Global Citizen Scholar Samuel Afadu & Global Citizen Fellow Horia Sardarzada at VEF

The VEF Virtual Series “Empowering Women and Youth to Accelerate the Clean Energy Transition”, on January 12-13, invited women and young leaders to discuss how we can ensure a clean energy transition that is just and leaves no one behind.

For this year’s first virtual VEF session, we were excited to see our Global Citizen Scholar (2019) Samuel Kofi Afadu & Global Citizen Fellow (2019) Horia Sardarzada participate in the January Edition, focused on gender, youth and equity.

After introductory remarks, the session diverged into four Breakout Sessions on different themes. The session “Enabling Environment for Youth,” featured Global Citizen Scholar Samuel Kofi Afadu Co-founder of Light my World International, an NGO that is working to promote access to clean energy solutions to off-grid communities in Ghana. The session also featured Israel FaleyeMYSOLARBID LTD, Jichen Liu Clear Plate®, Pontsho Moletsane – GCIP South Africa 2017 Youth Winner, Esther Wanza – SDG7 Youth Constituency, Tracey CroweSeforAll, Anurag MalooSeedstars Asia-Pacific , and David OutRural Electrification Agency (REA).

Global Citizen Scholar Samuel commented how including youth is a prerequisite to a successful clean energy transition. He also highlighted that there is a need for youth to take action and that their actions should be taken seriously by decision-makers. “It is time for the youth to take action. The youth of today and the world will benefit or suffer from our actions and in-actions. Let’s take action in solving problems and connecting them with our passions, creating a sustainable and equitable world for all.”  

 

Global Citizen Fellow Horia Sardarzada, who is currently serving as Director-General of Early Childhood Care and Education ECCE/Kindergartens at Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs in Afghanistan, participated in the Breakout Session “Enabling Environment for Women,” alongside Sheila OparaochaENERGIA/Hivos, Abir El SaadiMinistry of Trade and Industry Egypt, Kerry MaxGlobal Affairs Canada, Kavita SinhaGreen Climate Fund, Marta Luca- SNAM, Jasmin Haider – Austrian Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation & Technology, and Reuben James Barrete – Male Champions of Change.

Horia pointed to gender norms, social and cultural practices, the lack of financial funds, and limited access to networks and partnerships as the main challenges women entrepreneurs face in equally leading, contributing to and benefiting from the clean energy transition.    

“Through the platform Women’s Initiatives for Sustainable Energy (WISE) we started to provide input, access to information for female fresh graduates who want to invest in green energy or do partnerships. We provided them with access to information, training, advocacy, where they could meet with financial organizations.”

Horia Sardarzada is founder of the organization Women’s Initiatives for Sustainable Energy (WISE), which is aiming to economically empower women in Afghanistan to invest in clean energy sector. 

Credits: https://twitter.com/ForumVienna/status/1350056114260504576

 

To watch a recap of the session, visit VEF Virtual Series

For more information about the VEF, visit VIENNA ENERGY FORUM

Ban Ki-moon Global Citizen Scholars 2020 – Closing Ceremony

On December 15, 2020, the Ban Ki-moon Global Citizen Scholarship Program 2020’s Closing Ceremony took place. The BKMC, together with RELX & University of Bordeaux awarded, six extraordinary African Global Citizen Scholars – Akosua PepraOduor Kevin, Hikmat Baba Dua, Tafadzwa Sachikonye, Barbara Nakijoba, and Ruvimbo Samangafor successfully completing the scholarship program and implementing outstanding SDG Micro-Projects in their communities 

The Ceremony was opened by Co-chair Ban Ki-moon, who greeted participants in a video statement and welcomed the scholars to the alumni family of the BKMC, expressing support and gratitude for the scholars’ contributions to the Agenda 2030: More than ever the world needs young leaders like yourselves. It makes me proud that you have chosen to be ambassadors of global citizenship and that we can consider you as a valued member of the BKMC family. 

Márcia Balisciano, Global Head of Corporate Responsibility at RELX Group and a valued member of the BKMC Board, also addressed the audience.  Márcia Balisciano expressed RELX’s enthusiasm for funding the Ban Ki-moon Global Citizen Scholarship Program 2020 while sharing exciting news, We are thrilled to have participated in this program and we would like to announce that we would like to fund this program again next year.”  

BKMC CEO Monika Froehler also congratulated the scholars and emphasized the impact they have created with their projects: This is exactly what a global citizen mindset is about: global citizen values and 21st-century skills. We are honored that we had the chance to have worked with you.  

The University of Bordeaux, represented by Vice President for External Relations Stéphanie Debette, shared her words of congratulations and also positive feedback from professors at the university who mentored the scholars during their SDG Micro-project implementation.

The highlight of the ceremony was the presentations by our GC scholars where they shared the impact they have created in their communities. 

