Innovative Initatives to Prevent Gender-Based Violence

As a part of 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence and the Orange the World Campaign, the Ban Ki-moon Centre hosted an interactive session during the  Education for Justice Global Dialogue Series organized by the United Nations Office of Drugs & Crime.

The event series, part of the Education for Justice initiative held between 1 – 4 December, was launched with a virtual high-level opening, where Co-chair Ban Ki-moon delivered his opening remarks, underlining the importance of youth education and rule of law for a more just world Empowering children & youth to understand & exercise their rights is what will bring us an equitable & sustainable future based on the universality of human rights” – Ban Ki-moon 

 

The interactive session hosted by the BKMC titled “Education, Empowerment and Effective Policies: Preventing Gender-Based Violence”  welcomed three experts and presentations of their innovative initiatives to prevent gender-based violence.

Setting the tone of the discussion, CEO Monika Froehler highlighted the urgency of the topic: Education, empowerment, and effective policies are key tools to prevent and eliminate gender-based violence. We must act now to create a long-term solution.” 

As the first intervention Humberto Carolo – Executive Director of White Ribbon Canada, shared his expertise on education for and inclusion of all, in particular men and boys, to address all forms of gender-based violence:  “Accountable, intersectional, human rights-based, feminist-informed primary prevention with men and boys is an important complementary approach to ending all forms of gender-based violence and discrimination. Men and boys have important roles to play as gender equality allies and change agents at the individual and systemic levels.  

Sabeeka Ahmad, BKMC Global Citizen Fellow, and Social Entrepreneur shared her expertise on women’s empowerment and the mission of her business. The Bahrain based social enterprise Warsha develops customized programs for survivors of violence and works with women in the long run especially on financial stability:  “We support survivors of GBV by listening to them. Only then we can design our intervention towards empowerment and recovery!” 

With regards to effective policies for #GBV, Kristina Lunz, Co-founder & Co-director of the Centre for Feminist Foreign Policy underlined how current ideas and concepts in the security and foreign policy sector are based on an idea of dominating other states and individuals. She claimed: “Domination always requires violence. Gender-based violence is an epidemic in our society – we will only be able to overcome male violence against women once we have created a society based on equality. An end to violence is always grounded in mutual respect. “

 

 

Following the presentations, the audience was invited to join three virtual booths with each expert (Education, Empowerment, and Effective Policies) to engage in a brainstorming session and discuss innovative initiatives to prevent gender-based violence.  

The education booth led by Humberto emphasized the need for a multi-stakeholder approach against backlashes to women’s rights. Sabeeka engaged her participants in the discussion via an online survey, discussing the complementing elements to financial empowerment such as education, trained health services, women’s clubs, etc. 

Kristina encouraged attendees with a provoking question to think about how to drive change: “What makes you furious and angry about current policies for GBV? “ . Effective policies are only so effective when more women are part of the decision-making process, all people are educated on the issue, and multi-stakeholders recognize and raise awareness on GBV. 

BKMC at the SDG Marketplace

On September 24th, the BKMC participated in an SDG Marketplace event organized by the Directorate of Education of the City of Vienna. During the fair, a diverse selection of institutions presented their teaching and learning materials on the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly for students. The materials will be showcased throughout the year for teachers and students at the Bildungshub Vienna.

Info booths were provided by BAOBABÖKOLOGAmnesty International AustriaForum Umweltbildung, and the Human Rights Office of the City of Vienna and BKMC.

 

The networking event highlighted the diverse SDG activities of the participating organizations and served to explore possible synergies in the implementation of the SDGs, particularly in the education sector.

City of Vienna Director of the Education Hub Mag. Heinrich Himmer and Co-Chair of the BKMC, Dr. Heinz Fischer emphasized the crucial role of schools as multipliers for the SDGs. Children and youth are the changemakers of tomorrow who must utilize the Agenda 2030 as a roadmap to navigate in the world and to solve its complex challenges.”

