Investing In Development Programs Means Investing In Our Future

As host of this year’s G7 summit, Germany can set an example. Ban Ki-moon
  Author: Ban Ki-moon May 19, 2022

The world is stuck in a tangle of alarming, severe crises that demand urgent action. The worsening climate crisis is impacting every aspect of our lives. It is further increasing the threat of violent conflicts, health issues, and food insecurity. More than ever, we need developed countries like Germany to uphold and increase their development assistance budgets and lead as an example.

In Yemen, the war has been raging for almost eight years; Syria’s crisis grinds on into its eleventh year. Over two million people have been forcibly displaced by the ongoing fighting in the Tigray region of Ethiopia due to brutal violence against civilians. While Afghanistan’s humanitarian crisis plummets to extreme levels of deprivation, Myanmar’s military factions expand the scale of conflict, increasingly involving civilians. Most recently, Russia’s unjustifiable invasion of Ukraine forced more than five million people to flee the country while almost eight million are internally displaced.

These complex emergencies are set against a backdrop of transnational, planetary challenges like the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which has cost the lives of more than 6 million people worldwide. All of these extremities have consequences far beyond their immediate impacts, most particularly in the realm of food production.

 

There is a need for investments in climate-resilient agriculture

Agriculture, in particular, is both foundational to human wellbeing and also highly vulnerable during crises. In recent months, the Russian invasion of Ukraine has shown the devastating impact conflict can have on our ability to cultivate and transport food, with looming surges in hunger anticipated worldwide. The COVID-19 pandemic has similarly sent shockwaves throughout local food systems, causing the highest levels of hunger seen in modern history. The reduction in yields, the increase in pest infestations, and unpredictable weather patterns have made the impact of climate change more evident than ever. The severity of these disruptions often stems from a lack of investment in the people who produce food and the inevitable precarity they experience on a day-to-day basis.

Two thirds of adults living in poverty work in the agricultural sector, meaning the very people who provide us with nutrition often struggle to get it themselves. Without drastic climate action, these inequities will only increase. Global demand for food is predicted to increase by 50% by 2050, while agricultural yields will likely decrease by up to 30% over the same period due to worsening environmental conditions.

Investing in climate resilient agriculture is essential to improving the lives of 500 million small-holder farmers around the world and bolster local, resilient food systems. Currently, smallholders receive only 1.7% of total climate finance. World leaders need to keep their promise to deliver $100 billion Dollars to climate finance and significantly step up their commitments towards agricultural adaptation to build the resilience of smallholder farmers. In this regard, global champions like CGIAR need to receive more funding for the acceleration of adaptation in agriculture, to ensure food security, increase resilience and protect biodiversity. The right investments in innovation, research and development will lead to food production increases, rather than decreases in the decades ahead.

Just as we cannot prioritize our obligation to meet the human rights needs of one crisis over another, underfunding critical development programs will severely hamstring our ability to prepare for and prevent the crises of tomorrow. That is why global leadership, bold action, and strategic programming are needed now more than ever.

This means identifying and resourcing the communities that exist at the intersections of extreme poverty.

 

Germany has a special responsibility to step up

In recent years, Germany has taken on a leading role in the global fight against hunger. The government has substantially invested in global food security and rural development and when it comes to the overall provision of official development assistance, Germany ranks second. The leadership the government has shown in recent years when it comes to global development cooperation could not come at a more crucial time. Looking at the multiple crises the world currently faces, funding for development cooperation and strengthening of multilateral institutions will be crucial to be able to respond to the medium and long-term consequences and to prevent future crises.

The German government must therefore consistently continue its commitment to strong development cooperation. Especially in a year in which Germany holds the G7 Presidency, the government’s actions and decisions will have wide repercussions at the international level. With a clear commitment to strengthening development cooperation, the German government can send a strong signal of support for the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the most marginalized people worldwide. To get the world back on track at the G7 Summit at the end of June, it is important that Germany continues to take on a leading role in international development cooperation.

