Nobel laureate Rae Kwon Chung visits the Ban Ki-moon Centre

On July 19th, 2019, the Centre had a pleasure of welcoming Professor Rae Kwon Chung, a Board member of the Ban Ki-moon Foundation for a Better Future (보다 나은 미래를 위한 반기문 재단), to the Centre in Vienna, Austria.

He was greeted by Co-chair Heinz Fischer and CEO Monika Froehler and was briefed on the Centre’s work. As a former ambassador for climate change, Chung exchanged his ideas on the necessity of renewable energy revolution for the fight against climate change and also spoke about sustainable develeopment and the Asia Super Grid.

Chung was awarded the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize as a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). He is also the author of the “Green Growth” concept, whereby countries should enable natural assets to deliver their full economic potential on a sustainable basis. 

BKMC welceoms Ambassador Shin Chae-hyun on board!

The Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens is happy to have H.E. Ambassador Shin Chae-hyun newly join our Board!

On July 18th, 2019, Ambassador Shin Chae-hyun and Councilor Park Eun Ju of the Korean Embassy in Vienna visited the Centre to meet with Co-chair Heinz Fischer and CEO Monika Froehler. As he starts his term at the Embassy this year, Ambassador Shin joins the Ban Ki-moon Cente’s Board as a representative of Korea which is one of the biggest donors of the Centre.

Ambassador Shin has previously served as Secretary to the President for Foreign Policy at the Office of National Security. He has also served as Director-General respectively for North American Affairs, North Korean Nuclear Affairs, and Human Resources at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Korea.

BKMC Co-chair Fischer, who is former President of Austria, and Ambassador Shin discussed the current status quo of the international affairs and the relationship between Austria and South Korea to discuss ways forward in cooperation and how the Centre could serve as a bridge to strengthen the relationship of the two countries.

BKMC CEO Monika Froehler meets with former UN Under-Secretary-General Dr. Noeleen Heyzer

On July 17th, 2019, BKMC CEO Monika Froehler met with Dr. Heyzer, former Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, in Vienna, Austria.

Dr. Heyzer was the first woman to serve as the Executive Secretary of the United Nations ESCAP and the first woman from the South to head the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), which is a part of UN Women. She became UNIFEM‘s longest serving Executive Director transforming it from a small entity to a powerhouse leading in women‘s empowerment and gender equality.

Dr. Heyzer also led an unprecedented dialogue with Myanmar’s leaders on development and poverty reduction, resulting in the Government of Myanmar requesting the formation of a development partnership. She was announced by BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon, who was then Secretary-General of the UN in 2013, as his Special Adviser for Timor-Leste, working to support peace-buildingstate-building, and sustainable development.

Watch a short video that features Dr. Heyzer, made by the Asian Development Bank. In this video, she shares her thoughts on what goes into making successful women leaders by introducing “The Three Cs” by her definition.

 

Ban Ki-moon visits Bangladesh to urge climate adaptation

“We are here to learn from Bangladesh‘s experiences and vision, when it comes to adaptation, our best teachers are opened doors who are on the front lines of climate change,” said Co-chair Ban Ki-moon.

Ban said this while addressing at the “Dhaka Meeting of the Global Commission on Adaptation” held in Dhaka, Bangladesh on July 10th. Together with Marshall Islands President Hilda Heine, World Bank CEO Kristalina Georgieva and Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Ban Ki-moon spoke on the occasion among other distinguished guests.

A report on climate change adaptation by the Global Commission on Adaptation (GCA) and different mechanisms to face the adverse effects of climate change were discussed at the meeting.

“If sea levels were to rise by just one metre, 17% of the country (Bangladesh) would be under water by 2050, said Ban Ki-moon. “According to the IPCC, Dhaka itself could be engulfed by even or slight rise in sea level,” he added.

While the rest of the world debate climate change, for Bangladesh adapting to a warmer, more violent, less predictable climate is a matter of absolute survival, Ban said.

Bangladesh showcased its good practices on climate change adaption initiatives like water resilient crops, home solar system and climate trust fund.The meeting prepared a set of recommendations on climate change adaptation for placing it before the UN in September.

During their stay, the delegation visited the Rohingya camps in Cox’s Bazar to see environmental degradation caused by the Rohingya influx and settlement.

“We saw elevated roads withstand water surge during monsoon season. We witnessed progress in reforestation. And we contributed to resilience by planting trees,” said Georgieva.

