UNECE Regional Forum on Sustainable Development 2019

The UNECE Regional Forum on Sustainable Development took place on 21 and 22 March 2019 in Geneva. The Forum brought together more than 800 pan-European stakeholders to exchange experiences about the progress and challenges in the implementation of the SDGs.

The BKMC gladly accepted the invitation to this important event and formed part of the wide range of civil society representatives, who are advocating political action for the SDGs.

The conference was chaired by H.E. Ms Ogerta Manastirliu who is Albania’s Minister of Health and Social Protection. In welcoming remarks, Deputy UN Secretary-General Amina Mohammed stressed the importance of the Regional Fora to understand how we can increase ambition and accelerate the implementation of the SDGs. Ms Olga Algayerova, UNECE Executive Secretary and Under-Secretary-General, underscored the RFSD’s convening power in the process of sustainable development.

A High-Level Policy Segment served to present Voluntary National Reviews of UNECE countries and facilitate peer-learning among the government representatives.

The second day addressed SDG 4 (Quality Education), 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth), 10 (Reduced Inequalities), 13 (Climate Action) and 16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions) in a variety of focus events, round tables and side events. Fruitful discussions and meaningful exchange explored the interlinkages of the SDGs.

When it comes to SDG 4 Quality Education, for example, the following challenges were identified:

  • urban-rural gaps
  • education for the elderly
  • effectively drawing on digitalization
  • disparities based on income, location, gender, immigration or minority status and disability
  • integration of Global Citizenship Education (GCED) into curricula

A report will summarize the key messages from the UNECE RFSD 2019 and provide the official input from the UNECE region to the 2019 High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) which will be held between 9 July and 18 July in New York. The HLPF is the United Nations’ central platform for follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals. The BKMC is pleased to have been an active part of the RFSD 2019 and have thereby contributed to the HLPF 2019.

MOU Signing between Bahrain and the Ban Ki-moon Centre

Last week, the Ban Ki-moon Centre welcomed a delegation from the Kingdom of Bahrain including H.E. Shaikh Hussam bin Essa Al Khalifa, the current President of His Royal Highness the Prime Minister’s Court.

The meeting included a briefing on the Ban Ki-moon Centre and its work as well as a memorandum of understanding (MOU) signing between the Centre and the Kingdom of Bahrain.

Bahrain seeks to support and collaborate with the Ban Ki-moon Centre in implementing the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In 2007, the Kingdom established the Khalifa Bin Salman Award for Sustainable Development. Last year, Chairman Ban was awarded with this distinction.

Since the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Bahrain has been actively engaged for sustainable development. The Ban Ki-moon Centre is pleased to sign an MOU with the Kingdom and looks forward to fruitful collaboration for the SDGs!

“Everyone can change the world!” says Ban Ki-moon in the interview with the Austrian Red Cross

Ban Ki-moon Interview
Magazine “My Red Cross” by the Austrian Red Cross

How is the world going to look like in 50 years?

In 50 years sustainability has hopefully become the global norm. The world now has the largest generation of young people in history. I place great hopes in their power and positive activism to shape our future. They are part of the first generation that can end poverty and the last that can avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Hopefully, even before 50 years have passed, quality education will be provided to all, gender equality will become the standard, health and well-being will be guaranteed for each human being and all the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will be achieved. It has to be an effort of everybody at all leaves to leave no one behind.

 

Are you afraid your children and grandchildren will have to live on a destroyed planet one day?

Climate change is the most pressing challenge we face as human beings today. It is not slowing down, and the clock is ticking. Natural disasters are becoming more and more frequent and devastating, from historic floods, fires, storms, tsunamis and earthquakes. To protect our planet for future generations, steps must be taken to both combat and to adapt to the changing climate and with accelerated action. It is our collective responsibility as global citizens to see that our planet remains inhabitable and safe for the generations to come.

 

There are more extreme weather events in the world and climate change seems to be speeding up. Do you think mankind has realized what is at stake?

