Co-chair Ban Ki-moon’s acceptance speech for Sunhak Peace Prize

Speech by Co-chair Ban Ki-moon

Sunhak Peace Prize 

Seoul, Korea

5 February 2020

 

Thank you for your warm introduction.

Dr. Hak Ja Han, Universal Peace Federation Founder,

Sunhak Peace Prize Foundation Members,

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

It is my great privilege to stand before you this evening and humbly accept the 2020 Sunhak Peace Prize.

I’m incredibly grateful for this esteemed honor, and it is quite meaningful to follow in the footsteps of the previous luminary awardees you have bestowed this honor upon.

My special recognition goes to Dr. Hak Ja Han for her visionary patronage of this award, as well as for her longtime advocacy efforts in support of world peace, global citizenship, and sustainable development issues.

I also take this opportunity to commend the impressive work and forward-thinking vision of the Sunhak Peace Prize Foundation.

The critical efforts by the Sunhak Peace Prize Foundation are essential as we collectively strive to expand essential understanding, cooperation, and tolerance on the road to world peace and global sustainability.

In this connection, I simply couldn’t be more proud to receive this award intended to further the ideals of such a pioneering individual who so firmly believed in the importance of peace, human development, coexistence, and environmental protection.

My deepest gratitude goes to the Sunhak Peace Prize Foundation Members for this very special honor.

 

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Our world is changing and this is bringing many new challenges and uncertainties to the geopolitical and economic order.

Multilateral cooperation is viewed with increasing skepticism just as the world needs it the most. Human rights are under threat as nationalism spreads. Development and humanitarian funds are being slashed.

And our climate crisis is deepening as wildfires burn, sea levels rise higher, and temperatures continue to surge.

Under this backdrop of instability and waning internationalism, I firmly believe that we must work together through expanded partnerships and cooperation, as well a driving commitment to global citizenship, to cope with these seemingly insurmountable challenges.

During my ten-year tenure as United Nations Secretary-General, I strived to execute my leadership duties by leveraging the power of partnerships and promoting the spirit of global citizenship.

This was critical in bringing the entire world together to agree to the UN’s 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals, as well as the Paris Climate Agreement.

These were two of my biggest achievements leading the UN as they provide humanity, and our planet, with a collaborative blueprint to ensure the future we want.

And global partnerships, including the active participation of nonprofit organizations, civil society groups, religious organizations, philanthropists, and other key stakeholders like you, are necessary if we are to deliver on the United Nations’ development and climate commitments.

But to establish long-term solutions, achieve world peace, and save our rapidly warming planet, we need inclusive and participatory action from all global citizens.

This includes, especially, young people, as they are absolutely essential to solving so many of the world’s challenges such as achieving the SDGs, tackling climate change, and building peace and resolving conflicts.

As such, I’ve been trying my best to help elevate global citizenship as a driving vision for young, transformative leaders to help us forge a more peaceful and sustainable world.

In this regard, two years ago I launched the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens, based in Vienna, Austria to help provide young people and women with a greater say in their own destiny, as well as a greater stake in their own dignity.

 

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

The actions we take in the next ten years will be critical to ensure the future viability of both humanity and our planet. So we must work hard to illuminate true peace.

What type of peace? I am reminded of the words of President John F. Kennedy who said, “I am talking about genuine peace, the kind of peace that makes life on earth worth living, the kind that enables men and nations to grow and hope and build a better life for their children …not merely peace in our time, but peace for all time.”

In 2020, the year of the rat, and beyond, we all share a common destiny grounded in sustainability, peace, and prosperity. Let’s expand our unified efforts to realize this shared destiny for all global citizens in the years to come.

I thank you for your attention and this great honor.

BKMC CEO Froehler and COO Harvey meet with the Korean Embassy to brief on the plans for 2020

Today, BKMC CEO Monika Froehler and COO Katrin Harvey had a fruitful meeting with Deputy Ambassador Yongsoo Lee, Counselor Eun Ju Park & First Secretary Ah-young Kim from the Embassy of Korea in Vienna.
 
