Checking in with Aya Chebbi, The African Union Youth Envoy

The Ban Ki-moon Centre had an informative online session with the first ever African Union Special Envoy on Youth and award-winning Pan-African feminist, Aya Chebbi, on Thursday, April 2.

 

The discussion was centered on the AU Youth Envoy´s amazing campaigns and projects in relation to the Coronavirus pandemic that she and her peers have put into action. Aya Chebbi emphasized that the young people of the African continent were working together and in synchronization in their fight against this difficult challenge. Access the African Union Youth Envoy website here.

 

Similar to the calls for solidarity from global leaders, she explained “The young generation is working on coordinated efforts and trying to reach every single person we can.” Mentioning the economic challenges of the situation, she underlined the importance of global response funds such as the one led by the World Health Organization and the donation of one million masks made by the Jack Ma foundation to the continent of Africa. Much more is still needed!

 

Working with volunteers and young change-makers, the African Union Youth Envoy has initiated multiple programs to include, educate and mobilize all countries in the region. Aya stated that young people are following the situation closely, trying to be a part of the solution and coming up with remarkable initiatives and action plans.

 

A pioneering project, the Collective Youth Program is a series of virtual consultations, now completing its 8th round, that allows groups of young people to meet online to discuss emotional and physical issues caused by the virus. During these sessions, the attendees are able to learn from each other, brainstorm and come up with action plans on how to tackle urgent problems. The project highlights cross-border cooperation. These enlightening consultations can be held by any person or institution interested. You can find more information and the registration process here.

 

Aya Chebbi also informed the BKMC on the launch of a new initiative called the African Youth Charter Hustlers, a youth-led Pan-African accountability movement, to engage African youths in continental, regional and country-level advocacy across the continent. For more information on youth policy makers you can click here.

‪Another response of the African Union Youth Envoy was to create hotlines for every country on the continent. Anyone who needs support can call these hotline numbers and reach out for the help they need.

 

The Union is leading many more inspiring projects on topics such as policy making, youth advocacy, women entrepreneurship and fundraising. Visit https://ayachebbi.com/ to follow this great initiative and get updates on African efforts and Aya Chebbi.

The first BKMC x UNESCO APCEIU collaborative online course is still available on GCED Online Campus!

The first collaborative online course project by BKMC and UNESCO APCEIU, “Becoming Global Citizens for a Sustainable Society,” introduced us the SDGs and the notion of Global Citizenship through the series of lectures by renowned experts from all over the world, interviews with scholars, advocates and representatives from all different sectors, and case presentations by active global citizens.

The course aims to examine and critically reflect on the revolving issues around the globe at local, national, and international levels by providing a platform where learners can virtually meet and learn from one another.

Through this course, learners could deepen their understanding of the SDGs and global citizenship, exchange and embrace different perspectives, and challenge their own assumptions.

Launched in September 2019, this course is a self-paced course that is open all year round to anyone who aspires to assume active roles in bringing meaningful changes to oneself and to global society!

“Becoming Global Citizens in a Sustainable Society” is comprised of five difference modules in which lectures, discussions, interviews or documentary films are included in respective topics.

Speakers of this course includes BKMC Co-chairs Ban Ki-moon and Heinz Fischer and a number of other stellar speakers from UN organizations, universities, NGOs, governments, and the private sector.

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

Here are some comments from the global citizen learners who took this course!

“This course was so insightful on such an important topic that we, unfortunately, do not talk about enough in our current education… It highlights topics that are so important in current events and link them together back to how there are so many ways, shapes and forms of innovative acts of global citizenship in our current environment.” – Hana Abdelatty

“This will enhance global participation towards sustainable development goals amongst youth across the globe.” – Samod Kadiri

“It is very helpful for us on how to create better solutions to fight against the problem in this world. This course is very important and teaches us to become a global citizen of our own.” – Cedrix Rodriguez

“This course has made me have a deeper understanding of what GCED is and am really encouraged take other courses in relations to global citizenship education.” – Glays Sakaula

The second collaborative online course on “Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment: A Pathway to Sustainable Development” is also out now on GCED Online Campus featuring amazing international figures including UN Youth Envoy Jayathma wickramanayake, Chair of The Elders Mary Robinson, Executive Director of UN Women Phumzile Mlambo-ngcuka and more. Check it out!

Co-chair Ban Ki-moon joins the SDG Academy’s edX online course “Conversations with Global Leaders.”