Many of us are very aware of what is at stake, especially those who are making it their life’s work to mitigate and adapt to climate change. However, despite the many who are aware and active, some are choosing to turn a blind eye. This is troubling, particularly when it comes from national leaders. When the US and President Trump pulled-out of the Paris Climate agreement, this was deeply concerning. I have been speaking out that his vision is politically short-sighted, and economically irresponsible and scientifically wrong. So, he is standing on the wrong side of history. Despite this, I am encouraged and hopeful that the whole world will be united in moving ahead with this Paris Climate Change Agreement. It is the political and moral responsibility of our political leaders to support this.

 

You traveled to the US in 1962 with students from 42 different countries to visit the American Red Cross and meet president Kennedy. How did that influence you?

Thanks to the American Red Cross, I was given the opportunity to join students from 42 countries to travel across the United States visiting Red Cross chapters. This opened my eyes to the world. During the trip, I met then President John F. Kennedy, who said to us “there are no national boundaries; there is only a question of whether we can extend a helping hand.” This strong message has been engraved in my memory ever since and I continue to try my utmost to do my share as a global citizen to help those in need. All our helping hands are needed.

 

What are your feelings when you look back from our very different time with very different presidents?

The world has changed vastly since 1962. Since then, the world has faced rising global challenges. Leaders, in recent years, have turned towards nationalism and populism, putting up walls instead of extending helping hands. This is, plainly stated, not the way forward. Leaders must have and enlist a global vision in all that they do, seeing beyond their national borders. I have not met many that have a global vision. Nelson Mandela is one of the examples that comes to mind. Many around the world were greatly influenced by his selfless struggle for human dignity, equality and freedom.  He touched our lives in deeply personal ways.  At the same time, no one did more in our time to advance the values and aspirations of the United Nations.

 

You come from South Korea – and 80 percent of the people affected by natural disasters live in Asia. Who should start to accomplish the turnaround in climate politics?

Natural disasters are having a major impact around the world and indeed Asia is majorly affected. China has a great responsibility in the region as well as in the world in leading the turnaround in climate politics. Recently, the country has shown great leadership in cleaning up the air and has contributed greatly to the Green Climate Fund. Additionally, China reached its 2020 carbon emission target three years ahead of schedule with the help of the country’s carbon trading system. China will be key to getting other countries to comply with the Paris Climate Agreement.

 

What can individuals do to change the world?

I firmly believe that individuals have the power to change the world for the better, be it at a local, regional, or global level. Women make up half the world and half the world’s population are under the age of 25; therefore, it is vital to empower these groups to act as global citizens, showing solidarity and compassion towards the challenges the world faces. At the beginning of 2018 we founded the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens in Vienna, Austria together with my Co-chair Former Federal President of the Republic of Austria Heinz Fischer for this exact purpose. In the world today, there are plenty of people with passion, yet not enough with compassion. This is unfortunate, so we must educate the world’s youth to understand that their actions have ripple effects on other around the world. We must teach empathy alongside math and history, for without this and a global vision, we will not succeed in creating a sustainable future for us all, leaving no one behind.

 

What is necessary to achieve a turnaround – does the planet need a new economic system to find a path towards sustainability?

To achieve the turnaround, there are many steps the world needs to take. These may be at the systemic level, but also at the social and individual levels. Businesses need to understand the economic and additional benefits that come from operating more sustainably. The system may not need to change, but the structures within it and leadership can be transformative. The Global Compact has proven that companies who adapt to more sustainable practices will have a “win-win” situation as their success requires stable economies and healthy, skilled and educated workers, among other factors. And sustainable companies experience increased brand trust and investor support.

Additionally, engaging women more in the economic system will also cause a transformation of the global economy and vastly impact sustainability. When more women work, economies prosper and grow. An increase in female labour force participation and a reduction in the gap between women’s and men’s labour force participation, leads to faster economic growth.

These are just a few of the ways in which the turnaround, with regards to the economy, can be achieved.