During the meeting, Froehler introduced our new COO Katrin Harvey to the Korean delegation and updated them on the work of the Ban Ki-moon Centre and its upcoming events and plans for 2020. They also discussed on the topic of the Korean government’s various efforts in developing its ODA and global citizenship programs.
 
The Korean Embassy and the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens have been building a close relationship, as last year the Korean government was one of the major donors for the Centre and as Ambassador Shin Chae-hyun sits on the Centre’s Board.

BKMC CEO Monika Froehler’s remark on the 2nd Anniversary of the Ban Ki-moon Centre

Celebrating the 2nd Anniversary of the Ban Ki-moon Centre on January 3rd, 2020, CEO Monika Froehler shared her remark:

“On January 3rd, 2018, the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens was officially inaugurated at the Austrian Chancellery. What a journey it has been since then?”

“We supported our co-chairs’ leadership, built lasting partnerships across the globe, spread the information on the SDGs and their implementation, and most importantly, touched the lives of hundreds of women and young people to support them and give them a voice, a seat at the table, and opportunities they did not have before.”

“We are grateful for all the support we received on our journey and are humbled by the vast tasks ahead to enhance global citizenship. But as an old Chinese proverb says, ‘No road is too long with friends at your side.’ Thanks to all global citizens for being with us on that journey!”

New Year’s Greetings from the Ban Ki-moon Centre and Happy BKMC Anniversary!

Today, January 3rd, 2020, marks the 3rd year and the 2nd anniversary of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens. By its co-founders, former Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon and former President of Austria Heinz Fischer, the Centre was established on this date in 2018 in Vienna, Austria. A BKMC Board Member, Ambassador Sadiq Marafi of the Embassy of Kuwait in Vienna, invited the team to his residence for New Year’s Eve and celebrated the year-end and welcomed the Centre’s new Chief Operating Officer Katrin Harvey.

For the last two years, the Centre has made proud accomplishments and progress in advancing the SDGs through our co-chairs’ leadership, mediation, advocacy, and education. Through various projects, events and scholarship/fellowship/mentorship/training programs, the Ban Ki-moon Centre has aimed to empower youth and women, and we will try to empower more globally in the upcoming years to reach the Global Goals by 2030. To discuss the Centre’s upcoming plans and strategies, CEO Monika Froehler briefed the co-chairs on the progress made, and the BKMC leaders had an important planning session on New Year’s Day of 2020 in Vienna.

BKMC CEO Monika Froehler Attended SDG Forum 2019

On November 29, BKMC CEO Monika Froehler attended SDG Forum 2019 held in University of Vienna.

Organized by SDG Watch Austria, the forum was dedicated to discussing Austria’s progress in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals together with all relevant actors in politics, administration, science and industry.

At the forum, Minister for Sustainability and Tourism Maria Patek opened the SDG Forum highlighting the pioneering role of the Ministry of Sustainability in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

She said, “In the summer we presented our SDG Action Plan 2019+, which summarizes all initiatives of the Federal Ministry for Sustainability and Tourism. If we all persistently and committedly implement the measures in our sphere of influence, we will reach our goal more quickly. The realization of the UN SDGs is a shared responsibility that we must take on for the next generations.”

Thomas Alge, CEO of ÖKOBÜRO – Alliance of the Environmental Movement and co-founder of SDG Watch Austria, also a gave a welcome remark and said,

“The climate crisis, species extinction, poverty and inequality are highly interconnected. Climate change particularly affects agriculture. It leads to harvest losses and intensifies insect killing. Drought and other climate catastrophes are forcing people from the most affected regions of the world leave their country. The new government must therefore quickly face these challenges and make the implementation of the 2030 Agenda a top priority. Coherent implementation of the Global Sustainable Development Goals can effectively address many of the big challenges of the time.”

Sami Pirkkala, Advisor to Finnish National Commission on Sustainable Development, also presented about Finland’s efforts in implementation of the SDGs: launching a voluntary commitment platform towards the SDGs and gathering more than 1,600 commitments from companies, education sectors, cities and individuals.

