a better future for all – leaving no one behind. “

Ban Ki-moon Centre CEO Monika Froehler

Read our report below, share it and join us in supporting global citizens around the world.

 

ENLIGHT Kickoff Week: University Network Launches with Energy and Ambition!

From March 1-5, 2021, the BKMC took part in ENLIGHT European University Network‘s official virtual kickoff, an alliance of nine European universities, striving for students to become lifelong learners and agents-of-change ready to tackle the challenges of tomorrow. The week was packed with exciting lectures, high-level roundtables, student-led sessions, and more! 

BKMC CEO and External Advisory Board member of ENLIGHT, Monika Froehler, joined two separate public sessions to share the message of the BKMC and to highlight the importance of instilling global citizenship knowledge, skills, and behaviors in students as well as fostering lifelong learning.

On March 2, CEO Froehler joined a high-level round-table​ discussion between ENLIGHT Rectors and the ENLIGHT External Advisors​. The discussion was themed, ‘Shaping communities – How can universities contribute to local and regional challenges?’ and featured three smaller roundtables o‘Learning and Teaching,’ ‘Research,’ ‘International Cooperation’ respectively

Taking part in the third roundtable on ‘International Cooperation, CEO Froehler underlined the incredible potential for sustainable impact through the ENLIGHT network:

“If only 1/3 of ENLIGHT students become gamechangers, this would make Europe a leading champion in multilateralism.”  – Monika Froehler

During the second roundtable on ‘Research, External Advisory Board member and BKMC Board Member, Irina Bokova (former Director-General of UNESCO), underlined academia’s role in contributing to the sustainable development agenda: 

“What is very important is for universities to introduce the concept of interdisciplinarity, lifelong learning & global citizenship education to prepare students for future challenges.”  – Irina Bokova

To conclude the discussion, the roundtable participants were asked to reflect on what attracts talented students to universities and the value proposition of ENLIGHT. The participants, including university Rectors and Presidents in addition to the esteemed External Advisorsremarked that the consortium will help to increase the talent pool at member universities as students will have the unique chance to benefit from the best educational opportunities available at all 9 universities. Each university has its strengths and together, the Enlight university members form a virtuous circle which helps individual universities develop along with the wider regions in which they are located.  

 

On March 4, CEO Froehler joined Flagship Lecture #3 on Global Engagement and Equity’ and presented a keynote themed, ‘Engaging Global Citizens for the Achievement of the SDGs.

During her talk, Monika outlined the key tenants of global citizenship and how the BKMC is working to engage and empower youth and women as actors for the SDGs. She also spoke about the role of ENLIGHT in educating engaged global citizens:

“We hope to fundamentally transform European Higher Education with ENLIGHT by empowering learners as engaged global citizens with state of the art knowledge, skills & innovation potential.” – Monika Froehler

Andrej Findor, Associate Professor and acting Director of European Studies and International Relations at Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia, focused his keynote on the comparative evaluation of equity, inclusion, and diversity (EID) indicators at nine European universities.  

The pandemic has intensified the exclusion of different types of people.For example, some students at Comenius are going through difficult socio-economical situations as their parents or even themselves are now unemployed.” – Andrej Findor

Nata DuvvurySenior Lecturer and Director, Centre for Global Women’s Studies and Co-Leader of Gender and Public Policy Cluster in the Whitaker Institute at National University of Ireland, Galway, focused her keynote on ‘Approaches to Equality: Mainstreaming or Intersectionality?’ Noting the mainstreaming equality isn’t enough, Duvvury described two clear ways forward to promote intersectionality within universities: 

1. Acknowledging and valuing diverse feminist, anti-racist, decolonial, and disability scholarship in the university.  

2. Taking actions to decrease class, gender, and racial inequality within the institutions. 

The BKMC is excited to be an Associated Partner of the ENLIGHT European University network and to have CEO Monika Froehler represented on the External Advisory Board! 

