BKMC and SDSN Youth announced the launch of the SDG Student Program Certificate at The Vatican!

“As Ban Ki-moon said, we do not have a Plan B, we only have Plan A. In my opinion, this plan A is the SDGs.” 

– Monika Froehler during the Vatican Youth Symposium 2019

On October 16, the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) co-hosted the annual Vatican Youth Symposium at the Casina Pio IV, Vatican City. 

At the symposium, Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens and SDSN Youth announced the launch of the SDG Students Program Certificate, a component of the SDG Students Program

Jointly developed by Ban Ki-Moon Centre for Global Citizens, SDSN Youth, and the SDG Academy, the Certificate aims to encourage university students around the world to learn about, engage with, and take action on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

Certificates are signed by Co-chair Ban Ki-Moon; Ms Chandrika Bahadur, President of the SDSN Association; and Mr Siamak Sam Loni, Global Coordinator of SDSN Youth.

“Today, more than 207 million students are enrolled in higher education. Young people have the energy, ideas, and determination to improve our communities, and we need to give students a platform to learn about the Sustainable Development Goals and take action in their local communities.” co-chair Ban said. “Through the creation of SDG Student Hubs on universities around the world, SDSN Youth is creating spaces for students to learn about, engage with, and take action to achieve the SDGs.”

The SDG Students Program is an initiative of SDSN Youth that aims to engage students in higher education in the global effort to achieve the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs, as well as empower them with the knowledge, skills, and pathways to action to be effective agents of change today. Through the creation of a global network of hubs of learning and engagement for the SDGs on universities worldwide, the Program ensures that students from all walks of life have the opportunity to become drivers of new solutions to the problems that surround them.

“We need to make sure we raise the new generation of leaders that knows the SDGs and questions we currently have to tackle.”

– Monika Froehler during the Vatican Youth Symposium 2019

“We are excited to be partnering with SDSN Youth to launch the SDG Students Program Certificate, and to be an endorser of the SDG Students Program,” CEO Monika Froehler remarked at the launch. “By incorporating the content that the Ban Ki-moon Centre is producing into the SDG Students Program, we hope to give university students all over the world a foundational knowledge of sustainability that will aid them in all their future activities.”

In order to attain the Certificate, students need to complete several tasks across the three pillars of “learn about”, “engage with”, and “take action” on the SDGs. One of the core requirements for attaining the Certificate involves the completion of “Sustainable Development in the 21st Century with Ban Ki-moon”, a course co-developed by the Ban Ki-moon Centre and its partner the Institute for Global Engagement and Empowerment (IGEE) at Yonsei University. 

“Designed to be completed over the course of an academic year, it is our shared hope that when students achieve the Certificate, they will gain the foundational knowledge of sustainability and skills they need to be advocates for sustainability in the diverse occupations and industries they will enter,” Project Leader of the SDG Students Program Yi Jun Mock shared at the launch. 

“Moving forward, the SDG Students Program will remain a core element of SDSN Youth’s global programming for young people, and we are excited to continue deepening our cooperation with the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens and the SDG Academy to reach an  even wider audience of university students around the world,” SDSN Youth Global Coordinator Siamak Sam Loni concluded.

Co-chair Heinz Fischer gave a keynote speech at the Impact Days 2019

On October 11th, BKMC Co-chair Heinz Fischer delivered an inspirational keynote speech ‘The Global Relevance of the SDGs’ at the Impact Days 2019 that kicked off on October 10th in Vienna, Austria. 

As the former President of Austria, co-chair Fischer motivated participants to advance toward sustainable future.

The Impact Days 2019 is an annual conference that inspires, connects and empowers young people to confront the most challenging issues of our time. 

 

To read his full speech, click HERE.

© Impact Hub

Co-chair Ban Ki-moon delivered opening remark at the IVI State Forum

On October 11, Co-chair Ban Ki-moon delivered an opening remark at the IVI State Forum 2019 and congratulated IVI’s 22nd anniversary.

