Ban Ki-moon’s Speech at the International BAR Association (IBA) Conference

COEX Convention & Exhibition Center 513,

Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea

Sunday 22-27 September 2019

BAN KI-MOON

Opening Ceremony

Welcoming Remarks

 

The Honorable Mayor of Seoul, Park Won Soon,

Chair of IBA Seoul Conference Host Committee, The Hon. Song Sang Hyun,

President of International Bar Association, Horacio Bernardes Neto,

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

It is my great pleasure to welcome you all to the Opening Ceremony of the 2019 International Bar Association Annual Conference.

 

This is the first time that this huge gathering of esteemed international lawyers has gathered in Seoul. I am simply honored to have been invited to address such an important and influential group hailing from so many continents. I take this opportunity to applaud each of you for making the journey here, whether short or long, and I know some have been of considerable length.

 

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

Our world is presently in flux. It always is, but in recent times there has been a notable acceleration. Perhaps this is due to the fact that we live in an increasingly interconnected world, where what happens on one part of our planet is immediately known and occasionally felt in another part. Under this backdrop, unfortunately, and in a relatively short period, a shrinking of civil society has occurred and the rule of law of is being eroded.

 

Imagine what the world would look like without the rule of law: No independent media. No freedom to assemble and protest peacefully. No freedom to think individual ideas and articulate an opinion. No independent judiciary and no independent legal profession. Just imagine that for a moment.

 

This erosion is happening, gradually. You are the chief guardians of the rule of law, and, in this regard, must increase your unified efforts to stand firm in halting its erosion. As we all know, the rule of law promotes inclusive economic growth and builds accountable institutions that underpin global sustainable development. It protects individuals and businesses alike.

 

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

As the 8th Secretary-General of the United Nations, I am fully aware of the IBA’s rich history and its founding principles. Now, I would like to briefly remind you of the establishment of the UN in 1945, the IBA in 1947, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. Each were the product of like-minded individuals determined, through passion, compassion, integrity, and a guiding sense of justice to carve out a better world for our future generations. What these key institutions have in common is that they were all developed by diverse representatives with different legal and cultural backgrounds hailing from all regions of the world.

 

As the IBA matches the UN in both structure and ambition, I believe this makes it easier to talk to you because the issues that are important to the UN are also critical to the IBA. From such topics as climate change, poverty eradication, cultural diversity, and the promotion of human rights, mental health, and gender equality; it is clear that there is much work to be done, with new challenges always emerging. However, I firmly believe that each of you will contribute in some way towards what is required in these areas. Indeed, we should be reminded of an old proverb that says, ‘It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.’

 

In this respect, the work of the IBA relating to business and human rights, gender equality, and climate change, as well as promoting justice and upholding the principle of accountability are all illuminated candles, and they are lit in alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

 

In addition, I feel particularly connected to the IBA in other ways too, knowing that Mary Robinson, Chair of The Elders, of which I am a Deputy Chair, and the late Nelson Mandela, Founder of The Elders, both have longstanding links to the substantive work of the IBA. Mary Robinson is working on climate justice and Nelson Mandela was the Founding Honorary President of the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute.

 

Before concluding my remarks, I would like to emphasize that an independent legal profession and judiciary are the cornerstone of functioning democracies, and that as much as possible needs to be done to safeguard them.

 

Thanks to your active participation, I am confident that this conference will be crowned with great success. Please allow me to finish by quoting the late Dr Martin Luther King who once said; ‘Injustice anywhere, is a threat to justice everywhere.’

 

Thank you very much for your attention.

Co-chair Ban Ki-moon attended UN Climate Action Summit 2019 – Adapting Now: Making People Safer

“The eyes of all future generations are upon you, and if you choose to fail us, I say, we will never forgive you.” – Greta Thunberg

On September 23rd, Co-chair Ban Ki-moon attended UN Climate Action Summit 2019 in New York.

UN Climate Action Summit 2019 was convened as global emissions are reaching record levels and show no sign of peaking. The last four years were the four hottest on record, and winter temperatures in the Arctic have risen by 3°C since 1990. Sea levels are rising, coral reefs are dying, and we are starting to see the life-threatening impact of climate change on health, through air pollution, heatwaves and risks to food security.

