Chelsea Clinton and Susan Blaustein receive the ‘Ban Ki-moon Award for Women’s Empowerment’

At the 17th Annual Asia Initiatives Gala on October 18th, 2018 in New York, US, Vice President Chelsea Clinton of Clinton Foundation and Susan Blaustein, Founder and Executive Director of WomenStrong International were conferred the ‘Ban Ki-moon Award for Women’s Empowerment’ created in recognition of Ban Ki-moon’s leadership in support of women’s rights and gender equity. As the award’s first honoree, BKMC Co-chair Ban’s vision led to the creation of UN Women and its HeForShe Campaign, the first High-Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment, and to his appointment of the first UN female force commander to head peacekeeping operations and the employment of increased number of women at the UN system.

“It is such an honor for me to be able to properly recognize these amazing women. During my tenure as Secretary-General, I always worked to make women’s empowerment a top priority, and I can see that Asia Initiatives is carrying on that legacy,” said Ban.

Asia Initiatives is an international non-profit organization that leverages social capital to promote sustainable development and has annually held the gala to recognize women for their work advocating for women and girls. Women empowerment is an important asset to achieving the SDG 5: Gender Equality.

To empower women and girls, Clinton has endeavored to provide them with more opportunities to be engaged in society. She has written a couple of books as a series titled She Persisted to share the stories of empowered women to help children cultivate new perspectives on women’s role and gender equality. Susan Blaustein works to catalyze women-led initiatives around the world, including those in Ghana, Kenya, Haiti, India, and the United States. She has also worked on solving poverty problems.

“Empowering women and girls worldwide is key to peace, to eliminating all forms of violence, and to enabling families, communities, and nations to thrive,” said Blaustein. “Asia Initiatives’ Ban Ki-moon Award is such an honor and such an important recognition of the brilliance and hard work of women and girls everywhere, who know best what they need to succeed and whose truthful, clarion voices deserve to be heard, now more than ever.”

Source: https://bit.ly/2AmRkNs
Source: http://asiainitiatives.org/

University of Groningen awards Honorary Doctorate to Co-chair Ban Ki-moon

University of Groningen in Groningen, the Netherlands awarded Co-chair Ban Ki-moon with Honorary Doctorate to recognize his contributions to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to the climate change.

“All our behaviors, all our business operations, all civil societies, life style should be geared to climate resilient and reducing greenhouse gas emissions as much as possible meeting the standard 1.5 degrees Celsius,” said Ban at the ceremony.

He emphasized the mission of the SDGs together with the Paris Climate Agreement:

“Let us work together, ladies and gentleman, to make sure that we live in a sustainable world where everybody will be healthier, everybody’s human rights, whatever the status may be, will be respected.”

Groningen is a city that hosted the opening ceremony of the Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) and laboratory as well as the launch of the Global Commission on Adaptation that is led by Co-chair Ban. On the margins of the various events, Ban also met with Prime Minister Mark Rutte and His Excellency King Willem-Alexander and Her Excellency Queen Máxima Zorreguieta Cerruti of the Netherlands.

Watch Ban Ki-moon’s remarks at the degree ceremony: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_B4v1FppOHY

The First Partners’ Dialogue of the Global Commission on Adaptation

After delivering keynote address at the launch event and the opening ceremony of the Global Commission on Adaptation in the Hague, the Netherlands, Co-chair Ban Ki-moon led the Partners Dialogue with other commissioners and global leaders.

The Commission will oversee preparation of a flagship report and present its findings and recommendations at the 2019 UNSG Climate Summit. The report will be informed by input from the world’s leading scientific, economic and policy analysis institutes; set out why adapting to climate risks and accelerated action is essential, what new actions are needed and what must be done differently; and how governments, companies and citizens can start working today to make the world a safer, better place.

The Commission also will convene key champions, coalitions, private sector and civil society actors to advance activities aligned to several action tracks, including food security and rural livelihoods, global supply chains, cities, infrastructure, finance, social protection and nature-based solutions.

