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
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
“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
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.
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:
- Leonor Briones: Secretary of Department of Education, Philippines
- Hahn Choonghee: Special Advisor to the Speaker for Foreign Affairs, Speaker’s Office, National Assembly of the Republic of Korea
- Emmanuel Elolo Agbenonwossi: Founder, Chocotogo Cooperative & Managing Editor, GhanaWeb & Executive Director, Afrotribune
- Wei Soo, Co-Founder & Managing Director, Legal & New Market, Global Citizen
Photo: UNESCO APCEIU
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, 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.
A historic Inter-Korean summit between the Republic of Korea and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea took place on 27 April 2018 between South Korea´s President Moon Jae-in and the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
The summit took place after the two sides held several meetings in preparation for the joint attendance at the 2018 Winter Olympics. The summit was focused on the North Korean nuclear weapons program and denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
South Korea´s President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un “confirmed the common goal of realizing, through complete denuclearization, a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula.”
The Panmunjom Declaration for Peace, Prosperity and Unification of the Korean Peninsula was adopted. According to the declaration, North and South Korea agreed to work together on ending the Korean War, beginning a new era of peace and sharing commitments in ending divisions and confrontation by approaching a new era of national reconciliation, peace and prosperity and improvements to inter-Korean relations.
“A historic day for Korea! We sincerely wish that it will pave the way for lasting peace and denuclearization on the Korean peninsula”, the two Co-Chairmen of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens, former UNSG, Ban Ki-moon and former Federal President of Austria, Heinz Fischer remarked via Twitter.
Today at the margins of the Global Engagement and Empowerment Forum in Seoul, former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and former President of Austria Heinz Fischer and the Advisory Board Members of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens met the Prime Minister of the Republic of Korea Mr. Lee Naek- yeon.