Ban Ki-moon speaks of multilateralism on Arirang News

“What I am concerned at this time, frankly speaking is that the leaders are not united, the multilateralism is under threat, and people are trying to do it their own way.”

Reflecting on the increased use of trade policies as a means of political action and retaliation, BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon stressed the need for diplomatic solutions during his interview with Arirang News.

“My advice at this time, is that there is no other way but to resolve this through diplomatic negotiation. You may have the freedom of choosing your friends, or even your spouse. But you don’t have any choice when it comes to geographically neighboring countries.”

Seoul has repeatedly invited Tokyo to hold talks aimed at resolving the matter,… and raised the issue at the WTO,… as Japan’s export measures run counter to the organization’s provisions on global trade. Many global observers, including Ban, fear Tokyo’s actions are part of a worrying trend of world leaders backing out of multilateral agreements.

Ban says U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement,… while declaring global warming is a hoax,… is a prime example of that.

“I am deeply concerned. Even I felt the anger when President Trump decided to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement. It was only possible because China, number one GHG emitting country and United States were united and they were leading this campaign. What President Trump was saying is first of all, wrong, economically irresponsible, and politically short-sighted.”

In a time when many societies face critical threats,… from poverty and inequality to climate change and environmental degradation,… Ban stressed the need for all countries to band together for the common good.

The hour-long interview with former Secretary General Ban will air in full on Arirang TV on August eighth, 7:30AM Korea time.

Watch the preview of the interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The First South Korean Interpol President Kim Jong Yang visits the Ban Ki-moon Foundation in Seoul

Mr. Kim Jong Yang, who recently visited the Ban Ki-moon Foundation For a Better Future in Seoul, has served as the President of the International Criminal Police Organization as the first South Korean since last year.
 
Interpol‘s Constitution requires that the President:
  • Preside at meetings of the General Assembly and the Executive Committee and direct the discussions;
  • Ensure that the activities of the Organization are in conformity with the decisions of the General Assembly and the Executive Committee;
  • Maintain, as far as possible, direct and constant contact with the Secretary General of the Organization.
Watch President Kim’s opening remarks at Interpol’s General Assembly held this year: https://youtu.be/jGofkxIJWxU
Photos: Ban Ki-moon Foundation For a Better Future

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Statement by the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens on the Passing of IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano

The Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens team would like to convey our deepest condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Yukiya Amano upon hearing the sad news of his passing on July 22nd, 2019.

Director General Amano was a truly dedicated global leader who largely contributed to the security, prosperity, and peace in our global society. Serving in his position at the IAEA for three terms, he has helped the organization advance in nuclear applications, energy, and technology and prevent further proliferation of nuclear weapons.

His endeavors for world peace have been globally recognized and appreciated. He has been respected as a leader, effective diplomat, and a man with a great heart. On this occasion, we grieve with everyone who knows him and who has followed his footsteps across the globe. He will be remembered with his outstanding achievements, and his legacy will continue with the next generations.

With deepest sympathy,
BKMC Team

© UN Photo Mark Garten

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.”