The newly launched interactive SDG wall, including an app, will serve as an instrument to educate students about the interconnectedness of the 17 goals.

Co-Chair Dr. Heinz Fischer and CEO Monika Fröhler addressed teachers and students in a video message, in which they highlighted the importance of the SDGs BKMC’s contribution notably the Centre’s three completely free online courses, the portfolio of SDG micro-projects prepared by the Centre’s various fellows and scholars and the SDG Resource Hub. More teaching and learning materials are available at Bildung2030

Kick-Off Event Hosted with Bildungsdirektion


The year 2020 marks the beginning of an impactful cooperation between the Bildungsdirektion Wien and the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens, working towards the implementation of the SDGs into Viennese Schools.

The jointly organized kick-off event that took place on June 18th, 2020 saw the participation of over 80 teachers and directors from the majority of primary and secondary schools in Vienna.

The event, moderated by CEO Monika Froehler, introduced the participants to the SDGs and created room for discussions about the challenges of and opportunities for integrating the 17 global goals into school curricula. The education director in Vienna, Heinrich Himmer, as well as Ban Ki-moon Centre co-chairman Heinz Fischer both highlighted the importance of education for the SDGs and the crucial role of young people in achieving the 2030 Agenda.

During the presentation, a mentimeter survey collected opinions and thoughts of the participants. This way it became evident that cooperation, teacher workshops and student projects were needed to fully introduce the SDGs to every primary and secondary school in Vienna.

 

In the breakout rooms, the participants were able to discuss their experiences with the SDGs and share ideas about a successful implementation of the agenda into existing curricula. Ideas for the integration of the SDGs included city-wide competitions on the SDGs, workshops for teachers, expert groups in schools, inclusion in textbooks and student project days.

The pedagogical director Ulrike Mangl gave concluding remarks and pointed to the BildungsHub Vienna, which will actively start promoting the SDGs in its facilities as of fall 2020.

An SDG marketplace with materials and experts is envisaged to take place at the BildungsHub at the beginning of the winter semester this year.

As a result of the kick-off event and the inquired SDG materials, the Ban Ki-moon Centre will soon publish a resource page for Austria and abroad.

Stay tuned to learn more about Vienna’s progress in integrating the SDGs into primary and secondary school programs.

Die Presse: “It’s in Our Hands”


The Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens Co-chairs Ban Ki-moon and Heinz Fischer have co-authored an article for the Austrian newspaper Die Presse on COVID19 and the challenging tasks that lie ahead. You can access the German version of the article here and read the English version below.


It is in Our Hands

Die Presse, 3 June 2020 by Ban Ki-moon and Heinz Fischer

6 months ago – in December 2019 – the term Covid-19 was, at best, only familiar to a small group of scientists.

Today, the term has captured the attention of the world, bringing with it fear and tension as well as influence on politics, the economy, culture, sport, and most importantly, the lives of individuals. At the same time, it has also raised many questions.

In the first months of this year, while the number of individuals infected by the virus and death tolls rose sharply, many trivialized Covid-19 by comparing it to the annual wave of influenza. On the other hand, others over-dramatized the situation and overstated the actual number of victims. Slowly, a more realistic picture has emerged.

The tasks we are now facing are huge, but not impossible to achieve if we work together and act in solidarity.

The key terms that matter are COOPERATION, SOLIDARITY, RESPONSIBILITY, DISCIPLINE, and COMPASSION FOR THE MOST VULNERABLE.

Let us start with a concrete example: Austria and Korea are two countries with excellent relations which uphold the basic principles of the United Nations. These two countries have had decades of close political, economic, and cultural cooperation and now have been similarly affected by Covid-19. With well-developed healthcare systems, both countries have acted quickly, their populations have behaved responsibly and with great discipline. Fortunately, this can also be said of several other countries which are willing to cooperate, exchange experiences, and provide mutual support.

It should not be overlooked that many countries have also reacted differently, namely by not taking the pandemic seriously enough or withdrawing into a narrow nationalistic mindset and deviating from the principle of solidarity and cooperation.

