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!

BKMC CEO Monika Froehler delivers a keynote at the OSCE-wide Youth Forum in Bratislava

On October 28th, young women and men from across the OSCE region and beyond gathered in Bratislava to discuss how to best engage youth for a safer future by 2030. The two-day OSCE-wide Youth Forum brought together young people, ambassadors, diplomats and experts for an inter-generational dialogue under the OSCE’s flagship Perspectives 20-30 initiative, a key priority of Slovakia’s OSCE Chair. Among the youth participants was the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens’ Communications Officer Minji Kwag who attended the Forum as a delegate from South Korea.

Opening the event, OSCE Chairperson and Slovak Foreign and European Affairs Minister Miroslav Lajčák noted that young people are still not always invited into the rooms of decision-making or given a seat at the table:

“This, simply, does not make sense. It is young people who are driving the changes we all need. They are acting as watchdogs for human rights and fighting corruption. They are finding niche ways to boost and expand our economies. They are speaking truth to power when it comes to climate change. And, they are out there, in some of the most dangerous parts of the world, engaging in their communities to build peace — even when this puts them at risk.”

OSCE Secretary General Thomas Greminger spoke about the significance of the Forum as part of a wider effort to integrate youth voices into the work of the OSCE.

“This event is part of a process, and not a one-off event. Its outcomes will be presented in a side event at the OSCE Ministerial Council in Bratislava in December, and will hopefully provide fresh food-for-thought for our debates. So, I encourage you to take the outcomes of this process seriously and to take these perhaps unconventional ideas back into our discussions in the Hofburg. We are also exploring ways to give continuity to the Perspectives 20-30 initiative in 2020 and beyond,” he said.

The main focus of today’s discussion was a ‘food-for-thought’ paper, Perspectives 20-30: Providing for a Safer Future, which was drafted by a Core Group of Experts made up of young people from across the OSCE area. Ideas in the paper were drawn upon by various speakers today, including issues such as gender equality, technology, education, conflict prevention and non-discrimination.

Speaking about the paper, OSCE Chairperson Lajčák said:

“It tells us — and this really caught my eye — that multilateralism is at risk. And that the only way to rebuild trust in institutions is to open them up; to better communicate what we are doing; to include more voices than ever before.”

Providing concrete input on how to further develop the paper, keynote speaker Monika Froehler of the Ban Ki-moon Centre urged participants to take the discussion paper as a first step in the right direction which now has to be followed by action. She called on all participants to capitalize on their own, individual capacities to drive change.

“Don’t ask what the OSCE can do for you, but what you can do for the OSCE and for the region,” she stressed.

Speaking on behalf of the Perspectives 20-30 Core Group of Experts, Katarina Kertysova underlined that youth currently constitutes one of the most under-represented groups in the political sphere.

“This week’s Forum is a powerful engagement tool and an opportunity for us – the youth – to take ownership of the solution,” she said. “We hope this will serve as an example for other organizations to follow.”

Participants of the OSCE Youth Forum continue to exchange their perspectives, facilitated by the two Special Representative of the Chair on Youth and Security Alba Brojka and Samuel Goda, and youth, peace and security experts from the OSCE, on the steps needed to secure a safer future through in-depth discussions on the rule of law, building peace, new technologies, environmental change, human rights, and education as a catalyst for change.

More information about the 20-30 Perspectives project can be found here: www.osce.org/youth

Source: OSCE Secretariat

One Young World hosts its annual summit in London for 2019

The One Young World (OYW) Summit 2019 was held in London, the United Kingdom on October 22-25th. The opening kicked off with a remarkable speech given by Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, and was highlighted by the joint admittance of the North and South Korean delegates, holding hands and waving flags together, which showed the true meaning of cooperation and harmony.

The Summit featured world leaders and change-makers such as UN Youth Envoy Jayathma Wickramanayake, The Elders Chair Mary Robinson, and North Korean Human Rights Activist Yeonmi Park as speakers, who will also feature on the upcoming online course that the Ban Ki-moon Centre is co-developing with UNESCO APCEIU.

Wickramanayake emphasized that we can make this world better and more sustainable in the leadership of young people and that we need to engage youth in achieving the SDGs by “not just participating but leading the global change and development.”

“Young people are making the change; We have the responsibiliity to make the humanity drive towards progress,” said Wickramanayake.