The impacts of climate change are being felt everywhere and are having very real consequences on people’s lives. Climate change is disrupting national economies, costing us dearly today and even more tomorrow. But there is a growing recognition that affordable, scalable solutions are available now that will enable us all to leapfrog to cleaner, more resilient economies.

The latest analysis shows that if we act now, we can reduce carbon emissions within 12 years and hold the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C and even, as asked by the latest science, to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

Thankfully, we have the Paris Agreement – a visionary, viable, forward-looking policy framework that sets out exactly what needs to be done to stop climate disruption and reverse its impact. But the agreement itself is meaningless without ambitious action.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres called on all leaders to come to New York on 23 September with concrete, realistic plans to enhance their nationally determined contributions by 2020, in line with reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 45 per cent over the next decade, and to net zero emissions by 2050.

Source / © UN Climate Action Summit 2019

Co-chair Ban Ki-moon launched the “Year of Action” of the Global Commission on Adaptation with Bill Gates and Kristalina Georgeieva

“Action is imperative if we want all people, especially those living on the frontlines of climate change, and our children, who will inherit the impacts of climate change, to have the opportunity for a better future. During our Year of Action, we will implement climate-resilient solutions all over the world so we can save lives, reduce risk, strengthen economies, and protect our environment. We no longer have any time to waste.” – Ban Ki-moon

Built on the momentum of the UN Climate Action Summit on September 24th, the Global Commission on Adaptation was launched a Year of Action to accelerate and scale climate adaptation solutions.

The Commission is led by Ban Ki-moon, 8th Secretary General of the United Nations; Bill Gates, Co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; and Kristalina Georgieva, CEO of the World Bank.

“Without urgent adaptation action, we risk undermining food, energy, and water security for decades to come. Continued economic growth and reductions in global poverty are possible despite these daunting challenges—but only if societies invest much more in adaptation. The costs of adapting are less than the cost of doing business as usual. And the benefits many times larger” – Ban Ki-moon

At the event that took place in the UN headquarters, the Commission leaders and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, and Dutch Water Management Minister Van Nieuwenhuizen launched eight Action Tracks that focus on the following areas: Finance and Investment, Food Security and Agriculture, Nature-Based Solutions, Water, Cities, Locally-Led Action, Infrastructure, and Preventing Disasters. Together, these actions form a comprehensive platform for urgent, bold and equitable adaptation.

More than 75 national governments, multilateral banks, civil society organizations and private sector actors have signed on to support and deliver on these initiatives. The Commission and its partners will mobilize political, technical, and financial support for adaptation, through both existing initiatives and new coalitions for change.

Over the next 12 months, the Commission will be working on climate solutions to regions that are vulnerable to climate change, solutions such as reinforcing coastal areas and future-proofing urban infrastructure. The “Year of Action” will run until the Dutch Climate Adaptation Summit, to be held in Amsterdam on 22 October 2020.

Sources: World Resources InstituteGovernment of the Netherlands

© DRRRF 

Ban Ki-moon Delivers a Keynote at the International Day of Peace Commemorative Roundtable

On September 19th, Co-Chair Ban Ki-moon gave a keynote speech at International Day of Peace Commemorative Roundtable. This event was held as a part of the annual Peace BAR Festival (PBF), a forum on the topic ‘The Future Unhinged: Climate Justice for All,’ and was hosted by Kyung Hee University from September 16th to 19th.

“In order for individuals and communities to escape the existential threats of climate change, we must act now.” – Ban Ki-moon

At the Roundtable, BKMC Board member Irina Bokova who is also former Director-General of UNESCO and an Honorary Rector of Humanities College at Kyung Hee University featured as a moderator. Club of Rome member Ian Dunlop, Professor Peter Wadhams of Cambridge University and Chancellor of Kyung Hee University System Inwon Choue attended as panelists to address global climate change crisis.

In his speech, BKMC Co-chair Ban said, “We are facing a fast-changing climate phenomenon.” “Record-breaking heat waves, wildfires, and typhoons are no longer perceived as abnormal, but as ‘new-normal’. He insisted that “Individual citizens should change their lifestyle habits to curb rising temperatures.” “If we allow the global temperature to rise more than 3 degrees Celsius, then it may be the end of humanity,” he warned.