The last time Germany held the G7 Presidency, back in 2015, G7 countries made a commitment to lift 500 million people out of hunger and to increase funding accordingly. This commitment still remains to be followed-up upon. The war in Ukraine, the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan and the increasing droughts and floods we witness across Africa and Asia have only amplified the urgency. It is the drastic consequences of conflict and climate change that put the livelihoods of millions of people at risk. What is needed by the G7 countries is to take urgent climate actions and to step up their ambition with regards to international climate finance, especially targeting agricultural adaptation measures.

If we don’t respond adequately and equitably now, the world will see a worsened situation for every crisis to follow — from access, availability and affordability of food, fuel prices, climate shocks and exposure to extreme weather events, the Covid-19 pandemic, and the ongoing displacement of people.

In this extraordinary time of need, citizens must urge their government to step up and do all that they can to provide support. That will mean donors raising development budgets to cover rising costs. This year, Germany can be in the driving seat for international solidarity and cooperation.

8th UNITED NATIONS SECRETARY BAN KI-MOON COMMENDS UAE’S LEADERSHIP FOR CLIMATE ACTION AND CALLS FOR INTERNATIONAL COLLABORATION LEADING UP TO COP28

Ahead of COP27 and COP28, during a mission trip, Ban Ki-moon congratulates the government of the United Arab Emirates on their climate action efforts and calls for an increase in climate adaptation finance. (Read on Yahoo Finance) 

Vienna/Seoul/Dubai, 2 March 2022, – Former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon commended the leadership of UAE on climate action and sustainability and underlined the importance of ever-stronger global cooperation for COP27 in 2022 in Egypt and COP28 hosted by UAE in 2023 with bold net-zero targets by 2050. Former SG Ban put an emphasis on agricultural adaptation for climate change during consultations with H.E. Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Special Envoy for Climate and Minister of Trade and Advanced Industry, and H.E. Mariam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Almheiri, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment.

Addressing H.E. Mariam Almheiri, Ban Ki-moon said; “It is promising to see the advances UAE has made and the ambition with which it will lead the COP28 in 2023. More than 40 countries have joined the UAE and the USA’s Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate (AIM4C) initiative launched at COP26 and 40 billion dollars have been pledged. I fully support the call for investing in agricultural research and innovation to accelerate adaptation in agriculture and commend the goal of doubling investment in climate-smart agriculture by the COP27.”

 

In return, the Minister of Climate Change and Environment shared her appreciation for Ban Ki-moon’s keynote speech broadcasted on February 23rd, at the Food for Future Summit at EXPO 2020 in Dubai. H.E. Almheiri also emphasized the importance of high-level cooperation and investment. The UAE has invested in renewable energy ventures with a total value of around US$16.8 billion across 70 countries.

Highlighting that the UAE was the first country in the MENA region to promise net-zero by 2050, at COP26, H.E. Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Special Envoy for Climate also pointed out that the UAE is the first country in the region to commit to an economy-wide reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

   

UAE is playing a key role in the region and globally as a bridge-builder and trendsetter in cooperation with UNFCCC on adaptation, mitigation, and finance. UAE’s active engagement in sustainability and climate action also manifests in the continuing developments in Masdar City, the work of IRENA, and recently with EXPO 2020. SG Ban visited all these venues as well as the Global Green Growth Institute UAE office in his function as President and Chairman of the Board of GGGI.

“Only if we all work together a just and fair climate transition can become a reality.” SG Ban underlined. Declaring the meetings a success, and calling for further collaboration, Ban Ki-moon mentioned that it’s hopeful to see the UAE continue the momentum by hosting the 28th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP28) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2023.

The Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens looks forward to working closely with the United Arab Emirates government for its Elevating Agricultural Adaptation program which calls for financial and political commitments to tackle agricultural adaptation and build the resilience of smallholder farmers in the Global South.

BKMC teams up with Global Citizen to Promote Climate-Resilient Agriculture

Climate change is already transforming humanity’s relationship with nature, and nowhere is this shift more apparent than in the field of agriculture. Farmers worldwide are contending with rising temperatures, proliferating pests, and increasing droughts and floods that require new approaches to crops that have been grown for generations.