The Summit provided an interactive platform for young advocates and leaders from different sectors and all parts of the world. Among the other key speakers were Dr. Jane Goodall, Singer-songwriter and the UNEP Global Goodwill Ambassador Ellie Goulding, Singer-songwriter and Activist Bob Geldof, First Lady of Colombia María Juliana Ruiz, BKMC Partner DSM’s CEO Feike Sijbesma, and the youth advocates and ambassadors of the One Young World.

Dr. Goodall said to the gathered youth participants,

“You have a role to play. You might not know it yet, but you do.”

“Together we can, together we will!”

One Young World identifies, promotes and connects the world’s impactful young leaders to create a better world, with more responsible, more effective leadership. The annual summit convenes the brightest young talent from every country and sector, working to accelerate social impact. Delegates from 190+ countries are counseled by influential political, business and humanitarian leaders such as Justin Trudeau, Paul Polman and Meghan Markle, amongst many other global figures.

At the end of the Summit, Delegates become One Young World Ambassadors. According to the OYW, 20.9 million people have been positively impacted by Initiatives led by its Ambassadors since 2010. They return to their communities and organizations with the means and motivation to make a difference, accessing the global network of 10,000+ young leaders to accelerate existing initiatives or establish new ventures. Learn more about the Ambassador Community here.

On the margins of the Summit, the Ban Ki-moon Centre filmed an interview with Park who shared her emotional and inspirational story which will be included in the Centre’s online course on the topic of gender equality and women’s empowerment that will be launched early next year.

Watch the speech by UN Youth Envoy:

Source: One Young World

Co-chair Ban Ki-moon, Re-elected as President and Chair of GGGI

Co-chair Ban Ki-moon, 8th Secretary-General of the United Nations, was re-elected as the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI)’s Assembly President and Council Chairman on October 16 for the term of February 20, 2020 – February 19, 2022. The 2-year appointment was unanimously approved by the 33 Member countries of GGGI, and announced during the joint session of the GGGI Assembly and Council in Seoul.

As GGGI President & Chair, BKMC co-chair Ban will champion green growth and advocate at the highest levels the need for cooperation and action to address climate change and transition to low-carbon, sustainable and inclusive economies.

In his role, co-chair Ban will enable GGGI to implement its recently adopted Strategy 2030, which aims to build low-carbon, resilient, inclusive and sustainable economies, and strengthen collaboration with other international and regional organizations and initiatives, including the Global Commission on Adaptation and the Republic of Korea’s National Council on Climate Change and Air Quality.

He was first appointed GGGI Assembly President and Council Chair on February 20, 2018. Over the course of his first term, GGGI’s membership expanded by welcoming six new Member countries and the organization helped developing countries mobilize over USD 800 million in climate finance.

As Secretary-General of the UN between 2007 and 2016, co-chair Ban sought to be a bridge builder, to give voice to the world’s poorest and most vulnerable, and to make the organization more transparent and effective. He worked closely with member states of the UN to shape the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and to establish UN Women.

The 8th Session of the Assembly and 12th Session of the Council Joint Session convened during Global Green Growth Week 2019: Unlocking Renewable Energy Potential. GGGW2019 was organized by GGGI in cooperation with LG Chemical, REN21, the Korea Energy Agency, the Green Growth Knowledge Partnership, the Incheon Global Campus, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea, and AMCHAM Korea.

Source GGGI

© GGGI

Heinz Fischer’s speech at the Impact Days Vienna 2019

The Room Sofiensäle

Marxergasse 17, 1030 Vienna, Austria

Friday 11 October, 2019

Heinz Fischer

Keynote Speech

The Relevance of SDGs in A Globalized World

 

Ladies and gentlemen,

It is a pleasure and an honour to be your guest today and to present some deliberations and observations to the relevance of the SDGs in a globalized world.

Already the title of my intervention today can be seen an indication for a major breakthrough: The SDGs were adopted in New York in September 2015 – 4 years ago – and today their global relevance is recognized more and more.

Indeed, the globalized world needs global goals:

Sustainable Development Goals.

They are finally based on the human rights declaration of the United Nations, claiming that all human beings are born equal in rights and human dignity.

They are universally agreed upon and support the idea, that no one should be left behind.

This – in itself – is innovative and has not existed to that ‘consensual’ degree ever before in human development.

The SDGs are, in my opinion, a “world governmental program”.

*

Ladies and Gentlemen,

For thousands of years the societies developed into different great powers and different economic centres, which were always in competition with each other.

Lots of conflicts and wars originated from this competition.

