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

Ban Ki-moon speaks at the BFA Conference hosted in Ulaanbaatar

As Chair of the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA), BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon delivered a remark at the Opening and Plenary Session of the Boao Forum for Asia hosted in Ulaanbaatar on August 20th.

He highlighted the urgent need to work together across national borders to tackle the climate challenges the world is facing.

The session was moderated by Director-General Vorshilov Enkhbold of the Department of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia under the theme of “Concerted Action for Common Development in the New Era.”

The other speakers included:

  • Executive Secretary Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana of the United Nations ESCAP
  • Secretary-General Li Baodong of the BFA
  • Prime Minister Ukhnaagiin Khurelsukh of Mongolia
  • Foreign Minister Damdin Tsogtbaatar of Mongolia
  • Chairman Bayanjargal Byambasaikhan of the Business Council of Mongolia
  • Entrepreneur Vice-President Xiaosu Meng of the China International Council for the Promotion of Multinational Corporations (CICPMC)
  • Chairman Tongzhou Wang of the China Nonferrous Metal Mining

The participants of the conference agreed that cooperation of culture and education plays a significant role in regional development. Discussing the wide ranges of issues concerning the economic growth of the Asian countries, the conference also touched upon investment environment and economic prospects of Mongolia and corresponding government ministries of Mongolia delivered presentations at the parallel sessions.

Watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QbCbg3LEkoE
Read more: https://montsame.mn/en/read/198352
Read more: https://news.mn/en/788667/
Learn more about the Boao Forumenglish.boaoforum.org

Ⓒ BOAO Forum for Asia & NewsMN

HeForShe at the World Scout Jamboree, Youth Leading the Way

HeForShe at the World Scout Jamboree, Youth Leading the Way

  • World Scouting, in partnership with HeForShe – the global solidarity movement for gender equality, invites international Scouts to commit to gender equality, engaging over 40,000 Scouts at the 24th World Scout Jamboree.
  • The partnership for gender equality between HeForShe and World Scouting builds momentum as thousands of international Scouts join the HeForShe movement, filling a critical gap to engage both girls and boys in achieving gender equality.
  • The HeForShe Baton – a traveling symbol of the HeForShe global solidarity movement – was passed from World Scouting Secretary General Ahmad Alhendawi to former United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, sharing the mantle for gender equality ahead of the 2023 World Scouting Jamboree in South Korea.

Beckley, West Virginia August 2, 2019:  The UN Women HeForShe Initiative and the World Scout Movement have this week helped move the needle on gender equality at the 24th World Scout Jamboree in West Virginia, USA, with 40,000 youth from over 150 countries. This partnership is the result of World Scouting’s commitment to the global solidarity movement HeForShe.

The 24th World Scout Jamboree, the largest global youth education event and an international gathering of Scouts, was held July 22 through August 2 and saw tens of thousands of international Scouts come to learn and discuss issues of development and gender equality. Scouts also showed their commitment to gender equality by signing up to join the HeForShe movement for gender equality online. Scouts from around the world participated in gender “Scout Talks” and engaged the HeForShe Action Kit for Scouts to explore the role that they can play in their societies to create a gender equal world.

“By learning about gender equality and talking about what it means in today’s world, these young people are taking important steps as a new generation of allies,” commented UN Under-Secretary General and Executive Director of UN Women Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka. “There is great mobilization potential here, given the 50 million or so Scouts worldwide. This is a partnership that can bring the HeForShe movement’s messages of change into whole communities.”

Ahmad Alhendawi, Secretary General of World Scouting, reinforced his commitment to gender equality and to inspiring millions of Scouts to create a more gender equal world by joining the HeForShe movement.

“This World Scout Jamboree is a point where we culminate and emphasize this commitment by joining forces with Scouts around the world to champion gender equality and to say as Scouts: we are HeForShe,” said Alhendawi.

“We believe that this Jamboree is a major highlight in our partnership, but our efforts to continue mobilizing young people for gender equality will go far beyond this event.”