It’s a dynamic that leaves farmers exposed to financial ruin and diminishing yields, a prospect that threatens global food security at a time when the global population and its demand for calories continues to grow.

The COVID-19 pandemic has further impacted farmers, often cutting them off from laborers, markets, and government assistance. Building back better” from the pandemic requires bold climate action that prioritizes smallholder farmers who are struggling to overcome structural and environmental forces outside of their control. That’s why the BKMC is entering a two-year partnership with Global Citizen — to advocate for climate-resilient agriculture by championing smallholder farmers especially in Africa and calling on world leaders to strengthen global food security and increase development aid to agricultural adaptation.

“2021 is the year we recover back better and call for increased political commitments,” said Ban Ki-moon, founder of the organization and 8th secretary-general of the United Nations.

“Partnering with Global Citizen on adaptation, the Ban Ki-moon Centre will join the collective effort to address climate change, focusing on building the climate resilience of smallholder farmers around the world.”

 

The partnership will involve behind-the-scenes advocacy and public awareness efforts that work hand-in-hand. By identifying governments that have shown broad sympathy for the cause of climate adaptation, the partnership will seek to increase development aid for agricultural adaptation in low-income countries.

 In support of these outreach efforts, Global Citizen and the BKMC will also seek to improve understanding of the challenges facing smallholder farmers, the complex dynamics of climate change, and how demand-driven research, such as those championed by CGIAR, accelerates climate adaptation on the ground.

In particular, the Program will bring forward the stories of smallholder farmers and how they’re confronting the climate crisis, incorporating agricultural adaptation tools and techniques, and building a better future.

While countries have shifted toward a form of industrial agriculture in recent decades that features massive plots of land and heavy use of chemicals, there are still roughly 570 million smallholder farms worldwide that manage land less than two acres in size. These farms support communities through food production, jobs, and the maintenance of traditional practices. But climate change primarily threatens smallholder farmers who do not always have the resources to adapt to emerging disruptions. Farmers often have to sell or leave their land when faced with rising temperatures, droughts, and other environmental changes. The absorption of small farms into industrial farms, meanwhile, often further contributes to the problem of greenhouse gas emissions.

 

Today you can start by taking our joint short quiz powered by Global Citizen to understand why the situation facing farmers is so urgent. 

The partnership will highlight the lived experiences of female farmers on the front lines of food production; break down how adequately funded research can transform agriculture; explore how young people are reshaping agriculture and unlocking new opportunities; explain how agricultural adaptation practices can actually mitigate climate change, and look at how farming communities can improve rural development more broadly.

Through written content, video, and social media, the partners will put a light on the people who are crucial to the future survival of humanity: farmers.

Whether or not countries can navigate the disruptions of the worsening climate crisis depends in part on how well smallholder farmers can adapt. Farmers require stable weather conditions and steady supplies of water, both of which are becoming increasingly precarious as temperatures rise. Looked at another way, focusing on the plight of farmers can foster society-wide climate resilience. If the people who tilled the land were prioritized in global decision-making processes, then fossil fuels would be phased out more rapidly and inequality eradicated sooner. After all, fewer greenhouse emissions mean less climate change and more favorable conditions for growing food.

Ban Ki-moon launches a comprehensive global soft power research study with Brand Finance in London

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.
View the Global Soft Power Index report by Brand Finance here London & Oxford, 25th February 2020: His Excellency Ban Ki-moon, the former Secretary-General of the United Nations inaugurated the Global Soft Power Summit organised by Brand Finance, the world’s leading independent brand valuation consultancy. The two-day conference was held at London’s Queen Elizabeth II Centre and the University of Oxford’s Blavatnik School of Government on 25-26 February and welcomed over 600 delegates representing more than 100 countries. The summit was attended by government officials, nation branding experts, academics, diplomats, and international media. Speakers representing the various pillars of soft power included Sir Ciáran Devane, Chief Executive of the British Council; Lord Sebastian Coe, President of World Athletics; Dr Yu Jie of Chatham House China Programme; Dr Maleeha Lodhi, Pakistan’s former permanent representative to the United Nations; Paul Brummell, Head of Soft Power at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office; Amish Tripathi, Director of the Nehru Centre; and Omar Salha from SOAS Centre of International Security and Diplomacy. In his keynote address, Ban Ki-moon said:
“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