Today, BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon, former Secretary-General of United Nations, joined a Live Conversation in The SDG Academy edX Online Course “Conversations with Global Leaders.”
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During the live interview, Co-chair Ban talked about “The Importance of Global-Setting” with Professor Jeffrey Sachs, who also is a BKMC Board member.

The SDG Academy edX Online Course “Conversations with Global Leaders” is an initiative created by the United Nations Sustainable Development Social Network (UN SDSN), and this course aims to provide insights into questions about effective and inclusive leadership in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development such as Are good leaders born or are they made? What are the essential skills and strategies required when they must make tough decisions that impact global policies, people and our planet?

Throughout this course, professor Jeffrey Sachs, a BKMC Board member, interviews inspiring global leaders about an overarching theme that reflects the individual’s unique and diverse insights on the leadership necessary to create national and global movements towards sustainable development, including combating climate change, promoting and preserving human rights and ensuring peace and prosperity for all.

 

Click the photo to watch the Live Conversation.

 

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.


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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.
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© 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.

Co-chair Ban Ki-moon attends Brookings’ Alan and Jane Batkin International Leaders Forum

“We must educate the next generation in global citizenship. We must increase their understanding of climate change because they are our future leaders.”

On January 24, Co-chair Ban Ki-moon attended and spoke at the Alan and Jane Batkin International Leaders Forum hosted by Foreign Policy at Brookings Institute.

During this occasion, Co-chair Ban addressed the climate threats and its implications, climate justice, and climate leadership. In his international leadership roles, Co-chair Ban has been a prominent advocate of bringing climate change to the top of the global agenda, promoting sustainable development and highlighting how environmental degradation has disproportionately affected people in developing countries, especially women.

Stressing the importance of multilateralism, Co-chair Ban said,

“A ‘me vs. you’ mentality has no place in climate action. It is about ‘all of us vs. climate change’.”

He also said,

“If we do not solve the problem of climate change we will all be losers. I urge President Trump to return to the Paris Agreement.”

“We need disruption. We need to get urgent on climate. We need a new sense of global citizenship”

He also called world leaders and young generation to harness the mindset of global citizenship to cope of global challenges.

Mary Robinson, Chair of The Elders and former President of Ireland, said,

“The climate crisis must be the top priority for all leaders in 2020. It is not hyperbole to say that the fate of humanity as a whole rests on decisions taken this year.”

The event was opened with Brookings Vice President and Director of Foreign Policy Bruce Jones’ introductory remarks. Following remarks by Co-chair Ban and Chair of The Elders Mary Robinson, Brookings Senior Fellow and the SK-Korea Foundation Chair in Korea Studies Jung H. Pak joined them on stage for a conversation on climate change, human rights, adaptation measures, and global leadership in the face of a climate emergency.

Climate threats and climate justice: Action and adaptation for sustainable development – Part 1

Climate threats and climate justice: Action and adaptation for sustainable development – Part 2

© Ralph Alswang / Alswang Photography

Ban Ki-moon boldly calls for “All Hands-on Deck” approach to achieve the SDGs at the Cambridge Union

“If we continue to hold back [women that is] a half of the world’s population, it is simply impossible to reach our full potential on the three UN pillars of peace and security, sustainable development, and human rights.”

On January 21, Co-chair Ban Ki-moon visited the Cambridge Union and gave a keynote on “SDGs and Women,” followed by a Q&A session.

“I believe that multilateralism much be the glue that binds our targeted efforts together.”

Co-chair Ban Ki-moon started off his address by reiterating the importance of multilateralism. According to him, multilateralism is the key to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals in the world where nationalism, armed conflicts, climate crisis, and corruption are still rampant.

“We need to move forward with a sense of urgency with 10 years left to go.”

With respect to the fact that the progress of implementing the SDGs is indeed speeding up, Co-chair Ban also pointed out uneven rates of the implementation of the Global Goals across different regions. He boldly called for an “All Hands-on Deck” approach.

Co-chair Ban furthermore stressed the importance of women’s empowerment of their active participation in achieving the SDGs. He said,

“The Empowerment of women is a prerequisite to global responses to global challenges, which are inherently interconnected.”

As a concluding remark, Co-chair Ban encouraged the Cambridge students to take a role as an active global citizen in coping with global challenges, think beyond national boundaries, and harness a global vision to achieve a better future for our planet and for humanity. He said,

“We can create the future we want, one that is anchored in sustainability, inclusion, and empowerment for all people and our planet. But we must remember that the challenges we face are simply too enormous to be left in the hands of a few leaders. All of us have to work together in solidarity.”