In 2017, World Scouting Secretary General, Alhendawi became a HeForShe Champion with an ambition to see 50 million Scouts commit to achieving gender equality. Thousands of Scouts have already responded with a resounding “Count me in!”, and many more joined the movement in West Virginia.  

Also present was former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, on hand to welcome the world to the next World Scout Jamboree to be held in South Korea in 2023.

“As the very first man to sign up to be HeForShe, I am especially proud to see how far the movement has come, and that it continues to grow stronger. The partnership between HeForShe and World Scouting is a testament to cooperation, solidarity and progress in our world,”

stated Mr. Ban, who championed the HeForShe Initiative during his UN Secretary-General tenure and is currently the patron of the 2023 Word Scout Jamboree.

As a highlight of the closing ceremony of the Jamboree, World Scouting Secretary-General Ahmad Alhendawi passed the HeForShe Baton to Ban Ki-moon, symbolizing a sharing of responsibility to mobilize men and boys to stand up for gender equality. “As we accept the baton of hosting this wonderful event, we also receive the HeForShe Baton for gender equality and take on the responsibility to build a more gender-equal world. There is no better place to start than our youth,” added the former UN Secretary-General.

About HeForShe

Created by UN Women, the United Nations entity for gender equality and the empowerment of women, the HeForShe solidarity movement for gender equality provides a systematic approach and targeted platform where a global audience can engage and become change agents for the achievement of gender equality in our lifetime. HeForShe invites people around the world to stand together as equal partners to craft a shared vision of a gender-equal world and implement specific, locally relevant solutions for the good of all of humanity.

About World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM)

Scouting is the world’s leading educational youth movement, engaging millions of young people to be active citizens and create positive change in their communities. The World Scout Movement is made up of more than 50 million Scouts connected together through a membership network of 170 National Scout Organizations.

Press Release
Media Contact: HeForShe@unwomen.org

Photo: Maria Dolores Gonzales & Hank Hyungkyu JANG, World Scouting

The Elders warn of escalating nuclear tensions following termination of INF Treaty

Alarmed over the imminent termination of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, The Elders call on US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin to act in the interests of all humanity rather than following short-sighted agendas.

The Elders warned on July 29th that the imminent termination of the INF Treaty between the United States and Russia risks sparking an ever greater escalation of nuclear tensions and a breakdown of global security structures.

They noted that each side has blamed the other in a deepening cycle of recrimination. Even if the responsibilities for this breakdown of the INF Treaty are not shared, both sides share responsibility for the future to uphold arms control treaties and pursue disarmament.

The Elders thus called on US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin to act in the interests of all humanity rather than following short-sighted agendas, noting that the consequences of the termination of the INF will be acutely felt in Europe and Asia and will exacerbate global tensions ahead of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference in 2020.

Gro Harlem Brundtland, Elder and former Prime Minister of Norway, said:

“The INF Treaty helped to end the Cold War and restore peace and security in Europe. I fear this legacy risks being squandered by one side or the other through a mix of bellicosity and hubris. The leaders of Russia and the United States must refocus their strategies in favour of nuclear disarmament, not escalation. Both leaders have at times spoken in this sense. They must turn their positive words into realistic action.”

The Elders noted with alarm that the probable termination of the INF is only one element of destabilising uncertainty around the future of arms control, given the lack of clarity around the extension of the New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty), reports that the US could “unsign” the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, and the overall lack of dialogue on any form of arms control between the US and Russia.

Increased geopolitical tensions from the Korean Peninsula to the Indo-Pakistan frontier and the Gulf make it all the more imperative to have a serious, substantial discussion between the nuclear powers to defuse tensions and restore trusted channels of dialogue.

Ban Ki-moon, Deputy Chair of The Elders and former UN Secretary-General, said:

“There is a very real risk that the whole security architecture around nuclear non-proliferation that was built up during the decades of superpower confrontation may collapse, through neglect, miscalculation and ill-founded threat analysis. It is crucial that the US and Russia agree to extend New START as soon as possible, and for the P5 states to get serious about making progress on disarmament ahead of the NPT Review Conference in 2020.”

