Ban Ki-moon stresses the “Urgency for Transformative Action” for climate change

The Global Programming Conference hosted by the Green Climate Fund (GCF) kicked off on August 19th in Incheon, South Korea. BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon delivered a keynote at the Plenary Session “Urgency for Transformative Action: The 1.5 Degree Celsius Imperative.”

The Conference served as a platform for high-level dialogue on country and entity programming plans with the GCF and invited developing countries to discuss the demand for GCF resources. Those resources move the countries towards low emission and climate-resilient pathways in line with the objectives of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Paris Agreement.

Ban Ki-moon was the very person who convened 195 countries in Paris to adopt the world’s first universal climate change agreement called the Paris Agreement in 2015. He currently also serves as President and Chair of the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) and leads the Global Commission on Adaptation.

Conference Agenda: https://bit.ly/2KSkuYT
Learn more about the Paris Agreement: https://unfccc.int/process-and-meetings/the-paris-agreement/the-paris-agreement

BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon meets with the Party Secretaries of Weihai and Qingdao in Shandong

‪Upon his visit to Shandong province in China on August 15th, BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon met with Mr. Wang Luming, Party Secretary of Weihai City, and Mr. Wang Qingxian, a member of the Standing Committee of the Shandong Provincial Party Committee and Party Secretary of Qingdao City.

Weihai is a commercial port and major fishing center with some light industries. Due to its close proximity to South Korea, Weihai also has a large Korean business community and receives a good number of Korean tourists. Qingdao is also a major seaport, naval base, and industrial center of the country and has the highest GDP of any city in Shandong province. It is also a major nodal city of the One Belt, One Road (OBOR) Initiative that connects Asia with Europe.

BKMC celebrates the International Youth Day and urges all the young people in the world to act as global citizens!

Happy International Youth Day!

August 12th marks the international youth day, which was designated by the United Nations General Assembly in 1999 and serves as an annual celebration of the role of young women and men as essential partners in change, and an opportunity to raise awareness of challenges and problems facing the world’s youth.

This year’s theme of the day is “Transforming Education.”

There are currently 1.8 billion young people between the ages of 10 and 24 in the world. This is the largest youth population ever. However, more than half of all children and adolescents aged 6-14 lack basic reading and maths skills, despite the fact that the majority of them are attending school. This global learning crisis threatens to severely hamper progress towards the SDGs.

Co-chair Ban Ki-moon hopes that youth “can help widen respect for all people, expand care for our earth and its resources, and enhance the development of other young people through both education and guiding moral values.”

On this special day today, we should also ruminate upon what Co-chair Heinz Fischer urges young people to:
“Please challenge your leaders, your friends, your colleagues, and even yourselves. Inspire those around you to care about the world we share.”
Read more about the International Youth Day: https://www.un.org/en/events/youthday/
Photo: IGEE

Young social leaders from Latin America visits BKMC to share their work and vision for the SDGs

The Global School for Social Leaders (former Latinomics) brought 13 social entrepreneurs and change-makers from Latin America to the Ban Ki-moon Centre on August 8th, 2019. The group consisted of individuals from across the region, including Mexico, Peru, Venezuela, Columbia, Argentina, and Honduras and who came to discuss on the topic of global citizenship and  Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Each individual shared their own ideas and works that are committed to the betterment of their society and to advancing the SDGs. Interesting projects were introduced, including supporting the rights of women prisoners and their children, having food as a core of social transformation, developing a mentorship project online, transforming modules in education for children, and so on.

 

“You are forging partnerships to make these Goals happen!” BKMC CEO Monika Froehler spoke to the group.

Froehler moderated a couple of exercises with the group to get to know more about the SDGs and global citizenship from diverse perspectives. Presenting the 17 SDG signs, she asked the group “what do you consider as a game-changer for the world by 2050?” by bringing up climate change as one of the biggest challenges the world is currently facing. In the end, every Goal and its impacts were mentioned, which showed how all the SDGs are interconnected and comparable to achieve.

The group then got divided into small groups to work on drawing a character that represents their own definition of the notion of global citizenship. Each character looked different and unique, but they shared many common characteristics such as respecting others, advocating for gender equality, embracing different cultures, preserving resources and nature, and aiming for sustainable development and peace.

