BKMC CEO Monika Froehler speaks at the Sunday Brunch hosted by the Members of the European Parliament

The Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens’ CEO Monika Froehler spoke at a monthly event hosted by MEP (Member of the European Parliament) Lukas Mandl in Vienna on November 17th.

“The European Union countries provide great examples of how the SDGs can be best implemented. The UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network and Bertelsmann Stiftung‘s SDG Index and Dashboards ranking countries globally are the evidence to that. The Ban Ki-moon Centre is working with this data to do its share, ” said Froehler, introducing the work and mandate of the Centre to the audience.

 

This time, the event was specially co-hosted by MEP Barbara Thaler and Lukas Mandl and featured Ambassador Sami Ukelli of the Embassy of Kosovo in Vienna together with BKMC CEO Froehler as special speakers.

© MEP Lukas Mandl’s Office

Ban Ki-moon Centre co-hosts a peace talk with the WEP Asia fellows from Afghanistan

The Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens, the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna, and the Women in International Security (WIIS) Austria co-hosted an event titled “A Long Road to Peace: Realities, Hopes, and Visions from Afghanistan” in Vienna, Austria on October 8th, 2019. The WEP Asia fellows participated in the event, especially those from Afghanistan featuring as speakers.

Naeem Poyesh, Deputy Head and Counselor of the Embassy and Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in Vienna, pointed out some of the main problems of the peace process in Afghanistan.

“There are many actors, but they have different goals,” said Poyesh.

He also addressed the issue of gender inequality in the peace process as women in Afghanistan society are rather expected to stay home.

Poyesh emphasized that

“we should seek peace” and that “we should not follow the seasonal policies based on elections and relationships,”

Viola Christian, Coordinator of the Women’s Empowerment Program, introduced to the gathered crowd the mission and the work of the Ban Ki-moon Centre as well as the WEP Asia fellows from Afghanistan, who came up to the stage to present their stories.

Laleh Rahimi from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan suggested solutions for the challenges faced in Afghanistan:

 

  1. All segments of society and people should jump into solving the challenges with common goals and unity.
  2. Afghanistan needs help and cooperation from the international community.
  3. “Educating women is so important!

“We have to raise our voices,” said Sohalia Rezaee, co-founder of the Afghanistan Youth Empowerment and Peace Building Organization (AYEPO).

She shared her story about being an Afghan refugee in Iran as well as other challenges she has faced as a young woman in her country after she returned. She was denied to go to school, asked to get married in early age, and lost her best friend during an attack.

In order for her to empower herself as well as other young women in her society, she established AYEPO and taught female students in high school age “leadership, personal skills and peacebuilding skills.”

The event also hosted a panel which was moderated by Professor Ebrahim Afsah of the University of Vienna and consisted of:

  • Farida Amiri, Founder of Peace Friends
  • Munira Aziz, European Union Delegation, Afghanistan
  • Hooria Sardarzaada, Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs of Afghanistan

Amiri shared her experience as a young female entrepreneur peace-builder and pointed out that it is difficult for young people and women “to take part in the decision-making process.”

She said, “our views, concerns, and commitments have to be showed to the international community and included at the table.”

Professor Afsah asked the panel,

“What is the role of international actors?”

Aziz responded with the importance of sustainability and accessibility:

“The support of the international community is crucial to build sustainable peace” she said, “the international community plays an essential role in including the remote areas and the marginalized communities.”

When Professor Afsah asked the panel about the role of private initiatives, Sardarzaada answered:

“It should be localized.”

“Education is the key.”

She said that “the Afghan government should speak on behalf of us and “work in unity” with the private sector and its allies and partners.

After the panel discussion, a number of the participants stayed longer to have a deeper conversation with the speakers and to have their questions answered regarding the peace-building process and women’s empowerment.

© BKMC / Eugenie Berger

 

BKMC CEO Monika Froehler stresses the importance of GCED and E4J at the UNODC Conference

The Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens team and the Women’s Empowerment Program Asia (WEP Asia) fellows participated in the International High-Level Conference “Educating for the rule of law: Inspire. Change. Together.” hosted by UNODC’s Doha Declaration Global Programme in Vienna, Austria on October 7th, 2019.

BKMC CEO Monika Froehler participated in Session II “‘Talking’ rule of law & ‘building bridges’: comprehensive approaches to building a culture of lawfulness and also moderated Session III “Creative approaches to strengthening the rule of law through education: good practices from around the world.”

“Education for justice should be taught at all levels,” said Froehler at the Session II.

