“You cannot be what you cannot see,” says BKMC CEO Monika Froehler at her mentoring session for Muslim youth

“You cannot be what you cannot see!”
said CEO Monika Froehler of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens at the mentoring session taken place at the Centre on May 8th, 2019. As part of the Centre’s project  “Mentoring for Austrian Muslim Women – Global Citizens at Work,” Froehler met with her mentee from the Muslim Youth Austria (Muslimische Jugend Österreich) and discussed about the importance of having inspirations around for one to be empowered

As girls often do not see enough women leaders around them to have them as their role models, Froehler said that it is challenging for them to take further steps to reach their goals. Aspiring leaders need leaders that reflect themselves and that they can look up to.The two also talked about the crucial role of social entrepreneurship in advancing the SDGs.

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

Global Citizen Festival initiated 5.65M actions led to 58 commitments and announcements

Global Citizen, the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens’ partner, successfully hosted the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 on December 2nd, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa. In celebration of the centenary of Nelson Mandela, the festival aimed to raise awareness of the need for more people taking actions for reaching the Global Goals including ending the extreme poverty and achieving gender equality. It featured the world-renowned artists such as Beyoncé, JAY-Z, Ed Sheeran, and many others, for which the tickets were given out for free to those who have successfully taken actions to make a social impact as global citizens.

Over 5.65 million actions were led to 58 commitments and announcements worth $7,207,436,824, which amount is set to affect the lives of 137,368,628 people in the worldGlobal Citizen surpassed its goal for commitments of USD $1 billion by seven times, with commitments from the World Bank, Vodacom, PEPFAR, Cisco, the government of South Africa and not to mention co-hosts of Mandela 100, the Motsepe Foundation. These donations alone added $5.4 billion on top of projected new commitments.

Top commitments:

  • Neglected Tropical Diseases: The fight to end debilitating, disfiguring, and fatal Neglected Tropical Diseases took a big step forward with impressive commitments from the END Fund, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, UK Aid, Virgin Unite, the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, the ELMA Foundation (UK), Mozambique, Botswana, and Belgium worth $149.9 million.
  • HIV/AIDS: A number of significant pledges were made in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Ambassador Deborah Birx, on behalf of the United States, made an historic commitment of $1.2 billion channelled through PEPFAR on Global Citizen’s stage. It is the largest pledge the US government has made to HIV/AIDS. Alongside this pledge, the Global Fund committed $369 million in South Africa over the next 3 years. Of this sum, USD $90 million is set to go towards preventing new HIV infections among adolescent girls and young women most at risk.
  • Motsepe Foundation: The hosting and presenting partner of the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 announced a series of massive commitments totaling over USD $104.4 million. These commitments, announced by Dr. Precious Motsepe and Patrice Motsepe are set to advance education, economic inclusion, and equality of women and girls, as well as to ensure that current land discussions and processes in South Africa will result in land being made available to black people living in rural and urban areas.
  • South Africa: His Excellency Cyril Ramaphosa, President of South Africa, former anti-apartheid leader alongside Nelson Mandela, addressed the FNB Stadium and viewers around the world with a message of Global Citizenship, committing RAND 2 million for youth in South Africa, and announcing the government’s intention to spend RAND 6 billion to provide free access to school for poor children in South Africa.
  • Education: Significant strides were made to #FundEducation, with Sierra Leone committing to increase its education budget to 21.5%, Canada committing CAD $50,000,000 to Education Cannot Wait, and Germany committing to double its funding of the Global Partnership for Education from €18M to €37M and to increase its funding of Education Cannot Wait by €15M for a total of €31M. The government of Kenya also made a bold commitment to spend close to 30% of its budget on education.

Top announcements

  • The US Congressional Black Caucusannounced bipartisan support for taking action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals through United States leadership and foreign aid.
  • Ireland’s Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announced that Ireland will increase its aid budget by 15% in 2019, working toward its goal of allocating 0.7% of its total budget to ODA.
  • Ghana has taken the lead alongside a number of Commonwealth countries and signed onto the Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace – a digital peace initiative.

Read more about what impacts the actions of the global citizens have brought: https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/mandela-100-impact-report-2018/

Photo: Jens Meyer / AP Images

The Ban Ki-moon Centre Hosts Workshop on “The Global Citizen Mindset” at JCI World Congress in Goa, India

On November 1st, 2018, the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens hosted a workshop at Junior Chamber International’s (JCI) World Congress in Goa, India. The workshop was facilitated by the Centre’s Associate Julia Zimmerman.

