Ban Ki-moon stresses the importance of adapting to climate change at the World Energy Outlook 2018

The World Energy Outlook 2018 was launched by Verbund and International Energy Agency (IEA) at the Technical University of Vienna on November 14th.

This year’s edition of the WEO found that the world population without electricity access fell below 1 billion for the first time ever in 2017, led by India; but despite recent progress, efforts in sub-Saharan Africa need to redouble to achieve the goal of universal access.

The event on Wednesday drew more than 300 participants, including ambassadors from several countries, as well as former Vice-Chancellor of Austria Mr. Reinhold Mitterlehner and high level representatives from UNIDO and OPEC.

Under Co-chair Ban’s leadership as Secretary General of the United Nations, the UN adopted the 17 Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs) including SDG 7 related specifically to energy in the year 2015. Ban acknowledged the IEA’s role in tracking progress toward SDG 7 and congratulated IEA for the continued efforts in providing analysis and data on the SDG 7 through the World Energy Outlook.

Ban also stressed the importance of adapting to the climate change as Head of Global Commission on Adaptation and Chairman of the Board of Global Center on Adaptation:

“Climate change is a global challenge requiring a global coordination.”

“Adapting to climate will require a complete transformation.”

“Adaptation is not only the right thing to do but a smart thing to do.”

Minister Elisabeth Koestinger of the Ministry for Sustainability and Tourism welcomed this year’s World Energy Outlook as a source of information and data for political leaders while Ban spoke of his childhood experiences with access to energy growing up in South Korea, and highlighted the importance of international cooperation to improve energy access while tackling climate change.

During a dialogue session with Minister Koestinger and Executive Director Fatih Birol of IEA, Ban stressed 3 key points, urging that everyone has to use energy more wisely and sustainably in order to achieve the sustainable development of the future:

1. Enhance effectiveness of energy use
2. Make energy accessible for all
3. Develop renewable energy

Source: https://www.iea.org/newsroom/news/2018/november/executive-director-in-vienna-for-presentation-of-world-energy-outlook.html
Photo: IEA

Global Citizenship Initiatives (GCI) Portal is finally launched!

The Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens finally launched the Global Citizenship Initiatives (GCI) Portal on its website today! The portal lists fellowships, academic programs, and on-going initiatives for global citizenship world-wide. The portal is for anyone interested in getting to know about global citizenship by taking academic courses and/or by getting involved in the existing initiatives. The users can search for initiatives in different countries and discover how to engage as global citizens. After selecting a country of choice or an online course, one can sort out the programs that fit his or her age group or profession.

As the GCI Portal is an active platform to which the users can add other existing initiatives in the world by submitting a feedback form which button is located on the bottom of the portal page. When suggesting an initiative to be included on the portal, the users should fill out the name of the entity, the program name, the location (country), and the website address of the initiative as well as the email address of the contact person or the program’s executive office.

With the contributions of global citizens from all over the world, the GCI Portal will grow bigger and bigger and will lead aspiring all the global citizens out there to be more active in achieving the Global Goals and be responsible for making the world better for all.

Discover the GCI Portal here: https://bankimooncentre.org/projects/gci-portal

BKM Centre Board members featured at breakout sessions during EFA 2018

Some of the Board members of the Ban Ki-moon Centre were featured with other world leaders and experts at different breakout sessions of the political symposium during European Forum Alpbach 2018 on August 26, 2018.

A session co-hosted by the Centre and Austrian Development Agency (ADA) had a discussion focused on “Women and Youth Empowerment – the Sustainable Development Goals in Practice.” The featured panelists were:

  • Márcia Balisciano, Director of Corporate Responsibility, RELX Group in London
  • Michael Sheldrick, Global Director of Policy and Advocacy, Global Poverty Project, Global Citizen in New York
  • Karin Kneissl, Austrian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Österreichisches Außenministerium
  • Martin Ledolter, Managing Director, ADA
  • Nour Barakeh, a youth representative

Other youth representatives including a Syrian refugee, Doaa Al Zamel, also presented their thoughts during the panel discussion. The panelists listened to their concerns and ideas regarding various social issues and proactively shared their expertise.

