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 Pepra, Oduor Kevin, Hikmat Baba Dua, Tafadzwa Sachikonye, Barbara Nakijoba, and Ruvimbo Samanga – for 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!
On 10 and 11 December, RAUN held its online closing event for this year’s program “Partnership and Cooperation for the Future: 75 Years of UN Action”. This event is particularly important as it highlights the results of each research group and gives them the opportunity to present their outcomes to their mentors and peers. At the end of the 2-day conference, the RAUN scholars received their well-deserved certificates, even if only virtually this time.
The Ban Ki-moon Centre participated in Session II called “Citizen and Community Education” on the first day of the conference. CEO Monika Froehler gave an input speech about the challenges and opportunities of quality education. She stressed that discrimination, nationalism, human rights abuses, and corruption can be fought through global citizenship education (GCED) and communal sports, referring to the topics of the session’s research groups.
The BKMC RAUN scholars presented the methodology and results of their paper on “Global Citizenship Education in the European Union: Dimensions and Differences”. With the creation of 114 qualitative indicators, Andreas, Helena, and Jülide tackled the blind spots of GCED and investigated its concrete application. They concluded that in GCED, the focus lies on the learning process, moral development within, dialogue, and empathy.
Jessica Besch, Executive Assistant to Co-Chairman Heinz Fischer, commented on the group’s work and her experience as a mentor.
The second group presentation on “Promoting Peace and Security through Sports: Lessons Learned from Selected Youth Programs (OSCE)” was followed by a panel discussion, opening the floor to the audience to ask questions about the respective research topics.
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. (Check out https://auyouthenvoy.org/) Aya Chebbi emphasized that the young people of the African continent were working together and in synchronization in their fight against this difficult challenge. 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 African Union COVID-19 Response Fund, the one led by the World Health Organization and the donation of 1.5 million test kits 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 Virtual AU Youth Consultations on COVID-19 for Youth Collective Response in collaboration with Africa CDC, is a series of virtual consultations, now completing its 10th round, convened 150 youth leaders from 40 countries, 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.
“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 SakaulaThe 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!
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.” ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 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.
Speech by Co-chair Ban Ki-moon
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.
“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,
He also said,
“A ‘me vs. you’ mentality has no place in climate action. It is about ‘all of us vs. climate change’.”
“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.”
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,
“We need disruption. We need to get urgent on climate. We need a new sense of global citizenship”
“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
“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.
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.
“I believe that multilateralism much be the glue that binds our targeted efforts together.”
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,
“We need to move forward with a sense of urgency with 10 years left to go.”
“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