BKMC celebrates the International Youth Day and urges all the young people in the world to act as global citizens!

Happy International Youth Day!

August 12th marks the international youth day, which was designated by the United Nations General Assembly in 1999 and serves as an annual celebration of the role of young women and men as essential partners in change, and an opportunity to raise awareness of challenges and problems facing the world’s youth.

This year’s theme of the day is “Transforming Education.”

There are currently 1.8 billion young people between the ages of 10 and 24 in the world. This is the largest youth population ever. However, more than half of all children and adolescents aged 6-14 lack basic reading and maths skills, despite the fact that the majority of them are attending school. This global learning crisis threatens to severely hamper progress towards the SDGs.

Co-chair Ban Ki-moon hopes that youth “can help widen respect for all people, expand care for our earth and its resources, and enhance the development of other young people through both education and guiding moral values.”

On this special day today, we should also ruminate upon what Co-chair Heinz Fischer urges young people to:
“Please challenge your leaders, your friends, your colleagues, and even yourselves. Inspire those around you to care about the world we share.”
Read more about the International Youth Day: https://www.un.org/en/events/youthday/
Photo: IGEE

Ban Ki-moon delivers a keynote on the topic of education and peace at the One Asia Convention 2019

At the One Asia Convention 2019 took place in Seoul, South Korea on August 5-6th, 2019, BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon delivered a keynote on the topic of education and peace.

Ban expressed his concern that “it is inevitable that the conflicts between nations exist when I look at a number of countries in the world” and stressed that “such issues to be solved in a constructive way.”

He stressed the crucial role and necessity of education that fosters future experts who would contribute to solving conflicts on top of the issues we are facing and make drastic changes in order to promote sustainability, capacity, and peace.

Following the keynote speech, a round table was hosted under the theme of “Education and Peace” on the first day. On the second day, the convention also had breakout sessions divided into the following four fields;
・Reports of the course on Asian Community
・Politics, Economics, Environment and Social Matters
・History, Education, Thought, Philosophy and Religion
・Culture, Media, Arts and Others

In total, 650 scholars and students from 325 universities in 32 countries and regions attended the convention.

Learn more about the One Asia Convention Seoul 2019: http://www.oneasia.or.jp/en/activity/activities.html
Photos: Konkuk University

BKMC attends the UNESCO Conference on ESD and GCED

At the UNESCO Forum on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) and Global Citizenship Education (GCED) held on July 2-3, 2019 in Hanoi, Vietnam, BKMC CEO Monika Froehler said:

“In today´s world too many leaders are just focused on their country first. Global citizenship is the opposite. It is putting collaboration before confrontation,” featuring as a speaker on a panel discussion.

With the theme “Learning and Teaching for Peaceful and Sustainable Societies: from early childhood to primary and secondary education,” concerned stakeholders coming from all regions met to learn about and debate on the latest information on the trends, issues and data related to GCED and ESD.

ESD and GCED are part of the 2030 Agenda and were built into the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 on education. Target 4.7 prioritizes ESD and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and the appreciation of cultural diversity.

“Set commitments and targets for global citizenship and sustainable development education. Update curricula!”

said H.E. Prof. Dr. Phung Xuan Nha, Minister of Education and Training of Vietnam, who attended the forum.

Froehler pointed out that “the data on GCED and ESD is missing” and that “we need to work together to establish meaningful indicators,”

agreeing to what UNESCO sees as essential to advance a value-based and holistic approach to learning that is truly transformational in taking ESD and GCED forward (UNESCO 2015). For effective teaching and learning, UNESCO stresses that all three learning dimensions need to be developed:

  • Cognitive: To acquire knowledge, understanding and critical thinking about global, regional, national and local issues, the inter-connectedness and inter-dependency of different countries and populations, as well as social, economic and environmental aspects of sustainable development;
  • Social and Emotional: To have a sense of belonging to a common humanity, sharing values and responsibilities, empathy, solidarity and respect for differences and diversity, as well as fell and assume sense of responsibility for the future;
  • Behavioral: To act effectively and responsibly at local, national and global levels for a more peaceful and sustainable world.