She introduced existing initiatives and best practices of education for justice (E4J) such as UNESCO publications, UNESCO APCEIU’s GCED Online Campus, SDG Academy’s edX, OSCE, UNODC’s Education for Justice, and more. She said that different forms and tools of education that are effective should be adapted and utilized.

She said, “education on Global Citizenship and the SDGs is the key” and “what is spent for weapons should rather be spent for education.”

As Froehler introduced the WEP Asia fellows to the crowd, she emphasized that youth empowerment is crucial and also that

“we need to focus on ladies and girls, and we need to educate them to be part of the movement, change, and these initiatives.”

Patricia Colchero, Coordinator of Research and Studies at the National System for the Integral Protection of Children and Adolescents of Mexico, said that

“we need to respect educators and youth, and rules should be applied fairly.”

She also emphasized that emotional skills should be taught and developed along with the traditional education on knowledge.

Yoshimitsu Yamauchi, Assistant Vice-Minister of Justice of Japan, said that general education taught in a family also contributes to the overall development of society. Sharing collaborative examples between the educational sector and the justice sector, he stressed the importance of mutual understanding, involving the private sector, treating the rules equally, and seeing what is behind the constitution.

Salem Al-Ali, Assistant Secretary-General of the Prevention Sector at the Kuwait Anti-Corruption Authority, also emphasized on the importance of youth engagement:

“education policy should be extended all the way to youth and young generation so that they can fight corruption.”

During Session III, best practices and challenges of education for justice in Brazil, Macedonia, Qatar, and Nigeria were presented. Aly Jetha, President and CEO of a cartoon company Big Bad Boo Studios, shared his company’s efforts in utilizing cartoons to educate children for justice and to teach them a global citizenship mindset.

The audience also actively involved themselves in the discussion and shared various perspectives. A representative from Ukraine said that informal education that comes from communications and/or home brings values that cannot be learned but can only be earned through one’s engagements and soul. The Ambassador for Nigeria spoke about the existing language barrier for education, stressing the importance of providing access to education for all. A youth representative from Thailand also said that people from diverse backgrounds should be able to feel that they are represented.

As a closing remark, Dr. Zainab Bagudu, First Lady of Kebbi State of Nigeria, said that

“the world needs to invest in education now.”

The Conference successfully provided the international community with an opportunity to discuss ways and means to promote education for the rule of law through diversified and creative educational approaches and activities.

© BKMC / Eugenie Berger

WEP Asia fellows actively discuss on the topics of leadership and global issues at tailor-made training sessions

Since the program kicked off on September 30th, the global citizen fellows of the Women’s Empowerment Program Asia (WEP Asia) have actively participated in a number of tailor-made training sessions.

  • Pitching & Presenting – Skills and Capacity Training by Kate WALKER (Lecturer, University of Vienna; Independent Consultant)
  • “Taking urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts” by Reinhard STEURER (Associate Professor, Institute of Forest, Environmental and Natural Resource Policy, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences)
  • Leveraging Differences: Building Cross-Cultural Management and Leadership Capacity for Game Changers & Cosmopolitan Leadership for a Complex World by Andreas Sami PRAUHART (Leadership and Development Catalyst and Policy Advisor)


“Climate change is not about some species going extinct. It is about whether we will survive in the next 200 years,” Steurer said.

During the lecture, the fellows shared their own views on climate change, what needs to be done and beyond.

“One part of the negotiation is justice,” said Prauhart who taught the importance of building communication skills to reach mutually beneficial solutions.

Critical questions were raised such as:

  • “What would you do with an apple when two different parties want it?”
  • “How can we overcome the adaptive challenges that we face in our workplaces?”

During their visit to the United Nations Vienna, the WEP Asia fellows also listened to Director Martin Nesirky of the United Nations Information Service Vienna (UNIS) who shared the role of UNIS in giving service to different UN organizations, amplifying their work, and seeking partnerships with the private sector.

Christoph Bierwirth, Head of UNHCR Liaison Office to the OSCE and Vienna-based UN Agencies, and Marie-Claire Sowinetz from the UNHCR Austria also gave lectures on the work of the UNHCR, including its advocacy to raise awareness on refugee issues and to integrate refugees into society.

© BKMC / Eugenie Berger

WEP Asia fellows participate in a round table with women leaders

The Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global CItizens together with the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna hosted a Round Table: “Effective Women Leadership” for the Women’s Empowerment Program (WEP) Asia participants on October 2nd in Vienna, Austria. The event was moderated by BKMC CEO Monika Froehler and featured outstanding women leaders as panelists:

  • Lulua Asaad, Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Officer at UNODC
  • Selma Prodanovic, CEO and Founder of 1MillionStartups
  • Vera Strobachova Budway, Senior Coordination Advisor, Gender Section, OSCE
  • Helena Zimmerdahl, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Sweden in Vienna

The event provided a secured space where the fellows freely shared their personal stories, discussed various challenges they are facing, and received advice from the senior women leaders. Critical questions were raised such as

“What is a good/bad leader?”

