Orange the World through Activism: The BKMC hosts Video Campaign on Anti-Femicide Movements

In support of the 2021 Orange the World Campaign, the BKMC launched a video trilogy spotlighting anti-femicide movements from different parts of the world.

Femicide is the most extreme expression of violence against women and is defined as the intentional murder of women because they are women.

As the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence continues to be overshadowed by COVID-19, a simultaneous pandemic of femicide has been highlighted by UN experts.

Movements around the world, calling for an end to femicide, have demonstrated the power that lies within the youth to effectively organize and call for change.

The BKMC collaborated with three inspiring activists, who all have made their mark by tackling femicide across the world.

#ShutItAllDown – Bertha Tobias, Namibia
  • #ShutItAllDown was birthed out of collective frustration, the energy of young people, and the understanding of the cause being bigger than individual fear.
  • There have been concrete successes of which we might not see the fruits of right now but which we will be holding our government accountable to in the near future.
  • The movement has grown into a more structured organization of young people providing their time and caring for this one cause.
  • I learned that the movement will not stop, the cause will not stop, people will not stop fighting if I rest.  

#NiUnaMenos – Liliana Oropeza, Bolivia

  • #NiUnaMenos movement succeeded in mobilizing a society that remains quiet and impassive in the face of structural and murderous violence against women.
  • The demonstrations brought greater visibility to the feminist movement and granted the feminist agenda a central place in the public debate.
  • Marches are not the solution, nor are they the goal in themselves. But they are a means to continue demanding and claiming what belongs to us: our lives and our rights.
  • The key to change is collaborative work, sorority, cooperation between us, to propagate energy and empowerment. 

#Challenge Accepted – Zeycan Rochelle Yildirim, Turkey

  • When a tragic story feels relatable and hits close to home, things move quickly and can turn into something very powerful.
  • The use of the English language allowed the movement to spread all over the world, whilst being clear about the true origins of #ChallengeAccepted.
  • Thanks to #ChallengeAccepted, women felt supported and heard, reducing the social stigma around the topic of abuse.
  • The movement requires men to be part of the solution because it is men who abuse women.

Participation is everything!

On 21 October 2020, Chief Operating Officer of the BKMC, Katrin Harvey participated in the 15th Austrian CSR-Day, organized by respACT, the Austrian business council for sustainable development, as a panelist for the online afternoon session “Participation is everything”.

The CSR-Day is a business conference in Austria that invites businesses to exchange best practices, network, and cooperate on sustainability topics. This year, the event’s focus was put on entrepreneurial climate protection. Together with Prof. Dr. Pablo Collazzo, Managing Partner at Sequoia Management LLC and Dorothea Wiplinger, Sustainability & Project STOP Manager at Borealis Strategy & Group Development, COO Harvey discussed how international partnerships can lead through global crises.

During her presentation, COO Harvey highlighted the holistic nature of the SDGs, focusing on the significance of Sustainable Development Goal 17, Partnership for the Goals. Cooperation and multi-stakeholder partnerships are a combining component of all SDGs and can bring a better future for all.

She explained that to create a healthy environment, a thriving society, and a prosperous economy, we need a global game-changing plan. We need an unstoppable movement of cooperation on all levels, including an SDG based economic development to achieve Agenda 2030 in the next decade.

To make the SDGs a reality we need everyone on board. It requires global leadership and strong multilateralism, local stakeholder engagement with relevant and practical policies and budgets. It needs individuals from all ages and all parts of the world. A multi-stakeholder approach can be the ideal solution, a mix of government, academia, civil society, and businesses, a best-case scenario of cooperation and international relationships.

“The SDGs can become a success story, if all actors push in the same direction, are interconnected, and think systemically to design a better and more sustainable future.”

COO, Katrin Harvey

She also highlighted some concrete partnership opportunities in striving for the 2030 Agenda.

  • Education and workforce development
  • Strengthens the supply chain
  • Affordable products and services
  • Government capacity building

THE SDG PARTNERSHIP GUIDEBOOK: A practical guide to building high-impact multi-stakeholder partnerships for the Sustainable Development Goals, Darian Stibbe and Dave Prescott, The Partnering Initiative and UNDESA 2020.