Froehler concluded that

“Global Citizenship – no matter which definition you are looking at – always has a component of ‘ACTION’ in it.”

© APCEIU

UNESCO Publication on “Teaching Learning Transformative Engagement”

In recent years, we have seen young learners taking action to influence local, national or global communities on a range of issues, from gun violence in school to climate change. At the same time, other young learners have expressed a wish to contribute to transformative processes but expressed their lack of knowledge and know-how to do so. This situation underlines the urgency of understanding different forms of transformative engagement undertaken by young learners, especially in relation to the role of education.

Building on Target 4.7 of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 on Education, UNESCO supports Member States in taking forward Global Citizenship Education (GCED) and Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), to empower learners to assume active, responsible and effective roles to tackle challenges at local, national and global levels.

While there is a large body of literature on citizenship and civic education, there is less clarity about the meaning of ‘responsible transformative engagement’ for young learners in relation to GCED and ESD – notably, the types of transformative engagement and the meaning of ‘responsible’. Understanding better the connection between learners’ engagement and education can clarify the knowledge, skills and competencies that schools may provide, as well as how the role of education can vary depending on context. In this light, this paper explores the meaning of ‘responsible transformative engagement’ with a view to clarifying the role of education in ways that may be reflected by UNESCO and other education stakeholders.

This document was produced with inputs from the rich discussions among participants at the Experts’ Meeting on ‘Teaching and learning responsible transformative engagement’ organised by UNESCO in partnership with the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens and the Asia-Pacific Center of Education for International Understanding (APCEIU), held on 16-17 February 2019 in Seoul, Republic of Korea.

Read more: Teaching Learning Transformative Engagement

Ban Ki-moon draws attention to the urgency of youth empowerment in the latest ADA publication

In their latest publication, the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) focuses on Africa’s youth and their vital function for the future of the continent. Africa has the highest number of people under the age of 25, with around 600 million youth in 2017 accounting for almost half of the continent’s population.

Young people represent potential consumers, producers and innovators and can thus contribute to regional economic growth. The risks of conflict, poverty and instability however push more and more youth towards emigration. The report states that investments in health and education systems must dramatically improve in order to make young people’s opportunities in their own countries attractive. Gender inequality and the lack of jobs further hinder sustainable development and a prosperous future for Africa’s youth.

Co-Chairman Ban Ki-moon emphasizes the urgent need to include and empower youth all over the world. “We cannot afford to waste their talents” he claims and points to the fact that in no time in history have there ever been more young people than at this moment.

Investing in human capital should be made a priority if the continent wants to cope with rising demographics. Africa’s youth is energetic and ambitious and more connected than ever before. They have plans but need political will and new social infrastructures in order to fully contribute to economic growth and live happy, sustainable and determined lives.

The Peace Museum of the 8th United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon opens in Eumseong

“The Peace Museum of the 8th United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon” had its grand opening on December 6th, 2018. The museum has been established in Eum Seong, a small county in Korea where Ban was born.

The 2800-square-meter museum is equipped with a cultural center that exhibits donated souvenirs that Ban has received from all over the world, materials and videos related to the UN, and also a virtual-experience hall for the Model UN General Assembly. There are also lecture rooms, an outdoor performance stage, and meeting rooms.

Beginning from next year in January, the museum will provide varied experience programs through which youth can learn more about the UN and become inspired to be global citizens. The museum is also surrounded by the Ban Ki-moon Peace Land and the Ban Ki-moon Memorial Hall.

“I hope the peace museum will become a venue for education that helps our youth become global citizens,” said Ban.

At the opening ceremony of the museum, around 300 guests came to celebrate it, including the Ambassadors from the Austrian Embassy, Kuwaiti Embassy, and Tanzanian Embassy in Seoul.

Ban also delivered a special lecture on the topic of “the United Nations and 21st-Century Leadership” at Eum Seong High School, encouraging the students to understand how they can contribute to make the world a better place.

