Ban Ki-moon and Vanessa Nakate discuss how to save the world at Forum Alpbach

On August 26, 2020, Ban Ki-moon Centre Co-chair Ban Ki-moon and young climate activist Vanessa Nakate from Uganda, took the stage at the first-ever digital European Forum Alpbach to discuss the role of youth activism in building a better future. 

“How to Save the World?”

The session had more than 900 live viewers and was moderated by the Editor in Chief of Politico Europe, Stephen G.Brown. Keynote speeches by Ban Ki-moon and Vanessa Nakate were followed by a moderated discussion, answering questions shared by the diverse and global audience.

In his speech, Co-chair Ban Ki-moon underlined that tackling climate change is an urgent international problem that needs an international solution; the impacts of climate change are being felt around the world and the most vulnerable populations are facing the brunt of the consequences. He stated, “Our Earth itself is running a fever.”

Vanessa Nakate, a youth climate justice activist and founder of the Rise up Movement, called for action to address the climate crisis, highlighting the importance of youth activism, smart agriculture and better infrastructure in fighting #climatechange, protecting the only planet we have.  She emphasized, “We cannot achieve the SDGs without #climateaction.”

Ban Ki-moon gave credit to civil society actors, particularly youth and women, who are speaking out and galvanizing others to address climate change and to develop innovative and sustainable solutions. He said, “I applaud all these young leaders for their wisdom, their passion, and their hard work in combating climate change.”

The discussion also addressed the concept of global citizenship and the role of education for youth and girls in providing necessary tools to achieve the SDGs and tackle climate change.

It was also pointed out that gender inequality and the climate crises go hand in hand. Women are disproportionately effected by the negative repercussion of climate change with loss of livelihoods and more. However, they are also an essential part of the solution. Climate action that neglects half of the population, is not sustainable and it is only with the engagement of women and girls that we will overcome this obstacle.

Quoting Secretary-General Ban: “It is essential that we push for gender-responsive policies when addressing climate change – policy-making that includes the voices of women and recognizes their powerful role as stakeholders who can also act to combat climate change.”

Vanessa also drew attention to the need for inclusive action, mentioning that we have to ensure the protection of the planet and its people. She said, “Climate change affects almost every other sustainable development goal. We cannot have gender equality without climate action.”

The highly awaited discussion ended with a question from the audience asking about the importance of inter-generational action.

Ban Ki-moon answered: “We are abusing the privileges given to us by mother nature. If we don’t act now, we will regret it for the next generations.”

Vanessa called for collaboration stating that, “Young people have to work together with the older generation. If we want to fight the climate crisis, we have a lot to learn from them and they have a lot to learn from us.” 

Learn more about Forum Alpbach here. 

Ban Ki-moon Centre Annual Report 2019

Ban Ki-moon Centre 2019 Annual Report is Out!

We are thrilled to share the 2019 Annual Report of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens with you. We hope to inspire you with what we have accomplished together in 2019 and with what we will build on it in 2020 and beyond with your place in our valuable global network. Read our report hereshare it and join us in supporting global citizens around the world.  
“To every single member of our Ban Ki-moon Centre family who showed their support with social media posts and likes, donations and collaborations, thank you. Our dedication to supporting global citizen mindsets and empowering youth and women around to world with education and participation is at the heart of who we are.“ Ban Ki-moon Centre CEO Monika Froehler

AS GLOBAL CITIZENS, HOW ARE WE ALL TACKLING #COVID19?

