“Partnering with Young People for Prevention: Sustaining Peace and Addressing Violence, Crime and Corruption”

On June 12th, 2019, the 49th IPI Vienna Seminar took place at the Federal Ministry of Austria for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs (BMEIA) in Vienna, focusing on the role of young people as agents of peace and social change at the global, regional, national and local level.

Welcome remarks were delivered by Karin Proidl, Director of International Organizations at the BMEIA and Adam Lupel, Vice President of the International Peace Institute (IPI), who stressed the importance of cooperating with youth for addressing violence, crime and corruption and promoting peace.

“We need to give young people face from different levels and make their voices heard,” said BKMC CEO Monika Froehler at the first session on “The United Nations in Vienna: 40 years of Promoting Peace and Security.”

According to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), our world is home to 1.8 billion young people between the ages of 10 and 24, and the youth population is growing fastest in the poorest nations. Out of these, Froehler mentioned, “408 million young people live in conflict zones.” In addition, within this generation are 600 million adolescent girls with specific needs, challenges and aspirations for the future. Froehler rightly pointed out that gender inequality adds to the barrier for youth in participating in peace-building process, which is why empowering both women and young people is equally important.

“We cannot achieve sustainable peace if young generation is not included,” said Samuel Goda, Special Representative of the OSCE CiO Special Representatives on Youth and Security, at his keynote. As a youth representative, he stressed “young people need to have ownership” in tackling global issues.

A number of other youth representatives from different sectors spoke at the seminar, including Nour Barakeh who is Collaborator of SDG 5 Thrive! and Suad Mohamed who serves at the Austrian Red Cross and Diakonie Refugee Service.

Froehler introduced active youth activists such as the UN Youth Envoy as well as existing youth initiatives such as the United Network of Young Peacebuilders (UNOY) to support and partner with them. She also strongly recommended a book titled We are Here.

Learn more about the seminar: https://www.ipinst.org/…/IPI-Vienna-Seminar-2019_Agenda_Par…
Source: https://www.unfpa.org/sites/default/files/pub-pdf/EN-SWOP14-Report_FINAL-web.pdf

Ban Ki-moon Centre promotes the SDG 4 in partnership with the GEMS

On May 22nd, 2019, the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens signed an MOU with the GEMS Education in Berlin, Germany.

Our collaboration with the pioneering education company will specifically focus on the promotion of SG4, quality education and GCED. BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon also accepted the ambassadorship for the Model United Nations (MUN) at GEMS World Academy schools, including GEMS World Academy – Dubai.

The former Secretary General will hold this position for 3 years, where he will share his knowledge and expertise with students form all around the world.

Co-chair Ban and CEO Monika Fröhler were happy about the outcome of the fruitful meeting and meeting with representatives from the GEMS: Chairman Sunny Varkey, Head of Mergers & Acquisitions, Asad Zafar and Shanta Retnasingam, Special Advisor of the Chairman.

Chairman Varkey is also the founder of the Varkey Foundation and the Global Teacher Prize. We’d like to take this opportunity to express our sincere appreciation to the Varkey Foundation that announced to make annual voluntary contributions to the Centre.

Learn more: http://www.gemseducation.com/

 

 

 

“Europe and the SDGs: Best-practices and Recommendations”

The Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens and the Embassy of Sweden in Vienna co-hosted the event on “Europe and the SDGs: Best-practices and Recommendations” on May 21st, 2019 in Vienna, Austria. The event gathered representatives and experts from both public and private sectors and provided an open-discussion platform where the best practices and the recommendations on the SDG implementation were discussed.

H.E. Ambassador Mikaela Kumlin Granit of the Swedish Embassy and BKMC Co-chair Heinz Fischer delivered welcome remarks.

Fischer pointed out that “now it is time to look at the current implementations by governments and business in Europe and how they can be improved.”

He mentioned that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Agenda 2030 that were adopted by the United Nations when Co-chair Ban Ki-moon was serving as Secretary-General of the UN and that it is crucial to cooperate to advance the 17 Goals. Then he added the efforts to achieve the SDGs should not be done by competition but in collaboration.

“The Agenda 2030 presents not only the opportunity to make sustainable development reality, but it also gives us significant responsibilities,” said Fischer.

Following the welcome remarks, Sabine Schneeberger, Director at the Coordination DG of the Austrian Federal Chancellery delivered a keynote. She said that the Austrian government has integrated the 2030 Agenda into their programs, requiring all its ministries to incorporate the principles of the Agenda.

The event was divided into two panel discussions that were moderated by CEO Monika Froehler of the Ban Ki-moon Centre:

Panel I – Government Best-Practices

  • Inger Buxton, Deputy Head of the Global Agenda Department at the MFA, Sweden
  • H.E. Ambassador Sylvia Meier-Kajbic, Federal Ministry of Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs, Austria
  • H.E. Ambassador Pirkko Hämäläinen, Ambassador of Finland to Austria and Permanent Representative to the International Organizations in Vienna
  • Kvetoslav Kmec, Director for Strategic Planning at the Deputy Prime Minister’s Office, Slovakia

Panel II – Business and CSO Best-Practices

  • Helena Lindemark, Founder and CEO of Sustainable Development Sweden AB
  • Dr. Gabriela-Maria Straka, Director of CSR & Corporate Affairs, Grüne Brauerei Göss, Austria
  • Bernhard Zlanabitnig, member of SDG Watch Austrian Steering Committee; Director of EU-Umwelt Büro
  • Markus Haas, Head of Export Finance, International Projects, and Financial Institutions at the Austrian Economic Chambers (WKO)

The audience also actively engaged themselves in the discussions, bringing different perspectives and expertise to the floor.

