UNECE Regional Forum on Sustainable Development 2019

The UNECE Regional Forum on Sustainable Development took place on 21 and 22 March 2019 in Geneva. The Forum brought together more than 800 pan-European stakeholders to exchange experiences about the progress and challenges in the implementation of the SDGs.

The BKMC gladly accepted the invitation to this important event and formed part of the wide range of civil society representatives, who are advocating political action for the SDGs.

The conference was chaired by H.E. Ms Ogerta Manastirliu who is Albania’s Minister of Health and Social Protection. In welcoming remarks, Deputy UN Secretary-General Amina Mohammed stressed the importance of the Regional Fora to understand how we can increase ambition and accelerate the implementation of the SDGs. Ms Olga Algayerova, UNECE Executive Secretary and Under-Secretary-General, underscored the RFSD’s convening power in the process of sustainable development.

A High-Level Policy Segment served to present Voluntary National Reviews of UNECE countries and facilitate peer-learning among the government representatives.

The second day addressed SDG 4 (Quality Education), 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth), 10 (Reduced Inequalities), 13 (Climate Action) and 16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions) in a variety of focus events, round tables and side events. Fruitful discussions and meaningful exchange explored the interlinkages of the SDGs.

When it comes to SDG 4 Quality Education, for example, the following challenges were identified:

  • urban-rural gaps
  • education for the elderly
  • effectively drawing on digitalization
  • disparities based on income, location, gender, immigration or minority status and disability
  • integration of Global Citizenship Education (GCED) into curricula

A report will summarize the key messages from the UNECE RFSD 2019 and provide the official input from the UNECE region to the 2019 High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) which will be held between 9 July and 18 July in New York. The HLPF is the United Nations’ central platform for follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals. The BKMC is pleased to have been an active part of the RFSD 2019 and have thereby contributed to the HLPF 2019.

BKMISD welcomes the University of Tokyo students to talk about the “Silk Road”

BKMC affiliated office the Ban Ki-moon Institute for Sustainable Development (BKMISD) jointly with the Faculty of Oriental Studies of the KazNU welcomed the students from The University of Tokyo to Almaty, Kazakhstan on March 13th.

In cooperation with the Faculty of Oriental Studies of the KazNU, The MDP Global Classroom, and the Model UN New Silk Way, the BKMISD hosted a scientific and practical seminar for Japanese students on the topic of “Kazakhstan on the Great Silk Road.”

The faculty members and undergraduates of both universities participated in this workshop, and the group also discussed ways to implement the strategic development of the universities and their academic mobility.

 

Photos: BKMISD

Ban Ki-moon stresses the importance of “resilient and sustainable cities” at the MIPIM 2019

From March 12th to 15th, 2019, the 30th edition of MIPIM, an real estate event, takes place in Cannes, France. It is the world’s leading real estate event gathering key players of the property market. The event allows people from different sectors of the industry to meet and bring the value chain together and provides a unique exhibition and networking platform to forge deals. This year, the main theme for the conferences is “Engaging the Future.”

At the opening ceremony, BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon delivered a keynote and stressed that

“we must ensure that our future cities are resilient and sustainable, creative and innovate, and inclusive and equitable.”

He pointed out that creating resilient and sustainable cities are they key to our future, and the climate change is the “most pressing threat standing in this path.” He also addressed how the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals can help in charting a thriving blueprint for the future.

“Goal 17 of the SDGs clearly highlights the prominent role that the private sector, alongside civil society, academia, and others, should play to help achieve the SDGs,” said Ban. “Global partnerships,” he stressed, “are necessary if we are to deliver on our development commitments.”

Photo by: Yann Coatsaliou

The Ban Ki-moon Institute for Sustainable Development hosts a MUN NSW conference

On March 11th, the Ban Ki-moon Institute for Sustainable Development (BKMISD), an affiliated office of the BKMC in Almaty, Kazakhstan, hosted a conference with students from Afghanistan.

With the theme “The Implication of the Doha Meeting on Building Peace in Afghanistan,” a Model United Nations round table was organized by the BKMISD in cooperation with the Faculty of Journalism of the Al-Farabi Kazakh National University and Afghan students from various universities in Almaty as part of a series of the New Silk Way International Model UN conferences (MUN NSW).

Representatives from the KazNU, Model UN, Qazaq-Afghan Association for Development and Partnership “AFGQAZ”, Afghan Information Agency and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Kazakhstan spoke at the conference, and the students actively asked questions.

