Ban Ki-moon receives Honorary Doctorate in Global Peace and Sustainable Development from the UKM

On November 27th, Former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was conferred an Honorary Doctorate in Global Peace and Sustainable Development by Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM). He received the honorary doctorate from UKM Chancellor Yang Dipertuan Besar of Negri Sembilan, Tuanku Muhriz Ibni Almarhum Tuanku Munawir, in a ceremony held in conjunction with UKM 47th Convocation.

In his lecture entitled “Sustainable Development Goals and Climate Change”, Ban expressed his disappointment over the United States’ decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord, which he regarded as the world’s best hope to confront climate change:

“I cannot quite express my deepest disappointment and even anger at the decision of US government to withdraw from the Paris agreement on climate change,” said Ban, adding that the decision by President Donald Trump to withdraw from the agreement was politically associated, economically irresponsible and scientifically wrong.

Ban stressed that climate change was a global challenge, which demanded global solutions, and no country no matter how powerful or resourceful could address the issue alone. He said the Paris agreement, signed by 197 countries in 2015, offered a clear game plan to confront the serious threats to this planet and set viable targets to impede rising temperatures, constrict greenhouse gas emissions, and spur climate-resilient development and green growth.

“Climate change doesn’t respect any border, our action must transcend all the frontiers. I strongly and sincerely hope that US will come back and return to our joint efforts to address this climate change,” he said.

From record-breaking heatwaves and wildfires to typhoons and flooding of historic intensity, Ban said climate change was no longer a debate and was clearly here right now.

“With this reality in mind, we must urgently step-up our collective efforts to implement the Paris Climate Agreement. The bottom line is that we don’t have a plan B, simply because we don’t have a planet B either,” he said.

Source: Malay Mail
Photos: Bernama pic & UKM

BKMC Holds the Reception marking the Launch #OrangeTheWorld Campaign in Austria

November 25 marks the International Day for the Eliminating of Violence against Women and the start of 16 Days of Activism to put an end to violence against women.

Every year, the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens cooperates with UN Women Austria, Soroptimist International Austria and HeForShe Graz to implement the global #OrangeTheWorld Campaign in Austria to raise awareness of the fact that women around the world are subject to rape, domestic violence and other forms of violence.

On November 25, BKMC successfully launched the campaign of 2019 in the Centre. Co-chair Heinz Fischer and CEO Monika Froehler delivered welcome remarks, while Co-chair Ban Ki-moon sent words of appreciation with a video message.

Representatives of the co-organizers Eliette Thurn from Soroptimist International Austria and Marcela Muniz Pivaral from UN Women Austria stressed the urgency of raising awareness for this topic.

Head of HeForShe Graz, Bernhard Gollob, moderated a panel discussion with representatives from Austrian Victim Support Groups, entities that are based in Austrian hospitals and that are essential for detecting and preventing violence against women.

We were grateful to our partners without whom it would not be possible to achieve such a large-scale contribution on behalf of Austria to this global campaign.

© BKMC / Eugenie Berger

Dr. Adnan Shihab-Eldin’s Speech at the WEP GCC Closing Event

Speech by Adnan Shihab-Eldin
Director-General of the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences
Women’s Empowerment Program – GCC Closing Ceremony
November 22, 2019

Excellencies, Distinguished Guests, and colleagues,

Ladies and gentlemen,

On behalf of HE Ambassador Marafi and my esteemed colleagues from the Permanent Mission   of the State of Kuwait in Vienna, and KFAS, it gives me great pleasure to be among you to welcome you to this award ceremony of the 1st “WOMEN’S EMPOWERMENT PROGRAM GCC” a Tailor-Made Fellowship Training for Female Global Citizen Leaders,” organised by the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens (BKMC) and The Diplomatische Akademie Wien – Vienna School of International Studies. KFAS is pleased to be supporting this program as it is initiatives such as these that are at the core of ensuring that we continue to empower the Kuwaiti society, and the region at large, to leverage the innovative talents of its women, and to unlock their true potential for the future advancement of the country and its people. For only then, will we truly be able to realize social and economic prosperity? As His Excellency, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, once stated at the High-Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment in 2016, “If the world is to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, we need a quantum leap in women’s economic empowerment.”

For the past 43 years, in line with the long-term vision of its founders the late Amir of Kuwait, Sheikh Jaber Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah, and  the leaders in the private sector, the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS) has been on a journey to harness science, technology and innovation in Kuwait, and catalyse their applications to promote modernization, a better quality of life and a sustainable future for the Kuwaiti people. Today, KFAS continues to benefit from the generous contributions of the Kuwaiti shareholding companies to support its programs, under the inspiring leadership and guidance of His Highness the Amir of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmed Al Jaber Al Sabah, the Chairman of the KFAS Board of Directors.

Within its current strategy, the Foundation has renewed its commitment to play a leading catalytic role in supporting the national efforts to transform the country from a rentier state to a knowledge-driven economy, as well as serving the national goals envisioned in the New Kuwait-2035 Vision.

Currently, KFAS’s programs are organised in three main strategic thrust areas, focused on  supporting the advocacy of science culture,  the enabling capacity for  innovation  of its youth,  and ensuring that science, technology, and innovation (STI) play a vital role within every aspect of Kuwait’s society, including the research community, the private and public sectors, and non-governmental organizations. This has also involved supporting partnerships with regional and international centres of excellence and establishing and funding specialized centres of excellence, tasked with addressing specific high priority national challenges, such as diabetes, through research, nurturing the talent of its youth,  delivering the education  of STEM for the IV industrial revolutions, amongst others.