He also outlined his efforts in environmental sectors as a UN Secretary-General. “I placed climate change as a top priority,” he said. “In 2007, the first high-level talk with world leaders was held.” Moreover, in December 2015, Co-chair Ban successfully initiated and established Paris Climate Agreement. He continued, “The Kyoto Protocol of 1992 was not an obligation to the largest emitters of greenhouse gases including China and India, but this has been improved in the Paris Agreement.”

“Only 11 years are left before climate change becomes a catastrophe,” said Ban. As he closed his speech, Ban emphasized, “We do not have Planet B. There is no alternative to the Earth. Therefore, there is no Plan B in the climate change problem.” “The only way is to foster cooperation based on multilateralism and coexist with nature.”

“It is very crucial for citizens to share information and knowledge about climate change.” – Inwon Choue

During the Roundtable, Chancellor Inwon Choue said, “Countries have promised to decrease 1.5 degrees by the end of the 21st century, but there is not much of a progress. If this continues, the world’s temperature will increase 1 degree higher by 2030.”  In particular, he said, “At this time, when an environmental catastrophe is currently happening, political leaders do not seem to consider climate change seriously.”

“It is very dire to change how we think and take an initiative.” – Irina Bokova

Bokova added to Chancellor Choue, “Political leaders do not pay attention to urgent climate issues. They seem to have forgotten their responsibility to preserve the planet.”

“We are on a path of increasing the world temperature by 4 degrees Celsius, which brings an environment incompatible with an organized global community. In other words, that represents global collapse.” – Ian Dunlop

In discussing lack of political efforts, Ian Dunlop said, “As climate change issues require long-term efforts, political leaders neglect this matter but rather focus on growth.” He also mentioned that one of the main reasons people are not mobilized to act on the issue despite its expected gravity is that the effects of climate change are not immediately apparent. “Whatever we put into the atmosphere today, we don’t see the full effect for 10, 20 or 30 years to come,” he said. “By the time [the effects] becomes clear, it will be too late to act. That means we have to act now.”

“Solutions are available to us but what we lack is political will to make it happen.” – Ian Dunlop

The experts outlined some specific actions to roll back climate change included decreasing industrial disposal is mandatory. Ian Dunlop said, “The problem is, at the moment, we are not reducing emissions at all – we are actually producing more.” “We should stop all carbon consumption today… [and] need to phase out fossil fuel by no later than 2050. We should remove subsidies to fossil fuel industries, tighten controls on fugitive emissions from fossil fuel operations and redesign agricultural practices to emphasize soil carbon sequestration, ocean sequestration and reforestation.”

“Reducing fossil energy on individual level is clearly not enough. Currently 41 billion tons of greenhouse gases are emitted worldwide each year, and 20 billion of which must be eliminated.” – Peter Wadhams

In addition to political dedication, Peter Wadhams, a professor of ocean physics at the University of Cambridge, highlighted the role of science and technology in climate change solutions. According to him, planting trees are less efficient. Rather, air purifiers should be implemented to absorb the greenhouse gases and the absorbed greenhouse gases can be buried in the ground.

Co-chair Ban will attend the first UN Global Summit on Climate Change on Tuesday, September 23rd to bring together political will of different countries.

Source: Korea Joongang Daily

© Korea Joongang Daily & Kyung Hee University

Co-chair Heinz Fischer at the World Manufacturing Convention 2019 Pre-talk

On September 19th, BKMC Co-chair Heinz Fischer had a pre-talk at the World Manufacturing Convention hosted in Hefei of Anhui province with former Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, former German president Christian Wulff, former French president Francois Hollande, Anhui Governor Li Guoyang and Anhui Party Secretary Li Jinbin.

The World Manufacturing Convention (WMF) 2019 kicked off on September 20th and will last until 23rd. This event with a theme of ‘Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Creativity: Embracing the New Era of Manufacturing,’ aims to create a new future for smart, sustainable manufacturing by connecting manufacturers around the world.

During his intervention, Co-chair Fischer put an emphasis on the importance of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in economic development and in the context of the World Manufacturing Convention 2019.

This Convention is also expected to draw more than 4,000 participants from more than 60 countries and region, including those involved in the Belt and Road Initiative.

