The Demand Paper Presentation Brings the Youth Agri Champions Webinar Series to a Close

After a month of working together, the efforts of the Youth Agri Champions came to a culmination in the final workshop of the Youth Agri Champions Peer2Peer Webinar Series. Coming together for the last time in this series, the participants presented their demand paper and reflected on the past few weeks and what is still to come. 

Opening the workshop this week was the BKMC’s Co-chair, Dr. Heinz Fischer, who praised the Youth Agri Champions for their ‘ambition, dedication, and enthusiasm for fighting climate change. He supported the demands created and outlined his willingness to amplify the voices and ideas shared over the last weeks. Thereafter, three Youth Agri Champions, Richard Kachungu, Mercy Philips, and Usman Kibiya, officially handed over the demands to the BKMC, covering their demands in the areas of social risk management, finance, and capacity building.  

Furthermore, Co-chair Ban Ki-moon also sent his words of congratulations to the Youth Agri Champions. “Your work plays an important role in fighting climate change, improving food security, and bettering the future of our planet for your communities at large,” emphasized Co-chair Ban, referring to the Youth Agri Champions’ demands. He very much looked forward to pushing for and elevating the demands at the global level and encouraged the Youth Agri Champions to continue their collaboration in tackling the climate crisis. 

For some of the Youth Agri Champions, it was their first time engaging in cross-border cooperation, with many signaling their enthusiasm to become further involved in solving global problems. After weeks of learning from each other’s diverse experiences and hard work in building up their demands, the final demand paper from the Youth Agri-Champions is now ready to help Ban Ki-moon and the BKMC team advocate for agricultural adaptation to climate change at COP27 and beyond. 

 

Youth Agri Champions underway with the development of climate demands for agricultural adaptation

The Youth Agri Champions Webinar Series is underway. Launched with speeches from CEO Monika Froehler and Elizabeth Nsimadala, President of the Eastern Africa Farmers Federation, 16 youth agripreneurs and smallholder farmers have started working towards developing demands on climate adaptation in agriculture for COP27. 

The Youth Agri Champions Webinar Series kicked off on July 28th, with 16 smallholder farmers and agripreneurs from Kenya, Nigera, Rwanda, and Zambia. Over the course of three workshops spanning a month, the Youth Agri Champions will develop a set of demands on climate adaptation in the field of agriculture. The BKMC’s Co-Chair, former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and the BKMC team will then take on these demands for COP27 and in their global advocacy work to promote the climate adaptation needs of smallholder farmers.

Opening the webinar series was the BKMC’s CEO, Monika Froehler. While thanking the Youth Agri Champions for taking part, she underlined the important role that they play in leading their communities in adapting agriculture to climate change. In outlining the importance of the Youth Agri Champions voices, Froehler remarked that “Your valuable on-the-ground first-hand experience will provide great insights into the impact of climate change on agriculture.”

After a presentation from the Elevating Agricultural Adaption Program Manager, Angela Reithuber, on the BKMC’s work on supporting smallholder farmers in agricultural adaptation to climate change, the Youth Agri Champions were joined by, Elizabeth Nsimadala, the Director of Women Affairs at the Pan-African Farmers Organization and the President of the Eastern Africa Farmers Federation. As a particular highlight for the participants, Nsimadala gave an inspiring speech filled with plenty of tips and motivation. She addressed the need for cooperation and enthusiasm in the drive for agricultural adaptation to climate change and sustainable agriculture.

During the last stage of the first workshop, the Youth Agri Champions got down to work, sharing their own experiences and exciting projects with each other. Split into three working groups (funding/finance, social risk management, and training/capacity building) they began developing their own ideas on adaptation to climate change in agriculture.  In these areas, the Youth Agri Champions worked on identifying the status quo and current obstacles hindering greater adaptation efforts. Promising and stimulating discussions took place on topics including climate-smart technology, crop diversification, crop insurance, and awareness raising.

Over the next two weeks, the Youth Agri Champions will work together to build upon these discussions and develop their ideas from the first workshop further, with the aim of developing concrete demands in the second workshop. The second workshop will take place on the 11th of August.

Ban Ki-moon and CEO Monika Froehler mission trip to the UAE

BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon and CEO Monika Froehler travel to the United Arab Emirates for a mission trip on climate change and agricultural adaptation.  

Check out the photos from the visit on Flickr.

During 1-5 March 2022, the delegation held several meetings with government leaders, attended events, had private tours to key locations, and also spent a day at the EXPO 2020 Dubai to visit multiple pavilions. The Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens was excited to be in Dubai and Abu Dhabi to promote its advocacy work on agricultural adaptation and global citizenship education.

