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 2019 Ban Ki-moon Global Citizen scholars present their project ideas to the BKMC Board members!

The new batch of the Ban Ki-moon Global Citizen scholars of this year met with the Ban Ki-moon Centre team and its Board members in Alpbach on August 25th. A total of 6 scholars were chosen this year respectively from Rwanda, South Korea, Ghana, Jordan, and Nigeria.

The scholars presented their innovative ideas and projects aimed to advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in front of the Centre’s co-chairs and Board members and received some suggestions and advice on how to move forward with strategic plans to make the most impact.

Salahaldeen Alazaizeh, who is a Business & Innovation Designer at مؤسسة فاي للعلوم Phi Science Institute introduced “Xi Education” which is a social enterprise that aims to educate undergraduate students, equip them with advanced skills and give them an interactive experience to enhance their knowledge in research, applied science and innovation. He stressed the importance of advancing the SDG 4: Quality Education and creating a solid scientific community of young multi-disciplined youth in Jordan.

“Presenting my project in front of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens team, listening to the inspirational story from Co-chair Heinz Fischer and getting structured feedback from Co-chair Ban Ki-moon himself was one of my best experiences here in Alpbach!” – Salahaldeen Alazaizeh

Eun Ji Scarlett Park from South Korea presented her project idea on “Rain Water Harvesting” by using rainwater jars that are environmentally friendly, cost-efficient, and sustainable. She tackled the issues of increased population and pollution as well as other impacts of climate change.

“I have truly learned to acknowledge myself as a global citizen. As an individual with passion, we can be a good leader; but with the drop of compassion, you can be a global one.” – Eun Ji Park

Oyindamola Adegboye from Nigeria introduced “Common Futures Conversations” initiated by Chatham House: The Royal Institute of International Affairs where she serves as a Country Representative of Nigeria. The program’s objectives are to address the disconnect between young people and traditional policy-making processes at both a national and international level; to use digital dialogues to give young people to opportunity to enhance their understanding, connect with peers and develop their own ideas; to make their voices heard; and to foster more global cooperation on controversial and highly-debated issues. She suggested the digital hub and the CFC communities as solutions.

“I was mostly inspired by the work of the other young scholars who are doing amazing things towards a more equal and sustainable world. The passion and innovation were evident in the atmosphere and I was privileged to be in the midst of such people. They give me hope for the future of the world.” – Oyindamola Adegboye

The “Light to Read” project was initiated by Samuel Afadu who is the founder of Light My World International. In Ghana, “over 6 million people are living without electricity in their homes,” he said.

“Providing solar-powered lamps to school children in communities with no access to electricity in Ghana will enable students to study at night, improving their education and knowledge level while reducing the expense of money used by their parents to provide light for the family.” – Samuel Afadu

Belinda Isimbi Uwase, Founder of the Girls Light Our World (GLOW), explained her project which supports young girls who have recently graduated or are still in high school in Rwanda. She said the group intends to provide a platform for female students to freely express themselves, learn new skills and contribute to their community through volunteering and taking actions.

After presenting her project, Uwase said,

“Having the honor of presenting my project to such influential people was a dream come true. I felt an overwhelming feeling of pride and gratitude, and I am so thankful to the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens for giving me this opportunity. I have never felt so proud to be a global citizen.” – Belinda Isimbi Uwase

Daniel Park from South Korea presented his idea of connecting directly with farmers through an online platform in order to empower farmers and to have them have a 100% profit from their products. To execute the project, Park said that there needs to be some support from volunteers and NGOs and that sharing knowledge with others is crucial.

After sharing his project ideas, Park expressed his appreciation for having an opportunity to share his ideas and to learn from the other change-makers and leaders from all over the world.

“It was a truly amazing experience in Alpbach where I had an opportunity to see and listen closely to many global leaders such as former SG Ban Ki-moon.” – Daniel Park

One of the scholars from last year Alhassan Muniru, Co-founder of Recycle Up! Ghana, also participated in the meeting to share his experience and his own project ideas with the new scholars. The BKMC Board members, including the co-chairs, congratulated the scholars on their progress made and encouraged them to continue their impact while applying a global citizenship mindset. At the end of the presentations, the scholars were awarded the “Ban Ki-moon Global Citizen Scholarship” certificate.