 

Ban Ki-moon speaks with religious leaders about the climate crisis

On September 19th, BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon, who is also a chairman of the National Council on Climate and Environment Conference of South Korea, visited pastor Hong-jeong Lee of the National Council of Churches in Korea and other leaders of the Christian Council of Korea including Reverend Sung-bok Kim, to foster Christian communities’ participation in climate actions.

“Peace emphasized in Christianity, unity through dialogue and cooperation, and the conservation of the natural world are fundamental to solving the climate and environmental problems we currently face.”

Emphasizing the importance of the activities the National Climate and Environment Committee and the need for global cooperation, Co-chair Ban said, “Korea’s fine dust level is the lowest among OECD countries. It poses a direct danger to people’s health.” “Thus, I would like to ask Christian community to actively participate in a peaceful solution to tackle  a variety of climate and environmental problems, including the fine dust that has become a national disaster.”

Source: Yonhap News

© PCKWORLD

“Promoting the SDGs in Europe with a Global Mindset”

The Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens hosted a breakout session in cooperation with the Federal Chancellery of the Republic of Austria (Bundeskanzleramt Österreich) at the Political and Legal Symposia at the European Forum Alpbach on August 25th, 2019.

Theme: “Promoting the SDGs in Europe with a Global Mindset”

Welcome remarks and a keynote were delivered by:

  • Brigitte Bierlein, Federal Chancellor of Austria
  • Heinz Fischer, Co-chair of the Ban Ki-moon Centre & 11th Federal President of Austria
  • Ban Ki-moon, Co-chair of the Ban Ki-moon Centre & 8th Secretary-General of the United Nations

During her welcome remarks, Chancellor Bierlein said that Austria is currently actively engaged in multilateral matters, mentioning the country’s ranking in the SDG Index for this year.

“One could certainly emphasize that in terms of the implementation of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Austria ranks among the top 5 countries worldwide,” said Bierlein.

“For the global policy for our planet,” Co-chair Heinz Fischer said that “the global governing programs are the SDGs.”

Fischer said that the Goals are interconnected and that they are based on human dignity, which is the most important matter for mankind. He said that achieving all these goals could be challenging but that “it is a necessary and important task.”

Delivering a keynote, Co-chair Ban Ki-moon encouraged all national leaders to act as global leaders with a global citizenship mindset, which he said is a truly crucial asset for every individual to have in order to achieve sustainable development in a global society.

“These 17 Goals offer us a way to confront the most critical issues of our time,” he said, “the opportunities to change the world for the better are all in our hands.”

The panel consisted of:

As a moderator of the Session, BKMC CEO Monika Froehler asked the panelists their points of view on the Session topic as well as suggestions for achieving the SDGs.

Minister Patek said that the European Union as a whole performs well on the implementation of the SDGs. She pointed out that some of the elements of the success include an effective state system beyond borders, the engagement with active NGOs, and the provision of an environment for a prosperous life.

Lamy said that the real quality of the SDGs is the supply of countable goals to civil society to foster the expectation towards political and economic leaders, agreeing to what Ban has emphasized during his keynote.

To fight the most pressing global challenge, climate crisis, Frischmann said that managing refrigeration and stopping leakage in air conditioners and fridges may serve as the most effective way that individuals can contribute to.

The audience also got actively engaged in the conversations by participating in the Mentimeter presentation that reflected their answers to questions in real-time and by raising critical questions. Some of the discussion topics included what are the local and global solutions for curbing climate change and how to engage most for the SDGs.

Watch the recorded live stream: https://www.facebook.com/BanKimoonCentre/videos/724752221309832/

© EFA / Iryna Yeroshko & BKMC / Eugenie Berger

Young social leaders from Latin America visits BKMC to share their work and vision for the SDGs

The Global School for Social Leaders (former Latinomics) brought 13 social entrepreneurs and change-makers from Latin America to the Ban Ki-moon Centre on August 8th, 2019. The group consisted of individuals from across the region, including Mexico, Peru, Venezuela, Columbia, Argentina, and Honduras and who came to discuss on the topic of global citizenship and  Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Each individual shared their own ideas and works that are committed to the betterment of their society and to advancing the SDGs. Interesting projects were introduced, including supporting the rights of women prisoners and their children, having food as a core of social transformation, developing a mentorship project online, transforming modules in education for children, and so on.

 

“You are forging partnerships to make these Goals happen!” BKMC CEO Monika Froehler spoke to the group.