On the first day of the trip, Co-chair Ban Ki-moon and CEO Monika Froehler met Minister H.E. Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri وزارة التغير المناخي والبيئة Ministry of Climate Change and Environment. They discussed UAE’s leadership on climate action and also the importance of financing climate adaptation.

 
Ban Ki moon with Mariam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Almheiri
Ban Ki-moon with H.E. Mariam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Almheiri, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment.

As an end to the day, Co-chair Ban Ki-moon joined a panel to discuss recovery from COVID19 and accepted the Social Humanitarian Award at the Asian Business Leadership Forum.

Ban Ki-moon on stage the Asian Business Leadership Forum to receive the Humanitarian Award.

Starting the second day with a visit to the UAE Special Envoy for Climate and Minister of Trade and Advanced Industry Co-chair Ban commended H. E. Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber,  for UAE’s pledge to an economy-wide reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 at the COP26. 

The BKMC delegation at the IRENA.

In the afternoon, the delegation was welcomed at the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) in Abu Dhabi. Co-chair Ban Ki-moon and CEO Monika Froehler had a VIP tour of the agency together with DG Francesco La Camera and Deputy DG Gauri Singh as well as a discussion on how crucial renewable energy is in our path towards a sustainable and green future.

In the evening, H.E. Lee Seok-gu, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to the UAE hosted a warm dinner reception at the Embassy of the Republic of Korea to the UAE.

Starting the day with an extensive visit at the GEMS School, Co-chair Ban Ki-moon and CEO Monika Froehler had a meeting with GEMS World Academy CEO Dr. Saima Rana to discuss how to better implement global citizenship education around the world and best practice examples from their curricula.

As Ambassador of the Model United Nations (MUN) of the GEMS World Academy, Co-chair Ban Ki-moon delivered a keynote at the MUN opening ceremony. He addressed the students and Executive Committee with a clear and inspirational message:

“You are the young generation. Use your voice to speak up. You are soon going to be responsible for this world.”
Ban Ki-moon on stage at the GEMS World Academy for a session on the status of the SDGs.

Throughout the day Ban Ki-moon and CEO Froehler held several discussions with different student groups on topics such as How Koreans can have a global impact, Approaches to Leadership, Sustainable Development Goals, skills required to overcome challenges. Ban Ki-moon Centre contributor and CEO of GEMS Education Dino Varkey hosted a dinner reception welcoming GEMS World Academy CEO Dr. Samai Rana to discuss continued collaborations on quality education.

BKMC Delegation in front of the Dubai Cares Pavillion at Expo2020.

To end the mission trip the BKMC delegation spent the day at EXPO 2020. While visiting the Dubai Cares pavilion Ban Ki-moon met with CEO Dr. Tariq Al Gurg, discussing the future of education and the role of lifelong learning.

Amid the ongoing war between Ukraine and Russia Co-chair Ban Ki-moon expressed his support for the Ukrainian people at the Ukrainian Pavilion. It was a delight to participate in a tour of the UN Pavilion where Co-chair Ban Ki-moon and CEO Monika Froehler saw how the setup inspired daily visitors to act for the SDGs. At the Korean Pavilion, the delegation learned about the future of smart cities and listened to a concert to experience Korean culture and Kpop.

 
The BKMC delegation at the Ukranian Pavillion at the EXPO2020.

An intimate gathering organized by BKMC Program Officer Viola Christian who was also part of the delegation allowed BKMC Fellow alumni Nada Al Turifi and Huda Al Salah an opportunity to discuss their achievements with Co-chair Ban Ki-moon in person for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

READ THE PRESS RELEASE OF FORMER UN SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON’S VISITS TO THE CLIMATE MINISTER AND CLIMATE ENVOY IN THE UAE. 

8th UNITED NATIONS SECRETARY BAN KI-MOON COMMENDS UAE’S LEADERSHIP FOR CLIMATE ACTION AND CALLS FOR INTERNATIONAL COLLABORATION LEADING UP TO COP28

Ahead of COP27 and COP28, during a mission trip, Ban Ki-moon congratulates the government of the United Arab Emirates on their climate action efforts and calls for an increase in climate adaptation finance. (Read on Yahoo Finance) 

Vienna/Seoul/Dubai, 2 March 2022, – Former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon commended the leadership of UAE on climate action and sustainability and underlined the importance of ever-stronger global cooperation for COP27 in 2022 in Egypt and COP28 hosted by UAE in 2023 with bold net-zero targets by 2050. Former SG Ban put an emphasis on agricultural adaptation for climate change during consultations with H.E. Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Special Envoy for Climate and Minister of Trade and Advanced Industry, and H.E. Mariam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Almheiri, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment.

