“Sustainable Development: The Pathway to the Future” – Ban Ki-moon’s Keynote at the 4th International Growth in Transition Conference

4th Annual Growth in Transition Conference: Europe’s Transformation: Where People Matter

Keynote Speech followed by Moderated Discussion/Q & A – BAN KI-MOON

“Sustainable Development: The Pathway to the Future”

Location: Austrian Center Vienna, Bruno-Kreisky-Platz 1, 1220 Vienna

Madam Minister Elisabeth Köstinger,
Mr. Wolfgang Burtscher, Deputy Director-General of DG Research and Innovation of the European Commission,
Ms. Stientje Van Veldhoven, Secretary for Infrastructure and Water Management of the Netherlands,
Excellencies,
Distinguished participants,
Ladies and gentlemen,

It is a great pleasure to join you today for the 4th Annual Growth in Transition Conference.

I thank Minister Köstinger for her invitation to attend this conference and for the opportunity to share my insights on the sustainable development goals as the pathway for our common future. I also appreciate the leadership of Chancellor Kurz as the Chairperson of the European Union at this time.

It is indeed a timely topic and one which we all should take to heart with a strong ownership in our work, no matter the field or level you are engaging.

Today, we live in a time of great growth and transition globally.

This time is also characterized by heightened uncertainties, rise of populism worldwide, a widening gap between the “haves” and the “have-nots,” exponential population growth, climate hazards, vast migratory movements and new risks, some more impending than others.

Challenges to the post-modern international order and our multilateral institutions are being felt in a variety of spheres.

International treaties and agreements are being tested and multilateralism is strained as countries become more protectionist and nationalist.

However, this period in history is also defined by impressive and innovative advancements as well as by a growing sense of interconnectivity between societies around the globe.

It is now easier than ever before to be connected, access information, travel and trade and, with the help of internet, we are privileged to have endless information at our fingertips.

New technologies are altering how we communicate, live, and work. Sweeping advances in the fields of artificial intelligence, blockchain, bio- and nanotechnology, and robotics will alter the future of our countries, cities, businesses, and interpersonal relationships.

At a time characterized by waning internationalism and transition, we must continue to work together through expanded partnerships and cooperation as global citizens. We must continue to commit to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and hold up the notion of global citizenship to help cope with these seemingly insurmountable challenges.

The United Nations, during the last seven decades, has presented many important visions and promises to the world. But to my knowledge, the Sustainable Development Goals are by far the most ambitious, most discussed, and most far-reaching vision that the United Nations has ever presented to the world. This is ours, it’s not the United Nations’, now it is in your hands. In everybody’s hands.

Having said this, I will now address three key areas. First, I will discuss the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the need to see them achieved for all of us.

Second, I will address the most serious challenge we currently face globally: the climate change phenomenon.

Last, I will speak about the need for expanded youth participation and the role of global citizenship in forging ahead and in building a more sustainable, peaceful, and prosperous world for us all. This is the pathway to our common future.

Distinguished participants,

To meet the challenges the world faces, sustainable development must become the hallmark of this era. It must be the virtue that characterizes our actions.

The picture of a sustainable world is envisioned in the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals and the Agenda 2030, showing the path to sustainable development and peaceful co-prosperity of our planet.

Before the SDGs, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) made strides in the field of global development and undoubtedly improved human welfare around the world.

However, there is still much work left to be done.

First, sustainability means ensuring prosperity and environmental protection without compromising future generations and our planet.

We cannot consume all what we need today. We need to leave some and to make sure that the succeeding generations will use the planet’s resources equally and fairly.

Secondly, the sustainability means a world free from poverty where individuals can enjoy decent work without harming the earth’s essential ecosystems and resources.

A sustainable world is one where people can stay healthy and are guaranteed the food and water they need.
It means a world where everyone can access clean energy.
And it also means that women and girls are afforded equal rights and equal opportunities.

To achieve sustainable development, it requires the active participation of us all, especially of women and youth, those whose futures most depend on the realization of our Sustainable Development Goals. Indeed, without the engagement of women and youth, we will not succeed.

Again, during my time as Secretary-General, for the first time in UN history, I established UN Women and again for the first time, I appointed a Special Envoy for Youth. Never in previous United Nation’s history have we focused on these. Now, I am very glad that these two issues, women and youth, are being supported by world leaders.