 

You say global issues need global solutions, and that it takes responsibility and global citizenship. But isn’t growing nationalism around the world – and blaming globalisation for problems – preventing just that?

Nationalism is truly the antithesis of the notion of global citizenship and it is hampering our progress towards building a sustainable planet. Indeed, global solutions are necessary. However, when world leaders and nations retreat into their own bubbles, we are not able to have the difficult discussions needed to make progress towards achieving the 2030 Agenda and meeting the challenges we face today. Therefore, multilateralism must continue to be fostered wherever possible. We need to keep these avenues of discourse open.

Read the magazine (German) here: http://epaper.roteskreuz.at/MRK1Wien2019/

Photo: Peter Lechner

 

 

BKMISD welcomes the University of Tokyo students to talk about the “Silk Road”

BKMC affiliated office the Ban Ki-moon Institute for Sustainable Development (BKMISD) jointly with the Faculty of Oriental Studies of the KazNU welcomed the students from The University of Tokyo to Almaty, Kazakhstan on March 13th.

In cooperation with the Faculty of Oriental Studies of the KazNU, The MDP Global Classroom, and the Model UN New Silk Way, the BKMISD hosted a scientific and practical seminar for Japanese students on the topic of “Kazakhstan on the Great Silk Road.”

The faculty members and undergraduates of both universities participated in this workshop, and the group also discussed ways to implement the strategic development of the universities and their academic mobility.

 

Photos: BKMISD

Ban Ki-moon Keynote Remarks at MIPIM 2019

Keynote Remarks at MIPIM 2019

12 March 2019 14:00, Cannes, France

Je vous remercie pour votre présentation chaleureuse,

MIPIM Directeur Mr. Ronan Vaspart,

Chers invités, Mesdames et Messieurs,

Je suis honoré d’être là cet après-midi au MIPIM 2019— le leader mondial du marché immobilier— comme nous travaillons ensemble pour un avenir engageant.

Et c’est mon grand privilège de délivrer ce discours inaugural à un point nommé pour votre industrie, la durabilité humaine et notre planète.

J’utilise cette opportunité pour montrer ma profonde gratitude aux partenaires, sponsors, investisseurs, les représentants publics, les gestionnaires de fonds du Reed MIDEM, MIPIM 2019 ainsi que les 26,000 participants représentants 100 pays qui se sont rassemblés ici cette semaine.

Depuis les 30 dernières années, ce dynamique rassemblement annuel a été le premier vrai évènement mondial de l’immobilier.

Cela a réuni les intervenants clés de tous les secteurs de l’industrie immobilière mondiale ainsi que des leaders experts mondiaux, des orateurs, des innovateurs et des pionniers.

Toutes les personnes réunies aujourd’hui ont des informations a partager. Le travail crucial que vous menez est toujours plus essential pour s’assurer la viabilité future de notre planète ainsi que de l’humanité.

 

Je suis vraiment honoré d’avoir l’opportunité de m’adresser à vous cet après-midi.

Je suis également ravie d’être ici à nouveau, dans cette magnifique ville de Canne. La Côte d’Azur est tellement pittoresque en cette période de l’année.

En fait, elle est à n’importe quelle période de l’année. Je remercie aux gens et la ville de Canne pour m’avoir reçu ici aujourd’hui.

 

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Our world is going through pronounced changes resulting in elevated uncertainties and new risks.

Challenges to the existing international order and institutions are being felt across continents and industries.

Leaders are taking advantage of hateful rhetoric for the sake of electoral popularity.

Societies are overwhelmed by an unfounded sense of fear and resentment, often making the enemy out of the weak and the vulnerable. Nations are erecting walls to keep refugees and migrants at bay.

The same logic and sentiment to keep people away are easily applied to the goods and services produced by those same unwanted people. Threats of tariffs and protectionism are disrupting free trade.

People are increasingly looking inward as nationalism and xenophobia spreads. Human rights are no longer respected, threatening the rules-based order based on human decency and mutual respect.