Stay tuned for news on exciting collaborations between the BKMC and ENLIGHT in the year ahead! 

 

To watch what ENLIGHT is all about: 

 

To watch the recordings of the launch:  

Launch of Cooperation with UNODC to foster ASEAN Youth Leadership for the SDGs

On Monday, 22 February, the BKMC signed a Project Cooperation Agreement with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), marking the launch of a partnership to foster ASEAN Youth Leadership for the SDGs, supported by the government of Japan.

Japan, as the host of this year’s Crime Congress, has put a strong emphasis on the inclusion of youth in criminal justice and crime prevention issues. The Southeast Asian region currently counts a population of 213 million youth constituting the largest ever cohort of ASEAN youth. Responding to this, the Education for Justice (E4J) Initiative of UNODC offered a platform for 33 young leaders of the region to respond to local challenges related to youth empowerment, education, and UNODC mandated-areas.

 

As part of UNODC’s Dialogue Series, the BKMC was asked to host a webinar series for 33 ASEAN youth leaders, focusing on the SDGs and Global Citizenship. The “ASEAN Youth for SDGs Webinar Series” takes between March and April of 2021 and will elevate the knowledge and skills of 33 ASEAN youth representatives to effectively contribute to the SDGs, take action, and become local SDG leaders. The BKMC will support the young leaders in planning individual SDG Micro-Projects in their communities, which respond to local challenges in the ASEAN, particularly challenges related to justice and the rule of law.

The Shadow Pandemic Action Brief

The 25th of every month has been designated “Orange Day” by the United Nations Secretary-General’s Campaign UNiTE to End Violence Against Women, to raise awareness and take action to end violence against women and girls.

On February 25th, the Ban Ki-moon Centre launched its Action Brief about the Shadow Pandemic at a roundtable hosted by UN Women. BKMC CEO Fröhler and Program Officer Viola Christian gave insights into this Brief by pointing out some of the effects of COVID-19 on VAWG and necessary action steps to eliminate this Shadow Pandemic.

The action brief is based on the findings of a roundtable organized by the BKMC, in November 2020. The virtual High-Level Roundtable addressed the Shadow Pandemic from the perspective of a variety of different stakeholders: Helen Clark, Former Prime Minister of New ZealandAngela Cretu, CEO of AvonMohammad Naciri, Regional Director of UN Women Asia and Pacific & Trisha Shetty, women’s rights activist and founder of SheSays. 

The present Action Brief compiles facts and statistics, as well as key findings and recommendations on the Shadow Pandemic during COVID-19. Learn about what you can do to end Violence Against Women and how all sectors can act below:

 

Climate Adaptation with Global Citizen

 

The COVID19 pandemic and its far-reaching impacts on the economy, climate, health, hunger, and education have halted and reversed the progress made for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Inequality among people, nations, and continents is getting worse. To call for global action, our partner organization Global Citizen has launched a new campaign that will feature their unique pop and policy approach.

The BKMC is very excited to be partnering with Global Citizen for the Recover Better Together Campaign. Building upon our Co-chair Ban Ki-moon’s twin legacies of the Paris Agreement and the SDGs, we are dedicated to being a part of this collective effort and amplifying the voices for the needs of smallholder farmers as well as building the capacity of youth and women to take action on climate adaptation – who are on the front lines of climate change as well as the COVID crisis.

2021 is the year we recover back better and call for increased political commitments. Partnering with Global Citizen on adaptation, the Ban Ki-moon Centre will join the collective effort to address climate change, focusing on building the climate resilience of smallholder farmers around the world.” – Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens Co-chair, Ban Ki-moon

As an environment partner to the Protect the Planet pillar of Global Citizen’s Recovery Plan, we have come together with Global Citizen for a two-year collaboration that will strive for a climate-change-resilient world – free of hunger by Elevating Agriculture Adaptation.

