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!”

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