“To every single member of our Ban Ki-moon Centre family who showed their support with social media posts and likes, donations and collaborations, thank you. Our dedication to supporting global citizen mindsets and empowering youth and women around to world with education and participation is at the heart of who we are.“ Ban Ki-moon Centre CEO Monika Froehler
The new edition of the #opecfund magazine is all about #ClimateChange adaptation. The magazine covers subjects from climate action, SDGs, to sustainable farming, and much more. Access the full magazine here.
Monika Froehler Article in OPEC Fun Magazine May 2020
Ban Ki-moon Centre CEO Monika Froehler participated as a guest author for the May 2020 edition of the OPEC Fund quarterly magazine. She emphasized the importance of gender equality in the planning of climate change adaptation. How women’s involvement means better outcomes and more sustainable solutions. Read the full article here.
The magazine also covered the joint event on March 3, between the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens, the European Union Delegation in Vienna Joint SDG Fund, and The OPEC Fund for International Development. The co-hosted panel discussed the successes and challenges of mobilizing to advance the SDGs and the 2030 Agenda. Read about the event here.
Successful Implementation of SDG 11: Best Practices and Cases
In 2019, The Ban Ki-moon Centre strengthened its collaboration with the Regional Academy of the United Nations (RAUN), an international and multi-disciplinary program established in 2012 that provides a forum for youth to discuss issues related to the UN and international affairs.
This year the Centre mentored three young researchers who were asked to produce an academic paper on a topic related to “Environmental and Socioeconomic Sustainability: How to Create Lasting Impacts.”
Check out the program flyer here.
Read the full paper here.
Jakub Adamec (Prague), Eva-Maria Holzinger (Vienna) and Christopher Paul Franz (Hamburg) selected and analysed sustainable city projects in their respective hometowns and defined best practices and sustainability. Based on their research, they developed a set of recommendations for how successful projects could be replicated.
The results of their paper “Successful Implementation of SDG 11: Best Practices and Cases” aim to support local actors to contribute to a sustainable city transformation and the implementation of SDG 11.
“With this leaflet, we hope to support and motivate aspiring project leaders, policy makers and every citizen, wherever they may be. Create and develop your idea for a sustainable city with the support of our best practice recommendations and help transform our world.”
The researchers were mentored by the BKMC throughout the process and their research will be forwarded to partners of the BKMC such as Stadt Wien and SDG relevant groups interested in SDG community projects in urban areas.
The Ban Ki-moon Centre had an informative online session with the first ever African Union Special Envoy on Youth and award-winning Pan-African feminist, Aya Chebbi, on Thursday, April 2.The discussion was centered on the AU Youth Envoy´s amazing campaigns and projects in relation to the Coronavirus pandemic that she and her peers have put into action. (Check out https://auyouthenvoy.org/) Aya Chebbi emphasized that the young people of the African continent were working together and in synchronization in their fight against this difficult challenge. Similar to the calls for solidarity from global leaders, she explained “The young generation is working on coordinated efforts and trying to reach every single person we can.” Mentioning the economic challenges of the situation, she underlined the importance of global response funds such as the African Union COVID-19 Response Fund, the one led by the World Health Organization and the donation of 1.5 million test kits made by the Jack Ma foundation to the continent of Africa. Much more is still needed! Working with volunteers and young change-makers, the African Union Youth Envoy has initiated multiple programs to include, educate and mobilize all countries in the region. Aya stated that young people are following the situation closely, trying to be a part of the solution and coming up with remarkable initiatives and action plans. A pioneering project, the Virtual AU Youth Consultations on COVID-19 for Youth Collective Response in collaboration with Africa CDC, is a series of virtual consultations, now completing its 10th round, convened 150 youth leaders from 40 countries, that allows groups of young people to meet online to discuss emotional and physical issues caused by the virus. During these sessions, the attendees are able to learn from each other, brainstorm and come up with action plans on how to tackle urgent problems. The project highlights cross-border cooperation. These enlightening consultations can be held by any person or institution interested. You can find more information and the registration process here. Aya Chebbi also informed the BKMC on the launch of a new initiative called the African Youth Charter Hustlers, a youth-led Pan-African accountability movement, to engage African youths in continental, regional and country-level advocacy across the continent. For more information on youth policy makers you can click here. Another response of the African Union Youth Envoy was to create hotlines for every country on the continent. Anyone who needs support can call these hotline numbers and reach out for the help they need. The Union is leading many more inspiring projects on topics such as policy making, youth advocacy, women entrepreneurship and fundraising. Visit https://ayachebbi.com/ to follow this great initiative and get updates on African efforts and Aya Chebbi.