The live-streamed videos of this session can be found on the Centre’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Another breakout session was hosted by Bertelsmann Stiftung and Environment Agency Austria with the topic on “Implementing the SDGs: the challenges countries face and the solutions they offer.” During this session, BKM Centre Co-chair Ban Ki-moon gave comments and the featured panelists were:

  • Aart Jan De Geus, Chairman and CEO, Bertelsmann Stiftung in Gütersloh
  • Christian Kroll, Senior Expert, Bertelsmann Stiftung in Gütersloh
  • Susan Myers, Senior Vice President, UN Foundation in New York
  • Monika Mörth, Managing Director, Environment Agency Austria in Vienna
  • Herbert Ritsch, Director of Business Ethics, Bankhaus Schelhammer & Schattera AG in Vienna
  • Jeffrey Sachs, Director of SDSN and the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University, Professor of Economics; Special Adviser to the UNSG on SDGs; Bestselling Author; Syndicated Columnist based in New York

 

 

Ban Ki-moon speech at the EFA 2018 Opening Session

Your Excellency President Van der Bellen,
Your Excellency President Pahor
Your Excelleny President Vučić,
Your Excellency President Thaci,
Your Excellency President Fischler,
Your Excellency Commissioner Hahn,
Your Excellency Minister Kneissl,
Your Excellency Minister Köstinger,
Dear Heinz,
Distinguished Guests,
Dear Global Citizens,
Gruess Gott! Good Afternoon!

I am pleased to join you today on the occasion of the opening of the Political Symposium of the European Forum Alpbach 2018.
This year marks the third time I have had the pleasure to be part of the vibrant and truly global atmosphere which everyone can experience year after year in Alpbach. In fact, this should be my 4th time, had I not cancelled my participation in 2013 because of the Syrian Crisis. Now, I am here to pay my overdue

Today, the values of mutual understanding and tolerance – so deeply embedded in the United Nations Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – celebrating its 70th Anniversary this Year – are facing profound tests around the world.
Diversity in the form of an open and inclusive society continues to be challenged by walls, closed doors, prejudice and fear. People are targeted because of their origins, culture, faiths and traditions.
Today, too many decision makers and politicians use cynical math and biased messaging to steer fear.

In times of fear and growing hate and discrimination towards people of different beliefs, nationalities, and sexual orientations, promoting tolerance through diversity and resilience should be of fundamental importance for decision-makers worldwide.
Therefore, resilient and thus more inclusive and diverse societies that can draw on the ideas, creative energy and talents of each of their members, are profoundly encouraged by tolerance, acting as a lever for sustainable development.

Already as Secretary-General of the United Nations I underlined that the Sustainable Development Goals are our only chance to put our planet on the right path. We do not have a Plan B or a Planet B – we only have one world and one plan. The SDGs are the people’s agenda, a plan of action for putting social conflicts to a rest, for reaching equality in all its dimensions, irreversibly, globally.
The SDGs and the Paris Climate agreement need to be our guiding principles to leave no one behind. We owe this to the billions of children, women and men who, through their courage, vitality, dreams and engagement help make our global society a more prosperous, resilient and diverse one.

Ladies and gentlemen,
I have special ties to Austria. As many of you know I have opened a small humble Centre for Global Citizens in Vienna in January this year and I am leading it together with my dear friend, Heinz Fischer. Thanks to you, President Van der Bellen, Chancellor Kurz and the whole Austrian government and many others who supported us on this journey so far.

Since the beginning of this year, we have worked to build the Cente up. It is still a small start- up enterprise. We created it to help to continue to address some of the challenges the world faces today. The Centre is just a small contribution to the worldwide ongoing efforts and we are still in the process of raising adequate funding for putting our plans into practice. We cannot do this alone, so we need all your help.

Let us act as Global Citizens. Let us look beyond national borders and empower each other to thrive in a peaceful and prosperous world. For the first time in history we can end poverty, for the first time in history we are all interconnected and have the knowledge of humankind at our fingertips. We have more tools at hand than ever before. Particularly the young need to be given the right opportunities to build “their tomorrow.”

