“One planet, one future – engaging youths for #SDGs”

On March 26th, the Dewey Centre hosted the event “One planet, one future – engaging youths for #SDGs” from Beijing, China, in partnership with the BKMC. The event was the second session of the new Dewey Global Dialogues series engaging young people in China with renowned international experts to inspire a generation of future leaders acting and leading with passion and compassion to build a better future.

The online dialogue welcomed Ban Ki-moon Centre Co-chair and 11th President of Austria, Heinz Fischer as well as Former United Nations Under-Secretary-General, Kim Won-soo and BKMC CEO Monika Froehler. Selected BKMC Fellows and Scholars also joined the panelists to discuss the importance of inclusive policies and how youth can tackle the SDGs in their own communities.  

“The fight against #climatechange is a fight to change the mind & attitudes of billions of people around the globe. #Young people are taking great strides in this fight. We are on the right path but will we be fast enough?” Co-chair Heinz Fischer

The young delegates had the opportunity to present the work they do addressing the SDGs in their own communities. BKMC Fellows Fay and Daad as well as BKMC Mentee Nesrin talked about how individual action is very important in reaching the 2030 Agenda and creating inclusive policies that leave no one behind. The young women were also able to ask questions directly to BKMC Co-chair Heinz Fischer about his thoughts on the serious lack of representation of women, youth, and marginalized people in policies around the world. Check out the BKMC youth representatives SDG Micro-Projects here. 

The clear message of the event was that the great task of the next generation is to manage this progress and make it fair – leaving no one behind.

The BKMC is looking forward to its future cooperation with the Dewey Centre and to many more challenging dialogues in the coming year. Together we can inspire a future generation of leaders embracing culture, diversity, creativity, compassion, and innovation.

Watch the full event below: 

Stay tuned for more information on this initiative!

ASEAN YOUTH FOR THE SDGs

The ASEAN Youth for SDGs Webinar Series aims to  elevate the knowledge and skills of 33 youth  representatives to effectively contribute to the SDGs,  take action,  and become SDG leaders in their communities. The program boasts three stages including, two expert webinars, one high-level side event as well as an SDG Micro-Project incubation period.

Under the umbrella of the UNODC’s Education for Justice (E4J) “Southeast Asian Youth Empowerment Dialogue” the representatives took part in two webinars one focusing on the SDGs, Global Citizenship, and SDG Micro-Project Implementation, and a second interactive ideation session with brainstorming and group presentations.

   

On March 11, the young participants took part in a virtual side event connecting them with Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Officer at UNODC Billy Batware, BKMC Global Citizen Scholar 2020 Barbara Nakijoba & Asia Coordinator for United Network of Young Peacebuilders Mridul Upadhyay. Gaining first-hand insights into the Kyoto Crime Congress the representatives discussed crime prevention through youth empowerment & global networks for SDG 16 Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions.

 

The last phase of the program was launched on March 17 by CEO Monika Froehler and Program Officer Viola Christian. The SDG Micro-Project incubation phase will allow the 33 ASEAN youth delegates to spot a challenge and suggest a solution related to the disruption of education in times of COVID-19, youth unemployment, the digital literacy gap in rural and urban areas, mental health, and inclusive growth.

Stay tuned here for all the updates.

The ASEAN Youth for SDGs Webinar Series is implemented in partnership with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and is funded by the Government of Japan.

The Shadow Pandemic Action Brief

The 25th of every month has been designated “Orange Day” by the United Nations Secretary-General’s Campaign UNiTE to End Violence Against Women, to raise awareness and take action to end violence against women and girls.

On February 25th, the Ban Ki-moon Centre launched its Action Brief about the Shadow Pandemic at a roundtable hosted by UN Women. BKMC CEO Fröhler and Program Officer Viola Christian gave insights into this Brief by pointing out some of the effects of COVID-19 on VAWG and necessary action steps to eliminate this Shadow Pandemic.