Froehler moderated a couple of exercises with the group to get to know more about the SDGs and global citizenship from diverse perspectives. Presenting the 17 SDG signs, she asked the group “what do you consider as a game-changer for the world by 2050?” by bringing up climate change as one of the biggest challenges the world is currently facing. In the end, every Goal and its impacts were mentioned, which showed how all the SDGs are interconnected and comparable to achieve.

The group then got divided into small groups to work on drawing a character that represents their own definition of the notion of global citizenship. Each character looked different and unique, but they shared many common characteristics such as respecting others, advocating for gender equality, embracing different cultures, preserving resources and nature, and aiming for sustainable development and peace.

 

Froehler said, “if all these characteristics are implemented into your projects and initiatives, the SDGs can be reached.”

She introduced to the group some of the successful cases of social movements and initiatives such as Fridays For Future, Alibaba, and Global Citizen.

 

Roberto Arrucha, Director of the Global School for Social Leaders, concluded that

“we need all leaders from all sectors and all directions. By finding these initiators and actors, we can contribute to making changes.”

Ban Ki-moon urges Scout members to be global citizens at the Jamboree!

As the former United Nations Secretary-General and current Honorary President for the Korea Scout Association, Co-chair Ban Ki-moon delivered an opening address at the 24th World Scout Jamboree held in West Virginia, USA.

“We don’t have a Plan B because we don’t have a Planet B. That is the most important message for us,” said Ban.

He stressed that climate change is the number one priority and that we should urge national leaders to act as global leaders to abide by the Paris Agreement.

The Scout Jamboree had high visibility of the UN’s SDGs, advocating for the rights of refugees and gender equality through UN Women’s HeForShe Baton campaign. Ban visited global development village and sites to meet and encourage young leaders to act with a global citizenship mindset. He also delivered a talk to the gathered young participants who sat around him about “young people and the future of the planet.”

At the Jamboree, BKMC Board member Ahmad Alhendawi who serves as the Secretary-General of the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM) said that

“if we don’t change all the time, trying to improve the program, we wouldn’t last this long.”

He added that the Scout Movement is built on unity and understanding and that the young members of it “truly set the example of how the world out there should be.”

Photo © Jean-Pierre POUTEAU 2019, World Scouting

BKMC attends the UNESCO Conference on ESD and GCED

At the UNESCO Forum on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) and Global Citizenship Education (GCED) held on July 2-3, 2019 in Hanoi, Vietnam, BKMC CEO Monika Froehler said:

“In today´s world too many leaders are just focused on their country first. Global citizenship is the opposite. It is putting collaboration before confrontation,” featuring as a speaker on a panel discussion.

With the theme “Learning and Teaching for Peaceful and Sustainable Societies: from early childhood to primary and secondary education,” concerned stakeholders coming from all regions met to learn about and debate on the latest information on the trends, issues and data related to GCED and ESD.

ESD and GCED are part of the 2030 Agenda and were built into the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 on education. Target 4.7 prioritizes ESD and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and the appreciation of cultural diversity.

“Set commitments and targets for global citizenship and sustainable development education. Update curricula!”

said H.E. Prof. Dr. Phung Xuan Nha, Minister of Education and Training of Vietnam, who attended the forum.

Froehler pointed out that “the data on GCED and ESD is missing” and that “we need to work together to establish meaningful indicators,”

agreeing to what UNESCO sees as essential to advance a value-based and holistic approach to learning that is truly transformational in taking ESD and GCED forward (UNESCO 2015). For effective teaching and learning, UNESCO stresses that all three learning dimensions need to be developed:

  • Cognitive: To acquire knowledge, understanding and critical thinking about global, regional, national and local issues, the inter-connectedness and inter-dependency of different countries and populations, as well as social, economic and environmental aspects of sustainable development;
  • Social and Emotional: To have a sense of belonging to a common humanity, sharing values and responsibilities, empathy, solidarity and respect for differences and diversity, as well as fell and assume sense of responsibility for the future;
  • Behavioral: To act effectively and responsibly at local, national and global levels for a more peaceful and sustainable world.

Froehler concluded that

“Global Citizenship – no matter which definition you are looking at – always has a component of ‘ACTION’ in it.”

© APCEIU