BKMC CEO Monika Froehler speaks at the Sunday Brunch hosted by the Members of the European Parliament

The Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens’ CEO Monika Froehler spoke at a monthly event hosted by MEP (Member of the European Parliament) Lukas Mandl in Vienna on November 17th.

“The European Union countries provide great examples of how the SDGs can be best implemented. The UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network and Bertelsmann Stiftung‘s SDG Index and Dashboards ranking countries globally are the evidence to that. The Ban Ki-moon Centre is working with this data to do its share, ” said Froehler, introducing the work and mandate of the Centre to the audience.

 

This time, the event was specially co-hosted by MEP Barbara Thaler and Lukas Mandl and featured Ambassador Sami Ukelli of the Embassy of Kosovo in Vienna together with BKMC CEO Froehler as special speakers.

© MEP Lukas Mandl’s Office

Ban Ki-moon, Jack Ma, and Graça Machel encourage Africa’s young entrepreneurs with the Africa Netpreneur Prize!

The final competition of the Africa Netpreneur Prize was held in Accra, Ghana on November 16th. As BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon serves on the Advisory Board of the Africa Netpreneur Prize together with Jack Ma, Chairman of Alibaba Group, and Graça Machel, Chair of the Graça Machel Trust Board, he delivered a speech at the ceremony.

Alibaba Group is China’s internet giant that has influences worldwide, and Jack Ma created the Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative (ANPI) together with his foundation after his first trip to Africa in 2017. The Jack Ma Foundation has committed to running the competition for 10 years.

 

The aim of the prize is to support and inspire the next generation of African entrepreneurs who are building a more sustainable and inclusive economy for the future. In its inaugural year, nearly 10,000 entrepreneurs from 50 countries across the continent applied.

The Jack Ma Foundation gave a total cash prize of one million dollars to support the enterprises of 10 young African entrepreneurs during the maiden Netpreneurs’ awards ceremony. Temie Giwa-Tubosun, CEO of LifeBank, took home the top ANPI 2019 Africa Business Hero Award.

Photos: Xinhua/Zhang Yu & ANPI

BKMC Welcomes the Women’s Empowerment Program GCC Fellows!

“More than ever does the world need young female leaders like yourself to advocate for a sustainable future with a fresh and innovative mind,” said Co-chair Ban Ki-moon in his video message.

Together with the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna, the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens hosted a welcome reception for the fellows of the Women’s Empowerment Program GCC on November 11th, 2019.

“You will shine, and you will empower others to shine with you!” – CEO Monika Froehler

Co-chair Heinz Fischer warmly welcomed the crowd and briefly introduced the history of Austria as a former President of Austria, and BKMC CEO Monika Froehler and Deputy Director Susanne Keppler-Schlesinger of the Diplomatic Academy also delivered remarks on the first day of the program. 

“In these two weeks, you will further develop your skill-set to make sustainable development happen and to empower women globally,” said Monika Froehler during her welcome remarks.

H.E. Ambassador Marafi from the Embassy of Kuwait participated in the welcome reception to welcome and congratulate all the selected fellows from GCC regions.

20 aspiring fellows of WEP GCC gathered from Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. They will be participating in a 2-week tailor-made program to advance their global potential to promote the Sustainable Development Goals and foster women’s empowerment.

 

Watch a video diary of WEP GCC’s first day!

 

BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon was Awarded with the Albert I Grand Medals

Oceans are a fundamental element that regulates our climate. They are the beating heart of our planet, of our future.

On November 7, BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon was award with the Albert I Grand Medals in Mediation Section for his commitment to the preservation of the oceans, which is the 14th Sustainable Development Goal.

During his tenure as the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Co-chair Ban has made the protection of the environment one of the priorities of the actions carried out on an international scale, in particular with the implementation of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development including the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

He started off his award acceptance speech by thanking Prince Albert II and Albert Foundation,

I am greatly thankful for Prince Albert II of Monaco for his visionary patronage of this award and his longtime advocacy and effort to support all oceans, environment and sustainable development.

The award ceremony was taken place in Oceanographic Museum, and Albert II presented the award to Co-chair Ban Ki-moon and two other winners, Lisa Ann Levin and Violaine Pellichero.

“We have left the time of uncertainty despite the curtains of smoke that some people deploy,”

Prince Albert II said in a speech calling for international political ambition to make progress on action on climate change.

 

Watch BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon’s award acceptance speech

Watch BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon’s nomination video

© Oceanographic Institute

BKMC Co-chair Heinz Fischer Speaks at TalkAbout Discussion Panel

“Right-wing extremism and National Socialism are responsible for endless suffering and terrible developments in the 20th century. But right-wing extremism is not immersed in the abyss of history, but there are still and sometimes strong right-wing extremist currents again. It is not only our right, but our urgent duty to deal with the dangers, with the false image of man and with the inhuman instruments and methods of right-wing extremism.” 

On November 8, BKMC Co-chair Heinz Fischer participated in panel discussion organized by TalkAbout. During the discussion, Co-chair Fischer talked about the role and history of Austria during the Second Republic.