The action brief is based on the findings of a roundtable organized by the BKMC, in November 2020. The virtual High-Level Roundtable addressed the Shadow Pandemic from the perspective of a variety of different stakeholders: Helen Clark, Former Prime Minister of New ZealandAngela Cretu, CEO of AvonMohammad Naciri, Regional Director of UN Women Asia and Pacific & Trisha Shetty, women’s rights activist and founder of SheSays. 

The present Action Brief compiles facts and statistics, as well as key findings and recommendations on the Shadow Pandemic during COVID-19. Learn about what you can do to end Violence Against Women and how all sectors can act below:

 

Conversation with Young Global Citizens

BKMC COO Katrin Harvey joined a group of young global citizens from France, USA, and Canada to discuss the idea behind global citizenship and how youth can be involved.

On 21.12.2020, COO Katrin Harvey was invited to an interactive chat, as a part of the World Series organized by the Young Global Citizens, a cross-border initiative to educate pupils of every age about global citizenship. The international audience ranged from elementary school to high school students as well as their teachers, all interested in becoming more involved with the Sustainable Development Goals and tackling climate change.

Hear from the students themselves:

“Hello! I am Jade and I am 12 years old from Blessed Sacrament School in Vancouver, Canada. 2 years ago we started working on a movement that would bring young people together to shape a better world. We felt even elementary-age students had something valuable to contribute, and talents and skills to share. Together, we created Young Global Citizens with our teachers and parents. Today we are leading series of interviews around the world to find out what it means to be a Global Citizen. A cause that I am passionate about is sharing about my culture, which is the Filipino culture. I am also a proud Canadian and I want everyone to feel welcome in this movement. That is what it means to be a Global Citizen, that we value and accept everyone.

“Hello my name is Sean, and I am 12 years old. Like Jade, I am from Vancouver where we started the idea of promoting positive values and making a difference. One thing I am passionate about is ocean life and water in general. I love fishing, I love swimming, and I love drinking water. I am worried ocean life is being devastated by climate change. That is why I am an active Young Global Citizen. I want to meet with scientists and learn real science and what science can do to find lasting sustainable solutions for our planet.”

Young Global Citizens is conducting series of Zoom interviews with business, cultural, political, and social leaders around the globe who are also trying to enact change. Their goal is to build a global coalition and report to Canadian Prime Minister Mr. Justin Trudeau on our findings.

Watch the full event below:

Program Officer Julia Zimmerman & GC Scholar Ruvimbo Samanga at Goals Afrika Awareness Campaign: SDGs and Agenda 2063 for Africa

On February 15, 2021, BKMC Program Officer Julia Zimmerman and Global Citizen Scholar 2020 Ruvimbo Samanga joined as speakers at the opening ceremony of “Goals Afrika Awareness Campaign: SDGs and Agenda 2063 for Africa.”

Goals Afrika is an international NGO based in South Africa and operational in 14 African countries, that is aiming to achieve sustainable development in the regions of Africa by promoting citizenship diplomacy. Together with Goals Afrika Co-founder and Permanent Secretary David Kasibante, Youth Advocate for Sustainable Development Deon Shekuza and UN Resident Coordinator Anthony Ohemeng-Boamah, BKMC Program Officer Julia Zimmerman and GC Scholar 2020 Ruvimbo Samanga joined for the opening ceremony of the campaign to discuss the SDGs, Agenda 2063 for Africa and the opportunities of instilling a ‘global citizen’ mindset and empowering women and youth for the realization of these ambitious agendas.

In her presentation, GC Scholar 2020 Ruvimbo Samanga emphasized that networks, financial funding, and partnerships are key enabling factors for women’s empowerment. 

“Education is the first stepping stone to empowering women” – Ruvimbo Samanga

She shared her personal journey with different women-led initiatives, the Rotaract Club, the UOOSA Space4Women + Space4Water and the Ban Ki-moon Global Citizen Scholarship Program 2020. All of these opportunities helped enable her participation in the ICT sector and made it possible for her to contribute to the SDGs through projects like her SDG Micro-Project ‘AgriSpace’ which provides farmers in Zimbabwe with agricultural data through Satellite Technologies for sustainable farming.

