Dubai Cares partners with the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens to empower youth for climate action

Green Jobs for Youth – Online Training and Mentoring’ is the inaugural program that aims to position education and skilling as key to climate action

Dubai, UAE, 29 January 2022 – In its effort to champion education transformation for climate action, Dubai Cares, a civil society organization formally associated with the United Nations Department of Global Communications (UN DGC) signed a new partnership with the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens (BKMC) to launch the “Green Jobs for Youth – Online Training and Mentoring” program. With the addition of this new program, Dubai Cares expanded its programmatic portfolio as a key step to place education at the heart of the global climate and development agenda.

The MoU was signed at the Dubai Cares offices by His Excellency Ban Ki-moon, 8th Secretary-General of the United Nations and Co-Chair of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens, and His Excellency Dr. Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer and Vice-Chairman of Dubai Cares, in the presence of Monika Froehler, Chief Executive Officer of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens. The announcement follows Dubai Cares’ recent partnership with the incoming COP28 UAE Presidency to collaborate on a suite of climate education outcomes for COP28, where the UAE-based global philanthropic organization will host the second edition of its RewirEd Global Education Summit, to position education as a key solution for climate action, with youth being at the center of the transformation.

Showcasing both the organizations’ efforts to support COP28 in making this year’s COP, a COP of Action, the partnership reflects Dubai Cares and the BKMC’s commitment to strengthening the integration of climate into education through a collaborative and action-oriented programmatic approach.

The new program will work towards developing the potential of youth as leaders who are proactively contributing to climate action through a full understanding of the crisis, and their personal role in driving positive climate actions. The program will mentor and support young talent towards aligning their individual skills and aptitudes with career paths in the climate space that enables them to fulfill their true potential, while also contributing to innovative climate solutions that can accelerate the transition to a green economy.

Commenting on the announcement, H.E. Ban Ki-moon, 8th Secretary-General of the United Nations and Co-Chair of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens, said: “During my tenure as Secretary-General of the United Nations, in 2015, we adopted the Sustainable Development Goals and signed the Paris Climate Agreement among more than 190 countries. Under these two frameworks, universal education rights and the future of the planet were essential to my mandate. Today, as climate hazards such as extreme droughts and floods destroy the livelihoods of families around the world, education becomes increasingly inaccessible, unaffordable, and non-inclusive. As the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens, we are looking forward to working with such a key partner as Dubai Cares to showcase how crucial education is to understand the global and personal implications of climate change, the potential that lies in green jobs while empowering youth towards climate action.”

Highlighting the significance and long-term impact of the partnership, H.E. Dr. Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer and Vice-Chairman of Dubai Cares, said: “Youth are the biggest assets to solve the most complex issues facing humanity, especially climate change. By investing in the education, skilling, and mentorship of youth as climate actors, our partnership with the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens aims to create meaningful opportunities for youth to engage with the climate sector more actively and purposefully, as well as prepare them to lead the transition to a greener economy. We look forward to working with the BKMC to unlock the untapped potential of youth in implementing new solutions, driving policy, and building the foundation of a green future for all.”

Dubai Cares’ commitment will be directed towards the program’s three main components, namely, an online course that leverages the power of technology to empower students with green skills; a mentoring element that connects youth with relevant professionals in the green job sector, and a policy recommendation document that will provide decision-makers with access to information that can push policies focused on involving more youth in green jobs.

The program aims to directly benefit a total of 10,000 young people (14-20 years of age) enrolled in the course. The program will also prepare a cadre of 45 mentees who will work on SDG Micro-Projects, which are initiatives created and implemented by BKMC fellows, mentees, and scholars. These micro-projects aim to tackle one or more of the Sustainable Development Goals on a local, national, or international level. In addition, the program’s online course will also indirectly benefit 277,980 individuals, including parents of the enrolled youth, job providers, policymakers, and the public.

“The beautiful dream of a world without war and poverty” President Van der Bellen, Ban Ki-moon, and Heinz Fischer in Krone Zeitung

 

On September 8th, the President of Austria, Alexander Van der Bellen, visited the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens office in Vienna. The meeting was hosted by the Co-chairs of the Centre, the 8th Secretary-General of the United Nations and the 11th President of Austria Heinz Fischer.

Following a brief introduction with the team and of the Centre, the three government leaders held a discussion on recent global affairs in private and then spoke with Krone Zeitung. You can read the full interview below in English or here Krone220911 in German.

“The beautiful dream of a world without war and poverty”

The former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen and his predecessor Heinz Fischer met with the “Kronen Zeitung” for an in-depth conversation.

What they are wishing for was the final question posed to the former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen and his predecessor

Heinz Fischer after a long joint conversation with the “Krone”.