There are four major roadblocks slowing adaptation that the Commission will work to address:

  1. Decision makers and the wider public are not yet aware of all the opportunities to be gained from becoming more resilient and less vulnerable to climate impacts and natural hazards;
  2. Governments and businesses fail to incorporate climate change risks into their social and economic development plans and investments;
  3. Adaptation efforts fall short of those who need them most, the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people; and
  4. Although adaptation is a global challenge, global leadership on the issue is scarce. In short, the world is falling short of the transformation required to adapt to a changing climate.

Source: https://gca.org/global-commission-on-adaptation/commission-news/global-leaders-call-for-urgent-acceleration-of-climate-adaptation-solutions

Ban Ki-moon delivers keynote address at the launch of GCA

“Without urgent adaptation action, we risk undermining food, energy and water security for decades to come,” said BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon

who is a leader of the Global Commission on Adaption and Chair of the Advisory Board of the Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) at the launch and opening ceremony of the Global Commission on Adaptation in The Hague, the Netherlands on October 16th, 2018. The Global Commission on Adaptation is co-hosted by GCA and World Resources Institute. The Managing Partners coordinate and support the engagement activities of Commissioners, help to deliver research products, and support the overall functioning of the Commission’s work.

The Commission is headed by Co-chair Ban Ki-moon, Co-chair Bill Gates of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and CEO Kristalina Georgieva of World Bank, and consists of 17 convening countries and 28 Commissioners, including leaders representing all regions of the globe and all sectors of development and industry.

“Millions of lives are being lost, and poor people who did the least to cause the problems are suffering the most.” Ban pointed out that “Projects in water scarcity in Africa and the Middle East will cause growth rate to decline by as much as 6 per cent of GDP.”

Ban urged leaders of the world to work on making a complete transformation of “policies, programs, and projects across government, the private sector, and civil society” in order to adopt to climate and to ensure the well-being of humanity.

The Global Commission on Adaptation will provide a road map for what actions should be taken and how differently we should approach the development of the world. Ban says that the next two years will be critical for humanity and that greater climate resilience is reachable if we work together.

“We are at a point of no return!”

“The time to act is now, and we cannot do it alone!”

 

Watch the full speech of Ban Ki-moon and other global leaders at the launch event: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=paw1Jtew2P0
Co-chair Ban’s introductory video on the Global Commission on Adaptation can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=px9Z83hycxI
Photo: GCA

Co-chair Ban Ki-moon delivers keynote address at the World Knowledge Forum 2018

Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens’ Co-chair Ban Ki-moon delivered keynote address at the World Knowledge Forum (WKF) that took place on October 10-12th, 2018 in Seoul, Korea. After the Asian financial crisis in 1997, the WKF was launched in October 2000 with the ambition to transform Korea into a knowledge driven nation. Since then, the World Knowledge Forum has taken on the role as a platform for discussions to reduce knowledge gaps through knowledge sharing, and promote balanced global economic growth and prosperity. A total of over 4,000 global speakers and 43,000 audiences have participated since the first forum with the theme of “Shaping the New Millennium with Knowledge” in 2000, and the forum has now become the biggest knowledge festival in the world. Since last year, BKMC Co-chair Ban has also served as Co-chair of the WKF.

This year the forum adopted “Collective Intelligence: Overcoming Global Pandemonium” as its theme to reflect the situation we are in now and our effort to survive it with collective intelligence. ‘Pandemonium’ refers to the devil’s den featured in renowned English poet John Milton’s epic poem titled ‘Paradise Lost’. In other words, the term is used to depict situations that are chaotic like hell. As such, ‘Pandemonium’ can be utilized to describe the chaos brought about by global challenges such as geopolitical conflicts and trade war. To tackle the global challenges, high-level speakers including Chair Jenet Yellen of Federal Reserve System, President Kersti Kaljulaid of Estonia, H. R. McMaster, the 26th Advisor to National Security Council, and President Rajeev Suri of Nokia were featured at the WKF 2018.