Anchored in the findings of the Global Commission on Adaptation (GCA), the partnership will help to increase political commitment and public support to build the resilience of 300 million small-scale farming households around the world. Global Citizen and the BKMC will work collaboratively to address agricultural adaptation and strive to secure new governmental commitments for climate-smart agriculture. Learn more about the program here.

Watch the launch of Global Citizen’s Recovery Plan above.

Conversation with Young Global Citizens

BKMC COO Katrin Harvey joined a group of young global citizens from France, USA, and Canada to discuss the idea behind global citizenship and how youth can be involved.

On 21.12.2020, COO Katrin Harvey was invited to an interactive chat, as a part of the World Series organized by the Young Global Citizens, a cross-border initiative to educate pupils of every age about global citizenship. The international audience ranged from elementary school to high school students as well as their teachers, all interested in becoming more involved with the Sustainable Development Goals and tackling climate change.

Hear from the students themselves:

“Hello! I am Jade and I am 12 years old from Blessed Sacrament School in Vancouver, Canada. 2 years ago we started working on a movement that would bring young people together to shape a better world. We felt even elementary-age students had something valuable to contribute, and talents and skills to share. Together, we created Young Global Citizens with our teachers and parents. Today we are leading series of interviews around the world to find out what it means to be a Global Citizen. A cause that I am passionate about is sharing about my culture, which is the Filipino culture. I am also a proud Canadian and I want everyone to feel welcome in this movement. That is what it means to be a Global Citizen, that we value and accept everyone.

“Hello my name is Sean, and I am 12 years old. Like Jade, I am from Vancouver where we started the idea of promoting positive values and making a difference. One thing I am passionate about is ocean life and water in general. I love fishing, I love swimming, and I love drinking water. I am worried ocean life is being devastated by climate change. That is why I am an active Young Global Citizen. I want to meet with scientists and learn real science and what science can do to find lasting sustainable solutions for our planet.”

Young Global Citizens is conducting series of Zoom interviews with business, cultural, political, and social leaders around the globe who are also trying to enact change. Their goal is to build a global coalition and report to Canadian Prime Minister Mr. Justin Trudeau on our findings.

Watch the full event below:

Program Officer Julia Zimmerman & GC Scholar Ruvimbo Samanga at Goals Afrika Awareness Campaign: SDGs and Agenda 2063 for Africa

On February 15, 2021, BKMC Program Officer Julia Zimmerman and Global Citizen Scholar 2020 Ruvimbo Samanga joined as speakers at the opening ceremony of “Goals Afrika Awareness Campaign: SDGs and Agenda 2063 for Africa.”

Goals Afrika is an international NGO based in South Africa and operational in 14 African countries, that is aiming to achieve sustainable development in the regions of Africa by promoting citizenship diplomacy. Together with Goals Afrika Co-founder and Permanent Secretary David Kasibante, Youth Advocate for Sustainable Development Deon Shekuza and UN Resident Coordinator Anthony Ohemeng-Boamah, BKMC Program Officer Julia Zimmerman and GC Scholar 2020 Ruvimbo Samanga joined for the opening ceremony of the campaign to discuss the SDGs, Agenda 2063 for Africa and the opportunities of instilling a ‘global citizen’ mindset and empowering women and youth for the realization of these ambitious agendas.

In her presentation, GC Scholar 2020 Ruvimbo Samanga emphasized that networks, financial funding, and partnerships are key enabling factors for women’s empowerment. 

“Education is the first stepping stone to empowering women” – Ruvimbo Samanga

She shared her personal journey with different women-led initiatives, the Rotaract Club, the UOOSA Space4Women + Space4Water and the Ban Ki-moon Global Citizen Scholarship Program 2020. All of these opportunities helped enable her participation in the ICT sector and made it possible for her to contribute to the SDGs through projects like her SDG Micro-Project ‘AgriSpace’ which provides farmers in Zimbabwe with agricultural data through Satellite Technologies for sustainable farming.

