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

The 4th Board meeting of the Ban Ki-moon Centre takes place in Vienna

“Half of my heart lies in Vienna,”

said Co-chair Ban Ki-moon at the beginning of the 4th Board meeting held on August 27-28th. Following the first Board meeting hosted in Seoul, the second in Alpbach, and the third in Kuwait, the fourth was hosted at the City Hall of Vienna in Austria.

Mayor of Vienna Michael Ludwig welcomed the BKMC Board members and expressed his appreciation for having the Ban Ki-moon Centre based in Vienna as well as its contributions to the city’s development in the field of multilateralism and its leading role in international affairs.

The participants included:

  • Ban Ki-moon, BKMC Co-chair & 8th Secretary-General of the United Nations
  • Heinz Fischer, BKMC Co-chair & 11th President of Austria
  • Márcia Balisciano, Director of RELX Corporate Responsibility
  • Irina Bokova, Former Director-General of UNESCO
  • Maurice Lévy, Chairman of Publicis Groupe
  • Ed Futa, Former General-Secretary of Rotary International
  • Ambassador Kim Won-soo, former UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs
  • Ambassador Sadiq Marafi, Permanent Representative of Kuwait to the United Nations in Vienna
  • Andrea Pfanzelter, Senior Advisor of the KAICIID International Dialogue Centre
  • Michael Sheldrick, Co-founder and Vice President, Global Policy and Government Affairs at Global Citizen
  • Ambassador Shin Chae-hyun, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Korea to the United Nations in Vienna
  • Jean Todt, President of the FIA and United Nations Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Road Safety
  • Dimitri de Vreeze, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of DSM Netherlands
  • Monika Froehler, Chief Executive Officer of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens
  • Ambassador Choi Sung-ju, Ban Ki-moon Foundation for a Better Future

CEO Monika Froehler moderated the meeting, briefing the Board on the Centre’s past engagements and development. The Board discussed strategic methods for promoting the activities and projects of the Centre as well as effective ways to amplify the messages through the Centre’s various partnerships and affiliated offices. Ambassador Choi from the Ban Ki-moon Foundation for a Better Future based in Seoul also presented the Foundation’s vision and mission to the BKMC Board and discussed possible collaborations.

 

© BKMC & Eugenie Berger

BKMC Board members get welcomed by South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yeon in Seoul

Upon their visit to Seoul, South Korea to participate in the Global Engagement & Empowerment Forum (GEEF) 2019, some of the Board members of the Centre were welcomed by South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yeon on February 15th, 2019. Prime Minister Lee has also welcomed the BKMC Board last year on the occasion of the Centre’s first Board meeting held on the margins of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.

During the meeting this time, Prime Minister Lee and Ambassador Choo Jong-youn, who is Diplomatic Advisor to the Prime Minister, were informed of the Centre’s implemented projects with the fund received from the Korea Foundation at the end of last year. Including the GEEF 2019 that took place on February 14-15th, the Centre exchanged its successful ongoing and upcoming projects in close partnership with its partners in Korea. BKMC Co-chair Heinz Fischer, who is former President of the Republic of Austria, and Prime Minister Lee also discussed the peace process in Korea, including denuclearization in the Korean peninsula.

Other BKMC Board members who were present at the meeting were Ambassador Sadiq Marafi of the Kuwaiti Embassy in Vienna, Ambassador Shin Dong-ik of the Korean Embassy in Vienna, Dr. Irina Bokova who is former Director General of UNESCO, Dr. Márcia Balisciano who serves as Director of Corporate Responsibility of RELX Group, and Monika Froehler, CEO of the Centre.

The Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens looks forward to further strengthening its close relationship with Korea throughout pursuing the upcoming cooperative projects with its partner organizations in Korea.

Photo by the Prime Minister’s Office

BKMC co-organizes the symposium on “Empowering Women and Supporting Youth in Development and Citizenship” in Kuwait

In cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the General Secretariat of the Supreme Council for Planning and Development of Kuwait, the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens co-organized the symposium on “Empowering Women and Supporting Youth in Development and Citizenship” in Kuwait on February 12th, 2019.

At the opening, BKMC Co-chairs Ban Ki-moon and Heinz Fischer delivered a keynote.

Ban emphasized that “now is the time to mobilize the global business community as never before.”

“Realizing the Sustainable Development Goals will improve the environment for doing good business and building markets. Trillions of dollars in public and private funds are to be redirected towards the SDGs, creating huge opportunities for responsible companies to deliver solutions,” said Ban.

“Despite the challenges we currently face,” he concluded “if we join together in strong partnerships and move forward as global citizens, we can achieve our global goals and create a brighter future for all.”

Co-chair Fischer stressed that women’s empowerment

“must also be regarded as a global issue and put into the bigger picture. It is a key to peace, to eliminating all forms of violence, and to enabling families, communities, and nations to thrive.”

He also shared the deepest appreciation to the Centre’s Board member, Ambassador Sadiq Marafi, praising his commitment to supporting the Centre from the beginning and to all his collaborative initiatives to foster women’s empowerment.

Fischer added, “we are looking forward to intensifying our work with Kuwait and in particular with the General Secretariat of the Supreme Council for Planning and Development and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kuwait and to identifying further opportunities for cooperation.”