AS GLOBAL CITIZENS, HOW ARE WE ALL TACKLING #COVID19?
As of today, Monday 23rd of March 2020 the Coronavirus has affected 329,000 people. According to the World Health Organization’s reports at least 14,522 people have died, while the virus has reached more than 160 countries around the world. This pandemic has truly shown how the world has no boundaries and the virus itself does not respect borders, race, ethnicity, age or religion. The world is one and we are all human beings. Therefore, now is the time to act as Global Citizens. It is vital for us to not only think about ourselves and our own country but about others and the globe. The world has seen epidemics, pandemics and viruses before, but the world has never been as interconnected as it is now. The Information flow has never been as easy as now. Countries have never been as accountable to each other as now. As the Ban Ki-Moon Centre for Global citizens, we encourage our staff, our partners, our fellows and all sustainable development goal advocates to act now, innovate, communicate and continue bettering our future. AS GLOBAL CITIZENS, WHAT CAN WE DO?   Take Care of Your Hygiene  As respiratory viruses like COVID-19 spread through human contact, “Wash your hands!” was the first recommendation given to people all around the globe in an attempt to stop the spreading of the virus. Physical contact is the most common way to transmit the virus to the next person. Keeping in mind SDG 3: Good health and well-being, we must encourage and promote the importance of personal hygiene. In cooperation with the WHO, our Co-Chair Ban Ki-Moon has prepared an explanatory video on the correct and effective way to wash our hands. Share the video and help others too. For people and populations with limited access to  clean water and soap, the WHO has prepared a DYI guide to homemade disinfectant. You can find the guide here.  
Flatten the Curve
Flattening the curve: A measure that promotes community isolation in an aim to reduce daily case numbers so they are manageable for local medical providers, without overwhelming our health systems. Globally, we are all encouraged to practice social distancing. The rapid growth rate of the virus combined with a lack of resources contribute to high infection and mortality levels. Measures now being implemented such as school and restaurant closure, working from home and the prohibition of public gatherings have been successful in China, Singapore, South Korea and many more countries. To check the latest curves in different countries click here. The Ban Ki-Moon Centre and its affiliates are all practicing social distancing. We are working from home, connecting with our peers through online meetings and calls. We encourage all businesses that can, to do the same. Here is a list of online tools you can use to work from home.
Mental Health and Online Communities
As most countries encourage their citizens to self-isolate, it is normal to feel anxious, lonely and isolated. As people are finding new ways of coming together in this time of crisis, creative outlets have become available to help individuals who are struggling to keep their spirits high. As the BKMC, we recommend to our staff and to you to maintain your daily structure and adapt it to the situation. Include social calls to your day and reach out to friends and family. Help them if they are not so well-versed with online tools. Measure your social media use and try to focus on uplifting content. Read the book you’ve been wanting to finish for so long. Go through your movie list at last! Spend some me-time, focus on what is important to you. Accept your feelings and assess them. Here are some interesting resources available to the public:
  • Read through the extensive guide the WHO has prepared covering collaborative and individualistic suggestions.
  • Solidarity Concerts organized by Global Citizens in cooperation with the World Health Organisation. Follow #TogetherAtHome on twitter or visit here to watch previous and future concerts.
  • Many libraries, museums, opera halls are providing online virtual tours and concerts, such as the Vienna State Opera, the New York Public Library, the Uffizi Gallery in Florence and many more.
Online education platforms are becoming more and more important with different Universities providing free courses on a wide range of topics.  If you are interested in learning about sustainable development, we have two free courses on our website. Give them a try at your own pace.
Donate
Every individual around the globe can help in some way, and as an interconnected community we can achieve anything and have a great impact. The period we are going through is calling for an urgent collective movement. This is why we would like to call on everyone who can, to donate to the World Health Organization COVID-19 Solidarity Respond Fund. The COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund is a secure way for individuals, philanthropies and businesses to contribute to the WHO-led effort to respond to the pandemic.  
Our Role as Global Citizens 
Now is the time to understand what we need and want in life and what we can live without. As global citizens this is something we should all do. We must see how the world is changing around us, how education, health, gender equality, sanitation, economic growth, innovation, sustainability, climate and above all international cooperation is affected. Let’s take this situation as a lesson and change our ways moving forward. As global citizens this is our responsibility. “While these challenges might seem almost insurmountable at times, there is still hope for a better, a brighter, and a more sustainable future.” BKMC Co-Chair Ban Ki-Moon

Ban Ki-moon launches a comprehensive global soft power research study with Brand Finance in London

BRAND FINANCE PRESS RELEASE

Ban Ki-moon, 8th UN Secretary-General, to launch world’s most comprehensive global soft power research study

