A ‘Small UN’ Ban Ki-moon Foundation to be opened in Seoul

On March 5th, the “Ban Ki-moon Foundation for a Better Future (tentative title)” was announced to be established in Korea at the meeting of promoters held in Seoul. Having BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon as the Chair of its Board, the Foundation will serve as a non-political, non-profit public organization that acts as a ‘small UN’ with below objectives:

  • To improve and promote Ban Ki-moon’s philosophy and vision as the 8th UN Secretary-General by realizing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and conducting academic researches and suggesting policies in order for everyone to ensured of human rights
  • To establish a perpetual peace in the Korean Peninsula as well as to promote peace in East Asia and the globe
  • To protect the future vision and the rights of women, youth, and children and to establish future-oriented values
  • To create and execute varied programs to eradicate poverty and disease in developing countries
  • To lead education on cultivating people of talents and global citizenship in cooperation with various international organizations, including the United Nations, and civil organizations, academic institutes, and  educational institutions both inside and outside Korea

Starting from May 2019, the Foundation will pursue projects with the above visions.

Ban mentioned that “I have tried to promote the agenda on climate change, sustainable development, and women’s empowerment while in the UN” and “now I would like to realize such visions both inside and outside the country in cooperation with the people from different sectors in Korea.”

The meeting of promoters had 46 participants, including:

  • Kim Hwangsik, former Prime Minister of Korea; Chairman of the Board of Directors at Ho-am Foundation (Head of the Meeting of Promoters for the BKM Foundation)
  • Gong Ro-myung, former Minister of Foreign Affairs; Chairman of East Asia Foundation
  • Lee Sang-hee, former Minister of National Defense
  • Kim Yong-hak, President of Yonsei University
  • Han Bi-ya, President of Global Citizen School of World Vision; Author of a best-selling book “Daughter of the Wind: Three and a Half Times around the Globe on Foot”
  • Kim Sook, former Korean Ambassador to the UN; former President of UN Women’s Executive Board
  • Rye Seung-min, Korean gold-medalist table tennis player; Athlete Member of the IOC
  • Son Yeon-jae, Korean retired rhythmic gymnast; 3-time Asian Championships All-around Champion
  • Yoo Dong-geun, Korean actor

DASICON 2019 “Towards Global Citizenship: Home without Borders”

At DASICON 2019 held at the Diplomatic Academy in Vienna on March 1st and 2nd, ways to promote and adopt global citizenship in various sectors and regions were discussed with the topic of “Towards Global Citizenship: Home without Borders.”

Annually organized by youth, the students of the Diplomatic Academy, the conference gets together international experts, interested youth and stakeholders from relevant fields to interact and facilitates international dialogue.

This year, the mission was “Finding ways to think and act as global citizens to face future global challenges.” During the two-day conference, the following issues were addressed:

  • Participation in Digital Democracies
  • Change in Conflict Resolution
  • Dynamics in Identities
  • Innovation in Urban Life
  • Disruption in Business

BKMC Co-chair Heinz Fischer delivered keynote address at the conference, and CEO Monika Froehler featured as a panelist in the panel 1: “Global Governance and Global Citizenship​: A New Deal?”

During his keynote, Fischer said that “envisioning future implies remembering lessons from the past,” and that “more than ever before, we are in need of developing global mindset in order to solve the most pressing issues of our time.”

The conference interactively engaged the audience in sharing their opinions on the discussion topics through live polls. Froehler encouraged the audience and other global citizens to

“Think globally and act locally!”

The live-streaming of the event can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/DiplomaticAcademyVienna/videos/359378627983586?sfns=xmo

Photo: Organizers of DASICON 2019

Mentorship Program for Young Muslim Austrian Women in Cooperation with Muslim Youth Austria (MJÖ)

On January 16th, the Ban Ki-moon Centre met with members of Muslim Youth Austria (MJÖ), Melisa Boskovic and Nesrin El-Isa, to discuss an upcoming joint project for the empowerment of young Muslim Austrian women.

 

Together, the Ban Ki-moon Centre and MJÖ are collaborating on a mentorship program which will be launched in March this year.

 

Forming personal relationships with established women working in Austria can be especially useful to women coming from a background where they may face discrimination, both in the workplace and in daily life. By pairing young Muslim Austrian women (mentees) with Austrian and international female partners (mentors), the mentorship program will offer the valuable chance to foster interaction, build networks, and to learn from experienced working women in Austria. This will help mentees to grow professionally and personally and will empower them to achieve success in their own careers.