People often say that half the world is made up of women. There is a book written by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn where they describe that “half the sky are women.” If we do not give them more, they should at least be given equal and fairly. This has been my consistent message to the world.

Therefore, we require their active engagement should we hope to realize our goals and to achieve sustainable development.

This year, as was introduced, I co-founded a new initiative in partnership with the former Federal President of Austria Heinz Fischer, the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens. Why global citizens? This is quite vague in terms of an academic definition. What I observed in the past 10 years, is that largely world leaders, particularly political leaders, come to the United Nations and speak grandeurs and ambitious goals, saying that they are global citizens, but as soon as they return to their countries, they immediately become national leaders. I have seen few global leaders, particularly at this time and  it’s the 21st century.   So, I thought together with Heinz Fischer, that we must foster global citizenship among the people, particularly political leaders and business leaders.

Through leadership, mediation, advocacy, and education, the Centre aims to empower those whose voices often go unheard, offering them the opportunities and potential to drive sustainable development for themselves and for future generations.

Distinguished participants,
Ladies and gentlemen,

It is essential that we acknowledge climate change and that we find sustainable solutions to mitigate and to adapt to its repercussions.

Climate change is altering the character of our planet.

We must increase our collective efforts to prepare and protect ourselves, our communities, and our world from existential threats that climate change will bring. We are running out of time.

I often say that nature does not wait for us. Nature does not negotiate with human-beings. It is us as human-beings that must negotiate with nature. We must harmonize the way we live with nature. Minister Köstinger already quoted what I often say, there is no “planet B;” therefore, we don’t have a “plan B” we only have “plan A.” To live harmoniously with nature has been my consistent message.

Even here in Vienna, I was told that you have experienced the hottest summer since weather was recorded. We have seen extreme patterns in weather. Wild fires, still it is happening in California. Still at this moment. Hurricanes, cyclones, and typhoons with strong intensity.

These weather patterns are clear warnings from nature that we must adapt to the changing climate phenomenon.
On the global stage, the world has seen mounting and devastating natural disasters. It’s not usual. Again, this is a clear message.
These and other natural disasters are not going to cease their destructive and deadly course.

Last month, under the leadership of Prime Minister Mark Rutte of the Netherlands, we launched a Global Commission on Adaptation. Why adaptation? We have done some for mitigation because we had to do it. When there’s destruction, you have to rebuild. But we have not been doing much to adapt to climate change. There is much more investment worldwide, for example in 2015 and 2016, in mitigating climate. The records say we spent around 380 billion dollars on mitigating climate change these years and only 20 billion were spent on adaptation. There must be equal efforts – mitigation and adaptation must go together.

The importance of adaptation has become clearer now, and that’s why, with the chairmanship that I’m taking with the co-chairmanship of Bill Gates and Kristalina Georgieva who used to be Vice-President of EU and now CEO of World Bank, we are leading this commission with strong political support from at least 17 heads of state and governments. From the European Union, the Prime Minister of the UK Theresa May and Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel and of course Mark Rutte of the Netherlands, are on board. Now leaders of China, Xi Jinping, and of India, Narendra Modi, are also supporting us. There are also many African leaders like in Ethiopia, Senegal, South Africa, and in Latin America, Mexico, Argentina and Costa Rica, who are also on board.

Also, as you may know, I am acting as President and Chairman of the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI). This is an international organization with 30 Member States.

So, with all this together, I am continuing what I used to do as Secretary-General. The Paris Climate Agreement, the Sustainable Development Goals, and gender empowerment, are the three most passionate positions that the United Nations presented to the world during my time as Secretary-General. I do not say that it was my own achievement. There are many achievements where Members States have been working together with a sense of unity. This is the time that we must implement, with a strong sense of passion and compassionate leadership among us.

In that regard, I really appreciate that we are working together today.

On September 25th, 2015 I was deeply moved. I never felt that kind of excitement. I was deeply touched by the long standing-ovation and applause we received by world leaders. I didn’t see any world leader, at that moment, with differing ideas. Mostly, this world is divided.

In Vienna you must have seen many beautiful concerts and operas. At the end of the concert, many people stand up and have an extended ovation. But never in my life, have I seen such a long and standing-ovation by world leaders. They were one, united. This is what we want to see among world leaders. Unfortunately, they are too often divided, starting from the biggest country in the world.

