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

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

BKMC features at the partnership fair of the “SDG Inspiration Day”

“SDG Inspiration Day: The Power of Partnerships to advance the SDGs” was hosted by BKMC partner RELX Group in Zaandam near Amsterdam, the Netherlands on November 6th, 2018. The Centre’s Board Member Márcia Balisciano, who is Director of Corporate Responsibility at RELX, delivered welcome remarks at the opening session.

During the event, the Centre’s Associate Minji Kwag participated in the partnership fair, introducing the vision, mission, and work of the Centre to the participants of the event and potential partners. During the Expert Cafe workout session, people went around the round tables to exchange ideas on how to advance the SDGs. Some of the discussion topics included, but were not limited to, dealing with cultural gaps, addressing the importance of education, building an effective partnership, and empowering the young generation in Africa.

Since RELX Group launched SDG Resource Center to provide a free, interactive education platform curating content related to sustainability research in June 2017, the group has also organized “SDG Inspiration Day” events to inspire more people with the goals and to help them inspire others. As an early signatory of the UN Global Compact (UNGC), RELX uses the SDGs to chart the participation of businesses in achieving the goals.

For more information on the “SDG Inspiration Day” in Amsterdam 2018, visit the event website: https://info.relxgroup.com/nl-sdg-event-2018/index.html
The “SDG Inspiration Day” previously held in San Francisco can be watched on RELX Group’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/REEnvChallenge

BKM Centre Board members featured at breakout sessions during EFA 2018

Some of the Board members of the Ban Ki-moon Centre were featured with other world leaders and experts at different breakout sessions of the political symposium during European Forum Alpbach 2018 on August 26, 2018.

A session co-hosted by the Centre and Austrian Development Agency (ADA) had a discussion focused on “Women and Youth Empowerment – the Sustainable Development Goals in Practice.” The featured panelists were:

  • Márcia Balisciano, Director of Corporate Responsibility, RELX Group in London
  • Michael Sheldrick, Global Director of Policy and Advocacy, Global Poverty Project, Global Citizen in New York
  • Karin Kneissl, Austrian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Österreichisches Außenministerium
  • Martin Ledolter, Managing Director, ADA
  • Nour Barakeh, a youth representative

Other youth representatives including a Syrian refugee, Doaa Al Zamel, also presented their thoughts during the panel discussion. The panelists listened to their concerns and ideas regarding various social issues and proactively shared their expertise.

The live-streamed videos of this session can be found on the Centre’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Another breakout session was hosted by Bertelsmann Stiftung and Environment Agency Austria with the topic on “Implementing the SDGs: the challenges countries face and the solutions they offer.” During this session, BKM Centre Co-chair Ban Ki-moon gave comments and the featured panelists were:

  • Aart Jan De Geus, Chairman and CEO, Bertelsmann Stiftung in Gütersloh
  • Christian Kroll, Senior Expert, Bertelsmann Stiftung in Gütersloh
  • Susan Myers, Senior Vice President, UN Foundation in New York
  • Monika Mörth, Managing Director, Environment Agency Austria in Vienna
  • Herbert Ritsch, Director of Business Ethics, Bankhaus Schelhammer & Schattera AG in Vienna
  • Jeffrey Sachs, Director of SDSN and the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University, Professor of Economics; Special Adviser to the UNSG on SDGs; Bestselling Author; Syndicated Columnist based in New York