Ban Ki-moon Centre receives the 3rd instalment of Kuwait’s donation

Today we welcomed Ambassador Sadiq Marafi, who also serves as the Ban Ki-moon Centre’s Board member, and Counsellor Abdullah Alobaidi of the Embassy of Kuwait in Vienna. The Kuwaiti delegation visited the Centre to convey the 3rd instalment of Kuwait’s donation to the Ban Ki-moon Centre. Co-chair Heinz Fischer, CEO Monika Froehler, and COO Katrin Harvey expressed the Centre’s sincere appreciation for the Kuwaiti government and the Embassy’s continued support. The past and ongoing collaboration between the Centre and the Embassy was discussed during the meeting.

Ban Ki-moon speaks of peace and security through sports at the PyeongChange Peace Forum 2020

During the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics, South and North Korean athletes entered the opening ceremony together and formed a joint women’s hockey team, creating momentum that led to bilateral talks between the South and North. Maintaining that legacy and peacebuilding, the PyeongChang Peace Forum 2020 “Peace! Here and Now” took place from February 9th to 11th in Pyeongchang, South Korea. The three-day conference attracted around a thousand participants, who were global leaders, scholars and/or experts from 25 countries, featuring the theme “Action Plan: End the Korean War” and topics related to sports, economy, ecology and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. One of the key goals of the forum was to deliver an action plan for officially ending the Korean War, said Choi Moon-soon, the governor of Gangwon Province, where Pyeongchang is located.
“We want to bring out a concrete action plan and to make it a global agenda,” said Choi at a press conference on Sunday. “This year we want to put an end to the Korean War and to forge a peace agreement.”
In his keynote address to start the forum, BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon echoed the need to carry forward the diplomatic momentum from the Olympic Games.
“The [peace] process was kickstarted here in beautiful Pyeongchang during the Peace Olympics,” said Ban. “Even though it may be fading a little bit at this moment, we should never be deterred by the setbacks we have now. Only through mutual dialogue and respect will we be able to overcome the current impasse between North and South Korea. We need all global citizens to come together.”
This three-day forum, which is being held for the second time, featured sessions on topics such as inter-Korean tourism, developing the DMZ as a peace zone and sports diplomacy. The Korean War ended in 1953 with a ceasefire agreement but not a permanent peace treaty, which has left the neighbors technically still at war for almost 70 years. The 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang became the starting point of a renewed period of detente on the Korean Peninsula and led to a series of inter-Korean summits as well as a pair of summits between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Ban emphasized that the world is facing shared challenges such as a climate crisis and urged countries to work together to tackle global issues by adopting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
“Sustainable development cannot be achieved without peace and security,” said Ban.
Gangwon Governor Choi said,
“Despite difficulties including the stagnant dialogue between North Korea and the US and continuing sanctions against North Korea, the historic efforts for peace on the Korean Peninsula, which started with the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, must continue ceaselessly.”
In addition to the forum, in its second edition, PyeongChang and Gangwon Province hope to continue to use sports events as peace-building tools. Such efforts paid off in January when the International Olympic Committee chose PyeongChang to host the Winter Youth Olympics in 2024. South and North Korea are seeking to co-host the Olympics in 2032. Source: The Korea HeraldUPI © Yonhap News, Daehan News, Thomas Maresca / UPI, Lee Seokyung / Penta Press, Lee Soo-gil / Newsway

100 Seconds: Global, National Leaders Answer Questions about Doomsday Clock Asked by Georgetown Students

Op-Ed by Ban Ki-moon: “A new generation of global citizens gives hope to humanity”

