“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
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.
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
On November 22, WEP GCC fellows were awarded with certificates for the completion of Women’s Empowerment Program – GCC that kicked off on November 11 and lasted for two weeks.
Co-chair Heinz Fischer opened the ceremony with congratulatory remarks and said that the fellows should construct stronger network to support and stay in touch with each other.
Deputy Director of Diplomatic Academy of Vienna Susanne Keppler-Schlesinger also congratulated the fellows for their hard work and thanked their commitments to advance the Sustainable Development Goals.
Director General Adnan Shihab-Eldin of the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences also delivered a congratulatory remark to the ladies. He said,
“Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences will remain as a partner for the SDGs.”
Lastly, the Ban Ki-moon Centre CEO Monika Froehler said,
“Never say what you cannot do, say what you can do and will do.”
She also thanked BKMC Program Officer Viola Christian for her endeavors and efforts to put together this amazing program.
On behalf of all the WEP GCC fellows, Nourah Aloseimi from Kuwait delivered remarks and expressed gratitude for such inspiring and meaningful opportunities the Ban Ki-moon Centre has provided together with Diplomatic Academy of Vienna.
Before the graduation, the WEP GCC fellows presented about their My SDG Micro-Project proposals, which they will implement in their own communities after the completion of their trainings.
Visit BKMC gallery for more photos.
© BKMC / Eugenie Berger
“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.
Lulua Asaad from UNODC,
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.
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.”
“Transition to clean, sustainable energy is no longer an option…Clean renewable energy-based green growth is the ONLY alternative to sustainable growth.” – Ban Ki-moon
Today, Co-chair Ban Ki-moon gave a keynote speech on the theme of the necessity of reducing fine dust pollution and the role of renewable energy-centered energy conversion in response to climate change.
“Mankind has artificially created a climate crisis in the course of civilization and economic growth. The transition to clean and sustainable energy is no longer a choice but a necessity in the face of threats to the environment and ecosystems,” he said.
Ban said the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Convention will be determined by the success of energy transition, and renewable energy such as solar and wind power will be more advantageous in terms of marketability and socio-health than existing energy such as fossil fuels and nuclear power.
During the conference co-chair Ban also addressed that,
“All countries in the world should make comprehensive efforts toward a sustainable energy mix. We, particularly, need to take active measures to maximize the share of renewable energy.”
“Today’s conference is very meaningful in that the international community needs to join hands and cooperate closely,” he added.
He also stressed the importance of cooperation among political sectors.
“Political will is important and necessary. Only when politicians show strong will can they achieve the goals and people will participate. It’s not the time to fight each other,” he said.
He also reiterated the need to raise awareness of the environment.
“Human beings should be humble. It is not known which direction mankind will go to, but we must adapt to nature based on wisdom. We should not act against nature, but rather we should work with nature to develop sustainable future.
The International Renewable Energy Conference, which kicked off Wednesday in Seoul, is a biannual energy forum. During this three-day event, a discussion of the global climate crisis and measures to expand renewable energy use was opened, and around 3,500 participants from 108 nations, including the US, Germany and China, international organizations, including the International Renewable Energy Agency, and firms such as Danish wind firm Vestas and Korean solar company Hanwha Q Cells attended.
Source: The Korea Herald
© ETNEWS, YONHAP NEWS
“For developing countries, in particular, the green energy transformation can play the role of a bridge to modernization, economic growth, and greater social inclusiveness.” – Ban Ki-moon
On October 21, Co-chair Ban Ki-moon called for greater international efforts to expand the adoption of renewable energy so as to achieve the shared goal of policy transition toward sustainable development.
“We cannot overstate the importance of this broad, global objective. We – the international community – will need to adopt resolute measures to transform our fossil fuel-based energy systems,” said co-chair Ban in a video message to the opening of the Global Green Growth Week (GGGW), an annual conference hosted by the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) in Seoul.
“This transition towards renewable energy sources is not only about challenges. It presents new opportunities to modernize our energy systems, accelerate and diversify their economies, create green jobs, increase productivity and competitiveness and reduce poverty,” he said.
Green growth calls for seeking economic growth through environment-friendly technologies and industries. Under that initiative, South Korea set up GGGI on its soil to help develop strategies to promote the environment-friendly cause.
The green growth week, running through Friday, is an annual gathering of the 33 GGGI member countries and related participants from around the globe with an aim to promote green growth and sustainability and discuss key issues such as air pollution.