Source: https://www.thedailystar.net/environment/climate-change/bangladesh-our-best-teacher-climate-change-adaptation-1769293
Source: https://www.thedailystar.net/backpage/news/climate-change-confce-begin-tomorrow-1768816
Source: https://www.ny1.com/nyc/manhattan/ap-top-news/2019/07/11/ex-un-chief-concerned-over-monsoon-floods-in-rohingya-camps

Watch a live-streamed video here:

Live From hotel intercontinental Dhaka

Dhaka Meeting of the Global Commission on Adaption (GCA)

Gepostet von Ashraful Alam Khokan am Dienstag, 9. Juli 2019

BKMC attends the UNESCO Conference on ESD and GCED

At the UNESCO Forum on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) and Global Citizenship Education (GCED) held on July 2-3, 2019 in Hanoi, Vietnam, BKMC CEO Monika Froehler said:

“In today´s world too many leaders are just focused on their country first. Global citizenship is the opposite. It is putting collaboration before confrontation,” featuring as a speaker on a panel discussion.

With the theme “Learning and Teaching for Peaceful and Sustainable Societies: from early childhood to primary and secondary education,” concerned stakeholders coming from all regions met to learn about and debate on the latest information on the trends, issues and data related to GCED and ESD.

ESD and GCED are part of the 2030 Agenda and were built into the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 on education. Target 4.7 prioritizes ESD and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and the appreciation of cultural diversity.

“Set commitments and targets for global citizenship and sustainable development education. Update curricula!”

said H.E. Prof. Dr. Phung Xuan Nha, Minister of Education and Training of Vietnam, who attended the forum.

Froehler pointed out that “the data on GCED and ESD is missing” and that “we need to work together to establish meaningful indicators,”

agreeing to what UNESCO sees as essential to advance a value-based and holistic approach to learning that is truly transformational in taking ESD and GCED forward (UNESCO 2015). For effective teaching and learning, UNESCO stresses that all three learning dimensions need to be developed:

  • Cognitive: To acquire knowledge, understanding and critical thinking about global, regional, national and local issues, the inter-connectedness and inter-dependency of different countries and populations, as well as social, economic and environmental aspects of sustainable development;
  • Social and Emotional: To have a sense of belonging to a common humanity, sharing values and responsibilities, empathy, solidarity and respect for differences and diversity, as well as fell and assume sense of responsibility for the future;
  • Behavioral: To act effectively and responsibly at local, national and global levels for a more peaceful and sustainable world.

Froehler concluded that

“Global Citizenship – no matter which definition you are looking at – always has a component of ‘ACTION’ in it.”

UNESCO Publication on “Teaching Learning Transformative Engagement”

In recent years, we have seen young learners taking action to influence local, national or global communities on a range of issues, from gun violence in school to climate change. At the same time, other young learners have expressed a wish to contribute to transformative processes but expressed their lack of knowledge and know-how to do so. This situation underlines the urgency of understanding different forms of transformative engagement undertaken by young learners, especially in relation to the role of education.

Building on Target 4.7 of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 on Education, UNESCO supports Member States in taking forward Global Citizenship Education (GCED) and Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), to empower learners to assume active, responsible and effective roles to tackle challenges at local, national and global levels.

While there is a large body of literature on citizenship and civic education, there is less clarity about the meaning of ‘responsible transformative engagement’ for young learners in relation to GCED and ESD – notably, the types of transformative engagement and the meaning of ‘responsible’. Understanding better the connection between learners’ engagement and education can clarify the knowledge, skills and competencies that schools may provide, as well as how the role of education can vary depending on context. In this light, this paper explores the meaning of ‘responsible transformative engagement’ with a view to clarifying the role of education in ways that may be reflected by UNESCO and other education stakeholders.

This document was produced with inputs from the rich discussions among participants at the Experts’ Meeting on ‘Teaching and learning responsible transformative engagement’ organised by UNESCO in partnership with the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens and the Asia-Pacific Center of Education for International Understanding (APCEIU), held on 16-17 February 2019 in Seoul, Republic of Korea.

Read more: Teaching Learning Transformative Engagement

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.

CTBTO Youth Group visits the Centre to talk about the SDG implementation

“Half of the world is below age 25, and also half of the world is also women. Not only to have the youth as token voice but also to have youth at the table – is the key.”

BKMC CEO Monika Froehler said to the representatives of the CTBTO Youth Group that visited the Centre today. The group was briefed on the Centre’s mission and work and discussed on the topic of the SDG implementation and rooms for improvement.

Coming from all different countries such as Russia, Mexico, Iran, Egypt, Austria, the US, etc., the young leaders gathered raised issues on the lack of education provided on the SDGs, lack of local, national and regional strategies for implementing the SDGs, and lack of acknowledgement of the notion of global citizenship or awareness on global issues such as climate change.