With the transformative advancement of science and technology, now everything is moving at lightening speed. We are now talking about artificial intelligence, bio and nanotechnologies and robotics. With the advent of this transformative advancement of science and technology, why are political leaders divided? Why are they not able to implement sustainable development and why are they divided regarding this common threat to our humanity and our planet?

In that regard, I see strong passion among you this morning. So lets work together and lets be united in implementing what has already been given to us: the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Agreement.

These are the answers to our common prosperity and the future for all of us.

Excellencies,
Ladies and gentlemen,
Let us work together to make this world better for all.

I thank you very much.
Dankeschön.

“Do not erect walls; build bridges!” Ban Ki-moon urges at the 4th International Growth in Transition Conference

“Sustainable development must become the hallmark of this era,”

claimed BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon at the “4th International Growth in Transition Conference” hosted by Austrian Presidency of the Council of the European Union 2018 at the Austria Center Vienna on November 14th, 2018. This year, the conference focused on topic of ‘Europe’s Transformation: Where People Matter.’

The conference was facilitated by Mr. Peter Woodward, Co-Founder and Director of Quest Associates, and featured Minister Elisabeth Koestinger of the Federal Ministry for Sustainability and Tourism of Austria and Deputy Director-General Wolfgang Burtscher of the Research and Innovation Department at the European Commission.

The participants actively participated in discussing sustainability and were given time to introduce their work to each other.

During the moderated discussion session, Co-chair Ban said that “there is no country in the world that can solve the global issues alone no matter how powerful a country may be” and stressed that global citizenship should be fostered among people.

Ban also emphasized the importance of advancing the SDGs during his keynote speech. The implementation of the SDGs, he said, should be done in the effort of finding #challenges that the world faces. Doing so, Co-chair Ban stressed that empowering youth and women should be the priority. During his tenure as the UN Secretary-General, Ban has established UN Women and UN Youth Envoy.

During the press conference with Minister Koestinger, Ban shared his deep concerns that multilateralism is now under attack. He urged world leaders to be more united to better cooperate and address global challenges together.

“So many people are with passion, and not enough with compassion,”

Ban stressed the importance of tackling global problems with compassion and moral attitude.

“Do not erect walls; build bridges!”

 

Watch the live-streamed video of the conference here:

4th International Growth in Transition Conference: ‘Europe’s Transformation: Where People Matter’- Opening- Key Conference Challenges- Keynote – Sustainable Development: The Pathway To The Future- Political Panel: "Politics, People And Transition" – Introduction to the "Call To Action" Challenge

Gepostet von Austrian Presidency of the Council of the European Union 2018 am Mittwoch, 14. November 2018

 

Watch the live-streamed press conference here:

Jetzt live: Pressekonferenz anlässlich der 4. Internationalen Wachstum im Wandel-Konferenz mit Nachhaltigkeitsministerin Elisabeth Köstinger und Ban Ki-Moon (ehemaliger Generalsekretär der Vereinten Nationen und Vorsitzender des Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens)

Gepostet von Für ein nachhaltiges Österreich am Mittwoch, 14. November 2018

“Are International Treaties in Jeopardy?”

The Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens and the Austrian Federal Ministry of Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs (BMEIA) co-organized a forum titled “Are International Treaties in Jeopardy?” in Vienna, Austria on November 13th, 2018.

Prior to the forum, BKMC Co-chairs Ban Ki-moon and Heinz Fischer and CEO Monika Froehler had a meeting with Minister Karin Kneissl, Ambassador Andreas Riecken, Cabinet Karl Ehrlich of the Minister, and Deputy Spokesperson Peter Guschelbauer at the Ministry.

The forum facilitated discussions on international treaties and rapidly changing status quo of the global society to seek for global solutions for global challenges impacting international relations. Both Co-chairs of the Centre delivered a keynote.

Co-chair Fischer, former Austrian President, said that

“The commitment solves challenges and problems like migration through cooperation.”

He continued,

“there is still a long way to go, and we have learned that we must work this way together, respecting each other, compromising our own national benefit in order to sustainably pursue this project of humankind.”

Co-chair Ban, former United Nations Secretary-General, highly criticized that Austria has recently withdrawn from the global compact on migration.

“Ever since the Vienna Convention on the law of treaties was signed almost fifty years ago,” Ban said, “commitments are eroding, treaties are disrespected, and agreements are ignored.”