BKMC Program Officer Julia Zimmerman’s presentation centered on the importance of adapting a “global citizen mindset” for the achievement of the SDGs and the value proposition of empowering youth and women as active shapers of our collective sustainable future. She emphasized that achieving both the SDGs and Agenda 2063 should not be viewed only as a challenge, but also as an incredible opportunity for African communities.

“Women and youth are our greatest resources for achieving a sustainable future for us all.” – Julia Zimmerman

Creating supportive networks and partnerships and empowering women and youth as global citizen leaders, are great opportunities to advance Agenda 2030 and Agenda 2063 in Africa. Julia also presented some examples of the BKMC’s work, including the Ban Ki-moon Global Citizen Scholarship Program 2020 which produced outstanding SDG Micro-Projects led by six African changemakers, and the three online courses offered by the Centre on the SDGs, Global Citizenship and Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment, which are all freely available on the website of the BKMC for interested individuals.

     

The Launch Campaign ended with an engaging Q&A and a call for more investment into women and youth in African countries.

Stay tuned for our next call for applications for the Global Citizen Scholarship Program 2021.

To find out more about Goals Afrika & Agenda 2063 in Africa click here

Where Does Our Breakfast Come From?

Guest Blog by SIMC Master Student, Adélaïde MORILLOT

As the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) continue to gain importance and visibility in our societies and lifestyles, so too does the need to build a widespread understanding of the issues that relate to these goals. As the Strategy and Innovation (SIMC) students at the Vienna University of Economics and Business we were excited to collaborate with the Ban-Ki Moon Centre on a workshop about sustainable agriculture and food value chains. This workshop was designed by the BKMC to raise awareness about the impact of different agricultural food chains and to encourage more sustainable buying behaviors by capacity building.

 

After a brief introduction of the BKMC’s work, presented by Communications Officer Katre Olmez, we got to know more about the SDGs and food supply chains through a keynote from COO Katrin Harvey. The workshop continued with an eye-opening interactive exercise, in which as students we were divided into breakout rooms to research the supply chains of certain breakfast items, including almond milk, cow’s milk, avocados, tea, and coffee. We looked into indicators such as transportation methods, cold chain management, and water consumption throughout the process… did you know that it takes ~5 liters of water to grow a single almond?!

The event ended with a lively discussion about each group’s findings on where breakfast comes from.  We gained many valuable insights into the impact of the supply chains of some of our favorite food items. This led to an interesting understanding of the ecological footprint of some items, and also to some ideas of how we can consume food more sustainably.

We look forward to more engagements with the BKMC, as we all need to shift towards more sustainable habits for a better future! 

SIMC Instagram  SIMC LinkedIn

NOTE: The BKMC is focusing on a new program, Elevating Agricultural Adaptation (EAA), which aims to tackle the issue of agricultural adaptation of small-holder farmers and strive to secure new commitments. In this context, this event provided a platform to raise awareness about food systems and sustainable agriculture. Learn more about the program here.

     

Joining forces with the Centre for Feminist Foreign Policy

Starting the new year with a new partnership, the BKMC and the Centre for Feminist Foreign Policy (CFFP) signed a Memorandum of Understanding. The collaboration aims to strengthen cooperation in the fields of gender equality, climate change, sustainable development, and global citizenship through the lens of intersectional feminism.

The two organizations have already worked together on multiple occasions throughout 2020. CFFP Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director Kristina Lunz shared her inspirational journey with BKMC CEO Monika Froehler as a guest of our #superwomen interview series. She also appeared as an expert speaker focusing on the importance of breaking down patriarchal power structures for a world free of violence against women at the “Education, Empowerment and Effective Policies: Preventing Gender-Based Violence” event hosted by the BKMC during Orange the World.

Stay tuned to learn about our joint project on climate justice, aiming to train young climate activists on advocacy and implementation strategies for effective and impactful climate action.

ABOUT CFFP

The Centre for Feminist Foreign Policy is a research, advocacy, and consulting organization based in Berlin, dedicated to promoting feminist foreign policy across the globe.