To improve the livelihoods of widows and orphans involved in farming, GC Scholar Akosua Pepra developed the SDG Micro-Project “Climate Resilient Agriculture for Widows and Orphans in Rural Communities in Ghana” (SDGs 1, 2, 5 and 13).  


Barbara Nakijoba, deeply passionate about youth empowerment, conceptualized the “Youth take the lead”  in the Rugaba Division in Uganda to create a more peaceful society by reducing crime by 2021 (SDG 16). 


Action4Periods by Hikmat Baba Dua, created a safe space for 60 women and girls in rural communities in Mbanaailiy (Ghana) by engaging elders, women and girls to discuss the stigma of menstrual hygiene and produced 60-70 reusable pads, improving access to menstrual products (SDG 3, 4, 5 and 13).  


 

GC scholar Oduor Kevin founded INFO4FOOD, as he realized that food waste was dumped on the roads by vendors contributing to environmental degradation. With his project he prevented post-harvest losses, reaching 87 households in Kenya.


 

Ruvimbo Samanga’s project Agrispace, helps farmers in Zimbabwe gather missing agricultural data by using satellite technology to monitor agricultural productivity, leading to more sustainable and climate-resilient practices. The program can map different agricultural zones providing soil data, weather soil analysis, and monitoring crop health and irrigation, allowing farmers to have better time and yield tools for crops. Agrispace contributes to many SDGs, particularly SDG 2 for “zero hunger” and target 2.1.2 for “food insecurity”.


Tafadzwa Sachikonye raised public and private awareness for improved urban wastewater system in Zimbabwe with her project Waterclix for sustainable urban water systems in Zimbabwe (SDG 6 and also 3, 5, 13).  

   

In the last part of the evening, Program Officer Julia Zimmerman awarded the scholars with their certificate of achievement, and Co-chair Heinz Fischer offered closing remarks, commending all GC scholars 2020 on their efforts, You showed resilience, passion and transformed challenges into opportunities. 

We want to congratulate all of our GC scholars 2020! We are immensely proud of the results of your hard work and look forward to seeing what you do next! Additionally, we want to thank our partners RELX Group and the University of Bordeaux again for their wonderful support and collaboration for the program this year! 

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

The second BKMC x UNESCO APCEIU collaborative online course is now available on GCED Online Campus!

Today on February 21st, 2020, the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens is pleased to officially launch its second collaborative online course with UNESCO APCEIU on GCED Online Campus. Those who are interested in learning about the issues surrounding gender equality and how to effectively tackle the issues and contribute to empowering women and girls are cordially invited to take the course. This course provides global citizens an opportunity to learn from global leaders, experts and advocates from across sectors: international organizations, universities, NGOs, governments, and corporations. While our first course introduced the overall concept of global citizenship and the SDGs, our second course focuses on the topics of gender equality and women’s empowerment with a combination of the series of lectures by renowned international experts on concepts, theories and thematic areas, interviews with scholars, UN representatives, change makers, case presentations of innovative approaches and practices by global citizens all around the world. Understanding the 5th SDG – the multifaceted issues around it and the efforts put forth worldwide to achieve it – is the foundation for this course. Particularly, the course aims to examine and critically reflect on the revolving issues around both gender equality and women’s empowerment with sustainable development by providing a platform where learners can virtually meet and learn from one another. It brings a critical eye to gender inequality and how it is addressed in the field of sustainable development. Learners will be able to deepen their understanding of gender equality and women’s empowerment, exchange and embrace different perspectives, and challenge their own assumptions. The course invites those who see themselves as global citizens as well as who aspire to assume active roles in bringing meaningful changes to oneself and so the society they are in. “Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment: A Pathways to Sustainable Development” is comprised of five modules: (1) Introduction to Gender Equality and Women’s Rights (2) Gender Equality in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (3) Women’s Empowerment (4) Critical Issues on Gender Equality (5) Plan for Action Paving the Way to Equality 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 Please invite those around you, who see themselves as global citizens as well as who aspire to assume active roles in bringing meaningful changes to oneself and to global society! Register HERE.