  • Ban Ki-moon to give keynote speech at first Global Soft Power Summit hosted by Brand Finance over two days in London & Oxford
  • Ban Ki-moon to say: “Soft power transcends borders and builds bridges”
  • “K-Pop music, Korean food, and Oscar-winning film Parasite are increasingly popular. Korean Wave has captivated foreign publics the world over”
  • Summit serves as unveiling of Global Soft Power Index – world’s most comprehensive research study on perceptions of soft power, surveying opinions of over 55,000 people across 100 countries
  • Soft power superpower – USA tops ranking despite reputation damage
  • Runner-up Germany admired for governance and Angela Merkel’s international leadership
  • Brand Britain undented by Brexit, ranks as world’s 3rd soft power nation
  • Japan ranked first for Business and Trade, thanks to brands the world loves
  • China and Russia rank high on influence, while Nordic countries among most reputable; Greta Thunberg earning Sweden top spot for climate action
  • World’s most generous nation, Canada ranks in top 3 for more soft power disciplines than any other nation, but wins too few golds to top medal table
  • Spain is the world’s friendliest nation, but lags behind on Governance
  • UAE is Middle East’s top scorer, familiarity high following Nation Brand launch
  • Full ranking, charts, commentary, expert contributions, and in-depth spotlights on Australia, India, Ireland, Israel, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, UAE, UK, Central & Eastern Europe, and Latin America available in the report.
View the Global Soft Power Index report by Brand Finance here London & Oxford, 25th February 2020: His Excellency Ban Ki-moon, the former Secretary-General of the United Nations inaugurated the Global Soft Power Summit organised by Brand Finance, the world’s leading independent brand valuation consultancy. The two-day conference was held at London’s Queen Elizabeth II Centre and the University of Oxford’s Blavatnik School of Government on 25-26 February and welcomed over 600 delegates representing more than 100 countries. The summit was attended by government officials, nation branding experts, academics, diplomats, and international media. Speakers representing the various pillars of soft power included Sir Ciáran Devane, Chief Executive of the British Council; Lord Sebastian Coe, President of World Athletics; Dr Yu Jie of Chatham House China Programme; Dr Maleeha Lodhi, Pakistan’s former permanent representative to the United Nations; Paul Brummell, Head of Soft Power at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office; Amish Tripathi, Director of the Nehru Centre; and Omar Salha from SOAS Centre of International Security and Diplomacy. In his keynote address, Ban Ki-moon said:
“Building on the strength of the Brand Finance Nation Brands report, and featuring the opinions of over 55,000 people in more than 100 countries, I am confident that the Global Soft Power Index will serve as a great contribution to the theory and practice of diplomacy and foreign policy moving forward. As Secretary-General of the United Nations, I led the Organization with the understanding that soft power is an essential ingredient in international diplomacy. Additionally, soft power can help further the peace and development goals of the United Nations, particularly the UN SDGs, and reinforce global progress. In fact, the three pillars of the UN – peace and security, development, and human rights – are all in line with the same objectives of soft power and can help bring nations and peoples together through cooperation and partnership.”
Ban also spoke about the soft power of South Korea:
“My country Korea is currently enjoying considerable soft power on the global stage. Korean soft power assets such as K-Pop music, Korean food like kimchi and bibimbap, and our Oscar-winning best picture film Parasite are incredibly well-known and increasingly popular around the world. This Hallyu, or Korean Wave, has captivated foreign publics all over the world.”
The world’s most comprehensive research study on perceptions of soft power The Global Soft Power Summit serves as the unveiling of the Global Soft Power Index, the world’s most comprehensive research study on perceptions of soft power, surveying opinions of over 55,000 people across more than 100 countries. Respondents representing both the general public and specialist audiences were interviewed online and by telephone during Autumn 2019 about the influence that nations around the world exert upon each other. Top 60 nations were scored across three key metrics: Familiarity, Reputation, and Influence, as well as the seven soft power pillars: Business & Trade, Governance, International Relations, Culture & Heritage, Media & Communications, Education & Science, People & Values. Source: Brand Finance © Fairlight Studios

The first BKMC x UNESCO APCEIU collaborative online course is still available on GCED Online Campus!

The first collaborative online course project by BKMC and UNESCO APCEIU, “Becoming Global Citizens for a Sustainable Society,” introduced us the SDGs and the notion of Global Citizenship through the series of lectures by renowned experts from all over the world, interviews with scholars, advocates and representatives from all different sectors, and case presentations by active global citizens. The course aims to examine and critically reflect on the revolving issues around the globe at local, national, and international levels by providing a platform where learners can virtually meet and learn from one another. Through this course, learners could deepen their understanding of the SDGs and global citizenship, exchange and embrace different perspectives, and challenge their own assumptions. Launched in September 2019, this course is a self-paced course that is open all year round to anyone who aspires to assume active roles in bringing meaningful changes to oneself and to global society! “Becoming Global Citizens in a Sustainable Society” is comprised of five difference modules in which lectures, discussions, interviews or documentary films are included in respective topics. Speakers of this course includes BKMC Co-chairs Ban Ki-moon and Heinz Fischer and a number of other stellar speakers from UN organizations, universities, NGOs, governments, and the private sector. After completing all courses, students will received a certificate issued by UNESCO APCEIU and the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens. Requirements for the completion are as followed: 1) Watch all lectures / videos 2) Participate in Form / Discussion 3) Take a quiz 4) Final Assignment 5) Course Evaluation Here are some comments from the global citizen learners who took this course!
“This course was so insightful on such an important topic that we, unfortunately, do not talk about enough in our current education… It highlights topics that are so important in current events and link them together back to how there are so many ways, shapes and forms of innovative acts of global citizenship in our current environment.” – Hana Abdelatty
“This will enhance global participation towards sustainable development goals amongst youth across the globe.” – Samod Kadiri
“It is very helpful for us on how to create better solutions to fight against the problem in this world. This course is very important and teaches us to become a global citizen of our own.” – Cedrix Rodriguez
“This course has made me have a deeper understanding of what GCED is and am really encouraged take other courses in relations to global citizenship education.” – Glays Sakaula
The second collaborative online course on “Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment: A Pathway to Sustainable Development” is also out now on GCED Online Campus featuring amazing international figures including UN Youth Envoy Jayathma wickramanayake, Chair of The Elders Mary Robinson, Executive Director of UN Women Phumzile Mlambo-ngcuka and more. Check it out!