Development and humanitarian resources are being depleted at an alarming rate, as governments are slashing their funding. This is only building up more pressure in places in dire need of help.

At the same time, new technologies are altering how we communicate, live, and work. Sweeping advances in the fields of AI, biotechnology, and robotics will have massive implications for the future of our countries, communities, supply chains, businesses, and interpersonal relationships.

Social media has brought the world increasingly closer, but has also sowed division and discord in our societies through disinformation and hateful rhetoric spread at record speeds.

Here in France, you have seen some of these issues converge in recent months, and the anger and sense of marginalization in response has been manifested through the large grass-roots gilets jaunes protests.

Frustration at structural inequality coupled with economic austerity policies is understandable. And while the French people are making their democratic voices heard, violence can never be the solution.

President Macron’s stated understanding of the “anger and indignation” of the protesters was a courageous start.

Now, like many other leaders around the world, he is actively engaging in an ongoing and difficult process of dialogue among the many stakeholders of French society by touring the country and listening to the concerns of citizens and local mayors through his grand débat. I am confident this will be a rewarding process and France will emerge stronger.

 

When you look around the world today, here in France and elsewhere, it is apparent that we have globalization that has led to some imbalances and a lot of inequality.

We must find a mutually acceptable solution that is underpinned with sustainability for those who feel they have been left behind without sinking into populist isolationism.

We should understand that in our increasingly interconnected world, global challenges require inherently global solutions.

This is why the UN has a blueprint — the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals — aiming exactly at creating a fair globalization, advancing better conditions, and not leaving anyone behind.

During my ten-year tenure as United Nations Secretary-General, I strived to execute my global leadership duties by leveraging the power of partnerships.

This is important as governments and international institutions can no longer bear these responsibilities alone in our rapidly changing world.

Today, I wish to share with you my thoughts on how to best approach the daunting task of ensuring that our future is sustainable, resilient, and dynamic.

I will propose that the key to achieving this challenge lies with industry leaders such as you. If the world is to succeed in advancing sustainability and prosperity, your help is essential. Having said this let me expand further on the following three critical areas.

First, I will highlight how our collective future will greatly depend on cities that are resilient and sustainable.

Second, I will discuss the most pressing threat standing in this path – climate change.

And third, I will underline how achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals can help us chart a thriving blueprint for the future.

 

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Sustainable, inclusive cities are the key to transform our world for the better. How we develop our cities will have major implications in achieving the future we want.

Over the next eleven years, progress in science, technology, and innovation in our cities will be essential in delivering on all of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals—from poverty eradication, food security, to energy, water, and sanitation—and beyond.

As such, I firmly believe that searching for a new city model is urgent because cities bring so many solutions to help overcome humanity’s sustainability crisis.

Current urbanization trends are further aggravating the sustainability crisis, which is proceeding rapidly, particularly in Asia, but also here in Europe and elsewhere.

More than one hundred million people are moving to cities each year, and four hundred million people are projected to add to urban populations. According to the UN, 68% of the world’s population is slated to live in urban areas by 2050.

 

To cope with these challenges, we must ensure that our future cities are resilient and sustainable, creative and innovative, and inclusive and equitable.

First, as climate change brings dire threats to cities around the world, we must fortify our great cities of today to flourish in the climate realities of tomorrow.

Indeed, we need forward-thinking planning, adaptation, science, engineering, and innovation to make certain that our future cities, and their housing, are resilient in the face of the effects of climate change. This not only includes sea level rise, flooding, extreme heat, and other direct threats, but also expanded levels of hunger, resource depletion, migration, and security concerns stemming from climate change.

Second, we need to come together in partnership to think big, plan ambitiously, and nurture creative urban innovation in the digital era. We need “new civilization” creative cities where data, information, and knowledge-sharing lead to the equitable dissemination of essential services, and where new technologies can bring inclusive benefits during the “Fourth Industrial Revolution.”

