The Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens hosted a breakout session in cooperation with the Federal Chancellery of the Republic of Austria (Bundeskanzleramt Österreich) at the Political and Legal Symposia at the European Forum Alpbach on August 25th, 2019.
Theme: “Promoting the SDGs in Europe with a Global Mindset”
Welcome remarks and a keynote were delivered by:
- Brigitte Bierlein, Federal Chancellor of Austria
- Heinz Fischer, Co-chair of the Ban Ki-moon Centre & 11th Federal President of Austria
- Ban Ki-moon, Co-chair of the Ban Ki-moon Centre & 8th Secretary-General of the United Nations
During her welcome remarks, Chancellor Bierlein said that Austria is currently actively engaged in multilateral matters, mentioning the country’s ranking in the SDG Index for this year.
“One could certainly emphasize that in terms of the implementation of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Austria ranks among the top 5 countries worldwide,” said Bierlein.
“For the global policy for our planet,” Co-chair Heinz Fischer said that “the global governing programs are the SDGs.”
Fischer said that the Goals are interconnected and that they are based on human dignity, which is the most important matter for mankind. He said that achieving all these goals could be challenging but that “it is a necessary and important task.”
Delivering a keynote, Co-chair Ban Ki-moon encouraged all national leaders to act as global leaders with a global citizenship mindset, which he said is a truly crucial asset for every individual to have in order to achieve sustainable development in a global society.
“These 17 Goals offer us a way to confront the most critical issues of our time,” he said, “the opportunities to change the world for the better are all in our hands.”
The panel consisted of:
- Pascal Lamy, Chief of the Paris Peace Forum & Former Director-General of the World Trade Organization (2005-2013)
- Maria Patek, Federal Minister for Sustainability and Tourism of Austria (Bundesministerium für Nachhaltigkeit und Tourismus)
- Chad Frischmann, Vice President and Research Director of Project Drawdown
As a moderator of the Session, BKMC CEO Monika Froehler asked the panelists their points of view on the Session topic as well as suggestions for achieving the SDGs.
Minister Patek said that the European Union as a whole performs well on the implementation of the SDGs. She pointed out that some of the elements of the success include an effective state system beyond borders, the engagement with active NGOs, and the provision of an environment for a prosperous life.
Lamy said that the real quality of the SDGs is the supply of countable goals to civil society to foster the expectation towards political and economic leaders, agreeing to what Ban has emphasized during his keynote.
To fight the most pressing global challenge, climate crisis, Frischmann said that managing refrigeration and stopping leakage in air conditioners and fridges may serve as the most effective way that individuals can contribute to.
The audience also got actively engaged in the conversations by participating in the Mentimeter presentation that reflected their answers to questions in real-time and by raising critical questions. Some of the discussion topics included what are the local and global solutions for curbing climate change and how to engage most for the SDGs.
Watch the recorded live stream: https://www.facebook.com/BanKimoonCentre/videos/724752221309832/
© EFA / Iryna Yeroshko & BKMC / Eugenie Berger