BKMC Program Officer Julia Zimmerman’s presentation centered on the importance of adapting a “global citizen mindset” for the achievement of the SDGs and the value proposition of empowering youth and women as active shapers of our collective sustainable future. She emphasized that achieving both the SDGs and Agenda 2063 should not be viewed only as a challenge, but also as an incredible opportunity for African communities.

“Women and youth are our greatest resources for achieving a sustainable future for us all.” – Julia Zimmerman

Creating supportive networks and partnerships and empowering women and youth as global citizen leaders, are great opportunities to advance Agenda 2030 and Agenda 2063 in Africa. Julia also presented some examples of the BKMC’s work, including the Ban Ki-moon Global Citizen Scholarship Program 2020 which produced outstanding SDG Micro-Projects led by six African changemakers, and the three online courses offered by the Centre on the SDGs, Global Citizenship and Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment, which are all freely available on the website of the BKMC for interested individuals.

     

The Launch Campaign ended with an engaging Q&A and a call for more investment into women and youth in African countries.

Stay tuned for our next call for applications for the Global Citizen Scholarship Program 2021.

To find out more about Goals Afrika & Agenda 2063 in Africa click here

The 3rd Global Engagement and Empowerment Forum on Sustainable Development (GEEF2021)

Co-hosted by the BKMCthe 3rd Global Engagement and Empowerment Forum on Sustainable Development (GEEF2021) aimed to diagnose the global crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, showcase solutions and best practices for the post-COVID-19 era, examine opportunities and problems of the international cooperation network, and discuss partnerships and paths forward to accelerate the achievement of United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

On February 4-5, 2021, the Forum was held online under the theme “3Ps Beyond Security: Peace, Prosperity, and Partnership” together with the  Yonsei University, its Institute for Global Engagement & Empowerment (IGEE) and the Ban Ki-moon Foundation for a Better Future in Seoul, South Korea. 

GEEF 2021 highlighted digitalization, global health, and education crises as well as the SDGs and sustainable development in seven featured sessions:   

1. Artificial Intelligence 

2. Creative Solutions for a Sustainable Society  

3. Safe and Affordable Surgery,  

4. Future of Higher Education, Higher Education of the Future, and 

5. Global Partnership & Higher Education “Postgraduate Medical Education in Africa: the status quo and challenges” 

6. Global Partnership during and post COVID-19

7. Redesign our Future: The UN SDGs, 5 years and the next 10 years.

The opening ceremony on February 5th, led by BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon, Co-Chair Heinz Fischer, and President of Yonsei University Seoung Hwan Suhgave us a clear call for action: We need to reimagine the global community and partnership to overcome COVID-19, and accelerate the achievement of the SDGs.

“Leaving No One Behind in a Post-Pandemic World” 

As the wealthiest countries prioritize their own COVID-19 vaccine needs, “Vaccine Nationalism” threatens the world’s recovery from the pandemic.  A special discussion between BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon and UN High Commissioner Special Envoy Angelina Jolie stressed that countries purchasing a majority of the vaccines have left other countries and people, especially women, youth, and refugees vulnerable.  

   

“We have to make sure that we create the future we all want. One driven by inclusion, compassion, empowerment, and sustainability for all people  and our planet.” – Ban Ki-moon 

“…realizing how interconnected we are, our being so aware of each other, will bring us to a new understanding of how much we have got to link arms and work together…” – Angelina Jolie

Watch the conversation below:

  

As the BKMC has joined the efforts to call on global leaders for green recoverythe plenary session “Towards Carbon Neutrality for Planetary Sustainability” strengthened the urgency of multilateral efforts to commit to green finance, climate mitigation, and adaption programs to avert the disastrous effects of climate change and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. 