Leaders from the real estate industry, investors, and fund managers like you, as well as other stakeholders from the private sector, have a prominent role to play in this regard.

Third, it is not enough for cities to be “smart” if they only cater to affluent professionals, or young people, or those who are able-bodied. Rather, future cities must be underpinned by inclusivity for all: young and old, men and women, rich and poor, citizens and migrants.

Policy-makers and other key stakeholders like you should use the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Climate Agreement, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, and the New Urban Agenda to anchor our future cities and housing with guiding sustainability.

Building resilient, sustainable cities for the next civilization around the world, as urbanization is rapidly accelerating, is not a project for the future anymore. It is a project for today.

In this context, I appeal to you to combine your vision, strength, and creative innovation to do all you can to prioritize sustainability and climate adaptation in the housing and cities of tomorrow.

The blueprints that you design might just be one of our best hopes to save our vulnerable planet.

 

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Climate change is creating dire risks and instability. We must increase our collective efforts to protect ourselves, our communities, and our world from the existential threats that this will bring. The clock, however, is counting down fast.

From record-breaking heat waves and wildfires, to hurricanes and flooding of historic intensity, climate change is no longer a debate. It is clearly here right now.

Here in France, a warming planet and rising sea levels could render your scenic regions starkly different in the coming years. Entire seafront communities, including here on the French Riviera, are at serious risk due to rising sea levels. This could upend the real estate market, agriculture production, and contribute to a new, climate-driven financial crisis.

And elsewhere, the extreme weather events of just the last year alone point to a bleak and dangerous future. 2018 was the fourth hottest year on record globally, with the three previous years the only ones hotter.

The western United States was engulfed in flames and smoke from historic and deadly wildfires. Intense and prolonged heat waves claimed dozens of lives in Europe, Japan, and Korea. Near Greenland, the Arctic’s thickest sea ice broke up for first time on record.

These events no longer seem like anomalies; rather they appear to be the new normal.

So we must immediately take the necessary steps to combat climate change, or these turbulent shifts will continue to bring dangerous scorching heat waves to our cities and regions.

They will cause sea levels to rise higher and lead to deadly flooding. They will make wildfires even more frequent and intense. They will drive displacement and seriously threaten entire communities and countries.

With this reality in mind, we must urgently step-up our collective efforts to implement the Paris Agreement. The bottom line is that we don’t have a plan B, simply because we don’t have a planet B either.

 

The Paris Agreement, signed by 197 state-parties in 2015, offers us a clear game plan to confront these 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.

I truly believe that the Paris Agreement offers us our best hope to persevere over the serious threats to our ailing planet. But to achieve this goal, we need to keep working together.

We have no time to spare. Indeed, the alarming recent report from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change clearly details that we have just 12 years to act before climate change becomes catastrophic.

Climate change is a global challenge demanding global solutions. The UN IPCC issued its special report to urge the international community to set a new target of reducing the planet’s temperature to 1.5 Celsius degree rather than 2.0 Celsius degree, as agreed by the Paris Climate Accord in 2015.

Equity, inclusivity, and cooperation must underpin our collective response to meet the 1.5 degree target, with states acting in the same spirit that led to the Paris Agreement and the SDGs. Climate change respects no borders; our actions must transcend all frontiers.

But, despite this, there are still many reasons for optimism.

I am impressed by the “We Are Still In” actions of the many cities, states, and companies in the US who have joined together to ensure implementation of the Paris Agreement despite the unfortunate decision of the US government to withdraw.

These actions will help fill the vacuum and work towards US implementation of the Paris Agreement. And this is an inspiring example of the utility of catalyzing partnerships, anchored by the spirit of global citizenship, in helping us achieve our climate goals.

The real estate industry has a prominent role to play in these partnership efforts. Indeed, climate change will have negative impacts on housing worldwide, particularly in large cities in close proximity to the oceans. This is already affecting real estate prices and the potential for future climate-change driven foreclosure crises is real.

