Ban Ki-moon Centre co-hosts a peace talk with the WEP Asia fellows from Afghanistan

The Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens, the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna, and the Women in International Security (WIIS) Austria co-hosted an event titled “A Long Road to Peace: Realities, Hopes, and Visions from Afghanistan” in Vienna, Austria on October 8th, 2019. The WEP Asia fellows participated in the event, especially those from Afghanistan featuring as speakers.

Naeem Poyesh, Deputy Head and Counselor of the Embassy and Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in Vienna, pointed out some of the main problems of the peace process in Afghanistan.

“There are many actors, but they have different goals,” said Poyesh.

He also addressed the issue of gender inequality in the peace process as women in Afghanistan society are rather expected to stay home.

Poyesh emphasized that

“we should seek peace” and that “we should not follow the seasonal policies based on elections and relationships,”

Viola Christian, Coordinator of the Women’s Empowerment Program, introduced to the gathered crowd the mission and the work of the Ban Ki-moon Centre as well as the WEP Asia fellows from Afghanistan, who came up to the stage to present their stories.

Laleh Rahimi from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan suggested solutions for the challenges faced in Afghanistan:

 

  1. All segments of society and people should jump into solving the challenges with common goals and unity.
  2. Afghanistan needs help and cooperation from the international community.
  3. “Educating women is so important!

“We have to raise our voices,” said Sohalia Rezaee, co-founder of the Afghanistan Youth Empowerment and Peace Building Organization (AYEPO).

She shared her story about being an Afghan refugee in Iran as well as other challenges she has faced as a young woman in her country after she returned. She was denied to go to school, asked to get married in early age, and lost her best friend during an attack.

In order for her to empower herself as well as other young women in her society, she established AYEPO and taught female students in high school age “leadership, personal skills and peacebuilding skills.”

The event also hosted a panel which was moderated by Professor Ebrahim Afsah of the University of Vienna and consisted of:

  • Farida Amiri, Founder of Peace Friends
  • Munira Aziz, European Union Delegation, Afghanistan
  • Hooria Sardarzaada, Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs of Afghanistan

Amiri shared her experience as a young female entrepreneur peace-builder and pointed out that it is difficult for young people and women “to take part in the decision-making process.”

She said, “our views, concerns, and commitments have to be showed to the international community and included at the table.”

Professor Afsah asked the panel,

“What is the role of international actors?”

Aziz responded with the importance of sustainability and accessibility:

“The support of the international community is crucial to build sustainable peace” she said, “the international community plays an essential role in including the remote areas and the marginalized communities.”

When Professor Afsah asked the panel about the role of private initiatives, Sardarzaada answered:

“It should be localized.”

“Education is the key.”

She said that “the Afghan government should speak on behalf of us and “work in unity” with the private sector and its allies and partners.

After the panel discussion, a number of the participants stayed longer to have a deeper conversation with the speakers and to have their questions answered regarding the peace-building process and women’s empowerment.

© BKMC / Eugenie Berger

 

WEP Asia fellows participate in a round table with women leaders

The Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global CItizens together with the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna hosted a Round Table: “Effective Women Leadership” for the Women’s Empowerment Program (WEP) Asia participants on October 2nd in Vienna, Austria. The event was moderated by BKMC CEO Monika Froehler and featured outstanding women leaders as panelists:

  • Lulua Asaad, Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Officer at UNODC
  • Selma Prodanovic, CEO and Founder of 1MillionStartups
  • Vera Strobachova Budway, Senior Coordination Advisor, Gender Section, OSCE
  • Helena Zimmerdahl, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Sweden in Vienna

The event provided a secured space where the fellows freely shared their personal stories, discussed various challenges they are facing, and received advice from the senior women leaders. Critical questions were raised such as

“What is a good/bad leader?”

“How can we make men with closed mind listen to us?”

“How can we overcome the challenges we are facing?”

 

 

 

 

 

Prodanovic said that the WEP Asia fellows have already achieved so much and that it is important for them to reflect on what they have done to succeed and think about how to further amplify the efforts.

She said, “the fact that you ladies are here shows that you are among the top 1% that cares about women’s empowerment” and encouraged the group to “follow your inner voice, and do the right thing!”

Budway shared her motto and encouraged the aspiring young women leaders to be “open for new challenges.

She said that one can become an expert in anything that she desires and is passionate about.

“Take risks; don’t be afraid. Step out of your comfort zone!” 

Zimmerdahl also reminded the young fellows that they don’t have to be good at everything. She continued, “Go easy on yourself. You are very capable but do not have to do it all” and encouraged the individuals to create their exit strategy and work on it.

“Even if you have chosen a path, if it does not make you feel comfortable, don’t be afraid to change this path.”

