Mobilising to Advance the SDGs – A Joint Event and Interactive Panel

On March 3, the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens together with European Union Delegation in Vienna (Twitter: @euunvie), Joint SDG Fund (Twitter: @JointSDGFund), and The OPEC Fund for International Development (Twitter: @TheOPECFund) hosted a panel discussion on the successes and challenges of mobilising to advance the SDGs and the 2030 Agenda.

The event was opened by His Excellency Ambassador Stephan Klement, EU Ambassador and Head of Delegation of the European Union to the International Organisations in Vienna. Followed by the warm welcome from Deputy Head of Representation of the European Commission in Austria, Wolfgang Bogensberger.

Co-chair Heinz Fischer delivered opening remarks before the panel discussion. Sharing his personal experience of his presidency of the Republic of Austria, he emphasised the importance of cooperation to achieve the SDGs.

Co-chair Heinz Fischer went on to talk about the previous Millenium Development Goals and how the Sustainable Development Goals developed, integrating lessons learned from the MDGs. Co-chair Heinz Fischer did not hesitate to also mention the difficulties when it comes to the implementation of the SDGs.

“Even if the the SDGs might not be entirely perfect, they are currently the best instrument to indicate the diverse situations of each country and stress that each country must do its share to achieve a world in which peace and prosperity is a given, leaving no one behind.”

In subsequence, the panel discussion, moderated by Ms. Mona Khalil, provided more detail on how international institutions mobilise to advance the SDGs. The speakers included

  • Ms. Katrin Harvey, Chief Operating Officer, Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens
  • Mr. Gautam Babbar, Chief of Strategic Planning and Interagency Affairs, United Nations
  • Mr. Walid Mehalaine, Head, Grants and Technical Assistance Unit, OPEC Fund

It became evident, that the organizations concentrate on strategically investing their efforts and resources in projects and programs that promise the biggest impact to advance the SDGs. Nevertheless, the speakers highlighted that the impact of any project remains minimal if the commitment of national governments towards the SDGs is limited. The annual 2.5 trillion USD funding gap that continues to exist needs to be tackled through multilateral partnerships if the SDGs are to be achieved by 2030.

In the Q&A session, following the panel discussion, the audience showed through interactive and dynamic engagement that the SDGs are a priority issue, not only for international organizations but also for academia, the private sector and civil society actors.

We thank our partners for the fruitful cooperation that made this event a success!

The second BKMC x UNESCO APCEIU collaborative online course is now available on GCED Online Campus!

Today on February 21st, 2020, the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens is pleased to officially launch its second collaborative online course with UNESCO APCEIU on GCED Online Campus. Those who are interested in learning about the issues surrounding gender equality and how to effectively tackle the issues and contribute to empowering women and girls are cordially invited to take the course.

This course provides global citizens an opportunity to learn from global leaders, experts and advocates from across sectors: international organizations, universities, NGOs, governments, and corporations.

While our first course introduced the overall concept of global citizenship and the SDGs, our second course focuses on the topics of gender equality and women’s empowerment with a combination of the series of lectures by renowned international experts on concepts, theories and thematic areas, interviews with scholars, UN representatives, change makers, case presentations of innovative approaches and practices by global citizens all around the world.

Understanding the 5th SDG – the multifaceted issues around it and the efforts put forth worldwide to achieve it – is the foundation for this course. Particularly, the course aims to examine and critically reflect on the revolving issues around both gender equality and women’s empowerment with sustainable development by providing a platform where learners can virtually meet and learn from one another. It brings a critical eye to gender inequality and how it is addressed in the field of sustainable development.

Learners will be able to deepen their understanding of gender equality and women’s empowerment, exchange and embrace different perspectives, and challenge their own assumptions. The course invites those who see themselves as global citizens as well as who aspire to assume active roles in bringing meaningful changes to oneself and so the society they are in.

“Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment: A Pathways to Sustainable Development” is comprised of five modules:

(1) Introduction to Gender Equality and Women’s Rights
(2) Gender Equality in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
(3) Women’s Empowerment
(4) Critical Issues on Gender Equality
(5) Plan for Action Paving the Way to Equality

After completing all courses, students will received a Certificate issued by UNESCO APCEIU and the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens. Requirements for the completion are as followed:
1) Watch all lectures / videos
2) Participate in Form / Discussion
3) Take a quiz
4) Final Assignment
5) Course Evaluation

Please invite those around you, who see themselves as global citizens as well as who aspire to assume active roles in bringing meaningful changes to oneself and to global society! Register HERE.

The first BKMC x UNESCO APCEIU collaborative online course is still available on GCED Online Campus!

The first collaborative online course project by BKMC and UNESCO APCEIU, “Becoming Global Citizens for a Sustainable Society,” introduced us the SDGs and the notion of Global Citizenship through the series of lectures by renowned experts from all over the world, interviews with scholars, advocates and representatives from all different sectors, and case presentations by active global citizens.

The course aims to examine and critically reflect on the revolving issues around the globe at local, national, and international levels by providing a platform where learners can virtually meet and learn from one another.

Through this course, learners could deepen their understanding of the SDGs and global citizenship, exchange and embrace different perspectives, and challenge their own assumptions.

Launched in September 2019, this course is a self-paced course that is open all year round to anyone who aspires to assume active roles in bringing meaningful changes to oneself and to global society!

“Becoming Global Citizens in a Sustainable Society” is comprised of five difference modules in which lectures, discussions, interviews or documentary films are included in respective topics.