Co-chair Ban, current chairman of the GGGI Council, underscored the importance of taking concrete actions, especially at government levels, to advance the transformation to renewable energy.
Co-chair Ban said,
“Governments need to take advantage of the rapidly falling cost of solar, wind and other renewable energy sources. They also need to abandon fossil fuel subsidies and instead provide incentives for businesses to invest in clean energy infrastructure and technologies.”
“This energy transformation could greatly impact the labor markets, investment landscapes and even the way we do business.”
He voiced hope that this week’s conference will serve as a chance to explore various dimensions associated with the topics in a way that would better support countries to create the right policy for green growth transition.
GGGI is a treaty-based organization established in Seoul in 2012, focusing on supporting and promoting ways for inclusive and sustainable economic growth in developing and emerging countries.
The Global Green Growth Week 2019 (GGGW2019) has officially kicked off today in Seoul, Republic of Korea. GGGW2019, the 3rd instance of the Global Green Growth Institute’s (GGGI) flagship conference, is being held in conjunction with the Korea Renewable Energy Conference (KIREC) and in partnership with the Green Growth Knowledge Partnership (GGKP), the American Chamber of Commerce in Korea (AMCHAM), REN21, LG Chemical, the Incheon Global Campus, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Korea.
Under the banner of Unlocking Renewable Energy Potential, GGGW2019 runs October 21-24 and welcomes decision–makers and with high-level speakers from around the world to contribute in a number of feature events.
© Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens / Co-chair Ban Ki-moon during the launch of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens
“As Ban Ki-moon said, we do not have a Plan B, we only have Plan A. In my opinion, this plan A is the SDGs.”
– Monika Froehler during the Vatican Youth Symposium 2019
On October 16, the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) co-hosted the annual Vatican Youth Symposium at the Casina Pio IV, Vatican City.
Jointly developed by Ban Ki-Moon Centre for Global Citizens, SDSN Youth, and the SDG Academy, the Certificate aims to encourage university students around the world to learn about, engage with, and take action on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Certificates are signed by Co-chair Ban Ki-Moon; Ms Chandrika Bahadur, President of the SDSN Association; and Mr Siamak Sam Loni, Global Coordinator of SDSN Youth.
“Today, more than 207 million students are enrolled in higher education. Young people have the energy, ideas, and determination to improve our communities, and we need to give students a platform to learn about the Sustainable Development Goals and take action in their local communities.” co-chair Ban said. “Through the creation of SDG Student Hubs on universities around the world, SDSN Youth is creating spaces for students to learn about, engage with, and take action to achieve the SDGs.”
The SDG Students Program is an initiative of SDSN Youth that aims to engage students in higher education in the global effort to achieve the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs, as well as empower them with the knowledge, skills, and pathways to action to be effective agents of change today. Through the creation of a global network of hubs of learning and engagement for the SDGs on universities worldwide, the Program ensures that students from all walks of life have the opportunity to become drivers of new solutions to the problems that surround them.
“We need to make sure we raise the new generation of leaders that knows the SDGs and questions we currently have to tackle.”
– Monika Froehler during the Vatican Youth Symposium 2019
“We are excited to be partnering with SDSN Youth to launch the SDG Students Program Certificate, and to be an endorser of the SDG Students Program,” CEO Monika Froehler remarked at the launch. “By incorporating the content that the Ban Ki-moon Centre is producing into the SDG Students Program, we hope to give university students all over the world a foundational knowledge of sustainability that will aid them in all their future activities.”
In order to attain the Certificate, students need to complete several tasks across the three pillars of “learn about”, “engage with”, and “take action” on the SDGs. One of the core requirements for attaining the Certificate involves the completion of “Sustainable Development in the 21st Century with Ban Ki-moon”, a course co-developed by the Ban Ki-moon Centre and its partner the Institute for Global Engagement and Empowerment (IGEE) at Yonsei University.
“Designed to be completed over the course of an academic year, it is our shared hope that when students achieve the Certificate, they will gain the foundational knowledge of sustainability and skills they need to be advocates for sustainability in the diverse occupations and industries they will enter,” Project Leader of the SDG Students Program Yi Jun Mock shared at the launch.
“Moving forward, the SDG Students Program will remain a core element of SDSN Youth’s global programming for young people, and we are excited to continue deepening our cooperation with the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens and the SDG Academy to reach an even wider audience of university students around the world,” SDSN Youth Global Coordinator Siamak Sam Loni concluded.