He emphasized that political leaders should approach global issues with moral perspective rather than following their political will.

“World leaders, they led global visions, global citizenship; they always speak loud and clearly that “I work for humanity.” But, when they go back to national governments, they all become national leaders. That is why I really want to foster global citizenship. We need to work together. Nothing can be done alone.”

In order to solve the global issues, Ban said that it is important for the states to advance the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that must be owned by the member states who should prioritize supporting “women, young people, and the least advantaged.”

During the panel discussion, Co-chair Fischer also pointed out that the international rule of law should be the final goal for a state to reach and that one has to rely on international treaties and agreements.

Minister Kneissl, Deputy Spokesperson Guschelbauer, and Head Thomas Hajnoczi of Disarmament Department of the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs were also featured on the panel as well as Ms. Mona Ali Khalil, former Senior Legal Officer with the UN Office of the Legal Counsel, and Professor Gerhard Hafner for International Law at the University of Vienna.

Watch Co-chair Ban Ki-moon’s keynote: https://youtu.be/dNlaAP0nP2s
Watch Co-chair Heinz Fischer’s keynote: https://youtu.be/JqaFieHNevM

Photo: Ashraf Mahmoud / BMEIA

Global Center on Adaptation CEO Verkooijen visits the Ban Ki-moon Centre in Vienna

CEO Patrick Verkooijen of Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) visited the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens on November 13th to have a bilateral meeting with the Centre’s Co-chair Ban Ki-moon. Co-chair Ban also serves as Chair of the Board with GCA.

On October 16th, 2018, GCA launched the Global Commission on Adaptation headed by BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon together with Co-chair Bill Gates of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and CEO Kristalina Georgieva of World Bank in The Hague, Netherlands.

To catalyze a global movement to bring scale and speed to climate adaptation solutions, the Global Commission on Adaptation included 17 convening countries and 28 commissioners that consist of the world leaders, representing all regions of the globe and all sectors of development.

Verkooijen and Ban discussed how to better accelerate adaptation action, bring larger support from the international community and promote cooperation among the states and the world leaders as GCA binds the ‘Sustainable Development Goal #13: Climate Action’ whereas all the other 17 SDGs are not legally bound.

Kuwait gives another fund to the Ban Ki-moon Centre

The Kuwaiti government donated another fund to the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens through its Embassy in Vienna. H.E. Ambassador Sadiq Marafi and First Secretary Abdullah Alobaidi of the Embassy of the State of Kuwait and Permanent Mission to the United Nations visited the Centre on November 13th, 2018.

The Centre’s Co-chairs Ban Ki-moon and Heinz Fischer and CEO Monika Froehler welcomed the delegation, and during the bilateral meeting, the Centre was given an official certificate of the voluntary contribution of 350,000 USD from the Kuwaiti government to the Centre.

Kuwait has been one of the biggest supporters of the Centre and has offered to tentatively host an affiliated office of the Ban Ki-moon Centre in Kuwait. Ambassador Marafi has also been an active ex officio member of the Board of the Centre and has fully supported the Centre’s various activities and engagements. In the first half of next year, the Ban Ki-moon Centre’s third Board Meeting will be hosted by the Kuwaiti government in Kuwait in February.

Ban Ki-moon’s Keynote at the World Disasters Report 2018 Launch

Keynote Address at the
2018 World Disasters Report Launch
Monday, 12 November 2018
Vienna International Centre (VIC)
15:00 – 15:15, Conference Room C3, 7th floor, UN VIE C-building

Dear Vice-President of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and President of the Swiss Red Cross, Annemarie Huber-Hotz,
Dear Under Secretary General Jemilah Mahmood of the IFRC,
Dear Chief Luc St-Pierre of Space Applications at the UNOOSA,
Dear Secretary-General Verner Kerschbaum of Red Cross Austria,

Excellencies,
Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is my pleasure to take part in the launch of the World Disasters Report 2018 today at the Vienna International Centre.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies has been a frontier drawing attention to the world’s complex challenges, looking into the areas where emergency interventions need to be addressed and advanced.

With its research and analysis, the IFRC has provided the world with guidelines to meet the needs and to improve the wellbeing of humankind exposed to disasters and health emergencies.

I would like to underline my appreciation to the IFRC for its dedication to saving lives, protecting livelihoods, strengthening recovery from disasters and crises, enabling healthy and safe living, and promoting social inclusion and a culture of non-violence and peace.