Co-chair Ban Ki-moon joins the SDG Academy’s edX online course “Conversations with Global Leaders.”

Today, BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon, former Secretary-General of United Nations, joined a Live Conversation in The SDG Academy edX Online Course “Conversations with Global Leaders.” ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ During the live interview, Co-chair Ban talked about “The Importance of Global-Setting” with Professor Jeffrey Sachs, who also is a BKMC Board member. The SDG Academy edX Online Course “Conversations with Global Leaders” is an initiative created by the United Nations Sustainable Development Social Network (UN SDSN), and this course aims to provide insights into questions about effective and inclusive leadership in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development such as Are good leaders born or are they made? What are the essential skills and strategies required when they must make tough decisions that impact global policies, people and our planet? Throughout this course, professor Jeffrey Sachs, a BKMC Board member, interviews inspiring global leaders about an overarching theme that reflects the individual’s unique and diverse insights on the leadership necessary to create national and global movements towards sustainable development, including combating climate change, promoting and preserving human rights and ensuring peace and prosperity for all.   Click the photo to watch the Live Conversation.  

Ban Ki-moon emphasizes on the importance of youth engagement at TUM Speakers Series

“The climate crisis and the nuclear threat are two of the urgent issues that demand a collaborative global approach,” said Co-chair Ban Ki-moon.
Celebrating 20 Years of TUM Speakers Series and the 75th anniversary of United Nations, former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon delivered a speech at an official side event to Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany on February 14th.
Ban emphasized the importance of empowering and engaging youth in the process of solving global issues:
“All the topics that are on the agenda at this year’s Munich Security Confer
ence require  
a similar approach. From terrorism to violent extremism, gender and economic inequality, and how to adapt to new disruptive technologies. The voice and perspective of youth is critical to these conversations.”
Under the theme of “Global Solutions for Global Challenges – The Need to Defend Multilateralism in 2020,” the event was attended by students and aspiring global leaders, whom Ban encouraged to take actions as global citizens. TUM Speakers Series is organized by students for their fellow students to provide a platform for public figures to share their expertise and knowledge and to actively involve students and youth in discussing current challenges and issues around the world.
 
Watch the live-streamed video:
© Andreas Heddergott /TUM

Co-chair Ban Ki-moon speaks at Munich Security Conference 2020

“There is a lot of arguments, a lot of problems and a lot of division in this world. Only with multilateralism, there are solutions.” – Ban Ki-moon at MSC2020
On February 13, Co-chair Ban Ki-moon attended the 56th Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany. Ban participated in a panel discussion “Apocalypse Now? – Climate and Security” with stellar speakers and stressed the importance of mutual cooperation among countries and institutes for climate action. Emphasizing the role of youth in the global movement toward climate action, Co-chair Ban said,
“The young people protesting around the world speak more sense than many world leaders…Without the activism and passion of youth, we will not overcome two of the gravest existential threats we have: climate change and nuclear war.”
Lamenting on the United States’ decision to withdraw from Paris Agreement, he also said,
“Paris Agreement is not perfect but is the best that could be reached in 2015; its implementation remains the best way of tackling the multifaceted threats posed by the climate change.”
He further continued and showed his concern toward inadequate action taken to cope with existential climate threats and said,
“I am angry we have to repeat the science yet again. Let’s not waste time with climate skeptics. The science is clear that climate change is happening, hast. IPCC brings together 2,500 of the world’s best scientists and their 5 reports make the facts clear: If we don’t address climate change, then I think we have no hope.”
Jennifer Morgan, the Executive Director of Greenpeace International, said,

“We have seen what they youth has done, but we have to take this forward. We have to shift the power dynamics.”