 

“Just transition programs are integral to the success of climate mitigation. Combined mitigation and adaptation solutions are some of the most cost-effective ways to solve the world’s climate challenges.” – Patrick V. Verooijen 

The panelists were: 

  • Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Grand Duchy of Luxemburg, Jean Asselborn 

  • CEO of the Global Center of Adaptation Patrick V. Verooijen 

  • Chairman at SDSN Korea Soogil Young 

  • Chairman of Board at Clean Air Asia Bindu N. Lohani 

The BKMC congratulates all partners involved for making GEEF 2021 successful and their tireless efforts to achieve Agenda 2030 and create a better sustainable future for all.

Watch Day 1 of GEEF 2021

Watch Day 2 of GEEF 2021

“New Generations, New Visions – Rebooting Dialogues on Civilizations between East & West” – Dewey Centre x BKMC

On February 3rd, the Dewey Centre hosted the event “New Generations, New Visions – Rebooting Dialogues on Civilizations between East & West” from Beijing, China, in partnership with the BKMC. It was the launch of the Dewey Global Dialogues with young people in China and renowned international experts to inspire a generation of future leaders acting and leading with passion and compassion to build a better future. The new partnership between the two Centers was sealed with an MoU in 2020 and will especially focus on young students in China who are active in the field of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics) plus Sports.

The high-level international speakers that were welcomed by Prof. Yao Yao from the Dewey Centre were: 

– BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon,

– Former Vice Minister of Education in China, & President of China Foreign Languages Publishing Administration Du Zhanyuan,

– Head of STEM Education Research Center in China Wang Su,

– BKMC Board Member and former UNESCO DG Irina Bokova,

– BKMC Board Member and former USG on Disarmament Kim Won-soo, and

– BKMC CEO Monika Froehler.

 

The speakers discussed the role of education to promote international collaboration, multilateralism, and diversity among youth to enhance sustainable development and the need for increased dialogue between the East and the West.

Co-chair Ban Ki-moon encouraged youth in his opening speech to take on more responsibility for a sustainable future.

 

“The history is in your hands. What you see, what you learn, what you create today will change tomorrow’s world. Dear young friends, a better world is waiting for you to create a better future. You can create a world safer, more secure and better for all to live in peace and prosperity. As a former Secretary-General of the UN, I am committed to work with you to realize a sustainable world.” – Ban Ki-moon

 

The China Foreign Languages Publishing Administration offered support for this joint initiative through Former Vice Minister of Education in China Du Zahnyuan, who shared three priorities to inspire young leaders to value diversity, culture, and sustainability:

“First, young people should have the chance to obtain knowledge and education.Second, young people should take responsibility for global challenges and should understand the importance of responsibility to build a better world.  Third, young people should take concrete actions and address common challenges building a better future.” – Du Zahn Yuan

Former UN Under-Secretary General and BKMC Board Member Kim Won-soo referenced Agenda 2030 and emphasized that youth play an integral part to defining the future of the world:

“Global challenges need global solutions but that means global leadership and requires participation of every stakeholder of the private and public sectors. We cannot design any solutions without the right leadership.” – Kim Won-soo

During the session, BKMC Board Member Irina Bokova offered her insights as former Director-General of UNESCO: 

“This debate echoes deeply with my experience as the former DG UNESCO.. My advice would be to embrace sustainability and a humanistic agenda. To embrace diversity of culture, more knowledge of others through education and respect for human dignity and respect.” – Irina Bokova

BKMC CEO Monika Froehler gave examples of individual stories of global citizens to visualize the crucial importance to reboot dialogue between East and West to solve global challenges: 

“John Dewey and Ban Ki-moon are visionaries, convinced about the importance of education and service to the community.” -Monika Froehler

As the last speaker, Head of STEM Education Research Center Wang Su discussed how to facilitate inclusive learning:

“We need to rethink the ultimate purpose of education, which is to inspire students. – Wang Su

At the end of the online discussion, the speakers engaged with young leaders in an insightful Q&A, on the topics of the digital divide, the US-China bilateral relationship under the new US-presidency and opportunities for sustainable development by resetting multilateralism. 

 

The BKMC is looking forward to its future cooperation with the Dewey Centre and to many more challenging dialogues in the coming year! Together we can inspire a future generation of leaders embracing culture, diversity, creativity, compassion, and innovation.