Now that the year of the final review of the Strategy 2020 is approaching, it is more timely than ever for IFRC and all of us, to closely examine the actions implemented and find out where gaps persist between the “expected” and the “actual” outcomes.

In order to reduce these gaps, the 2018 World Disasters Report aims to provide guidance for the international humanitarian sector, on how to better respond to the needs of the most world´s vulnerable people and how to mobilize the power of humanity.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reported that only 97 million were selected to receive humanitarian aid out of about 134 million people in need this year. A lack of global investment in disaster relief leaves tens of millions of people exposed to preventable disaster risks. Out of 25 billion dollars required, less than 12 billion dollars have been received, and this should alert all of us in the international community and particularly donors to do more and reach further.

The 2018 World Disasters Report exemplifies five areas of concern which the international humanitarian system misses when dealing with people in need:

First poor information about who is most in need and second limited understanding about how to help them best as programmes are not always targeting the right people in the right way. Third inadequate access to people who need support, and fourth a lack of flexibility in expanding humanitarian assistance to people outside the traditional areas of conflict, disaster, displacement or disease. And fifth: inadequate funding.

Solving the problems of our rapidly changing world needs everyone, every country, and the international community’s attention and their cooperation. Global issues need global solutions, and global solutions must not leave anyone behind. This requires strengthened partnerships in global policy-making that builds resilience and reduces vulnerability of people.

During my ten-year tenure as United Nations Secretary-General, I sought to build international partnerships and encouraging national, regional and international actors to ensure a more

peaceful, livable, prosperous and sustainable world. I try to continue that work with various roles that I have taken on, continuing to build bridges and raise awareness also with the humble Centre for Global Citizens, which I founded here in Austria together with my good friend Dr. Heinz Fischer.

 

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

Following up on the Paris Agreement within the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, in October this year a Global Commission on Adaptation was launched in the Netherlands. Together with Bill Gates, Co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Kristalina Gerogieva, CEO of World Bank, I lead the Commission to catalyze a global movement to bring scale and speed to climate adaptation solutions. As you surely know the Secretary-General of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Elhadj As Sy, was also appointed as a member of the Global Commission on Adaptation.

The Commission works to address opportunities to become more resilient and less vulnerable to climate impacts and natural hazards. It urges governments and businesses to incorporate climate change risks into their social and economic development plans and investments and makes sure that the world’s most vulnerable people receive the benefit.

Climate change is merely one of many causes of natural disasters, and there are countless number of other challenges that the world needs to pay attention to. More than half of the emergencies the IFRC responds to are a direct result of weather-related events. And the majority of the other operations are compounded by and made more complex by changing climate.

Each and every one of us must all play our part with our own expertise to tackle these increasing global challenges. We simply must continue to work to leave no one behind and move forward, together.

 

Thanks to the American Red Cross, I was given an opportunity to join students from 42 countries

to travel across the United States visiting Red Cross chapters, and that is when I opened my eyes to the world and met 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 is engraved in my memory and I continue to try to do my share as a global citizen to help the ones in need. All our helping hands are needed.

With the launch of the 2018 World Disasters Report today, I urge the international community, states, and individuals to come together to further reach marginalized areas and to give hand to people in vulnerable situations. No one should be left behind, and the 2018 World Disasters Report will draw the lines of a picture that the world can paint together to make this world livable for all.

Thank you for your attention. /End/

“Leaving No One Behind” World Disasters Report 2018 Launch

World Disasters Report 2018 was launched by International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), Austrian Red Cross, United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), and the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens on November 12th, 2018 in at the Vienna International Centre in Austria.

The event featured BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon, Chief Luc St-Pierre of Space Applications at UNOOSA, President Annemarie Huber-Hotz of Swiss Red Cross, Under Secretary-General Jemilah Mahmood of IFRC, and Secretary-General Verner Kerschbaum of Red Cross Austria on the panel.

Addressing his keynote, Co-chair Ban said that

“The IFRC has been a frontier at drawing attention to the world’s complex challenges and looking into the areas where emergency interventions need to be addressed and advanced.”

He underlined his appreciation to the IFRC for its dedication to

“saving lives, protecting livelihoods, strengthening recovery from disasters and crisis, enabling healthy and safe living, and promoting social inclusion and the culture of non-violence and peace.”