The Cambridge Union Society is the oldest debating society in the world and has been defending free speech since its start in 1815.

Watch the full video.

 

© Nordin Ćatić / Cambridge Union

BKMC CEO Froehler and COO Harvey meet with the Korean Embassy to brief on the plans for 2020

Today, BKMC CEO Monika Froehler and COO Katrin Harvey had a fruitful meeting with Deputy Ambassador Yongsoo Lee, Counselor Eun Ju Park & First Secretary Ah-young Kim from the Embassy of Korea in Vienna.
 
During the meeting, Froehler introduced our new COO Katrin Harvey to the Korean delegation and updated them on the work of the Ban Ki-moon Centre and its upcoming events and plans for 2020. They also discussed on the topic of the Korean government’s various efforts in developing its ODA and global citizenship programs.
 
The Korean Embassy and the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens have been building a close relationship, as last year the Korean government was one of the major donors for the Centre and as Ambassador Shin Chae-hyun sits on the Centre’s Board.

Co-chair Ban Ki-moon Gives a Keynote during the 6th Seoul Climate-Energy Conference 2019

“The USA should return to Paris Climate Agreement…It is a political and moral responsibility of the US.”

On December 20, Co-chair Ban Ki-moon attended and gave a keynote at the 6th Seoul Climate-Energy Conference 2019 held in Seoul, Korea. 

The 6th Seoul Climate-Energy Conference, under the theme of “New Climate Regime and the New Normal,” placed heavy emphasis on global climate change discussions and international cooperation. This year’s conference endeavored to redefine what “normal” is as climate change that has been accelerated by unpredictability in global politics and pushes the globe close to the point of no-return. 

Renowned experts from academia, business, industry and policy together reviewed the outcomes of COP 25, examined the tole of higher education in sustainable development, discussed big data as the newest source of clean energy, revisited the importance of the renewable-nuclear alliance, and investigated the prospects of engaging young generations in climate change discussions.

Co-chair Ban Ki-moon emphasized the importance of getting support from political leaders to mitigate climate change effects and promote sustainable development, and said, 

“Every state should make choices for humanity rather than its own selfish national interests. It is the responsibility of sovereign states to engage in transnational cooperation and participate in global challenges.”

 

He also proposed a multilateral approach as a solution. Co-chair Ban said,

“Even a country with abundant resources like the US cannot solve such a multifaceted issue alone. We must act in unity to solve the problem.”

Co-chair Ban then presented an example of Bangladesh,

“In 1971, a fatal cyclone in Bangladesh resulted in more than 300,000 casualties. However, after devising appropriate policies to prevent future lose, the average number of yearly casualties due to cyclones dropped to less than 10. Likewise, if we implement proper measurements, we can adopt to climate change and prevent climate catastrophes.” 

As he concluded his keynote, Co-chair Ban said,

“Former President John F. Kennedy once said that we choose to go to the moon, not because they are easy, but because they are hard. Because solving climate change is also hard, we must do it and do it together.”

 

© Yonhap News

Co-chair Heinz Fischer Meets with BKMC Board Members and Henry Kissinger in New York

During the first week of December, BKMC Co-chair Heinz Fischer met with BKMC board members,  Ambassador Jan Kickert, Permanent Representative of Austria to the United Nations in New York, and former Secretary of US Department of State and former US National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger in New York, USA.

Co-chair Fischer visited Global Citizen office and met with Co-founder Michael Sheldrick, a BKMC Board member, and delivered a book called “The Republic of Austria 1918-2018: Milestone and Turning Points.”

With a mission of building a movement of 100 million action-taking Global Citizens, Global Citizen is helping to achieve their vision to end extreme poverty by 2030. Global Citizen has also launched the Global Citizen Prize to shine a light on world leaders, artists, business leaders and youth activists who keep the world’s poor at the forefront of their life’s work.

Fischer also met with his former Professor Henry Kissinger who served as Secretary of State of the US and Ambassador Jan Kickert, Permanent Representative of Austria to the United Nations in New York. During the meeting, they talked about current political affairs.

Co-chair Fischer also visited a BKMC Board member Danielle Bodini, President of the Alexander Bodini Foundation. Bodini is one of the major donors of the Ban Ki-moon Centre with his contributions to the Centre’s work on global citizenship and the Sustainable Development Goals through his Foundation. The US Foundation of the Ban Ki-moon Centre was also established and has been operating in support of the Bodini Foundation.