“One of the main arguments for the SDGs is that all people from the world should not die unnecessarily from preventable diseases.” — Ban Ki-moon

International Vaccine Institute(IVI) hosted the forum at Seoul National University, Korea, to introduce the achievements of IVI and provide a dialogue on development and distribution of vaccines to developing countries. 

Co-chair Ban said,

“We need to cooperate in developing and distributing vaccines to achieve the world health and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)…[because] International community simply cannot fulfill its pledge to ‘Leave No One Behind‘ and achieve the SDGs unless it hits its public health target in SDG 3 to ensure healthy life and common wellbeing for all ages.”

Talking about the importance of vaccination, he also said:

“I think health is the most important one. Just look at the SDG 1, SDG 2,SDG 3: poverty eradication, food security, and health. If we meet these three Goals, we may not need to sit here at IVI today. This is why we need to make sure that every enjoys health and particularly preventive diseases. 

Co-chair Ban Ki-moon concluded the remark by saying:

“Immunization is the key not only in achieving SDG 3 but also catalyzing many of other SDGs related to hunger, gender equality, education, clean water, and sanitation.”

© IVI, Yonhap

BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon delivered a keynote speech at the GCF Private Investment for Climate Conference

As the Chair of the Council of Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), Co-chair Ban Ki-moon delivered a keynote speech at the Green Climate Fund Private Investment for Climate Conference that kicked-off on October 7th and lasted until October 9th in Incheon, the Republic of Korea.

If we delay action today, we’ll have to pay much a dearer price tomorrow. Let us show the world that we can work and thrive together to make this planet better and sustainable. — Ban Ki-moon

The GCF Private Investment for Climate Conference (“GPIC”) is a global marketplace and ecosystem where leading private sector actors including project sponsors, institutional investors, financial institutions, climate leaders, and the public sector come together to accelerate climate action in developing countries.

This year’s GCF Private Investment for Climate Conference, focusing exclusively on the private sector gathered more than 600 participants from over 100 countries. 

On the second day of the GPIC, under the theme of Mobilizing Institutional Investors and the Global Finance Sector for Climate, Co-chair Ban said, 

The private sector manages more than $210 trillion in assets but invests less than 5% in climate finance. The climate crisis is too big, too serious, too urgent to use the resources of public institutions alone. 

The Green Climate Fund (GCF) is the world’s largest dedicated fund helping developing countries reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and enhance their ability to respond to climate change. GCF has a crucial role in serving the Paris Agreement, supporting the goal of keeping average global temperature rise well below 2°C. We do so by channelling climate finance to developing countries and mobilizing private sector capital at scale.

GCF’s decision to hold this second annual private sector-focused forum reflects the Fund’s recognition that investments by businesses and other financial actors needs to be greatly increased if the world is to effectively deal with warming global temperatures.

The conference offers a unique opportunity to chart ways for institutional investors, including sovereign wealth funds, pension funds and insurance companies, to tap GCF finances to expand emerging markets of low-emission and climate resilient growth.

GCF’s Private Investment for Climate Conference helped further drive the momentum of increasing private sector engagement in tackling the climate challenge which was a marked feature of the UN summit.

Source: Green Climate Fund

© GGGI

BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon delivered a keynote speech at the 6th Yoon Hoo-jung Unification Forum

On October 2, Co-chair Ban Ki-moon delivered a keynote speech at the 6th Yoon Hoo-jung Unification Forum held at Ewha Womans University ECC Lee Sam-bong Hall in Sinchon, Seoul.

“There is no ideology in diplomacy. There should be no politics involved in security.” – Ban Ki-moon

At the event titled “Unification of the Korean Peninsula in the World,” co-chair Ban explained the current international situation surrounding the Korean Peninsula, including the competition between the U.S. and China and North Korean nuclear. He also presented a direction for the right foreign and security policies.

On peace and unification on the Korean Peninsula, co-chair Ban said,

“The Republic of Korea is currently placed at its biggest diplomatic and security crisis since the Korean War.”