Watch Co-chair Ban Ki-moon’s Remarks: 

Co-chair Ban Ki-moon & Mario Ho on e-sports: 

Stay tuned for more information on this initiative!

Climate Adaptation Summit 2021

The Climate Adaptation Summit 2021 led by Co-chair Ban Ki-moon, hosted by the Netherlands and the Global Center on Adaptation convened over 18,000 registrations, 300 speakers, 160 side events, 32 countries, world leaders, and local stakeholders.

It launched a comprehensive Adaptation Action Agenda and heard of new financial pledges to initiatives to make the world more resilient to the effects of climate change.

BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon led several discussions before and during the summit. On January 22nd, five Nobel Laureates and more than 3,000 scientists from over 100 countries signed up to the Groningen Science Declaration calling on world leaders, decision-makers and investors, to change the way we understand, plan and invest for a changing climate to ensure we limit future damage. On January 25th, a Ministerial Dialogue saw over forty countries committing to adaptation.

Watch the summary video of all the events right here:

©GCA

The opening session on January 25th, led by the Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte, under the patronage of Ban Ki-Moon, demonstrated the world’s leading countries and the international development communities’ commitments to climate adaptation and showcased some of their prominent programs and initiatives. The event gave us a clear message: we need to treat climate adaptation as urgently as we have mitigation within the development agenda towards achieving the SDGs and the Paris Agreement.

 

Food security is an increasing threat in Africa in face of climate change. The anchoring event on Africa stressed the need for predictable long-term public financing for climate change, which should then allocate 50% to adaptation. Donor countries are urged to provide bridging finance to prepare projects into bankable projects. 

 

The anchoring event on finance and investment highlighted the important fact that the world needs 300 billion USD for adaptation efforts while there is currently only 30 billion USD reserved for it. In order to raise that number and attract more investment, climate risk visibility and evaluation should be integrated into every decision-making, from national planning to financial decisions. In addition, green bond has proven to be a viable and attractive option to raise finance.

   

 

BKMC CEO Monika Froehler moderated a panel session on the need for increased commitment to agricultural adaptation focusing on building the resilience of small-holder farmers. The panel hosted sector doyens such as: 

●Gilbert F. Houngbo, President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development ● Yannick Glemarec , Executive Director of the Green Climate Fund ● Dr. Sinead Walsh , Deputy Director General & Climate Envoy, Development Cooperation and Africa Division Department of Foreign Affairs, Government of Ireland ● Michael Sheldrick, Chief Government Affairs Officer, Global Citizen

IFAD announced its ASAP+ Program which is the world’s largest fund dedicated to small-scale food producers, aimed at raising 500 million USD to benefit more than 10 million people. Read the summary of the event right here. 

There is an opportunity right now to utilize the available liquidity for COVID19 recovery to invest in adaptation. The need to start investing in large-scale agriculture resilience in lieu of small pilot projects is crucial.

   

The BKMC is also excited about its upcoming cooperation with GCA to foster the role of young women in climate adaptation under GCA’s Young Leadership Programme. The Anchoring Event on Youth Leadership on January 25th marked the launch of the program and served to handover the Global Youth Call to Action on Adaptation prepared by young people from 120 countries to Co-chair Ban Ki-moon and other world leaders. The call aims to help bridge the adaptation action gap, especially amongst youth. The BKMC is keen on strengthening the role of young women in this field. 

Conclusion of First Research Cycle with Students of University of Economics, Vienna

On January 26th, the BKMC successfully concluded the first research cycle in partnership with the institute for Public Management and Governance at the University of Economics, Vienna (WU). During the winter semester 2020/2021 the BKMC cooperated with a group of six Bachelor students of the Public and Non-Profit Management program to conduct research on the BKMC’s SDG Micro-Projects.

SDG Micro-Projects lie at the heart of the BKMC’s objective to equip young and dedicated individuals with the skills they need to be agents of change for the achievement of the SDGs. So far nearly 100 small-scale activities were implemented under the guidance of the BKMC, contributing to one or more SDGs in 23 different countries. The SDG Micro-Projects are concluded with an SDG Micro-Project report, summarizing the activities, achievements, and impact of the projects and their implementers.