 

 

To learn about the MUN NSW, visit: http://munnsw.kz/

Photos: BKMISD

The first “International Symposium on Youth Participation in Peace Processes” was successfully held!

The first “International Symposium on Youth Participation in Peace Processes” was held in Helsinki, Finland on March 5-6th where BKMC CEO Monika Froehler participated. The youth participants from all over the world openly discussed the improvements needed in the participation of youth in operational and political aspects to realize the United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 2250 (2015) and UNSCR 2419 (2018).

President of the United Nations General Assembly María Fernanda Espinosa listened to the youth activists’ appeals and said that “young people need support as agents of change” and that “young people help to reform the UN.”

The participants actively shared critical thoughts on the status quo of the actions taken and changes made about the resolutions for youth. Discussing what still needs to be improved in terms of including youth in the peace process, the young peacebuilders presented recommendations for the policy change and how they can contribute.

“Let us say enough to the misconceptions that have allowed young people’s capabilities and capacities for peacebuilding and sustaining peace to go unrecognized and undervalued,” said Wickramanayake.

Under the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland and the governments of Qatar and Colombia, the event was organized by the UNSG’s Envoy on Youth Jayathma Wickramanayake and Search for Common Ground in partnership with the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and United Network of Young Peacebuilders (UNOY).

“Build frameworks to engage youth in the way society is ruled and run. Inclusion is the name of the game,” said Colombian Minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo of Foreign Affairs at the symposium.

This symposium brought in lots of positive energy and strengthened bridges between the aspiring young leaders and the world leaders from different sectors and from different parts of the world. BKMC CEO Froehler expressed that lots of enthusiasm was evident during the symposium for “shining a light on youth participation in peace processes.”

Froehler emphasized that “the light gets stronger when we are shining together.”

Watch the livestreamed video of the symposium here: https://formin.videosync.fi/youth-participation-in-peace-processes

Photo by: Nikke Puskala

DASICON 2019 “Towards Global Citizenship: Home without Borders”

At DASICON 2019 held at the Diplomatic Academy in Vienna on March 1st and 2nd, ways to promote and adopt global citizenship in various sectors and regions were discussed with the topic of “Towards Global Citizenship: Home without Borders.”

Annually organized by youth, the students of the Diplomatic Academy, the conference gets together international experts, interested youth and stakeholders from relevant fields to interact and facilitates international dialogue.

This year, the mission was “Finding ways to think and act as global citizens to face future global challenges.” During the two-day conference, the following issues were addressed:

  • Participation in Digital Democracies
  • Change in Conflict Resolution
  • Dynamics in Identities
  • Innovation in Urban Life
  • Disruption in Business

BKMC Co-chair Heinz Fischer delivered keynote address at the conference, and CEO Monika Froehler featured as a panelist in the panel 1: “Global Governance and Global Citizenship​: A New Deal?”

During his keynote, Fischer said that “envisioning future implies remembering lessons from the past,” and that “more than ever before, we are in need of developing global mindset in order to solve the most pressing issues of our time.”

The conference interactively engaged the audience in sharing their opinions on the discussion topics through live polls. Froehler encouraged the audience and other global citizens to

“Think globally and act locally!”

The live-streaming of the event can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/DiplomaticAcademyVienna/videos/359378627983586?sfns=xmo

Photo: Organizers of DASICON 2019

BKMC strengthens its partnership with UNESCO APCEIU

On February 18th, 2019, the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens and its partner UNESCO APCEIU had an official MOU signing ceremony at the APCEIU office in Seoul, South Korea.

The two organizations electronically signed the MOU on October 19th, 2018 and have collaborated on promoting Global Citizenship Education (GCED), organizing experts’ meeting on education, and developing online courses on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and women’s empowerment. BKMC CEO Monika Froehler has also moderated a plenary session of the 3rd International Conference on GCED hosted by the APCEIU in Seoul in September 2018.

The MOU was signed by BKMC CEO Monika Froehler and APCEIU Director Chung Utak in order to work together on further promoting the notion of global citizenship and fostering many collaborative activities, including organizing meaningful workshops and conferences on GCED.

Upon the visit to the APCEIU office, the Centre also had an opportunity to introduce its work and mission to the professors of Kyung-Hee University, who were having a meeting to discuss implementing global citizenship courses as mandatory courses for all students at the university to take starting from this spring semester.