Take the lead in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in your properties and industry. Scale-up climate adaptation actions for your assets. Ensure that all commercial and residential properties have sustainability certification. Integrate climate-risk considerations into your investment decisions.

Climate change is here right now, and fighting it must be the overarching task of our time. We are all in this together, and to achieve sustainable development, we simply must continue our momentum forward, together.

 

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

During my two terms as UN Secretary-General, I am proud to have prioritized and expanded the importance of the Organization’s global development efforts.

The 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals is one of the UN’s most significant achievements. It builds on the Millennium Development Goals and provides humanity, and our planet, with a collaborative blueprint to ensure the future we want.

Adopted by 193 countries in New York in 2015, the SDGs offer us a way forward to confront the most critical issues of our time, including poverty and hunger, climate change, gender equality, and sustainable cities.

Specifically, Goal 11 of the SDGs calls to “Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable” It aims to provide access for all to adequate, safe and affordable housing and basic services, reduce adverse environmental impact in cities, and strengthen integrated policies and plans towards inclusion, resource efficiency, and adaptation to climate change.

However, three and half years since the SDGs were adopted, progress remains uneven and some sectors and geographic areas are moving faster than others.

For example, according to the 2018 SDG Index and Dashboards Report, while most G20 countries have started SDGs implementation, visible gaps remain. Additionally, no country is currently on track towards achieving all of the SDGs.

With this in mind, global partnerships, including the active participation of leaders from the private sector like you, are necessary if we are to deliver on our development commitments.

Goal 17 of the SDGs clearly highlights the prominent role that the private sector, alongside civil society, academia, and others, should play to help achieve the SDGs.

It calls for “multi-stakeholder partnerships that mobilize and share knowledge, expertise, technology and financial resources, to support the achievement of the sustainable development goals in all countries.”

In this regard, I am proud to have expanded and mainstreamed the UN Global Compact which ensures that business is done both sustainably and responsibly.

I am encouraged that many organizations in the land, construction, and real estate sector, as well as those working with them, are UN Global Compact participants. I am pleased to see that the initiatives and driving vision of your industry fits seamlessly into this paradigm, particularly as it relates to the UN’s sustainable development and climate goals.

I applaud your driving sense of social responsibility in pursuing growth in step with the international community’s collective efforts to achieve sustainable development and reduce our carbon footprint.

More than ever before, we need elevated solidarity between all stakeholders, particularly the private sector, which is likely to play a more important role than was originally envisaged in the mobilization of funding and the advancement of innovative technologies to help achieve our sustainable development and climate goals.

 

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Please allow me to conclude my remarks by saying that, despite the geopolitical and environmental challenges that we face, if we continue to work together we will not only persevere; we will thrive.

We are living in an age where innovation is soaring in unprecedented ways alongside a striking global interconnectivity of people, businesses, and cultures. And the real estate industry is currently centrally positioned in this regard.

Despite the many diverse challenges we currently face, we must also remind ourselves that we are all global citizens. We all share the land, the oceans, the air, and the planet.

And I strongly believe that in this era of division and uncertainty, fighting climate change and achieving the UN’s SDGs are two efforts that must unite all nations and global citizens through cooperation and partnership. Quite plainly, our collective existence moving forward depends on it.

As long as we keep moving forward in a responsible and sustainable manner while continuing to build dynamic and innovative partnerships, there is simply no limit as to what we can achieve. Our global challenges require robust global solidarity.

 

Je demande respectueusement à tous ceux qui sont là de continuer leur rôle pour aider les Nations Unis à avancer dans le développement durable et atteindre son objectif en matière de climat.

Continuez à vous efforcer à concevoir, construire les villes souples et inclusives de demain de manière écologiquement viable. Allez plus loin dans le partage des savoirs essentiels et meilleurs pratiques.

Continuez les coopérations fortes tant à l’intérieur qu’à l’extérieur de votre industrie d’une manière que cela transcende les frontières pour le bénéfice de notre future et la planète.