Photo: Eumseong County Office

Lisbon hosts international conference and workshops on GCED

Last week, two events were held on the topic of Global Citizenship Education (GCED) in Lisbon, Portugal. The Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens’ partner UNESCO APCEIU hosted a two-day “2018 Europe and North America Regional Global Citizenship Education Network Meeting” in cooperation with UNESCO and GENE (Global Education Network in Europe) from November 21st to 22nd. On the following day, GENE organized an international conference on “Building a World of Justice and Solidarity: Global Education in the School System” in cooperation with the Portuguese government and UNESCO.

The two events gathered educators and researchers from universities and academic institutions, representatives from the ministries of education, stakeholders from inter-governmental organizations and NGOs, and others from different sectors. An interactive platform was provided for the participants to actively share their ideas and expertise on GCED for the successive days.

On behalf of the Centre, Associate Minji Kwag presented its work and advocacy for the subject, including its launch of the Global Citizenship Initiatives Portal, an online course on the SDGs and the notion of global citizenship as well as other upcoming courses, the annual Global Engagement and Empowerment Forum that the Centre hosts, and its number of engagements in other meetings and workshops on GCED.

These regional meetings and networking opportunities let the stakeholders seek for the betterment of the education system not only within the region of Europe and North America but across the world, pointing out the need of overall development of the global education system and cooperation between academic, governmental and international actors.

The outcomes of the discussions held during the two-day workshop hosted by UNESCO APCEIU will be publicized as a report. The report will show suggestions on how to advance GCED specifically in Europe and North America and how to implement and develop the education into working solutions for global challenges that the world faces.

Learn more about UNESCO APCEIU & GENE:
– www.unescoapceiu.org/en
– www.gene.eu

Photo by: Gustavo Lopes Pereira

Co-chair Ban Ki-moon delivered congratulatory address at the 3rd International Conference on GCED

The Centre’s Co-chair Ban Ki-moon delivered congratulatory address at the opening session of the 3rd International Conference on GCED co-organized by UNESCO APCEIU, Ministry of Education, and Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Korea. The conference was on the topic of “Platform on Pedagogy and Practice” with focus on local-contextualization of Global Citizenship Education (GCED).

“As Former Secretary-General (of the UN), I will continue to forge a bright future for next generation. I greatly look forward to future collaboration between my Centre and APCEIU,” said Ban.

Ban emphasized on education on global citizenship in the efforts of achieving the SDGs, concerning 60 million children who are left out of school throughout the world.

APCEIU Director Chung Utak also welcomed the conference participants, and Vice Minister Park Chun-ran of the Korean Ministry of Education delivered opening address. The two-day conference consists of panel discussions, various sessions, and workshops with global citizens from all over the world.

Photo: UNESCO APCEIU

Ban Ki-moon Centre Hosts the First Breakfast Hub for Women Organizations

Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens invited women leaders and change makers from international organizations and NGOs in Austria to the Centre’s first breakfast hub. The breakfast hub was intended to create a network among like-minded people and to seek for ways to empower women and to reach gender equality, also in the light of Sustainable Development Goal 5 of the United Nations.

The CEO of the Ban Ki-moon Centre Monika Froehler gave welcome remarks and a brief overview of the Centre´s activities. She was followed by two keynote speakers on “women empowerment”, Mrs. Désirée Schweitzer, the President of the UN Women National Committee Austria and the Director General of the Department for International Development at the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Mrs. Lilly Sucharipa, the former President of the UN Women National Committee Austria.

Schweitzer highlighted how many women and girls are experiencing domestic violence and sexual harassment as well as forced childhood marriage.

Furthermore, she argued that “women provide 2.6 times more unpaid care and domestic work than men. Women still hold a mere 23.7% of parliamentry seats” and that “in the private sector, women globally occupy less than a third of senior and middle-management positions.” Schweitzer urged that “we have to work together to change this step by step.”

Sucharipa also emphasized that “not only the SDG 5, but all the other SDGs are important in connection with lives of women.” “If it is clean water or affordable energy; if it is health or economic empowerment, extremely important, and the most important education,” she said that “all these goals play into women’s lives and have to be considered when you talk about women.”

During the networking and brainstorming session, the participants actively shared the challenges and ideas for women empowerment in all national, regional, and global levels and how the solutions can be connected to the concept of global citizenship.