 

 

 

 

Asaad said, “leadership is not only about leading but having an impact on society and on the people around us.” She also stressed that “leadership is also about being authentic and being true to oneself.”

She then added that “the network that we have as women and with women is so important as we are essential in promoting each other” but that “Gender equality is a responsibility for everyone: boys, men, girls, and women.”

In consequence of the round table, Froehler moderated a workshop during which the WEP Asia fellows came up with their own list of the most important elements for being a good woman leader.

The group created a manifesto that consists of total 16 elements with which they will further develop their leadership skills and continue to make changes:

  • Let me be wrong in my way!
  • Lower your expectations.
  • Be vulnerable; Embrace yourself.
  • Dare to delegate.
  • Ask for help when needed.
  • Make small steps and celebrate small successes.
  • Change is not easy, but it was your choice.
  • Amplify; Speak for yourself.
  • Raise your voice even ignored or interrupted.
  • Amplify the voice of another woman.
  • Teach boys and men about gender equality.
  • Share inspirational stories about other women in other communities.
  • Read a book that inspires you.
  • Share what you find inspiring.
  • Find a mentor and a supporting system.
  • Get out of your comfort zone.
© BKMC / Eugenie Berger

WEP Asia fellows participates in the first workshop hosted at the Ban Ki-moon Centre

Change-makersmotivation, and peace. Everything you just said are the definitions of global citizens,” said BKMC CEO Monika Froehler.

The Women’s Empowerment Program fellows participated in an active workshop moderated by CEO Froehler at the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens office on October 1st, 2019. The group actively discussed the meaning of global citizenship, what are their favorite SDGs, and what they could do to achieve the Goals.

Co-chair Heinz Fischer also shared the history of women’s empowerment and what was the role of women in the development of the Austrian and European society.

“Today’s program was so useful for us because we found the SDGs and the connections between these Goals, and we could feel empowered to develop these Goals.” – Sohaila Rezaee from Afghanistan 🇦🇫

“The workshop today was very practical. It taught me skills in how to give my ideas in a structured and organized manner.” – Soo Min Jun from South Korea 🇰🇷

“I learned a lot about global citizenship, what it is to be a global citizen, and we had a lot of fun activities related to the SDGs. It is a very good opportunity to take time to talk about each one of them.” – Catherine Harry from Cambodia 🇰🇭

“I was worried that I felt far from the terms such as SDGs, Global Citizenship, and female leaders, but after this session, I found these terms to be fairly relatable to each one of us, to our countries and to our communities.” – Delgermaa Antangerel from Mongolia 🇲🇳

© BKMC / Eugenie Berger

Watch the video on #WEPAsia Day 2:

© BKMC / Angelika Lauber

BKMC launches the Women’s Empowerment Program (WEP) Asia!

The Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens together with the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna officially launched the Women’s Empowerment Program and welcomed the selected fellows from Asia tp Vienna on September 30th, 2019. Total 20 of the outstanding women leaders from Cambodia, Afghanistan, South Korea, and Mongolia were chosen to participate in the tailor-made fellowship training for the upcoming 2 weeks.

At the welcome event, Deputy Director Susanne Keppler-Schlesinger of the Diplomatic Academy said,

“the Austrian Empress Maria Theresia, a great  female leader herself, founded the Diplomatic Academy in 1754. She would be proud to see that today we are launching the Ban Ki-moon Centre’s Women’s Empowerment Program in the very institution that she built.”

The program will offer a unique opportunity to advance young international female global citizens’ potential to promote the Sustainable Development Goals and foster women’s empowerment in their countries of origin by training their communication skills, crisis management and mediation competencies at the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna.

“We received hundreds of impressive applications in the past months. You are the 20 Global Citizen Fellows that we have selected, and it is beautiful to see you gathered here today, already building international friendships and a network of change makers,” said the organizer of the program Viola Christian.

This fellowship training program will offer an environment in which young women can refine their ability to make sustainable change and grow their networks to become the leaders of tomorrow.

“In these two weeks,” said BKMC CEO Monika Froehler to the fellows, “you will further develop your skill-set to make sustainable development happen and to empower women globally.”

The fellows had the time to introduce themselves to each other and share their innovative ideas and initiatives to contribute to the sustainable development in our shared society.