Pensez au-delà de vous-même, votre entreprise et votre pays.

Pensez, vivez, travaillez et rêvez à globalement !

Si vous vous pouvez faire ça, et je suis persuadé que nous le pouvons, notre monde continuera à faire de grands progrès et prospérer pendant de longues années à venir.

Je vous remercie pour votre attention et je vous félicite sincèrement pour l’inauguration du MIPIM 2019.

Merci beaucoup! /END/

 

Photo: S. d’Halloy IMAGE&CO

Ban Ki-moon stresses the importance of “resilient and sustainable cities” at the MIPIM 2019

From March 12th to 15th, 2019, the 30th edition of MIPIM, an real estate event, takes place in Cannes, France. It is the world’s leading real estate event gathering key players of the property market. The event allows people from different sectors of the industry to meet and bring the value chain together and provides a unique exhibition and networking platform to forge deals. This year, the main theme for the conferences is “Engaging the Future.”

At the opening ceremony, BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon delivered a keynote and stressed that

“we must ensure that our future cities are resilient and sustainable, creative and innovate, and inclusive and equitable.”

He pointed out that creating resilient and sustainable cities are they key to our future, and the climate change is the “most pressing threat standing in this path.” He also addressed how the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals can help in charting a thriving blueprint for the future.

“Goal 17 of the SDGs clearly highlights the prominent role that the private sector, alongside civil society, academia, and others, should play to help achieve the SDGs,” said Ban. “Global partnerships,” he stressed, “are necessary if we are to deliver on our development commitments.”

Photo by: Yann Coatsaliou

The Ban Ki-moon Institute for Sustainable Development hosts a MUN NSW conference

On March 11th, the Ban Ki-moon Institute for Sustainable Development (BKMISD), an affiliated office of the BKMC in Almaty, Kazakhstan, hosted a conference with students from Afghanistan.

With the theme “The Implication of the Doha Meeting on Building Peace in Afghanistan,” a Model United Nations round table was organized by the BKMISD in cooperation with the Faculty of Journalism of the Al-Farabi Kazakh National University and Afghan students from various universities in Almaty as part of a series of the New Silk Way International Model UN conferences (MUN NSW).

Representatives from the KazNU, Model UN, Qazaq-Afghan Association for Development and Partnership “AFGQAZ”, Afghan Information Agency and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Kazakhstan spoke at the conference, and the students actively asked questions.

 

 

To learn about the MUN NSW, visit: http://munnsw.kz/

Photos: BKMISD

The first “International Symposium on Youth Participation in Peace Processes” was successfully held!

The first “International Symposium on Youth Participation in Peace Processes” was held in Helsinki, Finland on March 5-6th where BKMC CEO Monika Froehler participated. The youth participants from all over the world openly discussed the improvements needed in the participation of youth in operational and political aspects to realize the United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 2250 (2015) and UNSCR 2419 (2018).

President of the United Nations General Assembly María Fernanda Espinosa listened to the youth activists’ appeals and said that “young people need support as agents of change” and that “young people help to reform the UN.”

The participants actively shared critical thoughts on the status quo of the actions taken and changes made about the resolutions for youth. Discussing what still needs to be improved in terms of including youth in the peace process, the young peacebuilders presented recommendations for the policy change and how they can contribute.

“Let us say enough to the misconceptions that have allowed young people’s capabilities and capacities for peacebuilding and sustaining peace to go unrecognized and undervalued,” said Wickramanayake.

Under the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland and the governments of Qatar and Colombia, the event was organized by the UNSG’s Envoy on Youth Jayathma Wickramanayake and Search for Common Ground in partnership with the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and United Network of Young Peacebuilders (UNOY).

“Build frameworks to engage youth in the way society is ruled and run. Inclusion is the name of the game,” said Colombian Minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo of Foreign Affairs at the symposium.