Learn more: https://bankimooncentre.org/projects/global-citizen-scholars-fellows

Ⓒ BKMC / Eugenie Berger

Co-chair Ban Ki-moon congratulates James Lynch on taking his new position as the Head of the UNHCR Korea

UNHCR Korea has a new representative, James Lynch, who serves as the Head of the office starting from this month, August 2019, as the successor of Naveed Hussain. He paid a visit to the Ban Ki-moon Foundation For a Better Future in Seoul on July 30th to meet with Co-chair Ban Ki-moon.
Ban congratulated him on taking a new leadership role at the UNHCR Korea, and the two discussed on the topic of both domestic and international refugee issues and the role of the UNHCR office in Seoul. Lynch has been working with the UNHCR for 30 years and has served in countries like Thailand, Kenya, Croatia, Iraq, Sri Lanka, and Lebanon.
UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is a global organization dedicated to saving lives, protecting rights and building a better future for refugees, forcibly displaced communities and stateless people. The Agency works to ensure that everybody has the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge, having fled violence, persecution, war or disaster at home.
Ⓒ UNHCR Korea

Ban Ki-moon meets with Pope Francis to talk about peace in Korea and climate change

On April 11th, 2019, BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon visited the Vatican to have a private meeting with His Holiness Pope Francis. The two discussed on the topic of peace in the Korean peninsula and the globe as well as the issues surrounding climate change.

Mentioning his firm advocacy for peace in the Korean peninsula, the Pope stressed the importance of the continuous conversation between two Koreas in settling peace on the peninsula. He also stressed that the environment is the matter directly related to the existence of mankind, and the humankind cannot survive without solving the climate issues.

As the Pope delivered a speech at the UN General Assembly in 2015 and supported the UN with adopting the Paris Climate Agreement, Ban expressed his gratitude again for the Pope’s great attention to the global issues. Mentioning his new leadership role as the Head of the National Committee to fight against micro dust issues in Korea, Ban asked for the Pope’s continuous attention to the climate challenge and support for the necessary cooperation within the international community.

News clip by Yonhap News Agency (Korean): https://bit.ly/2VPVupK 

Photos: The Vatican

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

Ban Ki-moon emphasizes on the importance of achieving peace through the sports

“Never in the past in my life have I seen together with all the people around the world, such excitement and hope that soon there will be peace and security, and even reunification on the Korean peninsula. That is the moment we witnessed the power of sports. Power of sports. Both South and North have been really trying to reconcile during last at least 3-4 decades, but during last February, we have really seen some moment of truth that one day soon, hopefully, that we will be able to reconcile and promote much better understanding and even reunify the Korean peninsula,” said Ban Ki-moon at the Olympism in Action Forum in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

As Chair of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Ethics Commission, the Centre’s Co-chair Ban discussed the importance of achieving peace and the global goals through sports on the topic of the power of the Olympic truce with Journalist Sonali Prasad.

Dating back to 776 BC and the Ancient Olympic Games, the Olympic Truce was announced before the Olympic Games. The Olympic Truce was revived by the United Nations in 1993. Even under the most tense and volatile of circumstances, the Olympic Truce reaffirms that the Olympic values of peace, solidarity and respect are important across the world. Taking the most recent inspiring example of the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, Ban Ki-moon praised that the two Koreas and the IOC are working towards unity and that the values of Olympism have the power to unite a fractured world.

Co-chair Ban also emphasized on the importance of youth empowerment as “now more than half of the global population is under the age of 24. That means this world is much much younger … there are many young people whose opportunities are not given properly.” As many young people have already taken leadership roles today, Co-chair Ban mentioned that it is just a matter of empowering them and supporting what they have done as the youth are “equally qualified and equally intelligent.”

He said that there are still people suffering from hardships and discrimination due to their given circumstances:

“What is important at this time with all trans-formative development of technology and science and communication is only natural that we should be living in a world better for all, but there are still many people who are suffering from poverty, suffering from discrimination because of sex or because of social and economic status, because of ethnicities, etc.”

Watch the full conversation here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FryWFa0VRuQ
Source: https://www.olympic.org/olympism-in-action/the-power-of-the-olympic-truce

 

The International Day of Peace 2018 celebrated in Korea

To celebrate the International Day of Peace on September 21st, the Korean Organizing Committee for UN International Day of Peace (KOCUN-IDP) organized a three-day event on the topic of “Together Finding the Korean Peninsula Solutions for Building Peace in Northeast Asia.”

The Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens’ Board member Ambassador Kim Won-soo, Former Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, featured at a panel discussion during the event at Kintex in Goyang, Korea. CEO Monika Froehler delivered remarks and interacted with youth participants discussing the meaning of global citizenship and how peace can be achieved in Korea through reunification. KOCUN-IDP also hosted a reception at the National Assembly of Korea.