Latest after WWII, with 60 million victims, most of us had bitterly learnt that war cannot be an instrument to solve problems and that collaboration and peace have to take pre-eminence. A consequence was the birth of the United Nations and some years later the birth of the European Union.

What developed in the last couple of years is a global realization that in our today’s interconnected world we need to have in addition to the worldwide UN some “global goals” covering societal, political and economic dimensions to everyone’s advantage.

These goals, the SDGs, were adopted in 2015 by 193 Member States of the United Nations and celebrate their 5th anniversary next year.

It is inspiring to observe an increasing relevance and approval of them. More and more institutions, organisations and civil society groups support the SDGs.

They are starting to feature prominently in media, in newspapers and television. They too find entry into agendas of parliaments and government programs and step by step they even find their way into our education systems.

In several countries, for example in Korea, we can see with satisfaction, that schools and universities adopt the SDGs in their curricula.

But we shall not be mistaken. A long and difficult way still lies ahead, and a lot of work needs to be done. We are strongly aware that from 2020 onwards we have 10 years left to meaningfully implement them.

Nobody should call the SDGs utopian goals and say that they are impossible to implement and transform into reality. The German writer Martin Walser said: “Only the one with utopian goals is a realist”

I also agree with those who say that we need to focus on a detailed discussion process for the financing of the SDGs. It is estimated that until 2030, 5-7 trillion dollars are necessary to translate the SDGs into reality.

Ladies and gentlemen,

One of the most urgent or even the most urgent goal of the SDGs is SDG 13 climate protection.

The four years since the decision on the SDGs have indeed displayed a great number of evidences for the urgency of measures for climate protection.

There are undebatable data about the developments reading the increase of temperature worldwide and during all seasons.

We see that the polar ice is melting, the glaciers are retreating, the snow boarders are going higher up and the sea levels are rising.

Everyone in Europe knows that the last summer was one of the hottest since temperatures are registered and even hotter summers will follow.

 

And if you look at the entirety of the SDGs, you will realize that most of the other major questions of our time find meaningful reflection: the topics of fighting extreme poverty, health, education, sustainable consumption and production, infrastructure and innovation as well as the necessity for gender equality, rule of law, peace and the partnership for the goals as a whole.

The importance of the SDGs is also reflected in the World Risk Report of the Davos World Economic Forum. This report deals with the question, which risks are most striking and most worrying worldwide.  Even there, the danger of a climate crisis, besides the dangers of war and the danger of social conflicts as a consequence of growing disparities play a central role. The private sector is at the heart of this as drivers of economy shape consumer choices and influence the development of small and large nations.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Ban Ki-moon, the former UN Secretary-General, can be credited as father of the global goals and the Paris Climate Agreement and he led the difficult diplomatic process at the UN to come to a world consensus.

To carry forward his legacy, he founded the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens in Vienna in 2017, for which I serve as a co-chair together with him. We work for the promotion and advancement of the SDGs with a specific focus on women and youth. Gender equality is goal number 5 in the SDGs and this is a subject were everybody agrees that the gender gap must be bridged. But theory and practice, speaking and doing are still in great disparity. You all know the dispute on equal pay for equal work and about the underrepresentation of women in leading position in business and politics. I use this opportunity to call on you to TACKLE this problem by deeds and not only by words.

However, a far-reaching world government program cannot be the agenda of only a few stakeholders.

This agenda needs everybody: individuals, communities, cities, governments, businesses, academia and the non-governmental sector to implement these ambitions.

SDGs are relevant: in an Austrian context, a European context and in the context of increasing global collaboration.

I hope that your respective businesses and entities become champions of the innovative global agenda.

And fortunately, many companies have already realized the tremendous business opportunities that are enshrined in these goals. Also, many Austrian companies are successfully championing the SDG implementation in their respective work and with their Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability Reports.

I do not pretend to be a business expert, but I have the impression that many start-ups make it their goal to be profitable in their entrepreneurial action as well as to have positive societal impacts.

Ladies and gentlemen,

As I just came back from an extensive journey through China, including Tibet, let me also mention that it was interesting and encouraging to see that China is very positively viewing the SDGs and not only viewing, they attach great relevance to them.

In China, economic development is taking place at an unprecedented level.

To give you a little example about technological innovation and the quality of the latest generation of computers: I was very impressed participating in the World Manufacturing Convention in Hefei, China, 3 weeks ago and addressing the audience. The organizers presented examples of most recent technological advancements, as for instance middle class electro cars with batteries and a reach of 500 to 600 km, microchips, robots, drones, etc. Similar to the so called “Einstein computer” in Japan, they had a computer in the shape of a human sized attractive young lady, who was interacting with visitors and answering all sorts of difficult questions. And when I simply asked her how old she was, her outstanding and witty answer was “Sorry, I am a lady and you should know, that it is not polite to ask a lady how old she is.”

