“Europe and the SDGs: Best-practices and Recommendations”

The Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens and the Embassy of Sweden in Vienna co-hosted the event on “Europe and the SDGs: Best-practices and Recommendations” on May 21st, 2019 in Vienna, Austria. The event gathered representatives and experts from both public and private sectors and provided an open-discussion platform where the best practices and the recommendations on the SDG implementation were discussed.

H.E. Ambassador Mikaela Kumlin Granit of the Swedish Embassy and BKMC Co-chair Heinz Fischer delivered welcome remarks.

Fischer pointed out that “now it is time to look at the current implementations by governments and business in Europe and how they can be improved.”

He mentioned that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Agenda 2030 that were adopted by the United Nations when Co-chair Ban Ki-moon was serving as Secretary-General of the UN and that it is crucial to cooperate to advance the 17 Goals. Then he added the efforts to achieve the SDGs should not be done by competition but in collaboration.

“The Agenda 2030 presents not only the opportunity to make sustainable development reality, but it also gives us significant responsibilities,” said Fischer.

Following the welcome remarks, Sabine Schneeberger, Director at the Coordination DG of the Austrian Federal Chancellery delivered a keynote. She said that the Austrian government has integrated the 2030 Agenda into their programs, requiring all its ministries to incorporate the principles of the Agenda.

The event was divided into two panel discussions that were moderated by CEO Monika Froehler of the Ban Ki-moon Centre:

Panel I – Government Best-Practices

  • Inger Buxton, Deputy Head of the Global Agenda Department at the MFA, Sweden
  • H.E. Ambassador Sylvia Meier-Kajbic, Federal Ministry of Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs, Austria
  • H.E. Ambassador Pirkko Hämäläinen, Ambassador of Finland to Austria and Permanent Representative to the International Organizations in Vienna
  • Kvetoslav Kmec, Director for Strategic Planning at the Deputy Prime Minister’s Office, Slovakia

Panel II – Business and CSO Best-Practices

  • Helena Lindemark, Founder and CEO of Sustainable Development Sweden AB
  • Dr. Gabriela-Maria Straka, Director of CSR & Corporate Affairs, Grüne Brauerei Göss, Austria
  • Bernhard Zlanabitnig, member of SDG Watch Austrian Steering Committee; Director of EU-Umwelt Büro
  • Markus Haas, Head of Export Finance, International Projects, and Financial Institutions at the Austrian Economic Chambers (WKO)

The audience also actively engaged themselves in the discussions, bringing different perspectives and expertise to the floor.

Emphasizing the importance of acting promptly to advance the SDGs and to facilitate the collaboration between private and public sector, Froehler said that it is also crucial that individuals contribute to the sustainable development of all, no matter how small each contribution may be.

She concluded “because I think, on an individual level, on a national level, and on the international level, there is so much to gain” and that one should try to convert “pain” into “gain.”

Watch the recorded video of the first panel: https://www.facebook.com/BanKimoonCentre/videos/2366321576931251/
and the second panel here: https://www.facebook.com/BanKimoonCentre/videos/343893992935647/

Photos: Harald Klemm

BKMC meets with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Economic Affairs of Kuwait

The Board of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens visited Bayan Palace in Kuwait on February 11th to have meetings with Kuwaiti Deputy Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and Minister Mariam Eqeal Al-Saied Hashem Al-Aqeal of State for Economic Affairs as well as other delegates of the government.

At the meeting with Minister Al-Aqeal, Co-chair Ban Ki-moon delivered a compliment on Kuwait’s role of mediation and moderate diplomacy. He said that “Kuwait is seemingly the country that has contributed to the unity and solidarity,” aiming for GCC. Ban emphasized that the Centre aims to foster global citizenship and that the protectionism that builds up walls needs to be demolished.

Co-chair Heinz Fischer said that “global risks need global attention.” He stressed the importance of achieving humanitarian goals without unnecessary competitions.

Minister Al-Aqeel said that “Kuwait has implemented the SDGs in National Development of the Plan 2020” and that the implementation is currently in action.

Dr. Khaled Mahdi, Secretary General of the General Secretariat of the Supreme Council for Planning and Development, also mentioned that the Kuwaiti government will deliver the first report on the SDGs by July 2019.

He said that the goals will be implemented “on the national level as well as global level.”

The BKMC Board shared the impact and influence of the Centre’s work in women’s empowerment as well as some ideas on the strategic direction for the Kuwaiti government to reach the level of taking an effective role in women’s empowerment.

HRH Premier confers Khalifa Bin Salman Award for Sustainable Development on Ban Ki-moon

On November 18th, upon his visit to Bahrain to participate in the GCC Health Insurance Conference, Co-chair Ban Ki-moon received the “HRH Prince Khalifa Bin Salman Award for Sustainable Development 2018” by His Royal Highness Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa. The award was conferred in recognition of his efforts and contributions in serving humanity and promoting global peace, security and achieving sustainable development goals.

HRH the Premier congratulated Ban on winning the award, noting his accomplishments and contributions that enriched the collective international community’s efforts to achieve the universal goals of humanity. His Royal Highness affirmed that Ban Ki-moon has meritoriously deserved the award in consideration of his long career efforts of boosting the international cooperation vis-à-vis sustainable development goals. HRH the Premier noted Ban’s efforts focusing on the MDGs and accelerating the momentum of assisting countries and peoples in this regard and paving solid ground on which countries, including Bahrain, relied in their efforts of implementing the SDGs.

Source: http://www.newsofbahrain.com/bahrain/48780.html

Alpbach-Laxenburg Group retreat at EFA 2018

During European Forum Alpbach 2018, Alpbach-Laxenburg Group hosted a retreat where partners and potential partners of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens gathered, including IIASA, to discuss potential future collaboration. The meeting was attended by some of the Centre’s Board members Jeffrey Sachs and Kim Won-soo, and CEO Monika Froehler.

Potential topics of collaboration include developing thematic and political frameworks to link the Agenda 2030, the Paris Agreement, and other international conventions to create integrated implementation frameworks. The Centre’s partners will work together to develop a global school of excellence in sustainable studies in line with the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) Academy and SDSN Youth directed by Jeffrey Sachs.

Source and photo: http://www.iiasa.ac.at/web/home/about/events/20180826-Alpbach.html