“Only 7% of humankind knows of the notion of global citizenship,” said Froehler.

She stressed that young people and individuals should take concrete actions, no matter how small they may be: from signing petitions to talking to local politicians and to gathering youngsters to inform them of knowledge and to make changes together. Global Citizen was given as a good example of young people taking actions. It started as a small NGO founded by a couple of young people who made their small steps counted and grew their NGO to now a big entity that has influence on making social and political changes in the international community..

Froehler quoted former President of the United States John F. Kennedy: “Ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country.”

China Embraces the Urgent Need for Climate Adaptation by Joining Forces with the Netherlands to Launch a Global Center on Adaptation Office in Beijing

On June 27th, China and the Netherlands announced a new initiative to accelerate action to make China and the region more resilient to the reality of the climate crisis on its fragile ecological environment. China is experiencing more frequent and higher intensity extreme weather events. Floods, heat waves, droughts and dust storms, which were once rare, now happen on a regular basis causing great harm to health and society.

In recognition of these challenges, the Premier of the People’s Republic of China, Li Keqiang, has accepted an invitation from Mark Rutte, Prime Minister Mark of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, to work together to accelerate action against the impacts of climate change being felt across the country.

Both governments, also as conveners to the Global Commission on Adaptation, recognize that this is not an alternative to a redoubled effort to stop climate change through mitigation but an essential complement to it.

With the launch of the first regional office of the Global Center on Adaptation in China, the two countries have agreed to work closely together to accelerate action on adaptation to support greater resilience and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. The regional office will support scaled-up and transformative adaptation initiatives across Asia and is the first of a planned global network of GCA offices and representatives positioned around the world to facilitate knowledge sharing and action across different territories.

On the occasion of the launch of the Global Center on Adaptation office in Beijing, Premier Li Keqiang said:

“We are happy to see the opening of the China office of the Global Center on Adaptation and we believe it will give a strong boost to cooperation between China and the Global Commission on Adaptation and will also help China, as the largest developing country in the world, together with other countries in the global community in meeting the climate challenge. On behalf of the Chinese government, I would like to extend congratulations on the launch of the China office and let me also express our heartfelt appreciation for the support from Prime Minister Rutte andBan Ki-moon for China’s efforts in meeting the climate challenge. The Chinese government takes the issue of climate change very seriously. Climate change is a global challenge which requires global co-operation. It is important for us to enhance capacity in both mitigation and adaptation. China will also continue to provide help to other developing countries, especially small islands states, in enhancing capacity in coping with climate change under the framework of South-South cooperation. The Chinese are serious about commitments made and China will continue to keep its word made to the international community and contribute our own share in global response to climate change.”

Prime Minister of the Kingdom of the NetherlandsMark Rutte, said:

“Much of the Netherlands lies below sea-level. For us it has always been self-evident that mitigation and adaptation must go hand in hand. But with more people around the world living with the impacts of climate change every day, practical solutions must be put in place to help those who are suffering the most. The Netherlands stands ready to share our experience in Chinaand other parts of the world on how climate-informed choices can help ensure the benefits from these investments, as well as avoid billions of dollars in losses from future extreme storms, droughts, and other climate impacts.”

8th Secretary General of the United National and Chair of the Global Center on Adaptation, Ban Ki-moon said:

“The world is not on the path to meet the climate targets of the Paris Agreement. The international community can no longer afford to leave climate change as an afterthought; it is already a daily reality for many people the world over. I am calling on other countries and leaders to follow China’s example in facing up to this stark reality. We must start preparing for large changes even while fighting to avoid them. There are actions that must be taken in all parts of the world, but we must start to build that resilient future now.” 

Minister of Infrastructure and Water, Cora van Nieuwenhuizen said from the Netherlands:

“Adaptation will lead to better growth and development. Beyond preventing loss, it will drive innovation and create opportunities. Adaptation is not a separate agenda – effective adaptation is about integrating climate risk into what political and economic decision-makers do at every level, such as budgeting, investment design, and program implementation. The Netherlands has a long experience in how to build a resilient future.”

Patrick Verkooijen, CEO of the Global Center on Adaptation said:

“The impacts of the climate emergency could push more than 100 million into poverty by 2030, and hundreds of millions of people could face major food shortages worldwide. I am delighted that China will host the first regional office for the Global Center on Adaptation. They have recognised that while mitigation alone is not enough, the costs of adaptation are less than the costs of doing business as usual. There are many bright spots where adaptation efforts have begun – but more urgency, innovation and scale is needed to avoid climatic impacts that are getting more severe with each passing year.”

 

Source: The Global Center on Adaptation

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