The session was entitled “The Global Citizen Mindset.” It focused on advocacy and included examples of best practices which were featured on the panel. Besides sharing best practices, the session helped participants learn more about opportunities to engage in advocacy both through JCI-led initiatives and other global initiatives.

The first part of the session included an introduction of advocacy, global citizenship, and the Ban Ki-moon Centre as well as a short presentation by the Kofi Annan Foundation’s Extremely Together initiative working to combat violent extremism. In addition to receiving an overview of the initiative, a representative from Extremely Together, Hassan Ndugwa from Uganda, shared his personal experience with violent extremism with the participants.

After this, a panel was invited to the stage to share their insights. The panel included Maud Roure from Extremely Together and the Kofi Annan Foundation, Adetola Juyitan from I am Africa Nigera, Pascal Dike from Peace is Possible, Kevin Hin from Step Up  For Europe, and Heidi Solba from Let’s Do it World and World Cleanup Day.

During the panel, the panelists were asked about the challenges young people face in building and growing movements and what it takes for movements to have sustainable societal and political impact.

Following the Q&A, participants split up into groups with the panelists for round-table discussions. During the round-table discussions, participants considered the challenges as well as the solutions they have encountered in their own work or in the work of other initiatives. They also discussed which community stake-holders must be engaged in order to address issues in a powerful and meaningful way.

After the round-table discussions, the facilitator shared the different ways to get involved with the initiatives spotlighted at the session and encouraged those present to engage as advocates with a “global citizen mindset.”

The Ban Ki-moon Centre looks forward to partnership with JCI on more exciting events in the future. Learn more about the initiatives mentioned and find out ways to get involved by clicking on the names that are linked to their websites.

Global Citizenship Initiatives (GCI) Portal is finally launched!

The Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens finally launched the Global Citizenship Initiatives (GCI) Portal on its website today! The portal lists fellowships, academic programs, and on-going initiatives for global citizenship world-wide. The portal is for anyone interested in getting to know about global citizenship by taking academic courses and/or by getting involved in the existing initiatives. The users can search for initiatives in different countries and discover how to engage as global citizens. After selecting a country of choice or an online course, one can sort out the programs that fit his or her age group or profession.

As the GCI Portal is an active platform to which the users can add other existing initiatives in the world by submitting a feedback form which button is located on the bottom of the portal page. When suggesting an initiative to be included on the portal, the users should fill out the name of the entity, the program name, the location (country), and the website address of the initiative as well as the email address of the contact person or the program’s executive office.

With the contributions of global citizens from all over the world, the GCI Portal will grow bigger and bigger and will lead aspiring all the global citizens out there to be more active in achieving the Global Goals and be responsible for making the world better for all.

Discover the GCI Portal here: https://bankimooncentre.org/projects/gci-portal

Global Citizen Festival gathered global citizens in New York and urged them to “Be the Generation!”

Global Citizen, a partner of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens, held “Global Citizen Festival” in New York, the US last week! The festival featured renowned artists such as the Weekend, Janet Jackson, Shawn Mendes, Cardi B, and Janelle Monäe with a special guest John Legend. Doborra-lee Furness and Hugh Jackman hosted the stage.

Around 60,000 global citizens attended the festival after taking actions on raising awareness and urging leaders to make changes on the global issues we have faced, including but are not limited to poverty, refugee crisis, environmental disaster, health and wealth, and discrimination and inequality. Free tickets to the festival were given to the ones who shared and promoted the important messages on their social media account, sent out emails to the relevant people and/or organizations that can contribute to making changes in policy, and so on.

These actions of the public are essential in helping to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030 as part of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which further information can be found here. According to Global Citizen, the action initiators throughout the world have generated commitments and policy announcements from leaders valued at over $37.9 billion that are set to affect the lives of more than 2.25 billion people. In 2018 alone, the campaign secured 29 commitments totaling over $2.9 billion that would positively affect more than 501 million people by 2030.

Anyone can be involved in the campaign and earn a free ticket for the next Global Citizen Festival that will take place in Johannesburg, South Africa on December 2, 2018. For more information, refer to this link: https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/festival/south-africa/

Photo: Mengwen Cao for Global Citizen

Premiere of “Not Our Fate” – European Forum Alpbach 2018

This past August at European Forum Alpbach in Austria, Nour Barakeh premiered her theatre piece “Not Our Fate,” a powerful play about the societal dynamics that perpetuate conflict and the pursuit of peace. Ban Ki-moon Centre Co-chairs Ban Ki-moon and Heinz Fischer as well as Board members joined the audience at the premiere.

