Co-chair Ban Ki-moon gives a special lecture at the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).

“Nature is sending us a strong warning: we must listen to its voice. Nature does not negotiate; it does not wait for us. Unless we work together as one, we will never be able to fight climate change.”  – Co-chair Ban Ki-moon

On January 31, Co-chair Ban Ki-moon gave a special lecture on the topic of “Addressing Climate Change and Air Pollution in Asia-Pacific” as a part of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP)’s Distinguished Person Lecture Series.

The special lecture was opened with UN ESCAP Executive Secretary Armida Alisjahbana’s opening remark.

“In Asia-Pacific, it is our historic opportunity to consider how we can be a solution-provider, raise ambition and take transformative action in response to the climate crisis.”

In his lecture, Co-chair Ban Ki-moon expressed his concerns on the gravity of climate change. To warn that we are running out to time, he referenced the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s report, which reported that we are left with only 12 years to make a massive and unprecedented change to mitigate the consequences of global temperature rise to its moderate levels.

Moving on, Co-chair Ban underscored the deadly health hazards resulted from air pollution as a global challenge. He said,

“There is clear evidence that links particulate matters to various illnesses such as respiratory disease, cardiovascular disease, stroke, and even cancer.”

He also referred to the findings of the World Health Organization (WHO) that 92% of the Asia-Pacific population – roughly 4 billion people – are already exposed to high levels of air pollution. He noted how these two serious matters are linked together and are like two sides of the same coin. He said,

“Not only they share similar emission sources, but they also influence and exacerbate each other.”

Despite the complexity of these issues, Co-chair Ban showed a sense of optimism.

“Fortunately, the close link between the two challenges means that collective action can maximize impact effectiveness. The intertwined nature of the two challenges also means that effective action cannot be pursued separately. Joint action is an absolute must.”

During his speech, Co-chair Ban commended the efforts and actions taken by the UN ESCAP in adopting the resolution on ‘strengthening regional cooperation to tackle air pollution challenges in Asia and the Pacific’.

Moreover, he spoke highly of Italy for taking the first step in making climate change mandatory in early education, and said,

“Last year, we witnessed the power of a single young person. After hearing Greta Thunberg, I’m emphasizing quality education on environment for young people. When they are educated, they will be equipped with leadership and ready to take action.”

As he concluded his lecture, Co-chair Ban said,

“This decade will be the final decade where we can turn the tide against the irreversible destruction of our climate. If we miss that deadline, ALL of us will meet the consequences. A ‘me versus you’ mentality has no meaning in climate action. Remember, that it should be ‘us versus climate change’.”

 

Watch the full lecture

Source Ban Ki-moon Foundation for a Better Future 

© UN ESCAP

WEP Asia fellows actively discuss on the topics of leadership and global issues at tailor-made training sessions

Since the program kicked off on September 30th, the global citizen fellows of the Women’s Empowerment Program Asia (WEP Asia) have actively participated in a number of tailor-made training sessions.

  • Pitching & Presenting – Skills and Capacity Training by Kate WALKER (Lecturer, University of Vienna; Independent Consultant)
  • “Taking urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts” by Reinhard STEURER (Associate Professor, Institute of Forest, Environmental and Natural Resource Policy, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences)
  • Leveraging Differences: Building Cross-Cultural Management and Leadership Capacity for Game Changers & Cosmopolitan Leadership for a Complex World by Andreas Sami PRAUHART (Leadership and Development Catalyst and Policy Advisor)


“Climate change is not about some species going extinct. It is about whether we will survive in the next 200 years,” Steurer said.

During the lecture, the fellows shared their own views on climate change, what needs to be done and beyond.

“One part of the negotiation is justice,” said Prauhart who taught the importance of building communication skills to reach mutually beneficial solutions.

Critical questions were raised such as:

  • “What would you do with an apple when two different parties want it?”
  • “How can we overcome the adaptive challenges that we face in our workplaces?”

During their visit to the United Nations Vienna, the WEP Asia fellows also listened to Director Martin Nesirky of the United Nations Information Service Vienna (UNIS) who shared the role of UNIS in giving service to different UN organizations, amplifying their work, and seeking partnerships with the private sector.

Christoph Bierwirth, Head of UNHCR Liaison Office to the OSCE and Vienna-based UN Agencies, and Marie-Claire Sowinetz from the UNHCR Austria also gave lectures on the work of the UNHCR, including its advocacy to raise awareness on refugee issues and to integrate refugees into society.

© BKMC / Eugenie Berger

Co-chair Ban Ki-moon lectures at Harvard University

On November 24th, which is also the United Nations Day, Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens’ Co-chair Ban Ki-moon was invited as a guest lecturer to Professor Fernando Reimers’ International Education Policy class. The week was also the Worldwide Week during which Harvard schools, research centers, student organizations, and departments host academic and cultural events with global themes to showcase the school’s global engagement.

As a graduate of Harvard himself, Ban delivered a special lecture on how the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the UN have been developed and how the international community has faced challenges in achieving the goals. The students discussed how to effectively advance the goals through the education on global citizenship at a time of rising nationalism and intolerance.

Professor Reimers is a prominent professor on global citizenship education at Harvard Graduate School of Education. Professor Reimers has taught teachers how to educate global citizens and is the author of multiple books that provide guide for educators to prepare students to know how to reach the SDGs and to be empowered as global citizens. His books can be accessed at:

Empowering Global Citizens: https://www.amazon.com/Empowering-Global-Citizens-World-Course-ebook/dp/B01JADAACU/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1509291095&sr=8-2&keywords=fernando+reimers

Empowering Students to Improve the World: https://www.amazon.com/Empowering-Students-Improve-Lessons-Version/dp/1546456775/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1509291095&sr=8-1&keywords=fernando+reimers

 

CEO Monika Froehler Conducts Workshop at the Regional Academy on the United Nations 2018

CEO Monika Froehler of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens was invited to give a lecture-workshop at the Regional Academy on the United Nations (RAUN) held at the Vienna International Centre today. RAUN is an international and multi-disciplinary program that allows youth to discuss issues related to the UN and international affairs. Participants are Master and PhD students who get to conduct group research projects in close cooperation with an international organization like UNDP, UNODC, UNIDO, UNEP, IOM, OSCE etc. This year’s theme is “Innovations for Development: Towards Peaceful, Sustainable and Inclusive Societies.”

During the workshop, 48 students learned about the Ban Ki-moon Centre’s vision and work and participated in group works on the topic of global citizenship. The students were split into working groups to brainstorm and exchange ideas about the concept of global citizenship and how to effectively promote it. One speaker of each group presented on the outcomes of their discussion. The winner team was awarded the Ban Ki-moon Centre pin.

The first sessions of this year´s RAUN class were held in Bratislava and Vienna from May 9-11. The RAUN scholars will continue their journey to Budapest in September and come back to Vienna from 15-18 in January 2019. The academic responsibility for the program is carried by the RAUN project manager headquartered in Vienna.

With assistance from mentors, UN practitioners and guest lecturers, the participants will write research papers which will be published through RAUN. Their research will result in the students developing their knowledge in respective areas, integrate theoretical knowledge on policy situations, advance practical thinking, obtain methodological tools for research, and advance their competence to analyze.

Source: http://www.ra-un.org/