 

Froehler said, “if all these characteristics are implemented into your projects and initiatives, the SDGs can be reached.”

She introduced to the group some of the successful cases of social movements and initiatives such as Fridays For Future, Alibaba, and Global Citizen.

 

Roberto Arrucha, Director of the Global School for Social Leaders, concluded that

“we need all leaders from all sectors and all directions. By finding these initiators and actors, we can contribute to making changes.”

Ban Ki-moon delivers a keynote on the topic of education and peace at the One Asia Convention 2019

At the One Asia Convention 2019 took place in Seoul, South Korea on August 5-6th, 2019, BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon delivered a keynote on the topic of education and peace.

Ban expressed his concern that “it is inevitable that the conflicts between nations exist when I look at a number of countries in the world” and stressed that “such issues to be solved in a constructive way.”

He stressed the crucial role and necessity of education that fosters future experts who would contribute to solving conflicts on top of the issues we are facing and make drastic changes in order to promote sustainability, capacity, and peace.

Following the keynote speech, a round table was hosted under the theme of “Education and Peace” on the first day. On the second day, the convention also had breakout sessions divided into the following four fields;
・Reports of the course on Asian Community
・Politics, Economics, Environment and Social Matters
・History, Education, Thought, Philosophy and Religion
・Culture, Media, Arts and Others

In total, 650 scholars and students from 325 universities in 32 countries and regions attended the convention.

Learn more about the One Asia Convention Seoul 2019: http://www.oneasia.or.jp/en/activity/activities.html
Photos: Konkuk University

Ban Ki-moon urges Scout members to be global citizens at the Jamboree!

As the former United Nations Secretary-General and current Honorary President for the Korea Scout Association, Co-chair Ban Ki-moon delivered an opening address at the 24th World Scout Jamboree held in West Virginia, USA.

“We don’t have a Plan B because we don’t have a Planet B. That is the most important message for us,” said Ban.

He stressed that climate change is the number one priority and that we should urge national leaders to act as global leaders to abide by the Paris Agreement.

The Scout Jamboree had high visibility of the UN’s SDGs, advocating for the rights of refugees and gender equality through UN Women’s HeForShe Baton campaign. Ban visited global development village and sites to meet and encourage young leaders to act with a global citizenship mindset. He also delivered a talk to the gathered young participants who sat around him about “young people and the future of the planet.”

At the Jamboree, BKMC Board member Ahmad Alhendawi who serves as the Secretary-General of the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM) said that

“if we don’t change all the time, trying to improve the program, we wouldn’t last this long.”

He added that the Scout Movement is built on unity and understanding and that the young members of it “truly set the example of how the world out there should be.”

Photo © Jean-Pierre POUTEAU 2019, World Scouting

Co-chair Ban Ki-moon congratulates James Lynch on taking his new position as the Head of the UNHCR Korea

UNHCR Korea has a new representative, James Lynch, who serves as the Head of the office starting from this month, August 2019, as the successor of Naveed Hussain. He paid a visit to the Ban Ki-moon Foundation For a Better Future in Seoul on July 30th to meet with Co-chair Ban Ki-moon.
Ban congratulated him on taking a new leadership role at the UNHCR Korea, and the two discussed on the topic of both domestic and international refugee issues and the role of the UNHCR office in Seoul. Lynch has been working with the UNHCR for 30 years and has served in countries like Thailand, Kenya, Croatia, Iraq, Sri Lanka, and Lebanon.
UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is a global organization dedicated to saving lives, protecting rights and building a better future for refugees, forcibly displaced communities and stateless people. The Agency works to ensure that everybody has the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge, having fled violence, persecution, war or disaster at home.
Ⓒ UNHCR Korea

HeForShe at the World Scout Jamboree, Youth Leading the Way

HeForShe at the World Scout Jamboree, Youth Leading the Way

  • World Scouting, in partnership with HeForShe – the global solidarity movement for gender equality, invites international Scouts to commit to gender equality, engaging over 40,000 Scouts at the 24th World Scout Jamboree.
  • The partnership for gender equality between HeForShe and World Scouting builds momentum as thousands of international Scouts join the HeForShe movement, filling a critical gap to engage both girls and boys in achieving gender equality.
  • The HeForShe Baton – a traveling symbol of the HeForShe global solidarity movement – was passed from World Scouting Secretary General Ahmad Alhendawi to former United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, sharing the mantle for gender equality ahead of the 2023 World Scouting Jamboree in South Korea.