Checkout our Co-chair Ban Ki-moon’s interview with the APA.“Since I was the Secretary-General of the United Nations, I have always emphasized that problems of global scale require solutions of global scale. The fear of infection has sparked a rise in racism and xenophobia. Such deplorable action would not help in deterring the spread of the virus in anyway. We must never forget that we are all in this together. The global outbreak, and any other global challenge in that matter, can only be overcome by concerted effort and unity.” Go to article.
AS GLOBAL CITIZENS, HOW ARE WE ALL TACKLING #COVID19?As of today, Monday 23rd of March 2020 the Coronavirus has affected 329,000 people. According to the World Health Organization’s reports at least 14,522 people have died, while the virus has reached more than 160 countries around the world. This pandemic has truly shown how the world has no boundaries and the virus itself does not respect borders, race, ethnicity, age or religion. The world is one and we are all human beings. Therefore, now is the time to act as Global Citizens. It is vital for us to not only think about ourselves and our own country but about others and the globe. The world has seen epidemics, pandemics and viruses before, but the world has never been as interconnected as it is now. The Information flow has never been as easy as now. Countries have never been as accountable to each other as now. As the Ban Ki-Moon Centre for Global citizens, we encourage our staff, our partners, our fellows and all sustainable development goal advocates to act now, innovate, communicate and continue bettering our future. AS GLOBAL CITIZENS, WHAT CAN WE DO? Take Care of Your Hygiene As respiratory viruses like COVID-19 spread through human contact, “Wash your hands!” was the first recommendation given to people all around the globe in an attempt to stop the spreading of the virus. Physical contact is the most common way to transmit the virus to the next person. Keeping in mind SDG 3: Good health and well-being, we must encourage and promote the importance of personal hygiene. In cooperation with the WHO, our Co-Chair Ban Ki-Moon has prepared an explanatory video on the correct and effective way to wash our hands. Share the video and help others too. For people and populations with limited access to clean water and soap, the WHO has prepared a DYI guide to homemade disinfectant. You can find the guide here.
Flatten the Curve
Flattening the curve: A measure that promotes community isolation in an aim to reduce daily case numbers so they are manageable for local medical providers, without overwhelming our health systems. Globally, we are all encouraged to practice social distancing. The rapid growth rate of the virus combined with a lack of resources contribute to high infection and mortality levels. Measures now being implemented such as school and restaurant closure, working from home and the prohibition of public gatherings have been successful in China, Singapore, South Korea and many more countries. To check the latest curves in different countries click here. The Ban Ki-Moon Centre and its affiliates are all practicing social distancing. We are working from home, connecting with our peers through online meetings and calls. We encourage all businesses that can, to do the same. Here is a list of online tools you can use to work from home.
Mental Health and Online CommunitiesAs most countries encourage their citizens to self-isolate, it is normal to feel anxious, lonely and isolated. As people are finding new ways of coming together in this time of crisis, creative outlets have become available to help individuals who are struggling to keep their spirits high. As the BKMC, we recommend to our staff and to you to maintain your daily structure and adapt it to the situation. Include social calls to your day and reach out to friends and family. Help them if they are not so well-versed with online tools. Measure your social media use and try to focus on uplifting content. Read the book you’ve been wanting to finish for so long. Go through your movie list at last! Spend some me-time, focus on what is important to you. Accept your feelings and assess them. Here are some interesting resources available to the public:
- Read through the extensive guide the WHO has prepared covering collaborative and individualistic suggestions.