  Helga Maria Schmid, Secretary-General of the European External Action Service (EEAS), said,

“It was under Ban Ki-moon’s leadership that the UN Security Council first addressed the links between climate and security.”

“We do have a Schuman Plan: it’s the European Green Deal. It is the transformative vision of the new EU Commission that is not only about reducing emission or leading energy transition. It’s about biodiversity and an alternative growth mode.”

  Tom Middendrop, Chair of the International Military Council on Climate and Security, said,

“I would sacrifice my life for a world where we didn’t need a military…but climate is accelerating scarcity and frictions…that’s why we need the military to help build the resilience we are looking for.”

  John Kerry, former United States Secretary of State, said,

“We need to declare a war on the war of science.”

“We are heading toward an absolute catastrophe…we need to behave like we are at war.”

During this conference, over 500 high-ranking international decision-makers gathered for Munich Security Conference 2020. Personalities from politics, business, science, and civil society will discuss current crises and future security challenges in Munich. On February 14, 18:30 CET, Co-chair Ban Ki-moon will deliver a special lecture at TUM Speakers Series on the margins of the Munich Security Conference. © Munich Security Conference / Kuhlmann

Co-chair Ban Ki-moon has a bilateral meeting with Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman of Saudi Arabia

On February 12, Co-chair Ban Ki-moon had a bilateral meeting with Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman Saudi Arabia in Riyadh. During this occasion, they reviewed a number of issues of mutual concerns, and World Economic Forum President Børge Brende also joined the meeting. Important agendas related to regional and international economic developments were discussed in addition to exploring opportunities for a partnership between the Kingdom and WEF in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030. This was their second time meeting after they met for the first time at the UN Headquarters in New York while Co-chair Ban Ki-moon served as the UN Secretary-General, upon which occasion they discussed improving civilian protection in Yemen after a UN report briefly blacklisted a Saudi-led coalition for killing children. © Saudi Gazette

Ban Ki-moon speaks of peace and security through sports at the PyeongChange Peace Forum 2020

During the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics, South and North Korean athletes entered the opening ceremony together and formed a joint women’s hockey team, creating momentum that led to bilateral talks between the South and North. Maintaining that legacy and peacebuilding, the PyeongChang Peace Forum 2020 “Peace! Here and Now” took place from February 9th to 11th in Pyeongchang, South Korea. The three-day conference attracted around a thousand participants, who were global leaders, scholars and/or experts from 25 countries, featuring the theme “Action Plan: End the Korean War” and topics related to sports, economy, ecology and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. One of the key goals of the forum was to deliver an action plan for officially ending the Korean War, said Choi Moon-soon, the governor of Gangwon Province, where Pyeongchang is located.
“We want to bring out a concrete action plan and to make it a global agenda,” said Choi at a press conference on Sunday. “This year we want to put an end to the Korean War and to forge a peace agreement.”
In his keynote address to start the forum, BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon echoed the need to carry forward the diplomatic momentum from the Olympic Games.
“The [peace] process was kickstarted here in beautiful Pyeongchang during the Peace Olympics,” said Ban. “Even though it may be fading a little bit at this moment, we should never be deterred by the setbacks we have now. Only through mutual dialogue and respect will we be able to overcome the current impasse between North and South Korea. We need all global citizens to come together.”
This three-day forum, which is being held for the second time, featured sessions on topics such as inter-Korean tourism, developing the DMZ as a peace zone and sports diplomacy. The Korean War ended in 1953 with a ceasefire agreement but not a permanent peace treaty, which has left the neighbors technically still at war for almost 70 years. The 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang became the starting point of a renewed period of detente on the Korean Peninsula and led to a series of inter-Korean summits as well as a pair of summits between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Ban emphasized that the world is facing shared challenges such as a climate crisis and urged countries to work together to tackle global issues by adopting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
“Sustainable development cannot be achieved without peace and security,” said Ban.
Gangwon Governor Choi said,
“Despite difficulties including the stagnant dialogue between North Korea and the US and continuing sanctions against North Korea, the historic efforts for peace on the Korean Peninsula, which started with the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, must continue ceaselessly.”
In addition to the forum, in its second edition, PyeongChang and Gangwon Province hope to continue to use sports events as peace-building tools. Such efforts paid off in January when the International Olympic Committee chose PyeongChang to host the Winter Youth Olympics in 2024. South and North Korea are seeking to co-host the Olympics in 2032. Source: The Korea HeraldUPI © Yonhap News, Daehan News, Thomas Maresca / UPI, Lee Seokyung / Penta Press, Lee Soo-gil / Newsway