Addressing H.E. Mariam Almheiri, Ban Ki-moon said; “It is promising to see the advances UAE has made and the ambition with which it will lead the COP28 in 2023. More than 40 countries have joined the UAE and the USA’s Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate (AIM4C) initiative launched at COP26 and 40 billion dollars have been pledged. I fully support the call for investing in agricultural research and innovation to accelerate adaptation in agriculture and commend the goal of doubling investment in climate-smart agriculture by the COP27.”

 

In return, the Minister of Climate Change and Environment shared her appreciation for Ban Ki-moon’s keynote speech broadcasted on February 23rd, at the Food for Future Summit at EXPO 2020 in Dubai. H.E. Almheiri also emphasized the importance of high-level cooperation and investment. The UAE has invested in renewable energy ventures with a total value of around US$16.8 billion across 70 countries.

Highlighting that the UAE was the first country in the MENA region to promise net-zero by 2050, at COP26, H.E. Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Special Envoy for Climate also pointed out that the UAE is the first country in the region to commit to an economy-wide reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

   

UAE is playing a key role in the region and globally as a bridge-builder and trendsetter in cooperation with UNFCCC on adaptation, mitigation, and finance. UAE’s active engagement in sustainability and climate action also manifests in the continuing developments in Masdar City, the work of IRENA, and recently with EXPO 2020. SG Ban visited all these venues as well as the Global Green Growth Institute UAE office in his function as President and Chairman of the Board of GGGI.

“Only if we all work together a just and fair climate transition can become a reality.” SG Ban underlined. Declaring the meetings a success, and calling for further collaboration, Ban Ki-moon mentioned that it’s hopeful to see the UAE continue the momentum by hosting the 28th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP28) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2023.

The Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens looks forward to working closely with the United Arab Emirates government for its Elevating Agricultural Adaptation program which calls for financial and political commitments to tackle agricultural adaptation and build the resilience of smallholder farmers in the Global South.

Innovative Initatives to Prevent Gender-Based Violence

As a part of 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence and the Orange the World Campaign, the Ban Ki-moon Centre hosted an interactive session during the  Education for Justice Global Dialogue Series organized by the United Nations Office of Drugs & Crime.

The event series, part of the Education for Justice initiative held between 1 – 4 December, was launched with a virtual high-level opening, where Co-chair Ban Ki-moon delivered his opening remarks, underlining the importance of youth education and rule of law for a more just world Empowering children & youth to understand & exercise their rights is what will bring us an equitable & sustainable future based on the universality of human rights” – Ban Ki-moon 

 

The interactive session hosted by the BKMC titled “Education, Empowerment and Effective Policies: Preventing Gender-Based Violence”  welcomed three experts and presentations of their innovative initiatives to prevent gender-based violence.

Setting the tone of the discussion, CEO Monika Froehler highlighted the urgency of the topic: Education, empowerment, and effective policies are key tools to prevent and eliminate gender-based violence. We must act now to create a long-term solution.” 

As the first intervention Humberto Carolo – Executive Director of White Ribbon Canada, shared his expertise on education for and inclusion of all, in particular men and boys, to address all forms of gender-based violence:  “Accountable, intersectional, human rights-based, feminist-informed primary prevention with men and boys is an important complementary approach to ending all forms of gender-based violence and discrimination. Men and boys have important roles to play as gender equality allies and change agents at the individual and systemic levels.  

Sabeeka Ahmad, BKMC Global Citizen Fellow, and Social Entrepreneur shared her expertise on women’s empowerment and the mission of her business. The Bahrain based social enterprise Warsha develops customized programs for survivors of violence and works with women in the long run especially on financial stability:  “We support survivors of GBV by listening to them. Only then we can design our intervention towards empowerment and recovery!” 

With regards to effective policies for #GBV, Kristina Lunz, Co-founder & Co-director of the Centre for Feminist Foreign Policy underlined how current ideas and concepts in the security and foreign policy sector are based on an idea of dominating other states and individuals. She claimed: “Domination always requires violence. Gender-based violence is an epidemic in our society – we will only be able to overcome male violence against women once we have created a society based on equality. An end to violence is always grounded in mutual respect. “

 

 

Following the presentations, the audience was invited to join three virtual booths with each expert (Education, Empowerment, and Effective Policies) to engage in a brainstorming session and discuss innovative initiatives to prevent gender-based violence.  

The education booth led by Humberto emphasized the need for a multi-stakeholder approach against backlashes to women’s rights. Sabeeka engaged her participants in the discussion via an online survey, discussing the complementing elements to financial empowerment such as education, trained health services, women’s clubs, etc. 

Kristina encouraged attendees with a provoking question to think about how to drive change: “What makes you furious and angry about current policies for GBV? “ . Effective policies are only so effective when more women are part of the decision-making process, all people are educated on the issue, and multi-stakeholders recognize and raise awareness on GBV.