Ban Ki-moon, Special to Gulf News

I was recently in Dubai for a Model United Nations conference where students from across the United Arab Emirates gathered to participate in simulated sessions of the UN Security Council to address key issues that directly impact the world we live in. The title of the conference was ‘Challenges of Intervention in a Complex World’. Our world is complex, yes, and it faces unprecedented global challenges that require unprecedented global responses.
Maintaining peace is invariably challenging given there are always many sides to any issue. Conflicts and wars run the risk of becoming protracted, and dialogue often slows things down. When inflammatory words are used, angers flare and emotions go unchecked. The risks to humanity and the world as we know it must always be at the forefront of any decision. Dialogue, if used correctly, can play a crucial role. Agreements can be formed.
Take, for example, the 2016 Paris Agreement on Climate Change, which was backed by more than 200 governments after a process of dialogue. Strong international support and unwavering commitment was reflected in the consensus of governments around the world that robust global cooperation — and action — was essential to undertake ambitious efforts to combat climate change and adapt to its effects.

Students’ leadership skills

In Dubai, I was hugely impressed by the young men and women I met. Their passion for the world and its future was clear to see as each sought to find realistic solutions to some of the biggest issues facing our planet. Finding solutions that are acceptable to a majority of representatives requires incredible skills of negotiation, conflict resolution and cooperation. I was interested to see what leadership skills these students would portray and if they would explore solutions that world governments, NGOs and others might not have thought of before.
Ban Ki-moon
Former UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon addresses a Model United Nations conference in Dubai recently. Image Credit: Supplied

“The best advice I can give students, who could one day be our leaders, is to always consider each person’s point of view and find dialogue that takes everyone’s needs into consideration.” – Ban Ki-moon

As the conference got under way there were reports circulating of an escalating crisis between the US and Iran. Fortunately, the crisis is now de-escalating, and dialogue is the only way to resolve it going forward to ensure permanent solutions are found. Forging an international consensus, at the best of times, is not simple, and even harder when tension sets in.
The best advice I can give these students, who could one day be our leaders, is to always consider each person’s point of view and find dialogue that takes everyone’s needs into consideration. For that, they must be armed not with weapons or threats, but with two key traits — passion and compassion.

Global citizens

When I left the United Nations, I founded the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens based in Vienna along with Heinz Fischer, former president of Austria. The centre focuses on the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals for empowering women and youth. Gender equality and quality education are critically important for the future of our planet. The reason is that women make up half of the world’s population, while half of the world’s population is also under the age of 25. Yet, despite best efforts, in many developing countries, primary, secondary and tertiary education for girls remains a challenge. Currently 264 million children are not at school, and a majority of them are girls. The world is also home to the largest generation of youth ever, with 1.8 billion young people worldwide. Nearly 90 per cent of which live in developing countries. More than 70 million youth are currently unemployed, and around 40 per cent of the world’s active youth are either jobless or living in poverty — despite working. As we all know, unemployment breeds many problems, ranging from inequality and crime to terrorism.
It is up to us as individuals to go out into the world and work for the betterment of humankind. To be a global citizen and act with passion and compassion so we can make the world a safer and more sustainable place for generations to come.
The youth I encountered in Dubai gave me hope, and filled me with great pride, that together we can make a difference and drive change. A brighter future depends on global citizens like you.
— Ban Ki-moon is 8th Secretary-General of the United Nations and Co-founder of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens.
Original source: https://gulfnews.com/opinion/op-eds/a-new-generation-of-global-citizens-gives-hope-to-humanity-1.69230614#