BKMC CEO Monika Froehler meets with IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi

On February 18th, BKMC CEO Monika Froehler made an official visit to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) headquarters in Vienna and met with IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ During this meeting, CEO Monika Froehler and Program Officer Julia Zimmerman briefed IAEA Director-General Rafael Grossi and his team on the works of BKMC and discussed potential avenues of cooperation, particularly related to education and the empowerment of women. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ © Dean Calma / IAEA

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 Holds the Reception marking the Launch #OrangeTheWorld Campaign in Austria

November 25 marks the International Day for the Eliminating of Violence against Women and the start of 16 Days of Activism to put an end to violence against women. Every year, the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens cooperates with UN Women Austria, Soroptimist International Austria and HeForShe Graz to implement the global #OrangeTheWorld Campaign in Austria to raise awareness of the fact that women around the world are subject to rape, domestic violence and other forms of violence. On November 25, BKMC successfully launched the campaign of 2019 in the Centre. Co-chair Heinz Fischer and CEO Monika Froehler delivered welcome remarks, while Co-chair Ban Ki-moon sent words of appreciation with a video message. Representatives of the co-organizers Eliette Thurn from Soroptimist International Austria and Marcela Muniz Pivaral from UN Women Austria stressed the urgency of raising awareness for this topic. Head of HeForShe Graz, Bernhard Gollob, moderated a panel discussion with representatives from Austrian Victim Support Groups, entities that are based in Austrian hospitals and that are essential for detecting and preventing violence against women. We were grateful to our partners without whom it would not be possible to achieve such a large-scale contribution on behalf of Austria to this global campaign. © BKMC / Eugenie Berger

WEP GCC Fellows Participate in a Round Table: Effective Women Leaders

“I don’t want you to lower your expectation, but I want you to lower your self-criticism.”  – Helena Zimmerdahl from the Embassy of Sweden
Women’s Empowerment Program (WEP) is in its full swing! As a part of BKMC’s Women’s Empowerment Program, WEP GCC fellows participated in a Round Table hosted in Diplomatic Academy of Vienna on November 19. At this Round Table, Susanne Keppler-Schlesinger, Deputy Director of the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna, featured as a moderator at the Round Table. Speakers were: Lulua Asaad from UNODC, Maggie Childs from Metropole and Austrian Startups, Mona Ali Khalil from MAK Law International, and Helena Zimmerdahl from the Embassy of Sweden to Austria. Lulua Asaad asked the fellows a critical question: “What does leadership mean to you?”

“It is important to have support from women within your network, while not neglecting the role of men.”

She also added that leadership is not about a position one is in, but responsibility leaders are capable of taking in their world. Regarding women’s empowerment, Mona Ali Khalil said,

“Empowerment of women requires men who are enlightened and women who are willing empower each other.”

As an international lawyer, she stressed that gender parity policies should be actual actions rather than lip service and should effectively address sexual harassment/sexual discrimination issues that still exist everywhere across the sectors. Minister-Counselor Helena Zimmerdahl pinpointed ‘transparency’ as an important trait of a good leader and said we must “speak up” for ourselves to make our voices heard. Zimmerdahl also advised the fellows to

“look at yourself and your accomplishments from the outside” in order to empower themselves.

Maggie Childs emphasized the need for getting help from mentors, friends and other experts when necessary and said,

“You don’t have to know everything before you do it… It is lonely at the top. You need to have your private space and friends who just listen to you. Having those friends would make you feel less lonely.”

A follow-up workshop was facilitated by WEP Project Coordinator Viola Christian from the Ban Ki-moon Centre. The fellows were grouped into 5 and discussed advice and points made from the Round Table, which they created their own manifesto with. © BKMC / Eugenie Berger For more photos of the event, visit BKMC album.

Co-chair Ban Ki-moon Visits IMO HQ in London

​Beating climate change and achieving the targets set in the United Nations Sustainable Development Agenda are the two defining challenges of our time, according to co-chair Ban Ki-moon, who warned against rising unilateralism. “In times of increasing discord, I believe that achieving the UN SDGs and meeting the Paris Climate Change Agreement are two efforts that should unite all nations, all industry and all civil society,” co-chair Ban said, addressing an audience of representatives of IMO Member States, NGOs and IMO staff at IMO Headquarters in London on October 28. Co-chair Ban lauded IMO’s work on climate change, including the adoption of the initial IMO GHG strategy, as well as the Organization’s work, including capacity building, to promote a safer, more secure and more environment-friendly shipping industry.

“Taking stock of the current realities of global development and climate change, I believe IMO and shipping industry are well positioned to help navigate us toward safer harbors,” co-chair Ban said.

IMO’s focus on empowering women through its 2019 World Maritime theme and ongoing gender program was singled out for praise by co-chair Ban, who himself established UN Women to champion gender equality during his time as UN Secretary-General. Companies with women on their boards do better, he reminded the audience – while women and children are disproportionately affected by the impacts of poverty, climate change and conflict. IMO’s commitment to supporting the ocean goal, SDG 14, including its work to address marine plastic litter, was also highlighted. Shipping itself is vital to world trade and development – and the achievement of many SDGs. With 11 years to go to fulfill the goals set out in all 17 SDGs,
“we need an all hands on deck approach where everyone joins together in multi stakeholder partnership,” co-chair Ban said. “Considering the great importance of the shipping industry for our economies and the environment, IMO truly represents the vanguard of global efforts to build a more prosperous and sustainable global future.”
Source IMO © IMO