Let us therefore see the world and all its possibilities through the prism of “we the people” and let us – at the same time – reject the failed mindset of “us” versus “them.”
We are all in this together.

I believe in a world of justice and peace for all. A world where girls can grow up free of fear of abuse. A world where human rights are respected, and women are treated with the respect and dignity. A world where poverty is eradicated. A world where economic growth and sustainable development are not mutually contradictory. A world where young people have a voice and a chance for a prosperous tomorrow.

Ladies and gentlemen,
As the leaders of tomorrow, I urge you all to remain engaged, not only during this year’s European Forum Alpbach, but also beyond: You have the passion and energy and commitment to make a difference. Exchange experiences and lessons learned and encourage each other to go faster and further. Have a global vision. Go beyond your country; go beyond your national boundaries and act as a truly Global Citizen.
We can build this world – together – to leave no one behind.
Thank you.

Ban Ki-moon Centre Hosts the Second Breakfast Hub for Youth-led and Youth-focused Organizations

Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens invited young leaders and representatives from varied organizations that work with and for youth and their empowerment. To achieve the goals as a global citizen the participants shared their ideas on how they are connected to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the UN Agenda 2030.

The two keynote guest speakers were Billy Batware from the UNODC, who is Co-founder of Regional Academy on United Nations (RAUN), United for Education and Sustainable Futures (UESF), Youth Education Ambassadors (YEA), and Forum for Young Internationalists (FYI), and Katarina Eric, who is President of AIESEC in Austria.

“As you know, global citizenship requires strong networks, partnerships,” said Batware. He emphasized, “during this network event, probably, get to know others and do something together”

and ended his speech with a quote from Ban Ki-moon:

“Be a global citizen. Act with passion and compassion. Help us make this world safer and more sustainable today and for the generations that will follow us. That is our moral responsibility.”

Katarina said she strongly believes that “in order to create a better future, we need to unlock potential in youth.” She said, “a whole point of activating youth is actually creating a change agent” and that being a global citizen for her is “actually believing that you can make a change.”

The participants actively engaged in networking and workshop session by discussing what needs to be improved in the field of youth empowerment to achieve global goals. For one-on-one interviews that the Centre conducted, each of them picked their favorite SDG and explained what they have done and what they will do as a global citizen in order to achieve the goal.

The participants’ organizations are:

AIESEC in Austria, CISV Austria, Erasmus Mundus Global Studies MA Dual Degree Program (EMGS), European Youth Parliament Austria, Interact Club Austria, International Anti-Corruption Academy (IACA), Regional Academy on the United Nations (RAUN), Students Impact Initiative, Umweltbundesamt, Civil Society Team of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), WWF Generation Earth, and HeForShe in Graz/Vienna.

Remarkable Stories of People Who Created the Paris Agreement

The Paris Agreement of 2015 is an agreement made by leaders from all around the world within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and a remarkable example of collective leadership. Over several years, thousands of individuals and organizations altogether have created synergy to contribute to achieving global goals, and as of June 2018, 195 UNFCCC members have signed the agreement.

“The Paris Agreement provides a viable blueprint to mitigate the serious threats to our planet. It sets clear targets to restrict rising temperatures, limit greenhouse gas emissions, and facilitate climate-resilient development and green growth,” said Ban Ki-moon.

“Profiles of Paris” is a story-telling project initiated to further spread the importance of the Paris Agreement and to raise awareness on climate change. The project collected remarks of the global leaders in order to encourage collaboration in any area and to bring the world closer together to solve the global issues by reflecting the mistakes of the past and coming up with global solutions.

“We must remember that our work is not done yet. Indeed, the Paris Agreement is only the starting point. We need to continue to galvanize further climate action and elevate collective efforts to implement the Paris Agreement,” said Ban.

“The bottom line is that we don´t have a Plan B, because we don’t have a Planet B.”

Source/Photo: https://profilesofparis.com