Besides being a technological champion, China is stepping up its efforts in the sphere of climate change. It does so with massive re-forestation programs, a focus on clean transportation and smart city planning and far reaching poverty eradication programs. The speed of fast trains is so high, that within a distance of 600 km between two cities, it is faster to take a train than a plane.

In contrast to the United States, China has become more and more a strong supporter of the Paris Climate Agreement. China pressures itself internally to make many polluted urban centres liveable again.

European expertise in green technology is sought after and there is great interest in public transport systems, architectural smart city planning, energy efficient technology and technology that increases industrial efficiency as well as expertise in green tourism.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Globally we have come to a day and age where it is not only a unipolar world, led by the United States, but an emerging multipolar world with currently three comparable power centres of world economic significance. The US, China and Europe.

China is nowadays typically considered the second largest economy in the world. But if we compare the gross domestic product (GDP) on the economically more relevant Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) basis, China has even surpassed the US economy. Measured in PPPs, the GDP of China in 2018 was 25 trillion dollars (18% of the global GDP). The European Union had a GDP of 23 trillion dollars (17% of the global GDP) and the US 20 trillion dollars (15% of the global GNP).

30 years ago, in 1990, the Chinese income per capita accounted for only 4% of the US and 7% of the European income per capita.

In 2018, China had a third of the income per capita of the US and 40% of the income per capita of the European Union.

So we can legitimately talk about three centers of economic gravity nowadays: USA, China and Europe.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Let me come back to the SDGs.

It is encouraging to hear that in spite of the current Brexit phase of intensive EU “introspection”, the designated President of the European Commission, Ursula van der Leyen, referenced Sustainable Development in her first announcement in August this year. The Parliamentary elections in Austria 12 days ago clearly highlighted that the topics of climate action and sustainability are top priorities of Austrian voters and a main subject of the political debate.

Where are we standing now?

Every year since 2015 the Bertelsmann Stiftung and the Sustainable Development Solutions Network are issuing an SDG ranking, depicting an evaluation on how well European Countries are performing in the implementation of the global goals. Among the 30 top ranking countries only 4 are not located in Europe (South Korea, Canada, New Zealand and Singapore). Number 1 in this ranking is Denmark, followed by Sweden.

Austria was ranked 9th worldwide in 2018 and managed to move to 5th rank in 2019 – sharing this rank with Germany.

Austria wants to continue to successfully grow with the SDGs in mind. The former government entrusted the Ban Ki-moon Centre in Vienna to share its opinion on how the situation of Austria could be further improved.

We believe that the SDGs must in any case be a very relevant part of the upcoming government program – whatever coalition might be getting into office.

We also believe that the Austrian government must support an EU commitment to net-zero greenhouse gas by 2050 and ensure consensus on the EU Long-Term Climate Strategy.

We encourage green finance and environmental fiscal reform, including carbon pricing to ensure transparency on subsidies in the EU and ensure the rapid phase-out of harmful subsidies. We also advocate that the SDGs should be part of all school curricula.

And we find it necessary that the Austrian government reports every second year to Parliament about the progress and results of the above-mentioned and other goals. This should increase the awareness of the public on our achievements and deficits and create certain incentives for government and administration to take the necessary measures in time.

Ladies and gentlemen,

I have worked in politics for many decades, as member of parliament for 33 years, as minister for science and research, 4 years as president of the parliament for 12 years and finally 12 years as president of Austria. I know how difficult it is to build opinion and awareness in the public sphere on a specific issue. But the SDGs are truly an exception. Why?

You cannot bargain with the climate and the environment of our planet and you cannot make a policy of wait and see. We have only one planet and no planet B. With the SDGs we are not only in the realm of politics but also in the realm of nature sciences, biology, botanics etc.

Hence, I want to thank you that you are actively engaging in these topics and wish you all the best for your discussions.

Thank you.

© Lea Fabienne Photography

Co-chair Ban Ki-moon delivered a keynote speech at the 8th International Renewable Energy Conference

“Transition to clean, sustainable energy is no longer an option…Clean renewable energy-based green growth is the ONLY alternative to sustainable growth.” – Ban Ki-moon

Today, Co-chair Ban Ki-moon gave a keynote speech on the theme of the necessity of reducing fine dust pollution and the role of renewable energy-centered energy conversion in response to climate change.

