Mobilising to Advance the SDGs – A Joint Event and Interactive Panel

On March 3, the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens together with European Union Delegation in Vienna (Twitter: @euunvie), Joint SDG Fund (Twitter: @JointSDGFund), and The OPEC Fund for International Development (Twitter: @TheOPECFund) hosted a panel discussion on the successes and challenges of mobilising to advance the SDGs and the 2030 Agenda.

The event was opened by His Excellency Ambassador Stephan Klement, EU Ambassador and Head of Delegation of the European Union to the International Organisations in Vienna. Followed by the warm welcome from Deputy Head of Representation of the European Commission in Austria, Wolfgang Bogensberger.

Co-chair Heinz Fischer delivered opening remarks before the panel discussion. Sharing his personal experience of his presidency of the Republic of Austria, he emphasised the importance of cooperation to achieve the SDGs.

Co-chair Heinz Fischer went on to talk about the previous Millenium Development Goals and how the Sustainable Development Goals developed, integrating lessons learned from the MDGs. Co-chair Heinz Fischer did not hesitate to also mention the difficulties when it comes to the implementation of the SDGs.

“Even if the the SDGs might not be entirely perfect, they are currently the best instrument to indicate the diverse situations of each country and stress that each country must do its share to achieve a world in which peace and prosperity is a given, leaving no one behind.”

In subsequence, the panel discussion, moderated by Ms. Mona Khalil, provided more detail on how international institutions mobilise to advance the SDGs. The speakers included

  • Ms. Katrin Harvey, Chief Operating Officer, Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens
  • Mr. Gautam Babbar, Chief of Strategic Planning and Interagency Affairs, United Nations
  • Mr. Walid Mehalaine, Head, Grants and Technical Assistance Unit, OPEC Fund

It became evident, that the organizations concentrate on strategically investing their efforts and resources in projects and programs that promise the biggest impact to advance the SDGs. Nevertheless, the speakers highlighted that the impact of any project remains minimal if the commitment of national governments towards the SDGs is limited. The annual 2.5 trillion USD funding gap that continues to exist needs to be tackled through multilateral partnerships if the SDGs are to be achieved by 2030.

In the Q&A session, following the panel discussion, the audience showed through interactive and dynamic engagement that the SDGs are a priority issue, not only for international organizations but also for academia, the private sector and civil society actors.

We thank our partners for the fruitful cooperation that made this event a success!

BKMC CEO Monika Froehler speaks at the Sunday Brunch hosted by the Members of the European Parliament

The Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens’ CEO Monika Froehler spoke at a monthly event hosted by MEP (Member of the European Parliament) Lukas Mandl in Vienna on November 17th.

“The European Union countries provide great examples of how the SDGs can be best implemented. The UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network and Bertelsmann Stiftung‘s SDG Index and Dashboards ranking countries globally are the evidence to that. The Ban Ki-moon Centre is working with this data to do its share, ” said Froehler, introducing the work and mandate of the Centre to the audience.

 

This time, the event was specially co-hosted by MEP Barbara Thaler and Lukas Mandl and featured Ambassador Sami Ukelli of the Embassy of Kosovo in Vienna together with BKMC CEO Froehler as special speakers.

© MEP Lukas Mandl’s Office

“Do not erect walls; build bridges!” Ban Ki-moon urges at the 4th International Growth in Transition Conference

“Sustainable development must become the hallmark of this era,”

claimed BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon at the “4th International Growth in Transition Conference” hosted by Austrian Presidency of the Council of the European Union 2018 at the Austria Center Vienna on November 14th, 2018. This year, the conference focused on topic of ‘Europe’s Transformation: Where People Matter.’

The conference was facilitated by Mr. Peter Woodward, Co-Founder and Director of Quest Associates, and featured Minister Elisabeth Koestinger of the Federal Ministry for Sustainability and Tourism of Austria and Deputy Director-General Wolfgang Burtscher of the Research and Innovation Department at the European Commission.

The participants actively participated in discussing sustainability and were given time to introduce their work to each other.

During the moderated discussion session, Co-chair Ban said that “there is no country in the world that can solve the global issues alone no matter how powerful a country may be” and stressed that global citizenship should be fostered among people.

Ban also emphasized the importance of advancing the SDGs during his keynote speech. The implementation of the SDGs, he said, should be done in the effort of finding #challenges that the world faces. Doing so, Co-chair Ban stressed that empowering youth and women should be the priority. During his tenure as the UN Secretary-General, Ban has established UN Women and UN Youth Envoy.

During the press conference with Minister Koestinger, Ban shared his deep concerns that multilateralism is now under attack. He urged world leaders to be more united to better cooperate and address global challenges together.

“So many people are with passion, and not enough with compassion,”

Ban stressed the importance of tackling global problems with compassion and moral attitude.

“Do not erect walls; build bridges!”