Speakers of this course includes BKMC Co-chairs Ban Ki-moon and Heinz Fischer and a number of other stellar speakers from UN organizations, universities, NGOs, governments, and the private sector.

After completing all courses, students will received a certificate issued by UNESCO APCEIU and the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens. Requirements for the completion are as followed:
1) Watch all lectures / videos
2) Participate in Form / Discussion
3) Take a quiz
4) Final Assignment
5) Course Evaluation

Here are some comments from the global citizen learners who took this course!

“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 Sakaula

The 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!

Ban Ki-moon Centre receives the 3rd instalment of Kuwait’s donation

Today we welcomed Ambassador Sadiq Marafi, who also serves as the Ban Ki-moon Centre’s Board member, and Counsellor Abdullah Alobaidi of the Embassy of Kuwait in Vienna. The Kuwaiti delegation visited the Centre to convey the 3rd instalment of Kuwait’s donation to the Ban Ki-moon Centre.

Co-chair Heinz Fischer, CEO Monika Froehler, and COO Katrin Harvey expressed the Centre’s sincere appreciation for the Kuwaiti government and the Embassy’s continued support. The past and ongoing collaboration between the Centre and the Embassy was discussed during the meeting.

BKMC CEO Monika Froehler’s remark on the 2nd Anniversary of the Ban Ki-moon Centre

Celebrating the 2nd Anniversary of the Ban Ki-moon Centre on January 3rd, 2020, CEO Monika Froehler shared her remark:

“On January 3rd, 2018, the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens was officially inaugurated at the Austrian Chancellery. What a journey it has been since then?”

“We supported our co-chairs’ leadership, built lasting partnerships across the globe, spread the information on the SDGs and their implementation, and most importantly, touched the lives of hundreds of women and young people to support them and give them a voice, a seat at the table, and opportunities they did not have before.”

“We are grateful for all the support we received on our journey and are humbled by the vast tasks ahead to enhance global citizenship. But as an old Chinese proverb says, ‘No road is too long with friends at your side.’ Thanks to all global citizens for being with us on that journey!”

Co-chair Heinz Fischer Meets with BKMC Board Members and Henry Kissinger in New York

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.

BKMC co-hosts the event “Evolving beyond Trauma” as part of the Orange the World Campaign 2019

“The world needs to heal from trauma.” – Elena Castellucci, Past-President Juvenilia Club Vienna, Soroptimist International Austria, founding member TANKA Solutions.

On the occasion of the UN Women campaign “Orange The World”, the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens brought together an event Orange the World 2019: Evolving Beyond Trauma with partners Juvenilia Club Vienna, Soroptimist International Vienna on December 3, 2019.

Every fifth woman in Austria – around 20 percent of all women – is exposed to physical and/or sexual violence from the age of 15. One in three women had to experience some form of sexual harassment since they were 15 years old. Every seventh woman is affected by stalking from the age of 15. Many women experience traumas that accompany them throughout their lives.

The events included keynote speeches and a panel discussion on trauma of female victims of violence against women including domestic violence.

This topic was addressed by a jury of internationally acclaimed experts who will speak openly about their personal, unfiltered stories and share their knowledge and valuable insights into this complex topic.

Co-chair Heinz Fischer delivered a keynote speech and stressed three important points:

  • Education and Information
  • Safe space (which should be funded by the government)
  • Awareness (which should create solidarity, help, understanding, and courage)

Elena Castellucci, Past-President Juvenilia Club Vienna, Soroptimist International Austria, founding member TANKA Solutions, said during the opening that we need to create a shift and decrease the amount of trauma by creating a real support system.”

Before the panel discussion, an actress and author Erika Pluhar read an excerpt from one of her books “Raising the Voice.”

Many inspiring stellar speakers were there to support the victims because talking about trauma requires courage and learning about it requires compassion.

Speakers:
Elena Castellucci, Past-President Juvenilia Club Vienna, Soroptimist International Austria, founding member of TANKA Solutions
Co-chair Heinz Fischer, Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens, former President of Austria
Dr. Desiree Schweitzer, UN Women Austria
Marcella Sigmund-Graff, President of the Austrian Union, Soroptimist International Austria

Reading:
Erika Pluhar

Panel discussion:
Kimberly Budinsky, moderator
Sean McCarthy, Founder of TEDS Foundation, CEO of Tanka Solutions & HolisticHealth Coach
Louise Deininger, Conceptual Artist & Founder of GYCO
Sharon Anena, GYCO Administration Manager & Chief Assistant, Founder of Julias Heart CBO
Rania Mustafa Ali, Jornalist & Documentarist
Dr. Susanne Hölbfer, Senior Physician Gynecology at Wilhelminenspital
Serani Siegel, Project Manager in the Gender Section of the Office of the OSCE Secretary General

Source: UN Women

BKMC Holds the Reception marking the Launch #OrangeTheWorld Campaign in Austria

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

Co-chair Heinz Fischer gave a keynote speech at the Impact Days 2019

On October 11th, BKMC Co-chair Heinz Fischer delivered an inspirational keynote speech ‘The Global Relevance of the SDGs’ at the Impact Days 2019 that kicked off on October 10th in Vienna, Austria. 

As the former president of Austria and co-chair of the Ban Ki-moon Centre, Dr. Fischer motivated participants to advance toward a sustainable future.

The Impact Days 2019 is an annual conference that inspires, connects and empowers young people to confront the most challenging issues of our time. 

To read his full speech, click HERE.

© Impact Hub

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.