Photo: WKF

 

Ban Ki-moon emphasizes on the importance of achieving peace through the sports

“Never in the past in my life have I seen together with all the people around the world, such excitement and hope that soon there will be peace and security, and even reunification on the Korean peninsula. That is the moment we witnessed the power of sports. Power of sports. Both South and North have been really trying to reconcile during last at least 3-4 decades, but during last February, we have really seen some moment of truth that one day soon, hopefully, that we will be able to reconcile and promote much better understanding and even reunify the Korean peninsula,” said Ban Ki-moon at the Olympism in Action Forum in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

As Chair of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Ethics Commission, the Centre’s Co-chair Ban discussed the importance of achieving peace and the global goals through sports on the topic of the power of the Olympic truce with Journalist Sonali Prasad.

Dating back to 776 BC and the Ancient Olympic Games, the Olympic Truce was announced before the Olympic Games. The Olympic Truce was revived by the United Nations in 1993. Even under the most tense and volatile of circumstances, the Olympic Truce reaffirms that the Olympic values of peace, solidarity and respect are important across the world. Taking the most recent inspiring example of the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, Ban Ki-moon praised that the two Koreas and the IOC are working towards unity and that the values of Olympism have the power to unite a fractured world.

Co-chair Ban also emphasized on the importance of youth empowerment as “now more than half of the global population is under the age of 24. That means this world is much much younger … there are many young people whose opportunities are not given properly.” As many young people have already taken leadership roles today, Co-chair Ban mentioned that it is just a matter of empowering them and supporting what they have done as the youth are “equally qualified and equally intelligent.”

He said that there are still people suffering from hardships and discrimination due to their given circumstances:

“What is important at this time with all trans-formative development of technology and science and communication is only natural that we should be living in a world better for all, but there are still many people who are suffering from poverty, suffering from discrimination because of sex or because of social and economic status, because of ethnicities, etc.”

Watch the full conversation here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FryWFa0VRuQ
Source: https://www.olympic.org/olympism-in-action/the-power-of-the-olympic-truce

 

Ban Ki-moon sends congratulations to the Nobel Peace Prize Winners 2018

Co-chair Ban Ki-moon sends congratulations to the winners of the Nobel Peace Prize 2018. The peace prize was awarded jointly to Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad
“for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict.”

Murad was appointed as UN Goodwill Ambassador Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking by Co-chair Ban in 2016 during his tenure as Secretary-General of the UN for spreading the misery of refugee women and girls who are the victims of human trafficking. The Nobel Prize Committee said she had demonstrated “uncommon courage in recounting her own suffering.” She founded Nadia’s Initiative, an advocacy organisation working to protect the rights of women and minorities in Iraq, and wrote a memoir, The Last Girl: My Story of Captivity, and My Fight Against the Islamic State.

Congolese gynecologist Denis Mukwege is known as “Doctor Miracle” for his ability to repair through reconstructive surgery the horrific damage inflicted on women who have been raped. Mukwege establisehd Panzi Hospital in Bukavu, Congo nearly 20 years ago – shortly after he had his first experience of treating a woman who had been raped and mutilated by armed men. He, along with his colleagues, have since treated tens of thousands of victims. Panzi Hospital now cares for more than 3,500 women a year.

This year 12 new laureates have been awarded for achievements that have conferred the greatest benefit to humankind. Their work and discoveries range from cancer therapy and laser physics to developing proteins that can solve humankind’s chemical problems. The work of the 2018 Nobel Laureates also included combating war crimes, as well as integrating innovation and climate with economic growth.

Source: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-45759304Photos: Reuters and AFP (Left: Denis Mukwege / Right: Nadia Murad Basee Taha)

Global Citizenship Initiatives (GCI) Portal is finally launched!

The Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens finally launched the Global Citizenship Initiatives (GCI) Portal on its website today! The portal lists fellowships, academic programs, and on-going initiatives for global citizenship world-wide. The portal is for anyone interested in getting to know about global citizenship by taking academic courses and/or by getting involved in the existing initiatives. The users can search for initiatives in different countries and discover how to engage as global citizens. After selecting a country of choice or an online course, one can sort out the programs that fit his or her age group or profession.

As the GCI Portal is an active platform to which the users can add other existing initiatives in the world by submitting a feedback form which button is located on the bottom of the portal page. When suggesting an initiative to be included on the portal, the users should fill out the name of the entity, the program name, the location (country), and the website address of the initiative as well as the email address of the contact person or the program’s executive office.