Businesses are already starting to adopt a socially and environmentally responsible mindset and learning to understand their significance and their crucial role in implementing agenda 2030 in their own operations. Yet, there is a need for acceleration and amplification on all fronts.

Combining the efforts of academia, civil society, government, and the private sector, all stakeholders can find a win-win-win situation for all within the framework of the SDGs, as they offer a blueprint for sustainable economic development in the long-run. We are the last generation possible able to mitigate the effects that are exhausting our natural resources.

She ended her intervention with a call for action “Participation is everything, let us implement the 17 SDGs together in the next decade.”

To learn more about CSR-Day click here.

Co-chair Ban Ki-moon Celebrates United Nations Day

Message from Co-chair and 8th Secretary-General of the UN, Ban Ki-moon

Today, on October 24th, 2020, we are commemorating the anniversary of the entry into force of the United Nations Charter in 1945. Over the past 75 years, the world and humankind have seen great strides forward but also have been tested by arduous setbacks. The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed and intensified existing structural inequalities – leading to relentless social and economic struggles on a global scale. However, we must not forget that while millions of people are affected by and suffering from it; poverty, terrorism, discrimination, and climate change remain a threat to humankind especially to the most vulnerable.

In 1945, the UN was founded to bring an end to human rights violations and lead the path to a sustainable future. Today, we recognize its ceaseless dedication. As we are reflecting on the past, celebrating our achievements, and looking forward to change, the global pandemic should be the push to strengthen multilateralism and international cooperation. 2020 has also been a year of opportunity for unity and positive change. That is why the UN is needed now more than ever and I have continued to support the UN system and partners in these unprecedented times. The values of the UN Charter must remain our guide as we continue to promote three pillars of the UN; international peace and security, human rights as well as development.

We must continue building on the foundation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted in 2015. We have a clear and universally agreed roadmap to lead us to a path of fundamental transformation for a just society by 2030. I thank you – for your dedication in striving for a better world.

Let us, on October 24, reaffirm our commitment to a brighter future for all – leaving no one behind.



This year the UN SDG Action Campaign became an online space engaging world leaders and emerging leaders to accelerate solutions for the sustainable development goals. During three days between 22-24 September, a total of 46 panels brought together 90 million people!

 The Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens hosted a breakout session introducing its #fellows and #scholars who discussed how they tackled challenges in their own communities, the concept of #SDG Micro-projects, and how everyone can make a difference.  

The session featured 5 of the Ban Ki-moon Centre’s outstanding Global Citizen Scholars and Fellows: Oyindamola Adegboye, Alhassan Baba Muniru, Farida Amiri, Latifa AlWazzan, and Belinda Isimbi Uwase and their innovative ‘SDG Micro-Projects’ for their communities.

“An SDG Micro-Project is a project that addresses one or more of the SDGs in a specific community. Sometimes these projects also have a bigger regional or global focus.” Julia Zimmerman 

The speakers shared their experiences with #activism for the #SDGs by tackling problems in their communities like improving recycling in Ghana, promoting inclusive peacebuilding in Afghanistan, and supporting the empowerment of girls in Rwanda to reach their full potential.

“Local problems must be solved by local people. Young people are the current and future change-makers and should be empowered to start acting now.” Alhassan Muniru 

Additionally, the speakers offered suggestions for how their ideas could be replicated elsewhere and scaled. At the end of the session, each speaker shared a ‘call to action’ for young activists around the world, making inspiring statements for how to ‘change the game’ for the SDGs.  

“If we include the younger generation, particularly young women, in peacebuilding activities or peacebuilding processes, somehow we also directly or indirectly address and tackle the issue of coexistence which is very important in order to step forward and to implement the other SDGs.” Farida Amiri 

Watch the session in full below: 


As a side event of the United Nations General Assembly on 22–24 September 2020, the fully virtual SDG Action Zone convened leading thinkers, actors, creators, and activists through frank debate, challenging discussions, inspiring showcases, and creative experiences to drive the exponential change on three core areas for accelerating action on the Goals: People, Planet and Partnerships.