Ban Ki-moon delivers Ethics Commission Report to the IOC Session

BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon delivered the “Ethics Commission Report” to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session taking place in Lausanne, Switzerland during the 2020 Winter Youth Olympics on January 10th. As Chair of the IOC Ethics Commission and former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban focused on three specific points.
First, he indicated that the mechanism of preventive disclosure of interests will be extended to the full IOC membership as a new implementation of the Rules Concerning Conflicts of Interests. This decision by the Ethics Commission followed a thorough analysis of the Rules adopted in 2002 and of the mechanisms in place in other organisations. In order to comply with the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), IOC Executive Board Members and IOC directors have been required to disclose their interests since 2015.
Second, in order to reaffirm the leading role of the IOC Ethics Commission and its efficiency in dealing with potential breaches of the ethical principles of the Olympic Movement by IOC Members holding positions in other sports organisations, specific and appropriate mechanisms will be put in place between the IOC Ethics Commission and the ethics com missions of other sports organisations.
Finally, the IOC Ethics Commission Chair informed the Session that the Ethics and Compliance Office has been reinforced with the integration of a newly created Compliance, Risk Management and Internal Control Unit, which is aimed at strengthening the efficiency of the ethical mechanisms for the IOC administration.
“A culture of ethics is key to the success of any organisation, including the IOC,” said Ban. “We all agree that sport is a unique vehicle for peace; but it can be efficient only if it has credibility,” he stressed. The IOC Session elected Mrs. Amina Mohamed from Kenya as a new member of the IOC Ethics Commission. Cabinet Secretary of the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Heritage in Kenya since 2018, Mrs Mohamed was elected as an independent member in her capacity as a personality and non-IOC Member.   Source: https://www.olympic.org/news/ban-ki-moon-delivers-ethics-commission-report-to-the-ioc-session © IOC / Christophe Moratal

Ban Ki-moon delivers a keynote at the inaugural GEMS World Academy Model United Nations conference in Dubai

GEMS World Academy Model United Nations (GWAMUN) hosted its 1st conference in Dubai from January 9th to 11th, 2020. As Ambassador of the Model United Nations of the GEMS World Academy (GWA), Co-chair Ban Ki-moon inaugurated the 1st GWAMUN and delivered a keynote at the opening of the conference.

In his keynote address, Ban Ki-moon said:
“We have to be inspired to go out into the world and to work not only for the betterment of our own country but also for the betterment of humankind. It is critical that we all are global citizens first and act with passion and compassion. Today’s youth must be empowered to talk about these issues. I am confident that together, we can make the world safer and more sustainable for today and for generations to come.”

The two-day conference was attended by more than 500 delegates from 34 GEMS Education schools including GWA Singapore and other schools in the UAE. The conference was also attended by world leaders, government officials, educators and students from around the region, including former UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova, who also serves as a Board member of the Ban Ki-moon Centre, as well as CEO of the Centre Monika Froehler.

“I am delighted to attend the first conference where I had the privilege of meeting the GEMS World Academy students and thank the Secretariat team led by their Director-General Lihong Wang, and Deputy General Aditya Joshi for organizing the Model United Nations Conference. These students are passionate and committed to the MUN concept. They are our future as I look forward to seeing how they will deal with critical topics impacting our world,” Ban added.
The conference, under the theme of “Challenges of Intervention in a Complex World,”  was organized by the GWAMUN Secretariat – a group of seven students from GWA, who Co-chair Ban had a meeting with before the opening of the conference. The MUN sessions concentrated on driving dialogue and sharping perceptions as well as gaining a critical understanding of the social, political, economic, and environmental challenges confronting the international community. Delegates discussed key aspects such as the difficulties of intervention in an increasingly complex, connected, and the multipolar world – one of the greatest challenges facing the global community.
The GEMS students also performed music pieces at the opening, some wearing Korean traditional clothes. GWAMUN’s ambition is not merely bringing simulation benefits to individuals but cultivating an ethic of service and a character of mindfulness. The conference aims to bring into closer contact the magnitude of the challenges confronting all of humanity and inspire each and everyone to match words with meaningful actions.
Dino Varkey, CEO of GEMS Education, said:
“We are delighted to be joined by our guest of honour – the 8th Secretary-General of the United Nations – His Excellency Ban Ki-moon – our Ambassador for the Model United Nations at GEMS World Academy Schools worldwide. It is absolutely a privilege for us, and for the students from around the region who are attending the conference debating on real world issues from climate change to alleviating poverty. With the generous support of Ban Ki-moon, our students have already started receiving an unrivalled learning opportunity to take notes from such an inspirational personality. They can develop a stronger understanding of diplomacy and gain a clearer worldview on current issues, helping them become truly global citizens.”
GEMS World Academy Dubai, founded in 2008 as a member of the GEMS Education network of schools, has gone from strength to strength and now welcomes more than 1,500 students from 85 countries every day. Learn more about GWA Dubai: https://www.gemsworldacademy-dubai.com/en © GEMS Education