Chairman of Austrian Partner Universities Uninetz, Franz Fehr illustrated strategic goals, milestone and daily work of Uninetz and indication of which university leads which subject area of the SDGs. 

A panel discussion on “Where Do We Stand on the SDGs in Austria,” focusing mainly on ways in which Austria’s new administration can adopt the 2030 Agenda and take a leap toward the SDGs implementation, was moderated by Nina Thüllen and featured stellar panelists including:

Parliamentarian Michael Bernhard;

Parliamentarian Josef Moser;

Ambassador Sylvia Meier-Kajbic;

Councilor for Environment and Women Judith Schwentner;

Secretary-General Thoams Weninger;

Managing Director Anja Appel.

© SDG Watch Austria 

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 and UNESCO APCEIU launch an online course on Global Citizenship and the SDGs

On September 30th, 2019, the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens in cooperation with the GCED Online Campus team of UNESCO APCEIU launched the first collaborative online course titled:

“Becoming Global Citizens for a Sustainable Society”

The course introduces 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. With the course, the Ban Ki-moon Centre aims to examine and critically reflect on the revolving issues around the globe at local, national, and global levels. By introducing the best practices from different parts of the world, the course also encourages learners to take actions as global citizens to reach sustainable development for all.

Following topics will be discussed throughout the course
ㆍ Global Citizenship and the SDGs (United Nations Sustainable Development Goals)
ㆍ Global Citizenship in a Challenging World
ㆍ Act to Change: Global Citizenship for Transformation
ㆍ Meet the Global Citizens around the World
ㆍ Plan for Action: Becoming Active Global Citizens

👉 Register for the course now to learn how to be a Global Citizen: HERE

Promotional Video 1

Promotional Video 2

 

“Promoting the SDGs in Europe with a Global Mindset”

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:

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

BKMC signs an MOU with the Ban Ki-moon Institute for Global Education

The Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens (BKMC) and the Ban Ki-moon Institute for Global Education in Support of UNAI (IGE) at Handong Global University signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on June 21st, 2019 in Seoul, South Korea.

This MOU states that two institutes are in mutual cooperation for joint programs which may include academic programs and courses, forums and conferences, and scholarships and fellowships on the topic of global citizenship.

On the margins of the MOU signing ceremony, BKMC CEO Monika Froehler, Associates Minji Kwag and Julia Zimmerman had a meeting with the IGE Director and UNAI Korea Deputy Director Jeffrey Choi and UNAI Korea Program Officer Choi Bo-woo. The two entities respectively introduced their mission and upcoming projects to each other and sought for further collaborative areas.

GEEF 2020 Preview “We will harvest what we plan!”

The ‘GEEF 2020 Preview’ event took place at the Yonsei University on May 31th, 2019 in Seoul, South Korea.
 
BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon, who also serves as Honorary Chair of the IGEE, and President Kim Yong-Hak of the Yonsei University invited Ambassadors from the Embassies and representatives of international organizations in Korea to brief them on the mission and the plans of the upcoming GEEF 2020.

GEEF is an annual international forum that the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens has co-organized with the Institute for Global Engagement & Empowerment (IGEE) and the Yonsei University. Having successfully organized the first two Forums with more than 2,000 participants respectively coming from all over the world, the co-organizers together with supporters are putting synergized efforts to hold another successful Forum in the year 2020.
Co-chair Ban also  that all global citizens should “work together to make this world better for all” by achieving the SDGs.
BKMC Co-chair Heinz Fischer added that by co-organizing the GEEF and creating synergies, “we will harvest what we plan.”
At the reception, the European Chamber of Commerce in Korea (ECCK) and Samsonite Korea received a letter of appreciation from Co-chair Ban Ki-moon and President Kim Yong-Hak for their great support for the success of the past GEEF 2019.
 
Learn more about the Global Engagement & Empowerment Forum on Sustainable Development (GEEF) and check out the newly released report of the GEEF 2019: http://geef-sd.org/
Interview videos of the GEEF participants are also available on the Centre’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC61cQFoAgNM8iLbbMpfY3NQ
 
Pictures by IGEE