“How can we make men with closed mind listen to us?”

“How can we overcome the challenges we are facing?”

 

 

 

 

 

Prodanovic said that the WEP Asia fellows have already achieved so much and that it is important for them to reflect on what they have done to succeed and think about how to further amplify the efforts.

She said, “the fact that you ladies are here shows that you are among the top 1% that cares about women’s empowerment” and encouraged the group to “follow your inner voice, and do the right thing!”

Budway shared her motto and encouraged the aspiring young women leaders to be “open for new challenges.

She said that one can become an expert in anything that she desires and is passionate about.

“Take risks; don’t be afraid. Step out of your comfort zone!” 

Zimmerdahl also reminded the young fellows that they don’t have to be good at everything. She continued, “Go easy on yourself. You are very capable but do not have to do it all” and encouraged the individuals to create their exit strategy and work on it.

“Even if you have chosen a path, if it does not make you feel comfortable, don’t be afraid to change this path.”

 

 

 

 

Asaad said, “leadership is not only about leading but having an impact on society and on the people around us.” She also stressed that “leadership is also about being authentic and being true to oneself.”

She then added that “the network that we have as women and with women is so important as we are essential in promoting each other” but that “Gender equality is a responsibility for everyone: boys, men, girls, and women.”

In consequence of the round table, Froehler moderated a workshop during which the WEP Asia fellows came up with their own list of the most important elements for being a good woman leader.

The group created a manifesto that consists of total 16 elements with which they will further develop their leadership skills and continue to make changes:

  • Let me be wrong in my way!
  • Lower your expectations.
  • Be vulnerable; Embrace yourself.
  • Dare to delegate.
  • Ask for help when needed.
  • Make small steps and celebrate small successes.
  • Change is not easy, but it was your choice.
  • Amplify; Speak for yourself.
  • Raise your voice even ignored or interrupted.
  • Amplify the voice of another woman.
  • Teach boys and men about gender equality.
  • Share inspirational stories about other women in other communities.
  • Read a book that inspires you.
  • Share what you find inspiring.
  • Find a mentor and a supporting system.
  • Get out of your comfort zone.
© BKMC / Eugenie Berger

BKMC welcomes the Women’s Empowerment Program Asia fellows!

In cooperation with the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna, the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens hosted a welcome reception for the fellows of the Women’s Empowerment Program Asia on September 30th, 2019.

Co-chair Heinz Fischer welcomed the crowd and introduced the history of Austria as a former President of Austria, and BKMC CEO Monika Froehler and Deputy Director Susanne Keppler-Schlesinger of the Diplomatic Academy also delivered remarks on the first day of the program.

“More than ever does the world need young female leaders like yourself to advocate for a sustainable future with a fresh and innovative mind,” said Co-chair Ban Ki-moon in his video message.

Among the participants were BKMC Board member Ambassador Shin Chae-hyun of the Embassy of South Korea in Vienna, Ambassador Khojesta Fana Ebrahimkhel of the Embassy of Afghanistan in Vienna, and Director Martin Nesirky of the United Nations Information Service.

Watch Ban Ki-moon’s message:

© BKMC / Eugenie Berger

4th GEEF Preparatory Meeting Held in New York City at the Margins of the UNGA

This past September, the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens hosted the 4th and final preparatory meeting for its annual landmark forum, the Global Engagement and Empowerment Forum (GEEF).

Ban Ki-moon Centre CEO Monika Froehler, accompanied by Board member Andrea Pfanzelter and Program Officer Julia Zimmerman, travelled to New York for the UNGA high-level week to promote the upcoming GEEF (February 26-27, 2020) and to meet with colleagues from IGEE as well as other stakeholders.

Professor Joonhong Park and Professor Taein Park from IGEE joined the Ban Ki-moon Centre team in promoting the Forum at diverse meetings held at the margins of the UNGA.

Among these meetings, the delegation met with the SDSN’s SDG Academy team including Chandrika Bahadur, President of the SDSN Association. The Director of SDSN, Professor Jeffrey Sachs, is also a Board member of the Ban Ki-moon Centre. During the meeting, the group discussed the role of education for the sustainable development and global citizenship and how it can be promoted.