A world where people listen to each other and their rights are respected, a world where no one is poor, where men and women have equal rights and where wars are forbidden.

Ban even dreams of global citizenship. Just like John Lennon in the year 1971 in his peace ballad “Imagine”:

Imagine there are no countries, no possessions, nothing to kill or die for…

Unfortunately, this is unrealistic, as Ban explains on the basis of his Korean home country. As a child, he was an internally displaced person, and the state of war between North and South Korea continues to this day, and the former Secretary-General does not see a reason for optimism at this point. A reunification is simply unrealistic. All summit meetings at the highest level have been unsuccessful.

The same applies to Taiwan, which considers itself an independent state but is seen by China as a renegade province. “One solution,” says Heinz Fischer, “is not in sight.” One could only hope for reason and that there is no reason for war.

Van der Bellen: “Dangerous developments”

The issue today, according to Alexander van der Bellen is that there are so many crises at once. The pandemic is not yet over. No one knows what winter will bring. The Russian war in Ukraine is driving up energy prices. This is a problem for the economy, as well as for individual people.

All of these are dangerous developments. 

“People are worried”, said the Federal President.

“And they have every reason to be.” Still, he tries to reassure.

The EU is reacting in a coordinated manner and holding talks with Russia in one unified voice: “This surprised Putin. He did not expect that.” Nevertheless, we shouldn’t foster any illusions: “The war will last for a while.”

Consequently, we shouldn’t only get away from fossil fuels for this reason. This should have happened decades ago.

Hence, we would not be dependent on Russian gas now.

Ban: “The role of politics is to give people a voice.”

“With regard to climate change, we were acting a bit like sleepwalkers,” explains van der Bellen. “We didn’t take it seriously for decades.”

Not only on this point do we need a “global vision”, says Ban. There is so much frustration in the world: “Yet, it’s the role of politics to give people hope.”

Fischer: “In the end, there are only losers.”

The lesson from history is that war does not solve problems, adds Fischer: “In the end, there are only losers. Even the winners are in truth, losers.” After all the deaths. And Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen concludes: “We all want peace.”  This brings us back to John Lennon’s beautiful dream.

COP27 is a Crucial Moment to Join Efforts in Advancing the Global Goal on Adaptation

An exchange between all-female global leaders called for an increase in cooperation between countries to upscale action in climate change adaptation. In the lead-up to the COP27 climate change conference, the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens (BKMC) in Austria hosted a hybrid high-level ministerial roundtable on climate adaptation under the patronage of the 8th UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Watch the full event on Youtube.

Dubai/Berlin/Cairo/Vienna 8 September 2022 – As we move towards COP27 in Egypt and COP28 in the UAE, it is of utmost importance that the work on adaptation accelerates, especially in advancing on the Global Goal on Adaptation within the framework of the Glasgow-Sharm el-Sheikh Work Programme,” said Ban Ki-moon, Co-chair of the BKMC, as he welcomed high-level guests to the ministerial roundtable.

On the heels of the African Adaptation Summit in Rotterdam, Ban Ki-moon convened a hybrid roundtable event in Vienna, moderated by BKMC CEO Monika Froehler, on “Climate Adaptation: The Road Beyond COP26: COP27 & COP28” at the ministerial level with Leonore Gewessler, Austrian Federal Minister for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation, and Technology; Yasmine Fouad, Egypt’s Minister of Environment and host country representative of COP27; Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and Environment of the United Arab Emirates – the COP28 host country, and Jennifer Morgan, German State Secretary and Special Envoy for International Climate Action.

“Our efforts towards adaptation must accelerate. COP27 this year will be decisive. Only in the past couple of months we experienced the most severe drought in East Africa for 40 years, devastating floods in Pakistan, and wildfires around the globe. These events further escalate global energy and food insecurity. We need to advance the Global Goal on Adaptation within the framework of the Sharm el-Sheikh Work Programme as a priority,” said Ban Ki-moon.

Agreeing with the importance of such an acceleration, Austrian Minister Leonore Gewessler gave examples of how Austria is contributing to international and national efforts in tackling climate change. She mentioned the importance of data collection to better manage climate mitigation and adaptation efforts, stating that “we have to bring the solutions we have already identified on paper to life.”

The 8th UN Secretary-General took the global community to task: “At COP15 in Copenhagen in 2009, developed countries committed to mobilizing 100 billion US dollars a year by 2020 in climate finance for developing countries. Despite their efforts, according to the OECD, only 83.3 billion US dollars were provided by 2020.”

The governments of Germany and Canada are co-leaders in the development of the progress report on the Climate Finance Delivery Plan, a report to be published before COP27 which will outline how this commitment can be met. German Climate Envoy Jennifer Morgan underlined that climate finance remains a core issue in the debate, where more transparency and better use and access to finance is much needed. This includes an equal share of financing between mitigation and adaptation.