The International Day of Peace was established in 1981 by the General Assembly of the United Nations. Two decades later, in 2001, the General Assembly unanimously voted to designate the Day as a period of non-violence and cease-fire. The United Nations invites all nations and people to honor a cessation of hostilities during the Day, and to otherwise commemorate the Day through education and public awareness on issues related to peace.

Source: https://www.peaceday.kr/programs-2018

CEO Monika Froehler moderated a plenary session at the GCED conference

During the two-day International Conference on GCED held in Seoul, Korea on September 5-6th, 2018, the BKM Centre’s CEO Monika Froehler moderated a plenary session to facilitate and present experts’ talks on global citizenship education.

The session invited socially influential people to the stage one by one, who shared their ideas and views on achieving global citizenship. The speakers shared genuine stories about the power of the education on global citizenship that transforms lives.

The speakers featured on the plenary session were:

Photo: UNESCO APCEIU

“Building Peace through Sports, Culture, and Economic Cooperation” – Changwon World Peace and Democracy Forum

Changwon World Peace and Democracy Forum was organized in the occasion of the 52nd ISSF World Championship in Changwon, South Korea on September 1, 2018. ISSF stands for the International Shooting Sport Federation, and for the first time in history North Korea’s shooting team participates in its championship this year.

The forum focused on “The Realization of World Peace through Economy, Culture, and Sport” and gathered world leaders, intellectuals, and experts of each field to deliver a message of peace.

During his keynote speech at the forum, Ban Ki-moon Centre’s Co-chair Ban Ki-moon emphasized the importance of sports for peace with the example of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.

“Sport and peace have a profound relationship. Sport can contribute to peace as it has the power to promote tolerance and mutual understanding.” He continued, “We have witnessed it at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, that will remain as an historical moment of peace for the Korean peninsula.”

ISSF President Olegario Vazquez Raña also mentioned about the recent Olympics during the forum:

“Earlier this year, the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics launched a powerful message of peace to the world. We will never forget the image of the athletes from South Korea and North Korea parading together with the flags of South Korea, North Korea and the Korean Peninsula. This was an inspiring example of sport promoting peace and unity.”

Ban expressed his appreciation for the opportunity for both Korean athletes to get closer through the championship,

“This is a great occasion to promote inter-Korean relationships and to build on the momentum. I believe it’s great that athletes from the North and from the South will get to compete in the same events.”

President Raña also added that world peace through sport is a common goal of the UN, the IOC, and the ISSF and emphasized how the sport has positive impact on peace and unity.

Along with the forum, the Opening Ceremony of the 52nd ISSF World Championship in all shooting events took place with 1806 athletes from 90 nations.

Source and Photo: https://www.issf-sports.org/news.ashx?newsid=3116

Co-chair Ban Ki-moon Delivers Speech at the UN Global Compact Conference

Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens’ Co-chair Ban Ki-moon delivered keynote speech at the 10th China-Japan-Korea Roundtable Conference hosted by the UN Global Compact Network Korea (UNGC Network Korea) on August 31, 2018. The conference is annually hosted by each of three countries respectively in order to facilitate discussions on the UNGC and CSR (corporate social responsibility) in Asia.
 
The topic of this year’s conference was “SDGs for Business: Challenges or Opportunities?”.

Co-chair Ban, who is also Honorary Chair of the UNGC Network Korea, praised the conference as an outstanding example of regional cooperation that helped three countries diffuse CSR and that contributed to global cooperation. He urged that the SDGs must be achieved in order to leave no one behind, to reach gender equality, to sustain people’s health, and to protect the environment.

 

The conference featured President Dong-gun Lee of UNGC Network Korea, President Goto Toshihiko of UNGC Network Japan, President Brian Gallegher of the United Way Worldwide, CEO Gyubok Choi of Yuhan Kimberly, CEO Wu Nianbo of Suzhou Good-ark Electronics, and many other leading figures from both private sector and public sector.

 
Student representatives from all three countries, Korea, Japan, and China, had presentations on the topic of “Business for Peace in East Asia.” The representatives prepared the presentations throughout two-month-long research and discussions on the main issues of human rights, labor issues and conflicts, and the roles of the government, corporations, academia, and civil society. They actively proposed suggestions to solve the issues and also screened a film produced by themselves about “The Fourth Industrial Revolution and Sustainable Business.”