For more photos of the event, visit BKMC album.

© TalkAbout

BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon Delivered a Welcome Message at the Opening of Amsterdam International Water Week

On November 4, Co-chair Ban Ki-moon gave a video message to welcome all attendee to Amsterdam International Water Week 2019 (AIWW2019) that started on November 4 and will last until November 8.

Climate change can be felt through its impact on global water supplies. Water availability is becoming less predictable in many places, and increased instances of flooding, storm surges, rising sea levels and droughts threaten societies across the globe. Safeguarding our water for all is a formidable task.

But it is also an opportunity to improve our ecosystems, grow our economies, boost agricultural efficiencies, tackle inequity and improve our well-being.

Water is not only a central sustainable development goal but also our recurring theme in all of the SDG’s. As such water can catalyze adaptation efforts across the sectors, ensuring our food security, energy supplies and well-being and building the resilience of our society’s economies and all of society.

Water is key to transforming our world and building the future we want. As a chair of the Global Commission on Adaption and with my fellow commissioners and Country conveners, we are working to do exactly that.

At a recent UN Climate Action Summit, we launched our commitment to a year of action, including on water, through the Climate Adaptation Summit in the Netherlands on October 22nd 2020, to accelerate progress in adaptation around the world

The Global Centre on Adaptation hosted by the Netherlands and as led by CEO Dr. Patrick Verkooijen stands ready to support the global community in its efforts. Through our water action track, we will by 2030 or since at least 50 countries to address climate risk in their water systems to help the billions of people currently facing high water stress. But we cannot do this alone. I am looking to you to help us achieve these goals. I am sure that international water week is a platform for you to progress much-needed solutions to the water challenges we face. Make no mistake. The meetings, discussions and networking you do this week are critical to the future of our planet. Only by working together we can adapt the world.

BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon Delivers a Keynote Speech at the International Forum on Air Pollution and Climate Change

“We are victims of air pollution and climate change, but we should not forget that we are also perpetrators.”

On November 4, as the Chairman of the National Council on Climate and Air Quality, BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon attended the International Forum on Air Pollution and Climate Change held in Seoul, South Korea.

“The global challenges that we face today is through solidarity. Global challenges require global solutions and global partnership. By presenting a platform for the exchange of experiences and know-how, we can advance our collective progress in identifying concrete solutions that will yield tangible results.”

During the opening keynote, Co-chair Ban called for responsible actions to let the future generation breathe clean air and said,

“To give a sustainable and clean future to the next generation, we must fulfill our responsibilities and correct the wrong choices and mistakes of the past.”

The National Council on Climate and Air Quality, chaired by former BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon, earlier proposed measures to cut South Korea’s fine dust by up to 20 percent later this year as well.

“We need more rapid and bold measures to resolve the fine dust problem and respond to climate change.”

Meanwhile, Minister Li Ganjie from Ministry of Environment of China also introduced China’s efforts to improve air quality. “China plans to place top priority in tackling air pollution and climate change and expand cooperation and exchanges with other nations,” Li said.

At the forum, Korea and China signed a “clear sky” action plan for a joint cooperative environment project between the two countries. The project calls for both nations to exchange technology and personnel and cooperate to curb the fallout of air pollution.

With increasing interest in the health impacts of air pollution around the world, the forum emphasized the need for the global partnership among states. Also, the forum participants voiced out that in order to resolve the fine dust in Northeast Asia, it is important to share the view that collective action is a common interest, and to deepen cooperation in the scientific and research fields to build trust in the region.

Source KBS, Korea Herald

© KBS, Yonhap News

Youth delegates from all over the world discuss peace and security at the OSCE-wide Youth Forum in Bratislava

The OSCE-wide Youth Forum was held at the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of Slovakia on October 28-29th, 2019 in Bratislava, Slovakia. The Forum invited youth delegates from different countries to bring diverse perspectives to the discussions on the topics of education, new technology, peacebuilding, rule of law, environment and energy, and security and human rights.

  

Ban Ki-moon Centre CEO Monika Froehler featured as a keynote speaker, and Communications Officer Minji Kwag attended the Forum as a youth delegate from South Korea.

Delivering a welcome remark, Miroslav Lajčák, Foreign Minister of Slovakia and former President of the UNGA, emphasized:

“You are not here to listen to us; we are here to listen to you.”

He said that “excluding young people does not make any sense” because “it is the young people who are driving the changes we all need.”

He added that youth engagement is smart, effective, and necessary.

OSCE Secretary General Thomas Greminger introduced the OSCE Youth Ambassadors who helped to form this youth forum, an upcoming side event of the OSCE in Vienna for December 2019, and Albania’s OSCE Chairmanship that will succeed the Slovak Chairmanship of the OSCE in 2020.

  

“What are the main challenges?” “How can societies cooperate?”

Raising critical questions for the youth participants to draw on to seek for solutions, Greminger said:

“Together you would come up with great idea in out-of-the-box approaches.”