In the event that the United States proceeds with its intention to withdraw from the INF Treaty by 2 August, 2019, The Elders called on all leaders to exercise maximum restraint and refrain from actions that would further raise security tensions in the European arena. They urged Russia and the US in particular not to unilaterally develop or deploy new INF-range weapons systems, and to consider creative solutions that could help preserve the benefits provided by the INF Treaty as far as possible.
Existing arms control frameworks need not only to be preserved but expanded to counter new technological developments such as hypersonic weapons and space-based delivery systems. This should be done on a multilateral basis with all parties acting in good faith.

Ernesto Zedillo, Elder and former President of Mexico, said:

“The world cannot afford a return to the threat of nuclear annihilation we endured in the Cold War. Multilateral engagement is crucial to securing global peace and disarmament. Today’s leaders need to reassert the key message of Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev a generation ago: a nuclear war can never be won, and must never be fought.”

Source: https://theelders.org/news/elders-warn-escalating-nuclear-tensions-following-termination-inf-treaty
Photo: President of The Russian Federation

A global monumental journey and its voluntary reports by BKMC CEO Monika Froehler

“The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are an action plan for people, planet, peace, and prosperity that are indivisible and connected. But how do we know if we are on track?”

EU Umweltbüro published its magazine EUropainfo which includes an article on “a global monumental journey and its voluntary reports” written by the Ban Ki-moon Centre CEO Monika Froehler and Consultant Nadine Gürer.

“It is evident that we need targeted action to leave no one behind,” Froehler quoted Co-chair Ban Ki-moon’s famous catchy phrase.

“The Action plan is a demonstration of the SDG mainstreaming approach adopted at Federal level capturing the latest activities, instruments and projects of the Austrian Federal Ministry for Sustainability and Tourism’s eight departments.”

The magazine also features other articles on how much Austria, ranking the 5th place on the SDG Index, has advanced in achieving the SDGs and what are the strategic plans of its government. The Ban Ki-moon Centre has hosted an event in partnership with the Swedish Embassy in Vienna where the topic was discussed with the public.

Read the article on the previous event at the Swedish Embassy: https://bankimooncentre.org/europe-and-the-sdgs
Learn more about the EU Umweltbüro: https://www.eu-umweltbuero.at/

Ban Ki-moon draws attention to the urgency of youth empowerment in the latest ADA publication

In their latest publication, the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) focuses on Africa’s youth and their vital function for the future of the continent. Africa has the highest number of people under the age of 25, with around 600 million youth in 2017 accounting for almost half of the continent’s population.

Young people represent potential consumers, producers and innovators and can thus contribute to regional economic growth. The risks of conflict, poverty and instability however push more and more youth towards emigration. The report states that investments in health and education systems must dramatically improve in order to make young people’s opportunities in their own countries attractive. Gender inequality and the lack of jobs further hinder sustainable development and a prosperous future for Africa’s youth.

Co-Chairman Ban Ki-moon emphasizes the urgent need to include and empower youth all over the world. “We cannot afford to waste their talents” he claims and points to the fact that in no time in history have there ever been more young people than at this moment.

Investing in human capital should be made a priority if the continent wants to cope with rising demographics. Africa’s youth is energetic and ambitious and more connected than ever before. They have plans but need political will and new social infrastructures in order to fully contribute to economic growth and live happy, sustainable and determined lives.

The Elders call for end to Gulf brinkmanship, urge Iran to continue to abide by JCPOA

On June 21st, The Elders called on all states to refrain from any actions or rhetoric that could further inflame tensions in the Gulf region and the wider Middle East. They specifically called on all concerned to encourage Iran to continue to abide by its commitments under the nuclear deal reached with the international community in 2015.