BKMC Hosts Final Mentoring Workshop with Mentees for 2020 on the Importance of Network Building for Young Women

Last week, the BKMC, in cooperation with the Muslim Youth of Austria (MJÖ), hosted its third and final mentee workshop for the mentoring project 2020 – Global Citizens at Work.

The workshop featured Mag.iur Anna Steiger, Vice Rector Human Resources and Gender at the Technical University in Vienna and focused on the importance of network building for young women.

Ms. Steiger shared a bit about her own background in law and how she was able to advance her career through a variety of networks, both formal and informal.

She emphasized the importance of joining networks that you feel comfortable with and that networking is not a “one-way street. It has to go both ways and you have to be ready to invest in it.”

While networks can open doors for jobs, she also underlined that one can also get jobs without the help of networks.

Ms. Steiger discussed two types of networks: formal and informal and how both can be important for women. For example, she founded her own formal network “Salon Real” which is a network for women in the property branch. In comparison, an informal network may result from meeting other parents at your children’s kindergarten or be formed from colleagues at your university.

During the Q&A, the mentees had a chance to ask Ms. Steiger some of their more pressing questions. One of the mentees asked her to share her “tips for success” as a woman building a career. She recommended the following:

  • If you don’t get the job, be happy! You probably weren’t the right person for the job. 99% of the time this is true.
  • Timing is important. You need to know it and use it.
  • Your friends and family are important! Don’t forget them.
  • Be able to turn off.

The mentoring program for 2020 will end in November this year. During the final weeks, mentoring pairs will submit their SDG Micro-Project reports and attend a final closing event on November 17th. Stay tuned for updates!




Ban Ki-moon Contributes to Bahrain Visions Forum

On September 29, 2020 Ban Ki-moon Centre Co-chair, Ban Ki-moon contributed to the Bahrain Visions Forum taking place on the sidelines of the virtual United Nations General Assembly. 

The event was co-hosted by the Kingdom of Bahrain and the World Health Organization (WHO) and focused on the Sustainable Development Goals Beyond the Covid-19 Pandemic. 

Young voices from Bahrain introduced the high-level forum calling for action on the SDGs:

Following opening remarks by Bahrain’s Foreign Minister H.E. Dr. Abdullatif bin Rashid Alzayani and H.E. Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization, the event included high-level speeches and messages by

  • Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations
  • Audrey Azouley, Director General of UNESCO
  • Dr. Denis Mukwege, Nobel laureate

Co-chair Ban Ki-moon contributed his remarks in a video message,  emphasizing that particularly during times of COVID-19, it is essential to “empower and include the voices of women and youth”.

Pointing to the fact that young people and women comprise at least 75% of the world’s population, Ban Ki-moon stressed that more must be done to engage these two groups as they are enablers to achieve sustainable development.

Watch the full event here:

BKMC at the SDG Marketplace

On September 24th, the BKMC participated in an SDG Marketplace event organized by the Directorate of Education of the City of Vienna. During the fair, a diverse selection of institutions presented their teaching and learning materials on the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly for students. The materials will be showcased throughout the year for teachers and students at the Bildungshub Vienna.

Info booths were provided by BAOBABÖKOLOGAmnesty International AustriaForum Umweltbildung, and the Human Rights Office of the City of Vienna and BKMC.


The networking event highlighted the diverse SDG activities of the participating organizations and served to explore possible synergies in the implementation of the SDGs, particularly in the education sector.

City of Vienna Director of the Education Hub Mag. Heinrich Himmer and Co-Chair of the BKMC, Dr. Heinz Fischer emphasized the crucial role of schools as multipliers for the SDGs. Children and youth are the changemakers of tomorrow who must utilize the Agenda 2030 as a roadmap to navigate in the world and to solve its complex challenges.”

The newly launched interactive SDG wall, including an app, will serve as an instrument to educate students about the interconnectedness of the 17 goals.