 

Watch the live-streamed video of the conference here:

4th International Growth in Transition Conference: ‘Europe’s Transformation: Where People Matter’- Opening- Key Conference Challenges- Keynote – Sustainable Development: The Pathway To The Future- Political Panel: "Politics, People And Transition" – Introduction to the "Call To Action" Challenge

Gepostet von Austrian Presidency of the Council of the European Union 2018 am Mittwoch, 14. November 2018

 

Watch the live-streamed press conference here:

Jetzt live: Pressekonferenz anlässlich der 4. Internationalen Wachstum im Wandel-Konferenz mit Nachhaltigkeitsministerin Elisabeth Köstinger und Ban Ki-Moon (ehemaliger Generalsekretär der Vereinten Nationen und Vorsitzender des Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens)

Gepostet von Für ein nachhaltiges Österreich am Mittwoch, 14. November 2018

“Are International Treaties in Jeopardy?”

The Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens and the Austrian Federal Ministry of Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs (BMEIA) co-organized a forum titled “Are International Treaties in Jeopardy?” in Vienna, Austria on November 13th, 2018.

Prior to the forum, BKMC Co-chairs Ban Ki-moon and Heinz Fischer and CEO Monika Froehler had a meeting with Minister Karin Kneissl, Ambassador Andreas Riecken, Cabinet Karl Ehrlich of the Minister, and Deputy Spokesperson Peter Guschelbauer at the Ministry.

The forum facilitated discussions on international treaties and rapidly changing status quo of the global society to seek for global solutions for global challenges impacting international relations. Both Co-chairs of the Centre delivered a keynote.

Co-chair Fischer, former Austrian President, said that

“The commitment solves challenges and problems like migration through cooperation.”

He continued,

“there is still a long way to go, and we have learned that we must work this way together, respecting each other, compromising our own national benefit in order to sustainably pursue this project of humankind.”

Co-chair Ban, former United Nations Secretary-General, highly criticized that Austria has recently withdrawn from the global compact on migration.

“Ever since the Vienna Convention on the law of treaties was signed almost fifty years ago,” Ban said, “commitments are eroding, treaties are disrespected, and agreements are ignored.”

He emphasized that political leaders should approach global issues with moral perspective rather than following their political will.

“World leaders, they led global visions, global citizenship; they always speak loud and clearly that “I work for humanity.” But, when they go back to national governments, they all become national leaders. That is why I really want to foster global citizenship. We need to work together. Nothing can be done alone.”

In order to solve the global issues, Ban said that it is important for the states to advance the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that must be owned by the member states who should prioritize supporting “women, young people, and the least advantaged.”

During the panel discussion, Co-chair Fischer also pointed out that the international rule of law should be the final goal for a state to reach and that one has to rely on international treaties and agreements.

Minister Kneissl, Deputy Spokesperson Guschelbauer, and Head Thomas Hajnoczi of Disarmament Department of the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs were also featured on the panel as well as Ms. Mona Ali Khalil, former Senior Legal Officer with the UN Office of the Legal Counsel, and Professor Gerhard Hafner for International Law at the University of Vienna.

Watch Co-chair Ban Ki-moon’s keynote: https://youtu.be/dNlaAP0nP2s
Watch Co-chair Heinz Fischer’s keynote: https://youtu.be/JqaFieHNevM

Photo: Ashraf Mahmoud / BMEIA

Women Mediator’s Networks Meeting in Oslo: Connecting for Inclusive Peace-Making

This past March 2018, the CEO of the Ban Ki-moon Centre Monika Froehler participated in the inaugural meeting of regional women mediators’ networks in Oslo, Norway. The gathering brought together members from the already established womens’ networks, including the Nordic Women Mediators Network (est. 2015), FemWise-Africa (est. 2017), and the Mediterranean Women Mediators Network (est. 2017). They were joined by representatives from the UN Secretary-General’s High Level Advisory Board on Mediation and UN entities including the Executive Office of the Secretary-General, the Department of Political Affairs and UN Women. In addition, representatives from the African Union (AU), the European Union (EU), the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), as well as members of the Commonwealth Secretariat, civil society and academia, took part in the meeting to discuss the vital role of women in peace processes.

17 years have passed since the adaption of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security. Since its adaption, the positive and decisive role played by women in peace processes has been widely acknowledged by the international community. The inclusion of women has been shown to be crucial, not only in matters of women’s rights, but also to improve operational effectiveness, build resilience, prevent and resolve conflicts, and to sustain peace. Despite this widespread knowledge supported by evidence and robust research, women remain drastically underrepresented in peace and security talks.

The gathering discussed ways to increase the representation of women in peace and security processes. The Nordic Women Mediators Network hosted the meeting along with the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Norwegian Centre for Conflict Resolution (NOREF), and the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO). Norwegian Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide, UN Under-Secretary-General Ana Maria Menendez, Nobel Peace Laureate Leymah Gbowee, and former UN Under-Secretarty-General Noeleen Heyzer, all spoke at the event.

All attendees agreed to continue working together to promote the inclusion of women in peace processes by seeking-out synergies and looking into the option of creating a global network of women mediators. As a first step towards the goal of creating an alliance of regional women mediator networks, an initial contact group was formed.

Summarizing the goals and aspirations of the group, the Norwegian Foreign Minister Søreide stated,
“It is my hope that this initiative will contribute to progress in this field, and that the next reports of the Secretary-General on women, peace and security will show an increase in women’s participation in mediation, and an increase in women’s influence in peace processes.”