As part of our current strategic objectives, KFAS programs have involved developing initiatives and implementing activities to help close the gender gap in Kuwait, aspiring to become a role model for the region. For decades KFAS has supported the efforts of inclusion of women in STEM and celebrated their achievements, to inspire the next generation of women scientists and highlight the importance of STEM education.  In 2017, for example, in collaboration with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and others, KFAS hosted the International Conference on Women Leaders in Science, Technology, and Engineering,

Following that Conference, KFAS has established an ongoing collaboration with the National Academy of Sciences in the US, in the form of a Workshop Series for the inclusion of women in STEM in Kuwait and the US. The first was launched this October, which discussed the challenges and barriers facing women to enter and thrive in the science, engineering, and medical professions in both countries. The goal from such collaboration, similar to this program is to provide young and dedicated women, who strive to be future leaders with the essential skills, needed to achieve their aspirations and to foster women’s empowerment.

Every single one of you here today has been selected because of your demonstrated potential, accomplishments and passion for participating in, and leadership for change. Your experiences and expertise to date, have no doubt served your communities well.  We trust that through this program, you were able to further your skills and knowledge, and connect with other like-minded, ambitious women, to empower your aspirations and help in accelerating the progress needed in your own societies, as well as the regional and international community as a whole.

Thank you all again for being here today. Again, on behalf of my esteemed colleagues from the Kuwait mission and KFAS, my congratulations to all the young women who have participated in this program. I look forward to hearing of your continued success. We and the future generations are relying on you to make the difference needed.

Finally, allow me to extend my gratitude and thanks to the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens (BKMC) and The Diplomatische Akademie Wien – Vienna School of International Studies for organizing this event and I look forward to future opportunities for collaboration on activities of mutual interest. I must not forget to extend my sincere thanks and deep appreciation to Ms. Monika Froehler and her team at the Centre, for the excellent organisation, and to HE Ambassador Marafi and his team at the Kuwait Mission in Vienna for their enthusiastic support and encouragement for this initiative.

 

WEP GCC Certificate Ceremony Held in Diplomatic Academy of Vienna

On November 22, WEP GCC fellows were awarded with certificates for the completion of Women’s Empowerment Program – GCC that kicked off on November 11 and lasted for two weeks.

Co-chair Heinz Fischer opened the ceremony with congratulatory remarks and said that the fellows should construct stronger network to support and stay in touch with each other.


Deputy Director of Diplomatic Academy of Vienna Susanne Keppler-Schlesinger also congratulated the fellows for their hard work and thanked their commitments to advance the Sustainable Development Goals.


Director General Adnan Shihab-Eldin of the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences also delivered a congratulatory remark to the ladies. He said,

“Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences will remain as a partner for the SDGs.”


Lastly, the Ban Ki-moon Centre CEO Monika Froehler said,

“Never say what you cannot do, say what you can do and will do.”

She also thanked BKMC Program Officer Viola Christian for her endeavors and efforts to put together this amazing program.


On behalf of all the WEP GCC fellows, Nourah Aloseimi from Kuwait delivered remarks and expressed gratitude for such inspiring and meaningful opportunities the Ban Ki-moon Centre has provided together with Diplomatic Academy of Vienna.

Before the graduation, the WEP GCC fellows presented about their My SDG Micro-Project proposals, which they will implement in their own communities after the completion of their trainings.

Visit BKMC gallery for more photos.
© BKMC / Eugenie Berger

WEP GCC Fellows Participate in a Round Table: Effective Women Leaders

“I don’t want you to lower your expectation, but I want you to lower your self-criticism.”  – Helena Zimmerdahl from the Embassy of Sweden

Women’s Empowerment Program (WEP) is in its full swing! As a part of BKMC’s Women’s Empowerment Program, WEP GCC fellows participated in a Round Table hosted in Diplomatic Academy of Vienna on November 19.

At this Round Table, Susanne Keppler-Schlesinger, Deputy Director of the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna, featured as a moderator at the Round Table.

Speakers were:

Lulua Asaad from UNODC,

Maggie Childs from Metropole and Austrian Startups,

Mona Ali Khalil from MAK Law International, and

Helena Zimmerdahl from the Embassy of Sweden to Austria.

Lulua Asaad asked the fellows a critical question: “What does leadership mean to you?”

“It is important to have support from women within your network, while not neglecting the role of men.”

She also added that leadership is not about a position one is in, but responsibility leaders are capable of taking in their world.

Regarding women’s empowerment, Mona Ali Khalil said,

“Empowerment of women requires men who are enlightened and women who are willing empower each other.”

As an international lawyer, she stressed that gender parity policies should be actual actions rather than lip service and should effectively address sexual harassment/sexual discrimination issues that still exist everywhere across the sectors.

Minister-Counselor Helena Zimmerdahl pinpointed ‘transparency’ as an important trait of a good leader and said we must “speak up” for ourselves to make our voices heard.

Zimmerdahl also advised the fellows to

“look at yourself and your accomplishments from the outside” in order to empower themselves.

Maggie Childs emphasized the need for getting help from mentors, friends and other experts when necessary and said,

“You don’t have to know everything before you do it… It is lonely at the top. You need to have your private space and friends who just listen to you. Having those friends would make you feel less lonely.”

A follow-up workshop was facilitated by WEP Project Coordinator Viola Christian from the Ban Ki-moon Centre. The fellows were grouped into 5 and discussed advice and points made from the Round Table, which they created their own manifesto with.

© BKMC / Eugenie Berger

For more photos of the event, visit BKMC album.

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

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

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

 

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

© MEP Lukas Mandl’s Office

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

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

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

 

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

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

Photos: Xinhua/Zhang Yu & ANPI

BKMC Welcomes the Women’s Empowerment Program GCC Fellows!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

© Oceanographic Institute

BKMC Co-chair Heinz Fischer Speaks at TalkAbout Discussion Panel

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

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

For more photos of the event, visit BKMC album.

© TalkAbout