Beckley, West Virginia August 2, 2019:  The UN Women HeForShe Initiative and the World Scout Movement have this week helped move the needle on gender equality at the 24th World Scout Jamboree in West Virginia, USA, with 40,000 youth from over 150 countries. This partnership is the result of World Scouting’s commitment to the global solidarity movement HeForShe.

The 24th World Scout Jamboree, the largest global youth education event and an international gathering of Scouts, was held July 22 through August 2 and saw tens of thousands of international Scouts come to learn and discuss issues of development and gender equality. Scouts also showed their commitment to gender equality by signing up to join the HeForShe movement for gender equality online. Scouts from around the world participated in gender “Scout Talks” and engaged the HeForShe Action Kit for Scouts to explore the role that they can play in their societies to create a gender equal world.

“By learning about gender equality and talking about what it means in today’s world, these young people are taking important steps as a new generation of allies,” commented UN Under-Secretary General and Executive Director of UN Women Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka. “There is great mobilization potential here, given the 50 million or so Scouts worldwide. This is a partnership that can bring the HeForShe movement’s messages of change into whole communities.”

Ahmad Alhendawi, Secretary General of World Scouting, reinforced his commitment to gender equality and to inspiring millions of Scouts to create a more gender equal world by joining the HeForShe movement.

“This World Scout Jamboree is a point where we culminate and emphasize this commitment by joining forces with Scouts around the world to champion gender equality and to say as Scouts: we are HeForShe,” said Alhendawi.

“We believe that this Jamboree is a major highlight in our partnership, but our efforts to continue mobilizing young people for gender equality will go far beyond this event.”

In 2017, World Scouting Secretary General, Alhendawi became a HeForShe Champion with an ambition to see 50 million Scouts commit to achieving gender equality. Thousands of Scouts have already responded with a resounding “Count me in!”, and many more joined the movement in West Virginia.  

Also present was former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, on hand to welcome the world to the next World Scout Jamboree to be held in South Korea in 2023.

“As the very first man to sign up to be HeForShe, I am especially proud to see how far the movement has come, and that it continues to grow stronger. The partnership between HeForShe and World Scouting is a testament to cooperation, solidarity and progress in our world,”

stated Mr. Ban, who championed the HeForShe Initiative during his UN Secretary-General tenure and is currently the patron of the 2023 Word Scout Jamboree.

As a highlight of the closing ceremony of the Jamboree, World Scouting Secretary-General Ahmad Alhendawi passed the HeForShe Baton to Ban Ki-moon, symbolizing a sharing of responsibility to mobilize men and boys to stand up for gender equality. “As we accept the baton of hosting this wonderful event, we also receive the HeForShe Baton for gender equality and take on the responsibility to build a more gender-equal world. There is no better place to start than our youth,” added the former UN Secretary-General.

About HeForShe

Created by UN Women, the United Nations entity for gender equality and the empowerment of women, the HeForShe solidarity movement for gender equality provides a systematic approach and targeted platform where a global audience can engage and become change agents for the achievement of gender equality in our lifetime. HeForShe invites people around the world to stand together as equal partners to craft a shared vision of a gender-equal world and implement specific, locally relevant solutions for the good of all of humanity.

About World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM)

Scouting is the world’s leading educational youth movement, engaging millions of young people to be active citizens and create positive change in their communities. The World Scout Movement is made up of more than 50 million Scouts connected together through a membership network of 170 National Scout Organizations.

Press Release
Media Contact: HeForShe@unwomen.org

Photo: Maria Dolores Gonzales & Hank Hyungkyu JANG, World Scouting

Ban Ki-moon speaks of multilateralism on Arirang News

“What I am concerned at this time, frankly speaking is that the leaders are not united, the multilateralism is under threat, and people are trying to do it their own way.”

Reflecting on the increased use of trade policies as a means of political action and retaliation, BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon stressed the need for diplomatic solutions during his interview with Arirang News.