Co-chair Ban also added that

“Peace unification on the Korean Peninsula can be achieved on the basis of diplomatic relations with neighboring states.”

Source Ewha Womans University 

© Ewha Womans University

 

Ban Ki-moon Centre co-hosts a peace talk with the WEP Asia fellows from Afghanistan

The Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens, the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna, and the Women in International Security (WIIS) Austria co-hosted an event titled “A Long Road to Peace: Realities, Hopes, and Visions from Afghanistan” in Vienna, Austria on October 8th, 2019. The WEP Asia fellows participated in the event, especially those from Afghanistan featuring as speakers.

Naeem Poyesh, Deputy Head and Counselor of the Embassy and Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in Vienna, pointed out some of the main problems of the peace process in Afghanistan.

“There are many actors, but they have different goals,” said Poyesh.

He also addressed the issue of gender inequality in the peace process as women in Afghanistan society are rather expected to stay home.

Poyesh emphasized that

“we should seek peace” and that “we should not follow the seasonal policies based on elections and relationships,”

Viola Christian, Coordinator of the Women’s Empowerment Program, introduced to the gathered crowd the mission and the work of the Ban Ki-moon Centre as well as the WEP Asia fellows from Afghanistan, who came up to the stage to present their stories.

Laleh Rahimi from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan suggested solutions for the challenges faced in Afghanistan:

 

  1. All segments of society and people should jump into solving the challenges with common goals and unity.
  2. Afghanistan needs help and cooperation from the international community.
  3. “Educating women is so important!

“We have to raise our voices,” said Sohalia Rezaee, co-founder of the Afghanistan Youth Empowerment and Peace Building Organization (AYEPO).

She shared her story about being an Afghan refugee in Iran as well as other challenges she has faced as a young woman in her country after she returned. She was denied to go to school, asked to get married in early age, and lost her best friend during an attack.

In order for her to empower herself as well as other young women in her society, she established AYEPO and taught female students in high school age “leadership, personal skills and peacebuilding skills.”

The event also hosted a panel which was moderated by Professor Ebrahim Afsah of the University of Vienna and consisted of:

  • Farida Amiri, Founder of Peace Friends
  • Munira Aziz, European Union Delegation, Afghanistan
  • Hooria Sardarzaada, Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs of Afghanistan

Amiri shared her experience as a young female entrepreneur peace-builder and pointed out that it is difficult for young people and women “to take part in the decision-making process.”

She said, “our views, concerns, and commitments have to be showed to the international community and included at the table.”

Professor Afsah asked the panel,

“What is the role of international actors?”

Aziz responded with the importance of sustainability and accessibility:

“The support of the international community is crucial to build sustainable peace” she said, “the international community plays an essential role in including the remote areas and the marginalized communities.”

When Professor Afsah asked the panel about the role of private initiatives, Sardarzaada answered:

“It should be localized.”

“Education is the key.”

She said that “the Afghan government should speak on behalf of us and “work in unity” with the private sector and its allies and partners.

After the panel discussion, a number of the participants stayed longer to have a deeper conversation with the speakers and to have their questions answered regarding the peace-building process and women’s empowerment.

© BKMC / Eugenie Berger

 

BKMC CEO Monika Froehler attends the AFS Global Conference and the EUNA GCED Network Meeting in Montreal

CEO of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens Monika Froehler attended the AFS Global Conference 2019 held by the AFS Intercultural Programs in Montreal, Canada on October 9-11th.

Under the theme of “Active Global Citizenship—and How to Educate for It,” the Conference gathered thousands of educators, learners, experts, and advocates for the SDG 4: Quality Education and Global Citizenship Education (GCED). More than 75 sessions were hosted, and Froehler featured as a speaker at the Plenary Session: “Are We There Yet? A Hard Look at the State of Global Competence Education Around the World.”

On the margins of the conference, she also attended a session: “Mapping EUNA GCED Network” hosted by the Centre’s partner UNESCO APCEIU. The network meeting was held in consequence of the previous regional GCED network meeting for Europe and North America held in Lisbon in November 2018.