The 1st session of the symposium was entitled “Empowering Women,” featuring women leaders and representatives from both public and civil sector. BKMC Board members Irina Bokova, former UNESCO Director-General, and Andrea Pfanzelter, KACIID Senior Advisor, were featured as panelists of the session.

For the 2nd session entitled “Youth Role in Development and Citizenship,” representatives of a specialized center in supporting youth development in Kuwait and from the civil society, a graduate student from Kuwait University, as well as BKMC Board members were featured. The featured Board members of the Centre included Jean Todt, FIA President, Ahmad Alhendawi, Secretary-General of the World Organization of the Scout Movement, and Michael Sheldrick, Global Citizen Vice President.

The last session entitled “Role and Efforts of Private Sector in Empowering Women and Supporting Youth in Development” featured representatives from Zain Telecommunication, Kuwait National Bank, and private sector.

 

The 3rd BKMC Board meeting takes place in Kuwait

On February 11-12th, the 3rd Board meeting of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens took place in Kuwait. The ‘Why Group’ (Márcia Balisciano, Susan Myers, Arrey Obenson, and Michael Sheldrick) of the Centre presented a document based on their discussion on the “Why” of the Ban Ki-moon Centre, suggesting clearer vision and missions, measurable projects and investments, and the Centre’s position in correlation with its Co-chairs and Board members.

After discussion, the Board agreed on the following adjusted mission statement:

“The Ban Ki-moon Centre – working with global citizens across boundaries to create a better and safer future.”

The Centre will continue to put efforts in achieving its goals by
* Focusing on implementing the project plans
* Measuring deliverables
* Dividing responsibilities between the affiliated offices
* Branding and consolidating the Centre’s activities
* Fundraising for 2020 budget objective

National Assembly Speaker Marzouq al-Ghanim welcomes the BKMC in Kuwait

On February 11th, Marzouq al-Ghanim, Speaker of the Kuwaiti National Assembly welcomed the Centre’s Co-chairs Ban Ki-moon and Heinz Fischer and the Board members Daniele Bodini, Irina Bokova, as well as Ambassador Sadiq Marafi who organized the visit. Before meeting the Amir of the State of Kuwait, the group had a brief discussion and a tour around the Bayan Palace.

 

Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens at the 2018 Future Consensus Forum

“2018 Future Consensus Forum: Next Civilized City and Sustainable Development” was co-organized by BKMC partners Yeosijae (Future Consensus Institute)Tsinghua University, and Institute for Global Engagement and Empowerment (IGEE) in Beijing, China on November 3-5th, 2018.

The Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens’ Co-chair Ban Ki-moon delivered a keynote at the opening session of the forum, highlighting the importance of sustainable cities both as the greatest inter-connected challenge and the key enabler of the SDGs. It was received with strong endorsement by the audience which included parliamentarians, mayors and academicians from across the world. Ban also addressed the issues and solutions during media interviews.

A special discussion hosted by the Centre was moderated by Ambassador Kim Won-soo, who is former UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs and a Board Member of the Centre. Featured speakers of the discussion included:

  • Jean Todt: President of FIA; BKMC Board Member
  • Irina Bokova: former Director General of UNESCO; BKMC Board Member
  • Wu Hongbo: Co-director of the Institute for Sustainable Development Goals of Tsinghua University (TUSDG); former United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs
  • Liu Song: Vice President of Alibaba Group

Professor Myongsei Sohn of Yonsei University, who serves as Executive Director of IGEE, also participated in a panel discussion during the second plenary session focusing on the digital era and the next civilized city. The audience actively engaged in the discussions on topics including transportation in smart cities and the reinforcement of road safety, the importance of education in the field of sustainable city planning, policy decision and solidarity, and the role of technology needed for sustainable city.

The Future Consensus Forum aims to
– seek for ways to make the development of future cities sustainable by analyzing the issues modern cities face;
– share the importance of developing a city centered around small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and venture businesses using creativity;
– share the images of a newly civilized city that will realize sustainable society led by digital advancement.

Watch live-streamed video of the forum this year: https://zhibo.ifeng.com/video.html?liveid=122854&fbclid=IwAR0Hx99TMWhomj6Dkd3Z0nmJyVzHiDBMZoO-3gE56BfYayRkc6hPLGOvstU
Videos of the previous forums can be found on the YouTube channel of Yeosijae: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCr8DHn5gQVeJvlOkaaFWnDg

Photo: Yeosijae

Ban Ki-moon Centre featured at a plenary session at EFA 2018

Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens’ Co-chair Heinz Fischer, who is also Honorary Chair of Alpbach-Laxenburg Group and the Centre’s Board member Irina Bokova, Former Director General of UNESCO featured at a plenary session during the political symposium held at European Forum Alpbach on August 28th, 2018.

The session was hosted by Alpbach-Laxenburg Group in cooperation with IIASA and had a panel discussion on “reconciling (bio)diversity protection and effort to mitigate climate change.” On the panel, also featured were David Nabarro, who served as Special Advisor to the United Nations Secretary-General on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Climate Change, Patricia Espinosa Cantellano, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, and Kristin Vala Ragnarsdottir, Professor of Sustainability Science at the University of Iceland.