The delegation also attended the International Conference on Sustainable Development (ICSD) hosted at Columbia University, met with Ban Ki-moon Centre Co-chair Ban Ki-moon at a high-level event hosted by the Elders and the International Rescue Committee, had a meeting with Ban Ki-moon Centre Board member Michael Sheldrick at the headquarters of Global Citizen, and met with the Secretary-General of Club de Madrid Maria Elena Agüero.

This year, as with the past two years, the GEEF will be held at Yonsei University in Seoul, Korea and will be co-hosted by the IGEE and the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens. The forum will take place on February 26-27 2020 and the guiding-theme is “Planet, Peace and Partnerships.” We hope to see you there!

Co-chair Ban Ki-moon spoke at the CEO Roundtable: Delivering Progress for Refugees

As Deputy Chair of the Elders, Co-chair Ban Ki-moon spoke at the CEO Roundtable on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly on September 24th.

This event was convened by president and CEO of the International Rescue Committee (IRC) David Miliband on behalf of the Business Refugee Action Network (BRAN) and moderated by CNN’s chief business correspondent Christine Romans.

“Now, more than ever before, business has a critical role to play in tackling the situation of the most vulnerable. It includes funding programs that provide refugees with opportunities to regain control of their futures, advocating for policies that support refugee access and inclusion, and building markets that create economic opportunities for refugees.” — David Miliband

At this event, business leaders including Richard Branson, Founder of the Virgin Group and Co-Founder of The B Team, and Matthew McCarthy, CEO of Ben & Jerry’s, came together to show their ongoing commitment to improve the lives of refugees and to call on government to include refugees in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Source IRC

© ZIMBO, Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens

Co-chair Ban Ki-moon launched the “Year of Action” of the Global Commission on Adaptation with Bill Gates and Kristalina Georgeieva

“Action is imperative if we want all people, especially those living on the frontlines of climate change, and our children, who will inherit the impacts of climate change, to have the opportunity for a better future. During our Year of Action, we will implement climate-resilient solutions all over the world so we can save lives, reduce risk, strengthen economies, and protect our environment. We no longer have any time to waste.” – Ban Ki-moon

Built on the momentum of the UN Climate Action Summit on September 24th, the Global Commission on Adaptation was launched a Year of Action to accelerate and scale climate adaptation solutions.

The Commission is led by Ban Ki-moon, 8th Secretary General of the United Nations; Bill Gates, Co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; and Kristalina Georgieva, CEO of the World Bank.

“Without urgent adaptation action, we risk undermining food, energy, and water security for decades to come. Continued economic growth and reductions in global poverty are possible despite these daunting challenges—but only if societies invest much more in adaptation. The costs of adapting are less than the cost of doing business as usual. And the benefits many times larger” – Ban Ki-moon

At the event that took place in the UN headquarters, the Commission leaders and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, and Dutch Water Management Minister Van Nieuwenhuizen launched eight Action Tracks that focus on the following areas: Finance and Investment, Food Security and Agriculture, Nature-Based Solutions, Water, Cities, Locally-Led Action, Infrastructure, and Preventing Disasters. Together, these actions form a comprehensive platform for urgent, bold and equitable adaptation.

More than 75 national governments, multilateral banks, civil society organizations and private sector actors have signed on to support and deliver on these initiatives. The Commission and its partners will mobilize political, technical, and financial support for adaptation, through both existing initiatives and new coalitions for change.

Over the next 12 months, the Commission will be working on climate solutions to regions that are vulnerable to climate change, solutions such as reinforcing coastal areas and future-proofing urban infrastructure. The “Year of Action” will run until the Dutch Climate Adaptation Summit, to be held in Amsterdam on 22 October 2020.

Sources: World Resources InstituteGovernment of the Netherlands

© DRRRF 

Co-chair Heinz Fischer at the World Manufacturing Convention 2019 Pre-talk

On September 19th, BKMC Co-chair Heinz Fischer had a pre-talk at the World Manufacturing Convention hosted in Hefei of Anhui province with former Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, former German president Christian Wulff, former French president Francois Hollande, Anhui Governor Li Guoyang and Anhui Party Secretary Li Jinbin.

The World Manufacturing Convention (WMF) 2019 kicked off on September 20th and will last until 23rd. This event with a theme of ‘Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Creativity: Embracing the New Era of Manufacturing,’ aims to create a new future for smart, sustainable manufacturing by connecting manufacturers around the world.

During his intervention, Co-chair Fischer put an emphasis on the importance of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in economic development and in the context of the World Manufacturing Convention 2019.

This Convention is also expected to draw more than 4,000 participants from more than 60 countries and region, including those involved in the Belt and Road Initiative.