“My advice at this time, is that there is no other way but to resolve this through diplomatic negotiation. You may have the freedom of choosing your friends, or even your spouse. But you don’t have any choice when it comes to geographically neighboring countries.”

Seoul has repeatedly invited Tokyo to hold talks aimed at resolving the matter,… and raised the issue at the WTO,… as Japan’s export measures run counter to the organization’s provisions on global trade. Many global observers, including Ban, fear Tokyo’s actions are part of a worrying trend of world leaders backing out of multilateral agreements.

Ban says U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement,… while declaring global warming is a hoax,… is a prime example of that.

“I am deeply concerned. Even I felt the anger when President Trump decided to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement. It was only possible because China, number one GHG emitting country and United States were united and they were leading this campaign. What President Trump was saying is first of all, wrong, economically irresponsible, and politically short-sighted.”

In a time when many societies face critical threats,… from poverty and inequality to climate change and environmental degradation,… Ban stressed the need for all countries to band together for the common good.

The hour-long interview with former Secretary General Ban will air in full on Arirang TV on August eighth, 7:30AM Korea time.

Watch the preview of the interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch…

The Elders warn of escalating nuclear tensions following termination of INF Treaty

Alarmed over the imminent termination of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, The Elders call on US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin to act in the interests of all humanity rather than following short-sighted agendas.

The Elders warned on July 29th that the imminent termination of the INF Treaty between the United States and Russia risks sparking an ever greater escalation of nuclear tensions and a breakdown of global security structures.

They noted that each side has blamed the other in a deepening cycle of recrimination. Even if the responsibilities for this breakdown of the INF Treaty are not shared, both sides share responsibility for the future to uphold arms control treaties and pursue disarmament.

The Elders thus called on US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin to act in the interests of all humanity rather than following short-sighted agendas, noting that the consequences of the termination of the INF will be acutely felt in Europe and Asia and will exacerbate global tensions ahead of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference in 2020.

Gro Harlem Brundtland, Elder and former Prime Minister of Norway, said:

“The INF Treaty helped to end the Cold War and restore peace and security in Europe. I fear this legacy risks being squandered by one side or the other through a mix of bellicosity and hubris. The leaders of Russia and the United States must refocus their strategies in favour of nuclear disarmament, not escalation. Both leaders have at times spoken in this sense. They must turn their positive words into realistic action.”

The Elders noted with alarm that the probable termination of the INF is only one element of destabilising uncertainty around the future of arms control, given the lack of clarity around the extension of the New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty), reports that the US could “unsign” the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, and the overall lack of dialogue on any form of arms control between the US and Russia.

Increased geopolitical tensions from the Korean Peninsula to the Indo-Pakistan frontier and the Gulf make it all the more imperative to have a serious, substantial discussion between the nuclear powers to defuse tensions and restore trusted channels of dialogue.

Ban Ki-moon, Deputy Chair of The Elders and former UN Secretary-General, said:

“There is a very real risk that the whole security architecture around nuclear non-proliferation that was built up during the decades of superpower confrontation may collapse, through neglect, miscalculation and ill-founded threat analysis. It is crucial that the US and Russia agree to extend New START as soon as possible, and for the P5 states to get serious about making progress on disarmament ahead of the NPT Review Conference in 2020.”

In the event that the United States proceeds with its intention to withdraw from the INF Treaty by 2 August, 2019, The Elders called on all leaders to exercise maximum restraint and refrain from actions that would further raise security tensions in the European arena. They urged Russia and the US in particular not to unilaterally develop or deploy new INF-range weapons systems, and to consider creative solutions that could help preserve the benefits provided by the INF Treaty as far as possible.
Existing arms control frameworks need not only to be preserved but expanded to counter new technological developments such as hypersonic weapons and space-based delivery systems. This should be done on a multilateral basis with all parties acting in good faith.

Ernesto Zedillo, Elder and former President of Mexico, said:

“The world cannot afford a return to the threat of nuclear annihilation we endured in the Cold War. Multilateral engagement is crucial to securing global peace and disarmament. Today’s leaders need to reassert the key message of Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev a generation ago: a nuclear war can never be won, and must never be fought.”

Source: https://theelders.org/news/elders-warn-escalating-nuclear-tensions-following-termination-inf-treaty
Photo: President of The Russian Federation