With the contributions of global citizens from all over the world, the GCI Portal will grow bigger and bigger and will lead aspiring all the global citizens out there to be more active in achieving the Global Goals and be responsible for making the world better for all.

Discover the GCI Portal here: https://bankimooncentre.org/projects/gci-portal

Global Citizen Festival gathered global citizens in New York and urged them to “Be the Generation!”

Global Citizen, a partner of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens, held “Global Citizen Festival” in New York, the US last week! The festival featured renowned artists such as the Weekend, Janet Jackson, Shawn Mendes, Cardi B, and Janelle Monäe with a special guest John Legend. Doborra-lee Furness and Hugh Jackman hosted the stage.

Around 60,000 global citizens attended the festival after taking actions on raising awareness and urging leaders to make changes on the global issues we have faced, including but are not limited to poverty, refugee crisis, environmental disaster, health and wealth, and discrimination and inequality. Free tickets to the festival were given to the ones who shared and promoted the important messages on their social media account, sent out emails to the relevant people and/or organizations that can contribute to making changes in policy, and so on.

These actions of the public are essential in helping to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030 as part of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which further information can be found here. According to Global Citizen, the action initiators throughout the world have generated commitments and policy announcements from leaders valued at over $37.9 billion that are set to affect the lives of more than 2.25 billion people. In 2018 alone, the campaign secured 29 commitments totaling over $2.9 billion that would positively affect more than 501 million people by 2030.

Anyone can be involved in the campaign and earn a free ticket for the next Global Citizen Festival that will take place in Johannesburg, South Africa on December 2, 2018. For more information, refer to this link: https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/festival/south-africa/

Photo: Mengwen Cao for Global Citizen

Three Young Refugee Women Share Their Inspirational Stories at the BKMC

A multimedia event on “Global Citizenship in a Time of War” organized by Heather Wokusch, an educator who works in the field of women and youth empowerment through education and promotes the SDGs, was hosted at the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens on September 27th, 2018. Having gained international attention while addressing the plight of refugees, three young refugee women shared their experiences and inspirational stories during the event.

  • Nour Barakeh: With a background spanning scientific studies and artistic work, she supports the establishment of sustainable educational projects focused on empowering people to transcend the effects of war. She wrote a theater piece “Not Our Fate” that has been recently performed at European Forum Alpbach as well as at the Weltmuseum Wien hosted by Österreichisches Parlament. She also acted in the play herself.
  • Dooa Al Zamel: She is one of a few survivals from crossing the dangerous #sea from Syria to Europe relying on a boat filled with hundreds of migrants most of whom were killed when attackers sank the vessel. While surviving days alone at sea, Al Zamel also saved the life of an infant and became the subject of a best-selling book “A Hope More Powerful Than the Sea.”
  • Suad Mohamed: From Somalia, she has lived in Saudi Arabia, Syria, Pakistan, and Austria. She speaks five languages and is currently learning her sixth: German. As a pharmacist, Mohamed works as an Assistant Consultant in the Österreichisches Rotes Kreuz and as an interpreter at Diakonie Österreich. Her aims are to spread awareness about refugee and migration issues, to improve the healthcare and pharmaceutical systems in developing countries, and to empower women.

An excerpt of the video “Escape from Syria: Rania’s Odyssey” was screened during the event to show a journey of Rania Mustafa Ali who filmed her flee from Syria to Austria. On the way, Ali was cheated by smugglers, teargassed and beaten at the Macedonian border. She also risked drowning in the Mediterranean, travelling in a boat meant to hold 15 people but stuffed with 52. Mustafa was also supposed to deliver keynote at the Centre’s event but could not make it due to unexpected flight issues.

BKMC CEO Monika Froehler delivered welcome remarks and also facilitated a Q&A session. Guests from various different sectors such as media, international organization, NGO, etc actively involved themselves in the conversations on the refugee crisis and sought for ways to solve the global issue and to empower those in need of help. A ‘female empowerment’ segment of a video filmed during the European Forum Alpbach capturing “Not Our Fate” was also screened and touched the audience.

Watch the full video of Rania’s Odyssey here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EDHwt-ooAi4