BKMC CEO Monika Froehler stresses the importance of GCED and E4J at the UNODC Conference

The Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens team and the Women’s Empowerment Program Asia (WEP Asia) fellows participated in the International High-Level Conference “Educating for the rule of law: Inspire. Change. Together.” hosted by UNODC’s Doha Declaration Global Programme in Vienna, Austria on October 7th, 2019.

BKMC CEO Monika Froehler participated in Session II “‘Talking’ rule of law & ‘building bridges’: comprehensive approaches to building a culture of lawfulness and also moderated Session III “Creative approaches to strengthening the rule of law through education: good practices from around the world.”

“Education for justice should be taught at all levels,” said Froehler at the Session II.

She introduced existing initiatives and best practices of education for justice (E4J) such as UNESCO publications, UNESCO APCEIU’s GCED Online Campus, SDG Academy’s edX, OSCE, UNODC’s Education for Justice, and more. She said that different forms and tools of education that are effective should be adapted and utilized.

She said, “education on Global Citizenship and the SDGs is the key” and “what is spent for weapons should rather be spent for education.”

As Froehler introduced the WEP Asia fellows to the crowd, she emphasized that youth empowerment is crucial and also that

“we need to focus on ladies and girls, and we need to educate them to be part of the movement, change, and these initiatives.”

Patricia Colchero, Coordinator of Research and Studies at the National System for the Integral Protection of Children and Adolescents of Mexico, said that

“we need to respect educators and youth, and rules should be applied fairly.”

She also emphasized that emotional skills should be taught and developed along with the traditional education on knowledge.

Yoshimitsu Yamauchi, Assistant Vice-Minister of Justice of Japan, said that general education taught in a family also contributes to the overall development of society. Sharing collaborative examples between the educational sector and the justice sector, he stressed the importance of mutual understanding, involving the private sector, treating the rules equally, and seeing what is behind the constitution.

Salem Al-Ali, Assistant Secretary-General of the Prevention Sector at the Kuwait Anti-Corruption Authority, also emphasized on the importance of youth engagement:

“education policy should be extended all the way to youth and young generation so that they can fight corruption.”

During Session III, best practices and challenges of education for justice in Brazil, Macedonia, Qatar, and Nigeria were presented. Aly Jetha, President and CEO of a cartoon company Big Bad Boo Studios, shared his company’s efforts in utilizing cartoons to educate children for justice and to teach them a global citizenship mindset.

The audience also actively involved themselves in the discussion and shared various perspectives. A representative from Ukraine said that informal education that comes from communications and/or home brings values that cannot be learned but can only be earned through one’s engagements and soul. The Ambassador for Nigeria spoke about the existing language barrier for education, stressing the importance of providing access to education for all. A youth representative from Thailand also said that people from diverse backgrounds should be able to feel that they are represented.

As a closing remark, Dr. Zainab Bagudu, First Lady of Kebbi State of Nigeria, said that

“the world needs to invest in education now.”

The Conference successfully provided the international community with an opportunity to discuss ways and means to promote education for the rule of law through diversified and creative educational approaches and activities.

© BKMC / Eugenie Berger

WEP Asia fellows actively discuss on the topics of leadership and global issues at tailor-made training sessions

Since the program kicked off on September 30th, the global citizen fellows of the Women’s Empowerment Program Asia (WEP Asia) have actively participated in a number of tailor-made training sessions.

  • Pitching & Presenting – Skills and Capacity Training by Kate WALKER (Lecturer, University of Vienna; Independent Consultant)
  • “Taking urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts” by Reinhard STEURER (Associate Professor, Institute of Forest, Environmental and Natural Resource Policy, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences)
  • Leveraging Differences: Building Cross-Cultural Management and Leadership Capacity for Game Changers & Cosmopolitan Leadership for a Complex World by Andreas Sami PRAUHART (Leadership and Development Catalyst and Policy Advisor)


“Climate change is not about some species going extinct. It is about whether we will survive in the next 200 years,” Steurer said.