Co-Chair Dr. Heinz Fischer and CEO Monika Fröhler addressed teachers and students in a video message, in which they highlighted the importance of the SDGs BKMC’s contribution notably the Centre’s three completely free online courses, the portfolio of SDG micro-projects prepared by the Centre’s various fellows and scholars and the SDG Resource Hub. More teaching and learning materials are available at Bildung2030


#BKMC CEO Monika Froehler was a panelist for an online discussion part of the five-day Bloomberg Green Festival organized by Bloomberg and Global citizen. The engaging session titled how to Feed the Future – Food Security in the Context of Climate Change focused on farmers, produce and the impact of Climate Change and #COVID19.
“Investing in climate smart agriculture is imperative.”
The discussion was moderated by Global Citizen Chief Policy Mick Sheldrick and welcomed stellar speakers: Gilbert Houngbo, President, IFAD and former Prime Minister of Togo; Aksel Jakobsen, State Secretary of International Development for the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Sabrina Elba , Actress, Model, and IFAD Goodwill Ambassador.
“It is undeniable that farmers are the backbone to any civilisation. They are the men and women who work tirelessly to put food on our tables and are guardians of natural resources, and will be significant in reduction of GHG emissions. Where would we be without farmers?” Mick Sheldrick, Global Citizen Chief Policy 
The session highlighted the importance of innovative agricultural solutions to address hunger and malnutrition, ambitious initiatives that have emerged in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, and the importance of public-private partnership and collaboration to tackle global food insecurity.
A five-day festival featuring a cross section of visionaries from business, design, culture, food, technology, science and entertainment, built to foster solutions-oriented conversations.
Watch the session right here.


Ban Ki-moon Joins the Annual Meeting of the Asia Development Bank

Asia Development Bank: Developing Asia Beyond the Pandemic

On September 18, 2020, Co-chair Ban Ki-moon participated in the Asia Development Bank’s Annual Meeting together with ADB President Masa Asakawa, Indonesia’s Minister of Finance Sri Mulyani Indrawati, and Bank of Japan’s Haruhiko Kuroda.

The COVID-19 pandemic has upended developing Asia’s economic expansion, threatening to halt its progress toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Governments in Asia and the Pacific responded decisively to the crisis but now must get their economies on track while grappling with the constraints of the “new normal.” Join a distinguished panel as they explore policies for crisis response, safe reopening, inclusive recovery, and future resilience.

Watch the full event here.

“Now more than ever before, the world needs a new generation of thinkers and doers. We need thinkers who can appreciate the scale of the challenges before us. And we need doers who will step forward to act.” Ban Ki-moon

Read Ban Ki-moon’s Keynote Speech:

It is my great honor to address the 53rd Annual Meeting of the ADB Board of Governors.

It is truly regrettable that the Annual Meeting could not be held in Incheon, Korea, because of COVID-19. Thanks to advanced technologies, however, we are virtually meeting today to discuss a wide range of important agenda without any technical problems. I would like to hereby extend my special thanks to all staff who have made this meeting possible.

In this light, I believe this virtual setting manifests the theme of today’s meeting: Innovation, Inclusiveness and Integration.

Indeed, we are living through a period of converging crises and pressing challenges that have upended the international order and ushered in a new period of global unpredictability and risk.

COVID-19 has completely shifted the way we live; the climate crisis continues to deepen; economic powers are escalating tension; and technological advancement is pressuring countries around the world to constantly innovate.

Even before the pandemic took hold of our lives, populist skepticism and anger have fueled many of the seismic geopolitical changes we have witnessed in the recent years.

Now, these same dynamics are hindering our unified response to COVID-19 and climate change. Instead of cooperation, we have seen a failure in listening to scientists and experts, and a resounding lack of trust in mainstream media, political leaders and institutions.

Against this backdrop, we must understand that in our increasingly interconnected world, global challenges inherently require global solutions.

Today, I will highlight the global challenges of COVID-19 and climate change, which simply cannot be solved without international cooperation, and the UN’s role as the cornerstone of solidarity, partnership and recommitment to multilateralism.

I will also elucidate the essential role of education in solving the challenges of today, as well as cultivating the leaders of tomorrow.

  • COVID-19

First, the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted our common reality in unprecedented ways. There have been over 30 million total cases of COVID-19 and nearly 1 million global deaths. The UN estimates that COVID-19 has cost 400 million jobs in the 2nd quarter of 2020 alone.