 

The Ban Ki-moon Centre is supporting the project by helping with the planning, providing mentors, hosting a launch event, and facilitating workshops throughout the period of mentoring.

The theme of the mentorship program is “Global Citizens at Work” and will emphasize the importance a maintaining a global perspective both as a worker and as a citizen of the world. In addition to mentoring sessions, the pairs will be encouraged to complete one small project/activity together during the period of mentorship that fits into the framework of “Global Citizenship.”

For more information on the mentoring program, please follow the link to the website of Muslim Youth Austria below.

Stay tuned for more updates on this exciting project!

https://www.mjoe.at/mentoring2019/

BKMC strengthens its partnership with UNESCO APCEIU

On February 18th, 2019, the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens and its partner UNESCO APCEIU had an official MOU signing ceremony at the APCEIU office in Seoul, South Korea.

The two organizations electronically signed the MOU on October 19th, 2018 and have collaborated on promoting Global Citizenship Education (GCED), organizing experts’ meeting on education, and developing online courses on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and women’s empowerment. BKMC CEO Monika Froehler has also moderated a plenary session of the 3rd International Conference on GCED hosted by the APCEIU in Seoul in September 2018.

The MOU was signed by BKMC CEO Monika Froehler and APCEIU Director Chung Utak in order to work together on further promoting the notion of global citizenship and fostering many collaborative activities, including organizing meaningful workshops and conferences on GCED.

Upon the visit to the APCEIU office, the Centre also had an opportunity to introduce its work and mission to the professors of Kyung-Hee University, who were having a meeting to discuss implementing global citizenship courses as mandatory courses for all students at the university to take starting from this spring semester.

BKMC co-organizes the symposium on “Empowering Women and Supporting Youth in Development and Citizenship” in Kuwait

In cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the General Secretariat of the Supreme Council for Planning and Development of Kuwait, the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens co-organized the symposium on “Empowering Women and Supporting Youth in Development and Citizenship” in Kuwait on February 12th, 2019.

At the opening, BKMC Co-chairs Ban Ki-moon and Heinz Fischer delivered a keynote.

Ban emphasized that “now is the time to mobilize the global business community as never before.”

“Realizing the Sustainable Development Goals will improve the environment for doing good business and building markets. Trillions of dollars in public and private funds are to be redirected towards the SDGs, creating huge opportunities for responsible companies to deliver solutions,” said Ban.

“Despite the challenges we currently face,” he concluded “if we join together in strong partnerships and move forward as global citizens, we can achieve our global goals and create a brighter future for all.”

Co-chair Fischer stressed that women’s empowerment

“must also be regarded as a global issue and put into the bigger picture. It is a key to peace, to eliminating all forms of violence, and to enabling families, communities, and nations to thrive.”

He also shared the deepest appreciation to the Centre’s Board member, Ambassador Sadiq Marafi, praising his commitment to supporting the Centre from the beginning and to all his collaborative initiatives to foster women’s empowerment.

Fischer added, “we are looking forward to intensifying our work with Kuwait and in particular with the General Secretariat of the Supreme Council for Planning and Development and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kuwait and to identifying further opportunities for cooperation.”

The 1st session of the symposium was entitled “Empowering Women,” featuring women leaders and representatives from both public and civil sector. BKMC Board members Irina Bokova, former UNESCO Director-General, and Andrea Pfanzelter, KACIID Senior Advisor, were featured as panelists of the session.

For the 2nd session entitled “Youth Role in Development and Citizenship,” representatives of a specialized center in supporting youth development in Kuwait and from the civil society, a graduate student from Kuwait University, as well as BKMC Board members were featured. The featured Board members of the Centre included Jean Todt, FIA President, Ahmad Alhendawi, Secretary-General of the World Organization of the Scout Movement, and Michael Sheldrick, Global Citizen Vice President.

The last session entitled “Role and Efforts of Private Sector in Empowering Women and Supporting Youth in Development” featured representatives from Zain Telecommunication, Kuwait National Bank, and private sector.

 

Symposium on “Empowering Women and Supporting Youth in Development and Global Citizenship”

Hosted by the Ministry of Planning and the MOFA
12th of February, 09:30 – 13:45
Location: Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Cultural Centre, Kuwait

Dear Ban Ki-moon,

Your Excellency Mariam Al-Aqeel, Minister of State and Foreign Affairs,

Your Excellency Khaled Mahdi, Secretary-General of the General Secretariat of the Supreme Council for Planning and Development,

Your Excellency Ambassador Sadiq Marafi,

Excellencies,

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

First of all, I want to say that it is a great pleasure and honour for the delegation of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens to be here in this wonderful country and to participate in the Symposium on “Empowering Women and Supporting Youth in Development and Global Citizenship”.