The UN Youth Envoy Jayathma Wickramanayake also shared her remark and words of encouragement in her video message:

“I encourage all of you to bring forward your ideas and possible solutions!”

As a keynote speaker, BKMC CEO Froehler presented the current status quo of the peace and security issues in the OSCE region as well as other regions in armed conflicts and mentioned about the existing peace-building movements and initiatives by youth.

“Safer future, what does it mean?

  

Acknowledging that peace, security, and safe future may have different meanings in different contexts, Froehler shared her hope that youth can make the change.

“You are the 50% of humankind. Youth need to rise to be the generation for being great.”

She said that the world has never been as educated as we are today and that we should see youth as “equal partners” and empower them to be “co-creators for these solutions.”

  

At the discussion table, BKMC Communications Officer Minji Kwag made a statement that South Korea could make a remarkable development within a short period of time thanks to the great support given by other countries and the international community.

Kwag said that it is crucial to ensure the sustainability of the development and that the country needs to give back to the world what it has received from them.

“Every one of us should regard ourselves as a global citizen and view the world as a globally shared village regardless of our age, gender, nationality, religion, and all the other aspects that each of our small societies has defined us with.”

In conclusion, Kwag quoted BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon, former United Nations Secretary-General:

“Be a global citizen; Act with passion and compassion.”

 

Co-chair Ban Ki-moon Visits IMO HQ in London

​Beating climate change and achieving the targets set in the United Nations Sustainable Development Agenda are the two defining challenges of our time, according to co-chair Ban Ki-moon, who warned against rising unilateralism.

“In times of increasing discord, I believe that achieving the UN SDGs and meeting the Paris Climate Change Agreement are two efforts that should unite all nations, all industry and all civil society,” co-chair Ban said, addressing an audience of representatives of IMO Member States, NGOs and IMO staff at IMO Headquarters in London on October 28.

Co-chair Ban lauded IMO’s work on climate change, including the adoption of the initial IMO GHG strategy, as well as the Organization’s work, including capacity building, to promote a safer, more secure and more environment-friendly shipping industry.

“Taking stock of the current realities of global development and climate change, I believe IMO and shipping industry are well positioned to help navigate us toward safer harbors,” co-chair Ban said.

IMO’s focus on empowering women through its 2019 World Maritime theme and ongoing gender program was singled out for praise by co-chair Ban, who himself established UN Women to champion gender equality during his time as UN Secretary-General. Companies with women on their boards do better, he reminded the audience – while women and children are disproportionately affected by the impacts of poverty, climate change and conflict.

IMO’s commitment to supporting the ocean goal, SDG 14, including its work to address marine plastic litter, was also highlighted. Shipping itself is vital to world trade and development – and the achievement of many SDGs. With 11 years to go to fulfill the goals set out in all 17 SDGs,

“we need an all hands on deck approach where everyone joins together in multi stakeholder partnership,” co-chair Ban said. “Considering the great importance of the shipping industry for our economies and the environment, IMO truly represents the vanguard of global efforts to build a more prosperous and sustainable global future.”

Source IMO

© IMO

Closing Event for “Mentoring for Young Austrian Muslim Women – Global Citizens at Work”

Yesterday, the Ban Ki-moon Centre co-hosted the final closing event for the mentoring project “Mentoring for Young Austrian Muslim Women – Global Citizens at Work” conducted in partnership between the BKMC and Muslim Youth Austria (MJÖ).

The event, held at the House of Industry in Vienna, was a celebration for the 23 mentoring pairs and the relationship they have built together over the past 6-months since the start of the project.

At the event, BKMC Co-chair Heinz Fischer delivered his words of congratulations to all participants. Additionally, speeches were given by Barbara Coudenhove-Kalergi from the House of Industry, Ana Shakfeh, former President of the Islamic Religious Community in Austria, BKMC CEO Monika Froehler, and National Chair of the MJÖ Nermina Mumic.

Following the speeches, there was a panel discussion entitled “Strong – Stronger – Woman! Successful Women Speak.” The panel featured Irmgard Griss, Austrian lawyer and judge who served as President of the Supreme Court of Justice from 2007 to 2011, Gabriele Heinisch-Hosek, Austrian Politician, Anna Steiger, Vice-Rector at the Technical University in Vienna, and Amena Shakir of the Sigmund Freud Private University.

After the panel, Hagar Abowarda, a member of Muslim Youth Austria, delivered a spoken-word performance on the challenges Muslim women face in the workplace in Austria entitled, “Fatima’s Choice?”

The final part of the evening was the certificate ceremony where mentees were awarded with a “Certificate of Achievement” signed by BKMC Co-chair Heinz Fischer, CEO Monika Froehler, and National Chair of MJÖ Nermina Mumic. The mentors also received a bouquet of flowers and a quote framed and personalized by their mentee.

 

The Ban Ki-moon Centre is very pleased with the cooperation with the MJÖ for the mentoring project and looks forward to future collaboration in the years to come!

To view photos from the event, visit our online gallery here.

To learn more about the project, visit our website!