- Solidarity Concerts organized by Global Citizens in cooperation with the World Health Organisation. Follow #TogetherAtHome on twitter or visit here to watch previous and future concerts.
- Many libraries, museums, opera halls are providing online virtual tours and concerts, such as the Vienna State Opera, the New York Public Library, the Uffizi Gallery in Florence and many more.
DonateEvery individual around the globe can help in some way, and as an interconnected community we can achieve anything and have a great impact. The period we are going through is calling for an urgent collective movement. This is why we would like to call on everyone who can, to donate to the World Health Organization COVID-19 Solidarity Respond Fund. The COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund is a secure way for individuals, philanthropies and businesses to contribute to the WHO-led effort to respond to the pandemic.
Our Role as Global CitizensNow is the time to understand what we need and want in life and what we can live without. As global citizens this is something we should all do. We must see how the world is changing around us, how education, health, gender equality, sanitation, economic growth, innovation, sustainability, climate and above all international cooperation is affected. Let’s take this situation as a lesson and change our ways moving forward. As global citizens this is our responsibility. “While these challenges might seem almost insurmountable at times, there is still hope for a better, a brighter, and a more sustainable future.” BKMC Co-Chair Ban Ki-Moon
On March 3, the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens together with European Union Delegation in Vienna (Twitter: @euunvie), Joint SDG Fund (Twitter: @JointSDGFund), and The OPEC Fund for International Development (Twitter: @TheOPECFund) hosted a panel discussion on the successes and challenges of mobilising to advance the SDGs and the 2030 Agenda.
The event was opened by His Excellency Ambassador Stephan Klement, EU Ambassador and Head of Delegation of the European Union to the International Organisations in Vienna. Followed by the warm welcome from Deputy Head of Representation of the European Commission in Austria, Wolfgang Bogensberger.
Co-chair Heinz Fischer delivered opening remarks before the panel discussion. Sharing his personal experience of his presidency of the Republic of Austria, he emphasised the importance of cooperation to achieve the SDGs.
Co-chair Heinz Fischer went on to talk about the previous Millenium Development Goals and how the Sustainable Development Goals developed, integrating lessons learned from the MDGs. Co-chair Heinz Fischer did not hesitate to also mention the difficulties when it comes to the implementation of the SDGs.
“Even if the the SDGs might not be entirely perfect, they are currently the best instrument to indicate the diverse situations of each country and stress that each country must do its share to achieve a world in which peace and prosperity is a given, leaving no one behind.”
In subsequence, the panel discussion, moderated by Ms. Mona Khalil, provided more detail on how international institutions mobilise to advance the SDGs. The speakers included
- Ms. Katrin Harvey, Chief Operating Officer, Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens
- Mr. Gautam Babbar, Chief of Strategic Planning and Interagency Affairs, United Nations
- Mr. Walid Mehalaine, Head, Grants and Technical Assistance Unit, OPEC Fund
It became evident, that the organizations concentrate on strategically investing their efforts and resources in projects and programs that promise the biggest impact to advance the SDGs. Nevertheless, the speakers highlighted that the impact of any project remains minimal if the commitment of national governments towards the SDGs is limited. The annual 2.5 trillion USD funding gap that continues to exist needs to be tackled through multilateral partnerships if the SDGs are to be achieved by 2030.
In the Q&A session, following the panel discussion, the audience showed through interactive and dynamic engagement that the SDGs are a priority issue, not only for international organizations but also for academia, the private sector and civil society actors.
We thank our partners for the fruitful cooperation that made this event a success!