My first intensive contact to Kuwait was in 1981 when I accompanied Federal Chancellor Bruno Kreisky on his State visit to Kuwait.

I was able to visit Kuwait for a state visit exactly ten years ago, in February 2009, when I learned to appreciate the great hospitality from His Royal Highnesses Emir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.

I took away great memories from this visit.

Today’s Symposium about Empowering Women and Supporting Youth in Development and Global Citizenship clearly underscores the vision of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens.

Our work at the Centre seeks to empower women and youth to strive as global citizens in a peaceful and prosperous world.

This work cannot be done without a dedicated Board that serves as the backbone of our organization and of course our partners, such as the State of Kuwait, who support us and contribute to the resources that we need to be successful.

Leadership, mediation, advocacy, education, and also compassion are cornerstones and mechanisms that we have identified to be most valuable in the implementation of our goals.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Women represent 50% of the population globally. Nevertheless, the history of civilization is coined by the discrimination of women in various cultures and eras.

Women’s rights have been infringed and the burdens of life have been lying much heavier on women’s shoulders than on men’s.

In the 18th century, during the period of Enlightenment, Europe finally started to have serious discussions about women’s rights and equality.

The idea of universal fundamental and human rights based on human dignity and to be granted regardless of origin, race, sex or religion etc. was introduced to politics and incorporated in the goals of progressive movements and in the texts of modern constitutions.

Documents of the French Revolution and the Declaration of Independence of the United States of America did pioneer work in that regard.

The 20th century was characterized by movements towards the political equality of human beings.

In 1918 and 1919 Germany, Austria and other European countries introduced women’s active and passive right to vote.

In the aftermath of the Second World War, the Human Rights Declaration of the United Nations was passed in 1948 and the European Human Rights Convention followed five years later in 1953.

In the last 50 years the question of equal rights for women and men is less a legal question, but a question of practice and reality.

More and more legal regulations in politics, economy and society seek to decrease the gap between theoretical equality and practical discrimination of women.

A central initiative for that purpose are the Sustainable Development Goals, especially with Goal 5 for Gender Equality.

Global initiatives against the discrimination of women and for women’s empowerment bring people together to raise awareness.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

History shows that we have come a long way. We achieved a lot but there remains a lot that is to be done.

It is estimated that an alarming 1 in 3 women globally will suffer from violence during their lifetime. Violence against women continues to persist and to pose an extreme obstacle to their ability to live in dignity and to their general well-being.

In the political sphere, female heads of states or heads of government are somewhat present but continue to be a very rare minority.

We need more women in parliaments and as political leaders because politics concerns women as much as it concerns men.

To achieve full gender equality in our societies, politics must serve as an example: women belong in leadership positions because we cannot afford to forget the skills and competencies of the female half of our populations.

The economy also demonstrates various aspects in which women are disadvantaged.

In Europe, for instance, women’s salaries are up to one third less than men’s salaries. This must be adjusted and rectified. Fairness and equality mean that women’s work is valued just as much as men’s work.

Europe has made major progress in the field of education.

In the 50s, while I was studying, the percentage of female students was 20%. Then, in the 80s, when I served as the Austrian Minister for Science and Research, more than a third of all students were female.

Today, in Austria, women make up over 50% of all students and this also goes for many other European States.

Men have a clear advantage over women when it comes to university professor positions, showing the obstacles that women face to access leadership positions.

Women’s empowerment must also be regarded as a global issue and put into the bigger picture. It is a key to peace, to eliminating all forms of violence, and to enable families, communities, and nations to thrive

Today, it is particularly interesting to us that we shed light on the advancement of women’s empowerment in the State of Kuwait.

Preparing for this visit, I learned that when it comes to women’s empowerment in the region of the Gulf states and even the whole Middle East, Kuwait has an indeed pioneering role.

Women in Kuwait are amongst the most emancipated in the whole region.

Especially the last 50 years brought significant change for women in Kuwait. Women’s political rights are increasingly respected, giving us hope that we are on the right path.

The General Secretariat of the Supreme Council for Planning and Development of Kuwait is the entity in charge of the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and thus, also of Goal Number 5.

Under the directorship of Khaled A. Mahdi, the Secretariat has been keen on implementing the Global Goals.

Today’s Symposium on Empowering Women and Supporting Youth in Development and Global Citizenship reflects this commendable ambition and gives us the chance to discuss the steps that have been done already to make this world a more peaceful and prosperous place for all.