The WU students were tasked to conduct research on impact reporting and develop an optimized prototype of an SDG Micro-Project report form and impact measurement scheme, to be used by the BKMC for all future SDG Micro-Projects.

After four moths of empirical research based on interviews and literature research, the students presented their results to the BKMC and submitted a final report as well as sophisticated prototypes. Their findings will guide the BKMC in our efforts to optimize the process of evaluating and presenting the SDG Micro-Projects as concrete examples of acting as global citizens.

The students, in turn, gained a thorough understanding of the SDGs and were inspired to act for the SDGs themselves. The research project did not only advance them in their studies, but also allowed them to peek behind the scenes of a non-profit organization in an international environment.

We congratulate the students on their insightful research and look forward to a renewed cooperation with the next group of young researchers in the summer semester of 2021. Together with the students we will investigate the impacts of COVID-19 on the digitalization of youth activism and youth organizations and related lessons learned.

Global Citizen Scholar Samuel Afadu & Global Citizen Fellow Horia Sardarzada at VEF

The VEF Virtual Series “Empowering Women and Youth to Accelerate the Clean Energy Transition”, on January 12-13, invited women and young leaders to discuss how we can ensure a clean energy transition that is just and leaves no one behind.

For this year’s first virtual VEF session, we were excited to see our Global Citizen Scholar (2019) Samuel Kofi Afadu & Global Citizen Fellow (2019) Horia Sardarzada participate in the January Edition, focused on gender, youth and equity.

After introductory remarks, the session diverged into four Breakout Sessions on different themes. The session “Enabling Environment for Youth,” featured Global Citizen Scholar Samuel Kofi Afadu Co-founder of Light my World International, an NGO that is working to promote access to clean energy solutions to off-grid communities in Ghana. The session also featured Israel FaleyeMYSOLARBID LTD, Jichen Liu Clear Plate®, Pontsho Moletsane – GCIP South Africa 2017 Youth Winner, Esther Wanza – SDG7 Youth Constituency, Tracey CroweSeforAll, Anurag MalooSeedstars Asia-Pacific , and David OutRural Electrification Agency (REA).

Global Citizen Scholar Samuel commented how including youth is a prerequisite to a successful clean energy transition. He also highlighted that there is a need for youth to take action and that their actions should be taken seriously by decision-makers. “It is time for the youth to take action. The youth of today and the world will benefit or suffer from our actions and in-actions. Let’s take action in solving problems and connecting them with our passions, creating a sustainable and equitable world for all.”  

 

Global Citizen Fellow Horia Sardarzada, who is currently serving as Director-General of Early Childhood Care and Education ECCE/Kindergartens at Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs in Afghanistan, participated in the Breakout Session “Enabling Environment for Women,” alongside Sheila OparaochaENERGIA/Hivos, Abir El SaadiMinistry of Trade and Industry Egypt, Kerry MaxGlobal Affairs Canada, Kavita SinhaGreen Climate Fund, Marta Luca- SNAM, Jasmin Haider – Austrian Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation & Technology, and Reuben James Barrete – Male Champions of Change.

Horia pointed to gender norms, social and cultural practices, the lack of financial funds, and limited access to networks and partnerships as the main challenges women entrepreneurs face in equally leading, contributing to and benefiting from the clean energy transition.    

“Through the platform Women’s Initiatives for Sustainable Energy (WISE) we started to provide input, access to information for female fresh graduates who want to invest in green energy or do partnerships. We provided them with access to information, training, advocacy, where they could meet with financial organizations.”

Horia Sardarzada is founder of the organization Women’s Initiatives for Sustainable Energy (WISE), which is aiming to economically empower women in Afghanistan to invest in clean energy sector. 

Credits: https://twitter.com/ForumVienna/status/1350056114260504576

 

To watch a recap of the session, visit VEF Virtual Series

For more information about the VEF, visit VIENNA ENERGY FORUM