“Mankind has artificially created a climate crisis in the course of civilization and economic growth. The transition to clean and sustainable energy is no longer a choice but a necessity in the face of threats to the environment and ecosystems,” he said.

Ban said the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Convention will be determined by the success of energy transition, and renewable energy such as solar and wind power will be more advantageous in terms of marketability and socio-health than existing energy such as fossil fuels and nuclear power.

During the conference co-chair Ban also addressed that,

“All countries in the world should make comprehensive efforts toward a sustainable energy mix. We, particularly, need to take active measures to maximize the share of renewable energy.”

“Today’s conference is very meaningful in that the international community needs to join hands and cooperate closely,” he added.

He also stressed the importance of cooperation among political sectors.

“Political will is important and necessary. Only when politicians show strong will can they achieve the goals and people will participate. It’s not the time to fight each other,” he said.

He also reiterated the need to raise awareness of the environment.

Ban stressed,

“Human beings should be humble. It is not known which direction mankind will go to, but we must adapt to nature based on wisdom. We should not act against nature, but rather we should work with nature to develop sustainable future.

The International Renewable Energy Conference, which kicked off Wednesday in Seoul, is a biannual energy forum. During this three-day event, a discussion of the global climate crisis and measures to expand renewable energy use was opened, and around 3,500 participants from 108 nations, including the US, Germany and China, international organizations, including the International Renewable Energy Agency, and firms such as Danish wind firm Vestas and Korean solar company Hanwha Q Cells attended.

Source: The Korea Herald

© ETNEWS, YONHAP NEWS

Ban Ki-moon calls for bolder global efforts to adopt renewable energy

“For developing countries, in particular, the green energy transformation can play the role of a bridge to modernization, economic growth, and greater social inclusiveness.” – Ban Ki-moon

On October 21, Co-chair Ban Ki-moon called for greater international efforts to expand the adoption of renewable energy so as to achieve the shared goal of policy transition toward sustainable development.

“We cannot overstate the importance of this broad, global objective. We – the international community – will need to adopt resolute measures to transform our fossil fuel-based energy systems,” said co-chair Ban in a video message to the opening of the Global Green Growth Week (GGGW), an annual conference hosted by the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) in Seoul.

“This transition towards renewable energy sources is not only about challenges. It presents new opportunities to modernize our energy systems, accelerate and diversify their economies, create green jobs, increase productivity and competitiveness and reduce poverty,” he said.

Green growth calls for seeking economic growth through environment-friendly technologies and industries. Under that initiative, South Korea set up GGGI on its soil to help develop strategies to promote the environment-friendly cause.

The green growth week, running through Friday, is an annual gathering of the 33 GGGI member countries and related participants from around the globe with an aim to promote green growth and sustainability and discuss key issues such as air pollution.

Co-chair Ban, current chairman of the GGGI Council, underscored the importance of taking concrete actions, especially at government levels, to advance the transformation to renewable energy.

Co-chair Ban said,

“Governments need to take advantage of the rapidly falling cost of solar, wind and other renewable energy sources. They also need to abandon fossil fuel subsidies and instead provide incentives for businesses to invest in clean energy infrastructure and technologies.”

“This energy transformation could greatly impact the labor markets, investment landscapes and even the way we do business.”

He voiced hope that this week’s conference will serve as a chance to explore various dimensions associated with the topics in a way that would better support countries to create the right policy for green growth transition.

GGGI is a treaty-based organization established in Seoul in 2012, focusing on supporting and promoting ways for inclusive and sustainable economic growth in developing and emerging countries.

The Global Green Growth Week 2019 (GGGW2019) has officially kicked off today in Seoul, Republic of Korea. GGGW2019, the 3rd instance of the Global Green Growth Institute’s (GGGI) flagship conference, is being held in conjunction with the Korea Renewable Energy Conference (KIREC) and in partnership with the Green Growth Knowledge Partnership (GGKP), the American Chamber of Commerce in Korea (AMCHAM), REN21, LG Chemical, the Incheon Global Campus, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Korea. 

Under the banner of Unlocking Renewable Energy Potential, GGGW2019 runs October 21-24 and welcomes decision–makers and with high-level speakers from around the world to contribute in a number of feature events. 

 

Source Yonhap News Agency, GGGI 

© Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens / Co-chair Ban Ki-moon during the launch of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens

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.