And behind these staggering numbers, COVID-19 has amplified existing inequities in health care, labor, housing, food, gender equality, and other key areas.

This pandemic has underlined the great need for global leadership and a strong multilateral response. Unfortunately, we are lacking both at such a critical time.

Indeed, in the last six months, we have witnessed a major failure in global leadership in response to COVID-19 as nationalism has been placed at the heart of great power politics.

It is no longer enough to simply go back to business as usual; we must build back better, as well as greener.

Governments need to elevate political commitment and public financing to health. A three-pronged approach is necessary to holistically integrate public health preparedness, universal health coverage, and healthy societies. Policy-makers must also scale-up investment in public health services to help prevent future pandemics. Protecting and improving the health of all people everywhere should become an all-government, all hands-on-deck strategy led by heads of state.

To holistically respond to COVID-19 and other major global challenges, such as our deepening climate crisis, we must expand multilateral cooperation, and in particular, partnership based on innovation, inclusiveness and integration.

We must prepare for future pandemics as we combat this one, share information and best practices, and ultimately restore international cooperation and trust. We are all in this together, and only as strong as our weakest health system.

  • Climate Change

Second, climate change is fueling conflict, migration, and public health risks around the world. These dynamics will continue to worsen in the absence of strong multilateral action and renewed political will.

The global disruptions we have witnessed this year as a result of COVID-19 may be a preview of the chaos soon to be unleashed from cascading climate tipping points.  We have no time to spare.

Bringing the entire world together to achieve the Paris Climate Change Agreement in 2015 is one of my proudest personal achievements as UN Secretary-General. Signed by 197 countries, 4 countries more than the 193 UN Member States, the historic Paris Accord offers us a clear game plan to confront the serious threats to our planet. It sets viable targets to impede rising temperatures, constrict greenhouse gas emissions, and spur climate-resilient development and green growth.

Our pandemic recovery will offer a unique and critical opportunity to forge meaningful progress to meet the aspirations agreed under the Paris Agreement. It provides a collaborative blueprint to ensure the future we want. But we must all work in partnership to realize this future.

In addition, I would like to draw your attention to the International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies designated by the UN. The adoption of this resolution took less than three months after President Moon Jae-in of the Republic of Korea first had proposed it at the UN Climate Action Summit on September 23rd last year. The accelerated adoption process demonstrates the international community’s high interest and desire for clean air and blue skies. Air pollution and climate change are two sides of the same coin. This year marked the first year of International Day of Clean Air for blue skies, and we need to harness the political momentum to tackle air pollution as a gateway to address climate change.

Taking this opportunity, I extend my deep appreciation to the ADB member states for their strong support and participation in this important campaign.

Another important area in addressing the climate change is to strengthen our capacity of adaptation. Adaptation is as important as mitigation in fighting back and prevent in advance for consequences caused by climate change. As you may know, in my capacity as Co-chairman of the Global Center on Adaptation, I launched, together with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh, a South East Asia regional center on Adaptation in Dhaka, Bangladesh on September 8th, 2020. I hope ADB work closely with the regional center. The first was established in Beijing in 2019, another regional office for Africa was also established this week on September 16th, with the African Development Bank hosting the Global Center for Adaptation Africa. .

No single country can confront climate change or achieve sustainable development on their own. We need international solutions. In this regard, we must seize this generational opportunity to build back better from COVID-19, help catalyze climate action, and steer our planet and humanity towards a more sustainable and prosperous future. Through our collective actions, we can turn crisis into opportunity and walk towards a better future.

  • Education

Last but not least, education will play a vital role in restoring multilateralism to address COVID-19 and the climate crisis.

Now more than ever before, the world needs a new generation of thinkers and doers. We need thinkers who can appreciate the scale of the challenges before us. And we need doers who will step forward to act.

We have seen so clearly with the recent turn of events and the challenges with COVID-19 that technology, when harnessed appropriately, can be an indispensable resource with immeasurable impacts—far greater than what the current system has shown to be able to provide, as we see today and in this Annual Meeting. So how do we begin to uncover, understand, and utilize the full potential of a technology-enriched learning experience?

I believe that it begins with an understanding that education technology is not simply online learning or even a particular software or program that merges technology with education.