Barakeh is a young playwright who has experienced life as a refugee firsthand. To create the play, Barakeh conducted interviews in her native Syria, gathering firsthand accounts of life during war and the stages of mutual accusation, estrangement, and finally, shared awareness. The characters in the piece are portrayed by youth of different nationalities and backgrounds, underscoring the universality of the topic.

The play opens with Doaa, a character portrayed by Doaa Al Zamel, real-life subject of the book “A Hope More Powerful than the Sea: One Refugees’s Incredible Story of Love, Loss, and Survival” by Melissa Flemming. In the play, Doaa speaks about her experience of war, loss, and of her survival.

After Doaa, other characters share their stories and slowly begin pointing fingers at one another, blaming others for their fates. This climaxes in anger and accusations coming from all sides. Suddenly, the room falls silent and the characters turn their backs on one another.

Zina, portrayed by Barakeh, seeks to mediate by explaining the circumstances that led to their current plight, calling for cooperation and understanding. Slowly, the actors turn one by one to face one another, taking hands. This final symbol of unity and peace is profound and moving.

When asked about her experience premiering the play in Alpbach, Barakeh stated,

“’Not Our Fate’ is a real revelation from the heart and a rational analysis seeking methods to build peace among youth in conflict situations. Together with my colleagues from different continents we worked and represented diversity at European Forum Alpbach 2018.”

Having former Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and former Federal President of Austria Heinz Fischer in the audience was particularly meaningful for Barakeh,

“As the Syrian problem symbolizes our world’s interrelated problems, I was honored to perform this piece in front of the man who looked at the core of our interrelated problems and said, ‘leave no on behind.’ Dr. Ban Ki-moon and former Austrian President Dr. Heinz Fischer honored us with their presence.”

 

To learn more about the play, check out the video produced by the ORF Akademie 18’ at European Forum Alpbach (German).

Photo by Laurent Ziegler / European Forum Alpbach

Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens Featured at European Forum Alpbach 2018

Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens’ Co-chairs, Board members, and all its staffs participated in European Forum Alpbach (EFA) 2018. President Franz Fischler of EFA welcomed the BKM Centre during the opening plenary session of the political symposium, at which Co-chair Ban Ki-moon delivered a keynote speech on sustainable development and the future of the world. The full text of the keynote speech can be found here.

EFA is an international forum where experts from different fields such as arts, culture, economics, legislation, financial market, health, politics, etc. gather to freely share their expertise, knowledge, and ideas. Given the fact that it is hosted in a rural area surrounded by mountains, the forum provides a rather unique experience to its participants to network in relatively more open-minded setting.

Some of the Centre’s Board members were featured in breakout sessions and discussions at the forum where hundreds of professionals and aspiring youth leaders gathered to learn and expand their knowledge.

More information about the sessions held for the political symposium can be found here: https://www.alpbach.org/en/event/pol18/
Pictures of the BKM Centre’s engagements during EFA are available here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/141786750@N06/albums

Photo: Laurent Ziegler / European Forum Alpbach

Ban Ki-moon Urges Global Citizens to Act Proactively for the Climate Issues at the SIWW Water Dialogue

During the Singapore International Water Week (SIWW), Ban Ki-moon gave a keynote address as a distinguished guest to open the Water Dialogue session. The session was part of the Water Leaders Summit on the topic of “Create: Solutions for our Future” and saught to share insights, trends, and solutions concerning water management and sanitation.

Ban emphasized the importance of the water issues and working together to combat climate change, stating that at least 2 billion people in the world do not have access to safe drinking water. He reminded the attendees that “we are all global citizens” and that we have to proactively take actions for the climate issues that are global issues.

During the SIWW, Ban also mentioned about the US withdrawal from the Paris Agreement in an interview with CNBC:

“Now with the United States pulling from this Paris agreement, I’m concerned now how to mobilize the necessary financial support for many developing countries who do not have the capacity to address this climate change issues. They do not have any responsibilities historically speaking. Therefore it is absolute necessary that the international community uses its political will to work on this matter.”

Source: https://www.siww.com.sg/
Source & Photo: https://www.facebook.com/siww.com.sg
Interview: https://www.cnbc.com/2018/07/10/i-sincerely-hope-that-the-us-will-come-back-says-ban-ki-moon.html