This symposium brought in lots of positive energy and strengthened bridges between the aspiring young leaders and the world leaders from different sectors and from different parts of the world. BKMC CEO Froehler expressed that lots of enthusiasm was evident during the symposium for “shining a light on youth participation in peace processes.”

Froehler emphasized that “the light gets stronger when we are shining together.”

Watch the livestreamed video of the symposium here: https://formin.videosync.fi/youth-participation-in-peace-processes

Photo by: Nikke Puskala

Afghan Ambassador Khojesta Fana Ebrahimkhel supports BKMC fellowship project

On March 5th, Afghanistan’s Ambassador to Austria H.E. Khojesta Fana Ebrahimkhel and Political Specialist of the Embassy Isabella Neri visited the Centre to have a meeting with BKMC Co-chair Heinz Fischer.

BKMC Associate Viola Christian briefed the visitors on the Centre’s upcoming fellowship program for women’s empowerment that will be launched in September 2019. The Centre will cooperate with the Diplomatische Akademie Wien – Vienna School of International Studies to coordinate and implement a tailor-made fellowship training funded by Korea Foundation involving training on the Sustainable Development Goals, gender and empowerment issues, communication, crisis management, mediation, leadership development and global citizenship.

The first edition of the Program will sponsor 20 young women from Afghanistan, Cambodia, Korea and Mongolia to take part in the tailor-made training, held in Vienna. The women will be selected based on their previous comitment to topics related to women’s empowerment and the Sustainable Development Goals. The goal is to prepare the fellows to increasingly become involved in the decision-making processes that impact the world sustainably. The program is aligned with the leadership and education pillar of the centre.

Ambassador Ebrahimkhel, who continues to dedicate a large part of her diplomatic career to the advancement of women’s rights, announced her support for the Centre’s program.

A ‘Small UN’ Ban Ki-moon Foundation to be opened in Seoul

On March 5th, the “Ban Ki-moon Foundation for a Better Future (tentative title)” was announced to be established in Korea at the meeting of promoters held in Seoul. Having BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon as the Chair of its Board, the Foundation will serve as a non-political, non-profit public organization that acts as a ‘small UN’ with below objectives:

  • To improve and promote Ban Ki-moon’s philosophy and vision as the 8th UN Secretary-General by realizing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and conducting academic researches and suggesting policies in order for everyone to ensured of human rights
  • To establish a perpetual peace in the Korean Peninsula as well as to promote peace in East Asia and the globe
  • To protect the future vision and the rights of women, youth, and children and to establish future-oriented values
  • To create and execute varied programs to eradicate poverty and disease in developing countries
  • To lead education on cultivating people of talents and global citizenship in cooperation with various international organizations, including the United Nations, and civil organizations, academic institutes, and  educational institutions both inside and outside Korea

Starting from May 2019, the Foundation will pursue projects with the above visions.

Ban mentioned that “I have tried to promote the agenda on climate change, sustainable development, and women’s empowerment while in the UN” and “now I would like to realize such visions both inside and outside the country in cooperation with the people from different sectors in Korea.”

The meeting of promoters had 46 participants, including:

  • Kim Hwangsik, former Prime Minister of Korea; Chairman of the Board of Directors at Ho-am Foundation (Head of the Meeting of Promoters for the BKM Foundation)
  • Gong Ro-myung, former Minister of Foreign Affairs; Chairman of East Asia Foundation
  • Lee Sang-hee, former Minister of National Defense
  • Kim Yong-hak, President of Yonsei University
  • Han Bi-ya, President of Global Citizen School of World Vision; Author of a best-selling book “Daughter of the Wind: Three and a Half Times around the Globe on Foot”
  • Kim Sook, former Korean Ambassador to the UN; former President of UN Women’s Executive Board
  • Rye Seung-min, Korean gold-medalist table tennis player; Athlete Member of the IOC
  • Son Yeon-jae, Korean retired rhythmic gymnast; 3-time Asian Championships All-around Champion
  • Yoo Dong-geun, Korean actor