Ban Ki-moon hopes for strengthened cooperation between Asia and Europe

On December 2, 2019, the 2nd Asia-Europe Cooperation Dialogue held its Opening and Plenary Session in Chongqing, which was addressed by Co-chair Ban Ki-moon, who also serves as Chairman of the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA); Zhou Xiaochuan, Vice Chairman of the BFA; Esko Aho, former Prime Minister of Finland; Tang Liangzhi, Mayor of Chongqing; Li Baodong, Secretary General of the BFA; and Paolo Borzatta, Senior Partner of the European House-Ambrosetti. The event was also attended by more than 400 participants from 21 countries and regions as well as from three international organizations.

In his speech, Ban Ki-moon highlighted the fact that 60% of the world’s population live in Asia and Europe, whose combined GDP also represents over 60% of the world’s total.

“With today’s world economy challenged by protectionism, unilateralism, unstable and uncertain factors, it’s necessary to send a clear message of supporting globalization and free trade to the international community.”

He also expressed his hope that Asia and Europe will strengthen their traditional economic and trade ties, expand cooperation under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, increase exchanges in the fields of culture and technology innovation and take concrete actions to practice multilateralism and promote an open world economy.

Zhou Xiaochuan emphasized the need for more concerted actions from Asia and Europe—to promote trade and investment, safeguard multilateral trade systems and restore the authority and efficacy of the WTO; to improve infrastructure connectivity, so as to reduce transportation and communication costs and bring about synergy between the Belt and Road Initiative and the Strategy for “Connecting Europe and Asia”; to address the global challenge of climate change by effectively implementing the Paris Agreement, developing low-carbon economies and providing policy, technology and financial support to developing countries; and to strengthen cooperation in innovation in response to challenges created by disruptive technologies.

After the end of the opening plenary, more than 400 guests and participants will have one-day discussions on topics such as “Belt and Road Initiative and European Development Strategy”, “Prospects and Challenges of Financial Globalization” and “Internet of Things & Smart City”. Asian and European business leaders will also have a closed-door meeting regarding micro-level cooperation.

  • Ban Ki-moon’ interview with CGTN
  • Ban Ki-moon’s interview with iChongqing

  • Ambassador Kim Won-soo, BKMC Board Member, interview with iChongqing

Source: http://english.boaoforum.org/mtzxxwzxen/48092.jhtml

“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

“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

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.

The Final Report – EUNA GCED Network Meeting – Lisbon 2018 is now available.

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

Photo by: Gustavo Lopes Pereira

Three Young Refugee Women Share Their Inspirational Stories at the BKMC

A multimedia event on “Global Citizenship in a Time of War” organized by Heather Wokusch, an educator who works in the field of women and youth empowerment through education and promotes the SDGs, was hosted at the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens on September 27th, 2018. Having gained international attention while addressing the plight of refugees, three young refugee women shared their experiences and inspirational stories during the event.

  • Nour Barakeh: With a background spanning scientific studies and artistic work, she supports the establishment of sustainable educational projects focused on empowering people to transcend the effects of war. She wrote a theater piece “Not Our Fate” that has been recently performed at European Forum Alpbach as well as at the Weltmuseum Wien hosted by Österreichisches Parlament. She also acted in the play herself.
  • Dooa Al Zamel: She is one of a few survivals from crossing the dangerous #sea from Syria to Europe relying on a boat filled with hundreds of migrants most of whom were killed when attackers sank the vessel. While surviving days alone at sea, Al Zamel also saved the life of an infant and became the subject of a best-selling book “A Hope More Powerful Than the Sea.”
  • Suad Mohamed: From Somalia, she has lived in Saudi Arabia, Syria, Pakistan, and Austria. She speaks five languages and is currently learning her sixth: German. As a pharmacist, Mohamed works as an Assistant Consultant in the Österreichisches Rotes Kreuz and as an interpreter at Diakonie Österreich. Her aims are to spread awareness about refugee and migration issues, to improve the healthcare and pharmaceutical systems in developing countries, and to empower women.

An excerpt of the video “Escape from Syria: Rania’s Odyssey” was screened during the event to show a journey of Rania Mustafa Ali who filmed her flee from Syria to Austria. On the way, Ali was cheated by smugglers, teargassed and beaten at the Macedonian border. She also risked drowning in the Mediterranean, travelling in a boat meant to hold 15 people but stuffed with 52. Mustafa was also supposed to deliver keynote at the Centre’s event but could not make it due to unexpected flight issues.

BKMC CEO Monika Froehler delivered welcome remarks and also facilitated a Q&A session. Guests from various different sectors such as media, international organization, NGO, etc actively involved themselves in the conversations on the refugee crisis and sought for ways to solve the global issue and to empower those in need of help. A ‘female empowerment’ segment of a video filmed during the European Forum Alpbach capturing “Not Our Fate” was also screened and touched the audience.

Watch the full video of Rania’s Odyssey here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EDHwt-ooAi4