Watch the video update of the WEP Asia on Day 1:

Learn more about WEP Asia: https://bankimooncentre.org/projects/wep

Photos by Eugenie Berger
Video by Angelika Lauber

BKMC and UNESCO APCEIU launch an online course on Global Citizenship and the SDGs

On September 30th, 2019, the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens in cooperation with the GCED Online Campus team of UNESCO APCEIU launched the first collaborative online course titled:

“Becoming Global Citizens for a Sustainable Society”

The course introduces the SDGs and the notion of global citizenship through the series of lectures by renowned experts from all over the world, interviews with scholars, advocates and representatives from all different sectors, and case presentations by active global citizens. With the course, the Ban Ki-moon Centre aims to examine and critically reflect on the revolving issues around the globe at local, national, and global levels. By introducing the best practices from different parts of the world, the course also encourages learners to take actions as global citizens to reach sustainable development for all.

Following topics will be discussed throughout the course
ㆍ Global Citizenship and the SDGs (United Nations Sustainable Development Goals)
ㆍ Global Citizenship in a Challenging World
ㆍ Act to Change: Global Citizenship for Transformation
ㆍ Meet the Global Citizens around the World
ㆍ Plan for Action: Becoming Active Global Citizens

👉 Register for the course now to learn how to be a Global Citizen: http://bitly.kr/EctbVMb

Promotional Video 1

Promotional Video 2

 

SDSN Youth launches the SDG Students Program in support of the Ban Ki-moon Centre

On September 17th, the SDSN Youth officially announced that the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens is endorsing its SDG Students Program, which is a youth initiative aimed to engage students in higher education in the global effort to achieve the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The SDSN Youth representative said,

“The BKMC’s recognition of the fantastic work done by our SDG Student Hubs and SDG Coordinators in engaging students in the 2030 Agenda is an important encouragement so that we can keep working towards our goal of a better future.”

As the youth division of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), the SDSN Youth’s mission is to empower young people globally to create sustainable solutions. Through its SDG Students Program, the SDSN Youth aims to not only engage students globally but also to empower them with the knowledge, skills, and pathways to action to be effective agents of change today, which coincides with the mission of the Ban Ki-moon Centre.

To those students who have actively learned about, engaged with, and taken action on the SDGs, “The SDG STudents Program Certificate” signed by Co-chair Ban Ki-moon of the Centre, Global Coordinator Siamak Sam Loni of the SDSN Youth, and President Chandrika Bahadur of the SDSN Association will be conferred at the end of the program, One of the required criteria to complete the program is to take the Ban Ki-moon Centre’s online course titled “Sustainable Development in the 21st Century with Ban Ki-moon.” This course was co-developed by the Centre and its partner Institute for Global Engagement and Empowerment (IGEE) at Yonsei University and was launched on Coursera.

Watch Ban Ki-moon’s advocacy video:

Be Part of SDSN Youth's SDG Students Program!

A big thank you to Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens for giving a shout-out to our SDG Students Program, which brings 🙋‍♂️🙋‍♀️ together to create positive change for the #SDGs and the 🌎! Learn more about the Program ➡️ www.sdgstudent.orgCheck out what Ban Ki-moon, former United Nations Secretary-General and Co-Chair of the centre, has to say about it! ⬇️

Gepostet von UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network – Youth am Dienstag, 17. September 2019

Learn more about the SDSN Youth: https://sdsnyouth.org/ 
SDG Students Program: https://www.sdgstudent.org/ 

Co-chairs Ban and Fischer say: “The UN can not do anything without solidarity”

At the European Forum Alpbach 2019, BKMC Co-chairs Ban Ki-moon and Heinz Fischer were interviewed on August 25th by Der Standard, an Austrian daily newspaper published in Vienna.

Journalist Christoph Prantner asked why multilateralism is essential to meet the major global challenges. The two agreed that the international community must find new unity and that otherwise the big global challenges such as the climate crisis can not be overcome.

Ban stressed the “importance of

multilateralism in solving global challenges,” giving examples on the trade war between the USA and China and the rise of populism in Europe. He said that “regional issues were solved through solidarity and diplomacy in the past.”

Fischer added, “leadership alone is not enough, global challenges are always politicalecological
and ideological.”
He used the Paris Agreement as one of the solutions for current issues.

Giving the World War II and the subsequent creation of the United Nations (UN) and European Union (EU), Fischer pointed out that “sometimes we need a shock/crisis to be able to move towards a bigger goal.”

 

Read more (GER): https://bit.ly/2k03s1O

© Eugenie Berger

Meeting with President Alexander Van der Bellen of Austria

As the former United Nations Secretary-General and Co-chair of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens, Ban Ki-moon had a bilateral meeting with the President of Austria Alexander Van der Bellen on August 25th. CEO of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens Monika Froehler also accompanied.

The Ban Ki-moon Centre has closely worked with the Austrian government with a common goal of advancing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). President Van der Bellen expressed his appreciation for Co-chair Ban Ki-moon’s advocacy and strong will to strengthen the relationship between Austria and South Korea. Ban says that half of his heart lies in Austria as he has served as a Korean Ambassador to Vienna in the 1990s.