In addition, the USA and China, superpower G-2 countries, are currently fatally divided.

This does not change the fact that, overcoming this pandemic through medical research, improved healthcare systems and international cooperation, remains a major issue and a global task.

The challenges we face now require a strong commitment to the Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals, whereby goals number 1 (No Poverty), number 3 (Good Health and Well-Being), number 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation), number 13 (Climate Action) and number 17 (Partnership for the Goals) must be tackled and pursued much more vigorously. It is encouraging to note that many countries are taking action for these goals and that G-20 leaders have committed to taking all necessary steps to stop the virus from spreading and to provide the global economy, particularly the global South, with appropriate resources.

The EU is currently working on an extensive reconstruction package with a volume of about 750 billion Euros. An interesting and important discussion is taking place regarding what portion of the package should be spent on grants and what portion should be issued as loans for repayment.

The world is closely watching the process and discussions within the EU which we hope will demonstrate solidarity and compassion based on our common values in a difficult situation.

After the Second World War, Europe benefited greatly from the economic assistance and solidarity shown by the United States in the form of the Marshall Plan.

This plan benefited everyone involved.

Why don’t the G-20 and OECD countries show the same support to the global South now?  Why should stronger countries in Europe not show their solidarity with countries that have been badly affected by the pandemic? This principle must be applied worldwide. The poorest countries in the world are particularly vulnerable to the effects of the Coronavirus. These countries have already suffered from humanitarian crises, conflicts, food insecurity, inadequate healthcare systems, and more. Therefore, the verbal and theoretical commitments to solidarity must also be reflected in concrete actions.

At this time, it is also important to consider how to handle border controls to allow medical devices and urgently required materials to be transported to places where they are most needed.

Covid-19 sheds light on the many profound inequalities that still persist on our planet. The inequalities between and within certain countries have also been exacerbated by the pandemic. Restrictions imposed over the past weeks and months on producers and consumers and their freedom of movement, travel and assembly, have been necessary and expected. However, governments and legislators must take into account that these important and well-intentioned measures should not further marginalize vulnerable groups and individuals, and that due consideration of various points of view should be given in order to find the best possible way forward during each phase.

Even before Covid-19 captivated our attention, we were preoccupied with the existential threats of nuclear weapons and climate change. Covid-19 and its economic and social implications bear consequences that make everyday life harder than ever before.

Together we must have the necessary courage, wisdom, and solidarity to meet these global challenges. We live in a world that is changing rapidly and it is up to us to chart the right course for a better future for all.


Heinz Fischer is the 11th President of Austria and Co-chair of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens based in Vienna, Austria.

Ban Ki-moon is the 8th Secretary-General of the UN and Co-chair of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens based in Vienna, Austria.

Integrating SDGs in Viennese Curriculum

May 27th 2020, marked the start of an influential partnership between the Ban Ki-moon Centre and the Bildungsdirektion fur Wien. (Directorate of Education).

The cooperation between the BKMC and Bildungsdirektion Wien aims to promote and advance the SDGs education in secondary schools in Vienna. Today, Heinz Fischer, the BKMC Co-chair joined Director of Education Mag. Heinrich Himmer at the newly established Bildungshub that serves as a platform to share creative impulses and innovative learning practices where teachers and students discuss new ideas and implement projects. Through the video recorded today Co-chair Heinz Fischer will address teachers and students to express the importance of the SDGs to tackle today’s challenges .

Times of crisis like the COVID19 pandemic highlight the utmost importance of education and knowledge about the interconnectedness of global challenges.The joint mission of education for the Sustainable Development Goals leads to a synergetic pathway between the BKMC and Bildungsdirektion Wien. 

The collaboration will start with an online kick-off event on the topic of “The relevance of the SDGs in Viennese schools” on June 18th . Experts from the education sector will discuss ways of integrating the SDGs into the existing curricula.  

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!”