Thanks to you and your Secretariat, experts from around the world are gathered here today to exchange ideas and concrete action plans to implement the SDGs and promote the concept of Global Citizenship.

My deep appreciation also goes to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Kuwait H.E. Sheikh Sabah Al Khaled Al Ahmad Al Sabah who are generously hosting today’s third Board Meeting of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens.

Our good friend, his Excellency Ambassador Sadiq Marafi has been a committed and generous Board member of the Ban Ki-moon Centre right from the very beginning and is a great partner for all initiatives to foster women’s empowerment. We are very grateful for your support.

We are looking forward to intensifying our work with Kuwait and in particular with the General Secretariat of the Supreme Council for Planning and Development and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kuwait and to identifying further opportunities for cooperation.

Let us unite our efforts to reach the great and important goal, namely equal rights and chances for men and women globally in our present world.

Thank you very much.

 

Meeting with Representatives of the Kuwaiti Charity Associations

On February 11th, the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens had a meeting with a number of charity organizations and associations in Kuwait. Together with the representatives from the organizations, the Centre’s Board members discussed the importance of global citizenship mindset and volunteer services to achieve sustainable development of all.

Co-chair Ban Ki-moon emphasized “to promote the humanitarian assistance for helping people and fostering global citizenship and empowering women and youth.”

Ban added that together we can contribute much more for those who may need help.

Co-chair Heinz Fischer also said that modern social policy was born in Europe, but “individuals, families, and situations were not covered” since it was based on registration.

“Every step further is necessary,” Fischer said, “Exchange experiences; inform the results.”

Moderated by BKMC CEO Monika Froehler, the meeting opened up an active conversation to which the Kuwaiti representatives actively added their ideas on the areas that need further improvement. Possible areas of collaboration with the Centre and among the charity organizations themselves in cooperation with both private and public sector were also examined.

Ban Ki-moon gives a special lecture at his old school, Chungju High School

BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon delivered a special lecture about the United Nations and Global Leadership in the 21st Century at his old school, Chungju High School, on January 7th, 2019. He was welcomed by around 500 students, teachers, and parents who he encouraged to become Global Citizens. For everyone to be able to learn history and become a global citizen, Ban made a donation to help the school build a history hall. The President of the school said that he hopes more students to grow their dreams to become a world leader like Ban Ki-moon.

Ban Ki-moon Centre Participates in Event on the SDGs Featuring Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden

This week, the Ban Ki-moon Centre featured at an event entitled, “The 2030 Agenda – From Global Goals to Local Implementation” hosted by the Swedish Embassy in Vienna. BKMC CEO Monika Froehler moderated the event and led a discussion on the SDGs and local implementation in Austria as well as around the world.

The event began with welcoming remarks from H.E. Ambassador Mikaela Kumlin Granit of the Swedish Embassy followed by a powerful opening statement by Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden that set the stage for the discussion that followed. Her H.R.H Princess Victoria said:

“The implementation of the 2030 Agenda is a high priority for the Swedish government, but also for me personally. As advocate of the Global Goals for Sustainable Development, I am delighted to see the commitment with which Austria is working to implement the Agenda. Progress is indeed being made, but now we need to step up the pace.”

Following the opening statement, Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajčák of Slovakia, who is also the former President of the United Nations General Assembly, delivered a keynote in which he stressed the importance of empowering youth and women. He stated:

“Half of this planet are people under 30, and half of this planet are women,” and “our youth are not the future generation; they are here now, and we need to listen to them now.”

Minister Lajčák also thanked the Swedish government for its support of the implementation of  SDG 14, “Life Below Water.”

After the keynote, a panel discussion was moderated by BKMC CEO Monika Froehler, featuring DG Li Yong of United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), Director-General Désirée Schweitzer of the Department for Development Cooperation at the Austrian Foreign Ministry, VP Ulrike Rabmer-Koller of the Austrian Economic Chambers and Director Monika Langthaler of the R20 Austrian World Summit. Experts from Global ResponsibilitySustainable Energy for All, and the IKEA Foundation also shared their expert insights.

Overall, the event emphasized the need for more advocacy, finance, and innovation to achieve implementation of the SDGs and further global collaboration to reach the most marginalized communities. During the Q&A session, the “Youth SDG Advocates” provided by the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens asked questions about the role that the international community should play in advancing the SDGs and how youth can be engaged and represented.

Check out the full video of the event below!

Gepostet von Schwedische Botschaft Wien – Embassy of Sweden Vienna am Mittwoch, 28. November 2018