They noted there is a strong, shared global interest in nuclear non-proliferation across the Middle East, and in maintaining safe and peaceful conditions in the strategically vital Strait of Hormuz.
Upholding the Iranian nuclear deal is an integral part of securing these common interests. Recent moves by the US Administration to tighten economic sanctions and restrict Iran’s ability to sell oil to third parties does nothing to promote stability, and risks emboldening opponents of any form of cooperation or reconciliation.

Mary Robinson, Chair of The Elders and former President of Ireland, said:

“The JCPOA was a genuine triumph of multilateral diplomacy which should be used as a building block for further diplomacy with Iran and for non-proliferation efforts elsewhere, not dismantled in favour of unilateral agendas. President Rouhani and Foreign Minister Zarif have shown commendable fortitude thus far. Iran must stay the course now at this critical moment.”

The Elders also condemned the recent attacks on oil tankers in the Strait as a dangerous and reckless provocation and looked to United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres to launch an independent investigation to determine who is responsible.

They reaffirmed their strong support for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and applauded the fact that Iran has to date stuck by its commitments despite the unilateral decision of US President Donald Trump in 2017 to withdraw from the agreement.

This respect for the agreement, despite the US withdrawal, has ensured the JCPOA’s other signatories – China, Russia, France, the United Kingdom, Germany and the European Union –are united in their desire both to preserve the deal and to use diplomacy to address their other
differences with Iran, for instance over ballistic missiles and regional conflicts. Breaching the deal could fracture this hard-won consensus.

Ban Ki-moon, Deputy Chair of The Elders and former UN Secretary-General, said:

“I am deeply concerned by the current tensions in the Gulf. They highlight the dangers posed by the lack of an effective Middle East security framework, and the folly of the US decision to withdraw from the JCPOA. This rash move not only weakens regional stability, but also sends the wrong signal to ongoing negotiations over North Korea’s nuclear issues.”

The Elders called on all parties to the JCPOA, and the United States, to resume dialogue on the longer- and broader-term prospects for Iran’s security relations with the region, beyond the “sunset provisions” of the nuclear deal, as well as its reintegration into the international economic system.

They welcomed the recent statements by President Trump and Secretary of State Pompeo that the US does not want a war with Iran, and encouraged leaders and policymakers in Washington and Tehran to approach the issue in a spirit of good faith and mutual respect.

The current tensions in the Gulf, the wars in Yemen and Syria, the lack of progress towards a just and lasting solution to the Palestinian problem, and the malign roles of foreign-backed militias and proxy forces acting with impunity in much of the Middle East all highlight the need for a comprehensive peace and security framework that goes beyond the issue of Iran’s nuclear programme.

Lakhdar Brahimi, Elder and former UN diplomat, added:

“True and lasting peace in the Middle East will prove elusive as long as the core issue of the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people is not addressed properly, and any country in the region is treated unfairly. Responsible leadership is needed in the region and from all parties interacting with the region; Iran and its neighbours must all act wisely and refrain from provocations. The US must learn from past failures and foreswear any talk of ‘regime change’, and Europe must stand by its own commitments under the JCPOA. The world cannot afford another reckless confrontation in the Middle East.”

ENDS

Source: The Elders

BKMC signs an MOU with the Ban Ki-moon Institute for Global Education

The Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens (BKMC) and the Ban Ki-moon Institute for Global Education in Support of UNAI (IGE) at Handong Global University signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on June 21st, 2019 in Seoul, South Korea.

This MOU states that two institutes are in mutual cooperation for joint programs which may include academic programs and courses, forums and conferences, and scholarships and fellowships on the topic of global citizenship.

On the margins of the MOU signing ceremony, BKMC CEO Monika Froehler, Associates Minji Kwag and Julia Zimmerman had a meeting with the IGE Director and UNAI Korea Deputy Director Jeffrey Choi and UNAI Korea Program Officer Choi Bo-woo. The two entities respectively introduced their mission and upcoming projects to each other and sought for further collaborative areas.