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) reported that only 97 million were selected to receive humanitarian aid out of about 134 million people in need this year. A lack of global investment in disaster relief leaves tens of millions of people exposed to preventable disaster risks. Out of 25 billion dollars required, less than 12 billion dollars have been received.

Titled “Leaving No One Behind,” the World Disasters Report 2018 emphasizes that the international humanitarian sector must do more to respond to the needs of the world’s most vulnerable people.

“The international community, states, and individuals to come together to further reach marginalized area and to give hands to people in vulnerable situations,” urged Ban.

After the launch event, Dr. Eva Poecksteiner from ORF interviewed Co-chair Ban Ki-moon asking some questions including how the international community can prevent disasters, what disasters have touched him personally, and what impact the climate change has on the world’s disasters.

Read more about the World Disasters Report 2018 here: https://media.ifrc.org/ifrc/world-disaster-report-2018/

Watch Ban’s interview with ORF here: https://tvthek.orf.at/…/Machtwechsel-in-der-Ostukr…/14395234

Iranian delegation visits the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens

On November 8th, 2018, a delegation of the Islamic Republic of Iran, including Dr. Kamal Kharazi, Head of Strategic Council on Foreign Relations, and Ambassador Ebadollah Molaei of the Iranian Embassy in Vienna visited the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens. Dr. Kharazi, who is also former Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the delegation spoke to Co-chair Heinz Fischer and CEO Monika Froehler about the international status of Iran and foreign policies.

Ban Ki-moon Centre signs a Tripartite MOU with Yeosijae and Tsinghua University

Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens signed a tripartite MOU with Yeosijae (Future Consensus Institute) and Tsinghua University at Tsinghua University on the margins of the 2018 Future Consensus Forum in BeijingChina on November 5th, 2018.

The three institutes agreed to collaborate on research projects and academic exchanges related to future city and sustainable development, acknowledging areas of common interest in promoting research, crossing sectors and disciplines, and advancing solutions to global challenges.

After the MOU signing ceremony, BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon delivered a special lecture on the SDGs to the Tsinghua University students.

Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens at the 2018 Future Consensus Forum

“2018 Future Consensus Forum: Next Civilized City and Sustainable Development” was co-organized by BKMC partners Yeosijae (Future Consensus Institute)Tsinghua University, and Institute for Global Engagement and Empowerment (IGEE) in Beijing, China on November 3-5th, 2018.

The Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens’ Co-chair Ban Ki-moon delivered a keynote at the opening session of the forum, highlighting the importance of sustainable cities both as the greatest inter-connected challenge and the key enabler of the SDGs. It was received with strong endorsement by the audience which included parliamentarians, mayors and academicians from across the world. Ban also addressed the issues and solutions during media interviews.

A special discussion hosted by the Centre was moderated by Ambassador Kim Won-soo, who is former UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs and a Board Member of the Centre. Featured speakers of the discussion included:

  • Jean Todt: President of FIA; BKMC Board Member
  • Irina Bokova: former Director General of UNESCO; BKMC Board Member
  • Wu Hongbo: Co-director of the Institute for Sustainable Development Goals of Tsinghua University (TUSDG); former United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs
  • Liu Song: Vice President of Alibaba Group

Professor Myongsei Sohn of Yonsei University, who serves as Executive Director of IGEE, also participated in a panel discussion during the second plenary session focusing on the digital era and the next civilized city. The audience actively engaged in the discussions on topics including transportation in smart cities and the reinforcement of road safety, the importance of education in the field of sustainable city planning, policy decision and solidarity, and the role of technology needed for sustainable city.

The Future Consensus Forum aims to
– seek for ways to make the development of future cities sustainable by analyzing the issues modern cities face;
– share the importance of developing a city centered around small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and venture businesses using creativity;
– share the images of a newly civilized city that will realize sustainable society led by digital advancement.

Watch live-streamed video of the forum this year: https://zhibo.ifeng.com/video.html?liveid=122854&fbclid=IwAR0Hx99TMWhomj6Dkd3Z0nmJyVzHiDBMZoO-3gE56BfYayRkc6hPLGOvstU
Videos of the previous forums can be found on the YouTube channel of Yeosijae: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCr8DHn5gQVeJvlOkaaFWnDg

Photo: Yeosijae