Having its headquarter located in Austria, the Ban Ki-moon Centre has not only actively cooperated with the international organizations and relevant stakeholders based in the country to promote the SDGs and global citizenship mindset but has it been also a bridge between the two countries, tackling the global challenges together with both governments. Ban has given advice to the Austrian government about its strategic plans for the Agenda 2030 and has also chaired the Korean government’s National Council on Climate and Air Pollution that tackles climate issues surrounding the Korean peninsula.

Ⓒ BKMC / Eugenie Berger

“Promoting the SDGs in Europe with a Global Mindset”

The Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens hosted a breakout session in cooperation with the Federal Chancellery of the Republic of Austria (Bundeskanzleramt Österreich) at the Political and Legal Symposia at the European Forum Alpbach on August 25th, 2019.

Theme: “Promoting the SDGs in Europe with a Global Mindset”

Welcome remarks and a keynote were delivered by:

  • Brigitte Bierlein, Federal Chancellor of Austria
  • Heinz Fischer, Co-chair of the Ban Ki-moon Centre & 11th Federal President of Austria
  • Ban Ki-moon, Co-chair of the Ban Ki-moon Centre & 8th Secretary-General of the United Nations

During her welcome remarks, Chancellor Bierlein said that Austria is currently actively engaged in multilateral matters, mentioning the country’s ranking in the SDG Index for this year.

“One could certainly emphasize that in terms of the implementation of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Austria ranks among the top 5 countries worldwide,” said Bierlein.

“For the global policy for our planet,” Co-chair Heinz Fischer said that “the global governing programs are the SDGs.”

Fischer said that the Goals are interconnected and that they are based on human dignity, which is the most important matter for mankind. He said that achieving all these goals could be challenging but that “it is a necessary and important task.”

Delivering a keynote, Co-chair Ban Ki-moon encouraged all national leaders to act as global leaders with a global citizenship mindset, which he said is a truly crucial asset for every individual to have in order to achieve sustainable development in a global society.

“These 17 Goals offer us a way to confront the most critical issues of our time,” he said, “the opportunities to change the world for the better are all in our hands.”

The panel consisted of:

As a moderator of the Session, BKMC CEO Monika Froehler asked the panelists their points of view on the Session topic as well as suggestions for achieving the SDGs.

Minister Patek said that the European Union as a whole performs well on the implementation of the SDGs. She pointed out that some of the elements of the success include an effective state system beyond borders, the engagement with active NGOs, and the provision of an environment for a prosperous life.

Lamy said that the real quality of the SDGs is the supply of countable goals to civil society to foster the expectation towards political and economic leaders, agreeing to what Ban has emphasized during his keynote.

To fight the most pressing global challenge, climate crisis, Frischmann said that managing refrigeration and stopping leakage in air conditioners and fridges may serve as the most effective way that individuals can contribute to.

The audience also got actively engaged in the conversations by participating in the Mentimeter presentation that reflected their answers to questions in real-time and by raising critical questions. Some of the discussion topics included what are the local and global solutions for curbing climate change and how to engage most for the SDGs.

Watch the recorded live stream: https://www.facebook.com/BanKimoonCentre/videos/724752221309832/

© EFA / Iryna Yeroshko & BKMC / Eugenie Berger

Ban Ki-moon meets with the Prime Minister and Ministers of Mongolia

On the margins of the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) held in UlaanbaatarMongolia, BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon together with the BFA delegation met with Prime Minister Ukhnaagiin Khürelsükh, Foreign Minister Damdin Tsogtbaatar, and the Minister of Environment and Tourism Tserenbat Namsrai on August 20th.

 

Prime Minister Khürelsükh underlined the importance of the involvement of youth, scholars, scientists and businessmen and expanding Mongolia’s involvement in the BFA.

Co-chair Ban also said that Mongolia has the potential to play an important role in regional development and asked for the Mongolian Government’s cooperation in solving global issues such as climate change and air pollution.

At the meeting with Foreign Minister Tsogtbaatar, Ban commended the Mongolian Foreign Ministry for hosting the BFA conference for the first time in the country. He then noted that the key goal is to detect impediments and offer solutions and opportunities for the social and economic development of the world’s fastest-growing region.

Chief of Staff to the President of Mongolia Zandaakhuu Enkhbold also received delegates headed by Ban. Ban thanked the Mongolian Government for hosting the BFA for the first time in Ulaanbaatar. He also conveyed an invitation to President Battulga Khaltmaa to attend the events for the 20th anniversary of BFA that will be held next year.

 

Photos by: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia & Ministry of Environment and Tourism of Mongolia & Staff to the President of Mongolia & BKMC & BOAO Forum for Asia