During the lecture, the fellows shared their own views on climate change, what needs to be done and beyond.

“One part of the negotiation is justice,” said Prauhart who taught the importance of building communication skills to reach mutually beneficial solutions.

Critical questions were raised such as:

  • “What would you do with an apple when two different parties want it?”
  • “How can we overcome the adaptive challenges that we face in our workplaces?”

During their visit to the United Nations Vienna, the WEP Asia fellows also listened to Director Martin Nesirky of the United Nations Information Service Vienna (UNIS) who shared the role of UNIS in giving service to different UN organizations, amplifying their work, and seeking partnerships with the private sector.

Christoph Bierwirth, Head of UNHCR Liaison Office to the OSCE and Vienna-based UN Agencies, and Marie-Claire Sowinetz from the UNHCR Austria also gave lectures on the work of the UNHCR, including its advocacy to raise awareness on refugee issues and to integrate refugees into society.

© BKMC / Eugenie Berger

WEP Asia fellows participate in a round table with women leaders

The Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global CItizens together with the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna hosted a Round Table: “Effective Women Leadership” for the Women’s Empowerment Program (WEP) Asia participants on October 2nd in Vienna, Austria. The event was moderated by BKMC CEO Monika Froehler and featured outstanding women leaders as panelists:

  • Lulua Asaad, Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Officer at UNODC
  • Selma Prodanovic, CEO and Founder of 1MillionStartups
  • Vera Strobachova Budway, Senior Coordination Advisor, Gender Section, OSCE
  • Helena Zimmerdahl, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Sweden in Vienna

The event provided a secured space where the fellows freely shared their personal stories, discussed various challenges they are facing, and received advice from the senior women leaders. Critical questions were raised such as

“What is a good/bad leader?”

“How can we make men with closed mind listen to us?”

“How can we overcome the challenges we are facing?”

 

 

 

 

 

Prodanovic said that the WEP Asia fellows have already achieved so much and that it is important for them to reflect on what they have done to succeed and think about how to further amplify the efforts.

She said, “the fact that you ladies are here shows that you are among the top 1% that cares about women’s empowerment” and encouraged the group to “follow your inner voice, and do the right thing!”

Budway shared her motto and encouraged the aspiring young women leaders to be “open for new challenges.

She said that one can become an expert in anything that she desires and is passionate about.

“Take risks; don’t be afraid. Step out of your comfort zone!” 

Zimmerdahl also reminded the young fellows that they don’t have to be good at everything. She continued, “Go easy on yourself. You are very capable but do not have to do it all” and encouraged the individuals to create their exit strategy and work on it.

“Even if you have chosen a path, if it does not make you feel comfortable, don’t be afraid to change this path.”

 

 

 

 

Asaad said, “leadership is not only about leading but having an impact on society and on the people around us.” She also stressed that “leadership is also about being authentic and being true to oneself.”

She then added that “the network that we have as women and with women is so important as we are essential in promoting each other” but that “Gender equality is a responsibility for everyone: boys, men, girls, and women.”

In consequence of the round table, Froehler moderated a workshop during which the WEP Asia fellows came up with their own list of the most important elements for being a good woman leader.

The group created a manifesto that consists of total 16 elements with which they will further develop their leadership skills and continue to make changes:

  • Let me be wrong in my way!
  • Lower your expectations.
  • Be vulnerable; Embrace yourself.
  • Dare to delegate.
  • Ask for help when needed.
  • Make small steps and celebrate small successes.
  • Change is not easy, but it was your choice.
  • Amplify; Speak for yourself.
  • Raise your voice even ignored or interrupted.
  • Amplify the voice of another woman.
  • Teach boys and men about gender equality.
  • Share inspirational stories about other women in other communities.
  • Read a book that inspires you.
  • Share what you find inspiring.
  • Find a mentor and a supporting system.
  • Get out of your comfort zone.
© BKMC / Eugenie Berger