Rather, it is about creating an ecosystem that ensures local adaptability of the program at hand; requires a well-functioning infrastructure; develops sufficient and competent human capital; and is housed within a visionary, committed, and supportive policy environment.

To witness true innovation, we must be prepared for a disruption to the traditional concept of education as we know it, and a reshaping of the existing learning structures in place.

While this may sound a bit drastic, this simply means that we must proactively explore new ways of learning and create a culture of embracing change—change that can break down barriers of inflexibility, inaccessibility, inefficiency, and inequity.

I believe that partnerships flourish when all actors are united in their understanding of purpose and priority.

The leadership role of the government is, therefore, critical in setting an overarching vision and strategy for innovation that is aligned to the country’s larger national education and development priorities.

In keeping with this agenda, local actors (including teachers, schools, businesses, NGOs, and universities) can and should take a more proactive role in leading the change—appropriately adapted to their specific context.

Through such locally-driven initiatives, relevant partnerships will be forged; genuine collaboration will be fostered; and valuable feedback of local experience and knowledge will be channeled back into the system.

  • Recovery through multilateralism

In conclusion, in order to protect global public goods, such as the environment, and effectively address COVID-19, we need to renew our commitment to multilateralism.

Education, cooperation, partnership, and global governance, including the strong leadership of the UN and the WHO, are needed to underpin our fight against climate change and COVID-19, as well as its secondary economic and societal aftershocks.

We must remember that in our globalized world, we are only as strong as the weakest link. COVID-19 and climate change do not respect borders, but they do magnify inequities.

COVID-19 has illuminated our interconnected nature. Multilateralism is the only effective way forward.

As such, international cooperation, partnership, and global governance—fortified by solidarity and climate action—must light our way to a more healthy, sustainable, and resilient future for our children and grandchildren.

I thank you for your leadership and action to this end. Let us work together to make this world better for all!

Watch the full event here.

Ban Ki-moon Delivers Speech on Anti – Corruption at Forum Alpbach

On September 1, 2020 – Ban Ki-moon Centre Co-chair, Ban Ki-moon participated in a discussion panel hosted by  IACA – International Anti-Corruption Agency during the European Forum Alpbach. 

The highlighted session at the Forum also welcomed Michelle Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Geneva; (WRITTEN STATEMENT);  Angel Gurria Secretary-General, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Paris; Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Laureate, Banker, Social Entrepreneur, Dhaka.

The stellar panel focused on why and how corruption happens and various solutions to tackle corruption worldwide. Co-chair Ban Ki-moon highlighted the need for leadership during these times: “The current pandemic spotlights the vast inequalities that still persist in our societies. World leaders must take responsibility in creating inclusive healthcare systems and social policies that leave no one behind. “

He also urged that to build a sustainable global economy, we need to use the 2030 Agenda as a roadmap: “We are entering the Decade of Action and effective anti-corruption measures are essential for the achievement of all 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals.” 

Ending his speech, Ban Ki-moon, once again underlined the importance of multilateralism and the role of global citizens in fighting corruption: “Successfully addressing corruption requires synergies of politicians, businesses, media, NGOs and civil society through a comprehensive and multidisciplinary approach.”

Moderator Dean Thomas Stelzer read out the statement of Michelle Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights as she couldn’t join the call due to technical reasons. Her speech shed light on the money lost through bribes and corruption and said, “The money stolen through corruption every year is enough to feed the world’s hungry 80 times over.”

Angel Gurria Secretary-General of OECD defined corruption as a threat to inclusive growth that widens inequalities and undermines the values of democracy. He urged the viewers, “As corruption is a moving target we must keep running, we must keep joining forces”

During his passionate intervention, Prof. Muhammed Yunus clearly ascribed the root of corruption to the theory of economy and the focus on profit maximization. In his words: Free market economy as the root of corruption. Human beings are driven by self-interest. We have to look at the root of why humans act corruptly. We need to reexamine the definition of a human being to find anti-corruption solutions. Only human beings, not institutions can change the system.” 

Following a short Q&A session, Co-chair Ban Ki-moon closed the session by stating: “How to educate people as global citizens is a baseline on how to make our societies free of corruption.”