“The focus on adaptation, finance, loss and damage is essential. Germany remains committed to the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement. This includes fulfilling the Glasgow commitment to double adaptation finance collectively by 2025,” stressed Jennifer Morgan.

UAE Minister Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri said she finds the Glasgow-Sharm el-Sheikh Work Programme promising. Looking ahead to COP28, she emphasized that the UAE is keen to continue accelerating climate adaptation efforts and exploring opportunities for effective global partnerships. She added: “One of our priorities is to enhance the adaptive capacities of the agricultural sector. We want to demonstrate how the UAE-USA joint initiative, the Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate, advances food systems innovation and supports smallholder farmers.”

In a video message, Dr. Yasmine Fouad, Egypt’s Minister of Environment and COP27 Ministerial Coordinator and Envoy, reaffirmed Egypt’s preparedness to host COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh on November 6-18th 2022. She noted that adaptation and climate were both top priorities for the Egyptian presidency, emphasizing that “now is the moment to stand up and keep progressing on the Global Goal on Adaptation. We must show the success stories that protect and keep our local communities climate resilient.”

Ban Ki-moon concluded the event by saying that “the upcoming COP27 in Egypt is an African COP. This presents an ideal opportunity to come together and ensure that adaptation is tackled comprehensively. It is a crucial topic to so many people in Africa, including the estimated 33 million African smallholder farmers.”

8th UNITED NATIONS SECRETARY BAN KI-MOON COMMENDS AUSTRIA’S LEADERSHIP FOR THE WORK ON THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS and CALLS FOR INTERNATIONAL COLLABORATION

During a mission trip to Vienna, Austria, Former Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon met with Chancellor Nehammer and Minister Karoline Edtstadler and discussed the war on Ukraine, soaring energy prices, efforts towards climate change and the Sustainable Development Goals.

Vienna, 7 September 2022 – “Austria is more visible in its work for the Sustainable Development Goals than ever. In times of increased stresses worldwide including the climate crisis, the ongoing pandemic, the war in the Ukraine and the energy and food crisis, the commitment to multilateralism and to international collaboration for the Global Goals is more important than ever” said H.E Ban Ki-moon, Former Secretary-General and Co-chair of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens (BKMC), who is currently in Vienna for bilateral meetings with high-level representatives of the Austrian government.

Ban Ki-moon met with Chancellor of Austria Karl Nehammer to discuss recent global affairs including climate change, the current inflation and energy crises around the world, the long-lasting impacts of the pandemic, and the Russian aggression on Ukraine. Mentioning his recent trip to Kyiv, Ukraine in August, Ban Ki-moon said “I visited Kyiv to emphasize that support for Ukraine comes from all over the world. I offered my support to President Zelenskyy and the people of Ukraine and reaffirm the centrality of Ukrainian sovereignty, territorial integrity, and its right to self-defense.” Also having visited Ukraine in April this year, Chancellor Nehammer called for the end of all combat action, aiming for a cease-fire – and voiced his concerns over the looming food security and energy issues. The Chancellor mentioned that energy independency is Austria’s priority. Ban Ki-moon commended the leadership of Austria stating, “Strong multilateral response and international cooperation and partnership are required to deal with these crises. I thank the Secretary-General for his commitment as Chair of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens for the excellent cooperation with the Federal Chancellery. Together we have implemented numerous projects to promote the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals. The BKMC certainly takes a leading role in this area. I am pleased that Austria has risen to 5th place worldwide in the SDG implementation ranking this year. This positive development is an incentive for us to continue working closely together to further advance the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.”

 

During the bilateral meeting with Federal Minister for the EU and Constitution, Karoline Edtstadler Ban Ki-moon referred to the long-standing cooperation between the Chancellery and the BKMC emphasizing that, “It is highly encouraging to see Austria taking a leading role for the SDGs and supporting dialogue between civil society, academia, and decision-makers with its annual SDG Dialogforum.” Over the course of the last three years the Austrian Chancellery and the BKMC have worked very closely on advancing the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals in Austria, and through various activities have elevated to Austria in the ranks from 9th to 5th on the SDG implementation ranking score of Bertelsmann Stiftung.  Especially in the light of major global challenges such as the Ukraine crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change, Ban Ki-moon mentioned that the comprehensive and interlinked goals of the 2030 Agenda are becoming increasingly important. He said, “I look forward to the concrete suggestions deriving from the second SDG Dialogue Forum on 7th October involving four Austrian Ministers and many representatives from Civil Society, as well as youth. Austria´s work on the SDGs is hopefully inspiring for other nations around the world”.

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