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

Afghan Ambassador Khojesta Fana Ebrahimkhel supports BKMC fellowship project

On March 5th, Afghanistan’s Ambassador to Austria H.E. Khojesta Fana Ebrahimkhel and Political Specialist of the Embassy Isabella Neri visited the Centre to have a meeting with BKMC Co-chair Heinz Fischer.

BKMC Associate Viola Christian briefed the visitors on the Centre’s upcoming fellowship program for women’s empowerment that will be launched in September 2019. The Centre will cooperate with the Diplomatische Akademie Wien – Vienna School of International Studies to coordinate and implement a tailor-made fellowship training funded by Korea Foundation involving training on the Sustainable Development Goals, gender and empowerment issues, communication, crisis management, mediation, leadership development and global citizenship.

The first edition of the Program will sponsor 20 young women from Afghanistan, Cambodia, Korea and Mongolia to take part in the tailor-made training, held in Vienna. The women will be selected based on their previous comitment to topics related to women’s empowerment and the Sustainable Development Goals. The goal is to prepare the fellows to increasingly become involved in the decision-making processes that impact the world sustainably. The program is aligned with the leadership and education pillar of the centre.

Ambassador Ebrahimkhel, who continues to dedicate a large part of her diplomatic career to the advancement of women’s rights, announced her support for the Centre’s program.

A ‘Small UN’ Ban Ki-moon Foundation to be opened in Seoul

On March 5th, the “Ban Ki-moon Foundation for a Better Future (tentative title)” was announced to be established in Korea at the meeting of promoters held in Seoul. Having BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon as the Chair of its Board, the Foundation will serve as a non-political, non-profit public organization that acts as a ‘small UN’ with below objectives:

  • To improve and promote Ban Ki-moon’s philosophy and vision as the 8th UN Secretary-General by realizing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and conducting academic researches and suggesting policies in order for everyone to ensured of human rights
  • To establish a perpetual peace in the Korean Peninsula as well as to promote peace in East Asia and the globe
  • To protect the future vision and the rights of women, youth, and children and to establish future-oriented values
  • To create and execute varied programs to eradicate poverty and disease in developing countries
  • To lead education on cultivating people of talents and global citizenship in cooperation with various international organizations, including the United Nations, and civil organizations, academic institutes, and  educational institutions both inside and outside Korea

Starting from May 2019, the Foundation will pursue projects with the above visions.

Ban mentioned that “I have tried to promote the agenda on climate change, sustainable development, and women’s empowerment while in the UN” and “now I would like to realize such visions both inside and outside the country in cooperation with the people from different sectors in Korea.”

The meeting of promoters had 46 participants, including:

  • Kim Hwangsik, former Prime Minister of Korea; Chairman of the Board of Directors at Ho-am Foundation (Head of the Meeting of Promoters for the BKM Foundation)
  • Gong Ro-myung, former Minister of Foreign Affairs; Chairman of East Asia Foundation
  • Lee Sang-hee, former Minister of National Defense
  • Kim Yong-hak, President of Yonsei University
  • Han Bi-ya, President of Global Citizen School of World Vision; Author of a best-selling book “Daughter of the Wind: Three and a Half Times around the Globe on Foot”
  • Kim Sook, former Korean Ambassador to the UN; former President of UN Women’s Executive Board
  • Rye Seung-min, Korean gold-medalist table tennis player; Athlete Member of the IOC
  • Son Yeon-jae, Korean retired rhythmic gymnast; 3-time Asian Championships All-around Champion
  • Yoo Dong-geun, Korean actor

Ban Ki-moon and Heinz Fischer commends Kenyan President on “The Big 4”

On March 4th, Minister Counselor Humphrey Kanana and First Secretary Glenns Etyang of the Kenyan Embassy in Vienna visited the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens to discuss possible collaboration between the Centre and Kenya.

Last month, BKMC Co-chairs Ban Ki-moon and Heinz Fischer wrote a letter to President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya to commend him on “The Big 4” Agenda that the president has initiated to ensure affordable health and living for all Kenyans which will hopefully leapfrog the country’s human development and progress.

The Agenda focuses on:

  • Manufacturing
  • Affordable Housing
  • Universal Health Coverage (UHC)
  • Food Security

On the letter, Co-chair Ban also hoped for fruitful exchanges with the president during his visit to Kenya in May 2019 and expressed his support for advancing road safety in the African region together with President Jean Todt of the International Federation of Automobiles (FIA), who is a Board member of the Centre.

Watch an informative video about “The Big 4” here:

 

 

BKMC welcomes all parties of the Austrian Parliament to discuss joint events for youth in Austria

Today, the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens welcomed representatives of all parties of the Austrian parliament (Österreichisches Parlament) to the Centre.

The visitors included Mr. Andreas Schieder, Mr. Hubert Koller, and Mr. Maximilian Unterrainer from SPOE, Mr. Werner Amon, Mr. Nikolaus Berlakovich, and Mr. Josef Lettenbichler from OEVP, Ms. Petra Wagner from FPOE, Ms. Stephanie Krisper from NEOS, and Ms. Alma Zadic from JETZT.

The Ban Ki-moon Centre’s CEO Monika Froehler introduced the mission and the work of the Centre to the delegation. The group discussed possible collaboration for joint events in the parliament regarding youth in Austria.

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