BRAND FINANCE PRESS RELEASE
Ban Ki-moon, 8th UN Secretary-General, to launch world’s most comprehensive global soft power research study
- Ban Ki-moon to give keynote speech at first Global Soft Power Summit hosted by Brand Finance over two days in London & Oxford
- Ban Ki-moon to say: “Soft power transcends borders and builds bridges”
- “K-Pop music, Korean food, and Oscar-winning film Parasite are increasingly popular. Korean Wave has captivated foreign publics the world over”
- Summit serves as unveiling of Global Soft Power Index – world’s most comprehensive research study on perceptions of soft power, surveying opinions of over 55,000 people across 100 countries
- Soft power superpower – USA tops ranking despite reputation damage
- Runner-up Germany admired for governance and Angela Merkel’s international leadership
- Brand Britain undented by Brexit, ranks as world’s 3rd soft power nation
- Japan ranked first for Business and Trade, thanks to brands the world loves
- China and Russia rank high on influence, while Nordic countries among most reputable; Greta Thunberg earning Sweden top spot for climate action
- World’s most generous nation, Canada ranks in top 3 for more soft power disciplines than any other nation, but wins too few golds to top medal table
- Spain is the world’s friendliest nation, but lags behind on Governance
- UAE is Middle East’s top scorer, familiarity high following Nation Brand launch
- Full ranking, charts, commentary, expert contributions, and in-depth spotlights on Australia, India, Ireland, Israel, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, UAE, UK, Central & Eastern Europe, and Latin America available in the report.
“Building on the strength of the Brand Finance Nation Brands report, and featuring the opinions of over 55,000 people in more than 100 countries, I am confident that the Global Soft Power Index will serve as a great contribution to the theory and practice of diplomacy and foreign policy moving forward. As Secretary-General of the United Nations, I led the Organization with the understanding that soft power is an essential ingredient in international diplomacy. Additionally, soft power can help further the peace and development goals of the United Nations, particularly the UN SDGs, and reinforce global progress. In fact, the three pillars of the UN – peace and security, development, and human rights – are all in line with the same objectives of soft power and can help bring nations and peoples together through cooperation and partnership.”Ban also spoke about the soft power of South Korea:
“My country Korea is currently enjoying considerable soft power on the global stage. Korean soft power assets such as K-Pop music, Korean food like kimchi and bibimbap, and our Oscar-winning best picture film Parasite are incredibly well-known and increasingly popular around the world. This Hallyu, or Korean Wave, has captivated foreign publics all over the world.”The world’s most comprehensive research study on perceptions of soft power The Global Soft Power Summit serves as the unveiling of the Global Soft Power Index, the world’s most comprehensive research study on perceptions of soft power, surveying opinions of over 55,000 people across more than 100 countries. Respondents representing both the general public and specialist audiences were interviewed online and by telephone during Autumn 2019 about the influence that nations around the world exert upon each other. Top 60 nations were scored across three key metrics: Familiarity, Reputation, and Influence, as well as the seven soft power pillars: Business & Trade, Governance, International Relations, Culture & Heritage, Media & Communications, Education & Science, People & Values. Source: Brand Finance © Fairlight Studios
“This course was so insightful on such an important topic that we, unfortunately, do not talk about enough in our current education… It highlights topics that are so important in current events and link them together back to how there are so many ways, shapes and forms of innovative acts of global citizenship in our current environment.” – Hana Abdelatty
“This will enhance global participation towards sustainable development goals amongst youth across the globe.” – Samod Kadiri
“It is very helpful for us on how to create better solutions to fight against the problem in this world. This course is very important and teaches us to become a global citizen of our own.” – Cedrix Rodriguez
“This course has made me have a deeper understanding of what GCED is and am really encouraged take other courses in relations to global citizenship education.” – Glays SakaulaThe second collaborative online course on “Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment: A Pathway to Sustainable Development” is also out now on GCED Online Campus featuring amazing international figures including UN Youth Envoy Jayathma wickramanayake, Chair of The Elders Mary Robinson, Executive Director of UN Women Phumzile Mlambo-ngcuka and more. Check it out!