Emphasizing the importance of acting promptly to advance the SDGs and to facilitate the collaboration between private and public sector, Froehler said that it is also crucial that individuals contribute to the sustainable development of all, no matter how small each contribution may be.

She concluded “because I think, on an individual level, on a national level, and on the international level, there is so much to gain” and that one should try to convert “pain” into “gain.”

Watch the recorded video of the first panel: https://www.facebook.com/BanKimoonCentre/videos/2366321576931251/
and the second panel here: https://www.facebook.com/BanKimoonCentre/videos/343893992935647/

Photos: Harald Klemm

The Ban Ki-moon Centre mentors young researchers writing paper on the SDGs

Young researchers from the Regional Academy on the United Nations visited the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens on May 9th. The group of three young scholars from Austria, the Czech Republic,and Germany presented their ideas for conducting researches on the SDGs.

As their mentors, BKMC Co-chair Heinz Fischer and CEO Monika Froehler encouraged the group, stressing that their inputs will also inspire others to take initiatives and further actions to make changes in society as global citizens,

The group’s research findings will bring together and reflect varied perspectives and fields of expertise with the examples of best practices. A 20-page research paper will be submitted by the end of this year and presented at the RAUN conference in early next year.

Learn more: http://www.ra-un.org/

“You cannot be what you cannot see,” says BKMC CEO Monika Froehler at her mentoring session for Muslim youth

“You cannot be what you cannot see!”
said CEO Monika Froehler of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens at the mentoring session taken place at the Centre on May 8th, 2019. As part of the Centre’s project  “Mentoring for Austrian Muslim Women – Global Citizens at Work,” Froehler met with her mentee from the Muslim Youth Austria (Muslimische Jugend Österreich) and discussed about the importance of having inspirations around for one to be empowered

As girls often do not see enough women leaders around them to have them as their role models, Froehler said that it is challenging for them to take further steps to reach their goals. Aspiring leaders need leaders that reflect themselves and that they can look up to.The two also talked about the crucial role of social entrepreneurship in advancing the SDGs.

BKMC welcomes all parties of the Austrian Parliament to discuss joint events for youth in Austria

Today, the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens welcomed representatives of all parties of the Austrian parliament (Österreichisches Parlament) to the Centre.

The visitors included Mr. Andreas Schieder, Mr. Hubert Koller, and Mr. Maximilian Unterrainer from SPOE, Mr. Werner Amon, Mr. Nikolaus Berlakovich, and Mr. Josef Lettenbichler from OEVP, Ms. Petra Wagner from FPOE, Ms. Stephanie Krisper from NEOS, and Ms. Alma Zadic from JETZT.

The Ban Ki-moon Centre’s CEO Monika Froehler introduced the mission and the work of the Centre to the delegation. The group discussed possible collaboration for joint events in the parliament regarding youth in Austria.

DASICON 2019 “Towards Global Citizenship: Home without Borders”

At DASICON 2019 held at the Diplomatic Academy in Vienna on March 1st and 2nd, ways to promote and adopt global citizenship in various sectors and regions were discussed with the topic of “Towards Global Citizenship: Home without Borders.”

Annually organized by youth, the students of the Diplomatic Academy, the conference gets together international experts, interested youth and stakeholders from relevant fields to interact and facilitates international dialogue.

This year, the mission was “Finding ways to think and act as global citizens to face future global challenges.” During the two-day conference, the following issues were addressed:

  • Participation in Digital Democracies
  • Change in Conflict Resolution
  • Dynamics in Identities
  • Innovation in Urban Life
  • Disruption in Business

BKMC Co-chair Heinz Fischer delivered keynote address at the conference, and CEO Monika Froehler featured as a panelist in the panel 1: “Global Governance and Global Citizenship​: A New Deal?”

During his keynote, Fischer said that “envisioning future implies remembering lessons from the past,” and that “more than ever before, we are in need of developing global mindset in order to solve the most pressing issues of our time.”

The conference interactively engaged the audience in sharing their opinions on the discussion topics through live polls. Froehler encouraged the audience and other global citizens to

“Think globally and act locally!”

The live-streaming of the event can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/DiplomaticAcademyVienna/videos/359378627983586?sfns=xmo

Photo: Organizers of DASICON 2019

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 strengthens its partnership with UNESCO APCEIU

On February 18th, 2019, the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens and its partner UNESCO APCEIU had an official MOU signing ceremony at the APCEIU office in Seoul, South Korea.

The two organizations electronically signed the MOU on October 19th, 2018 and have collaborated on promoting Global Citizenship Education (GCED), organizing experts’ meeting on education, and developing online courses on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and women’s empowerment. BKMC CEO Monika Froehler has also moderated a plenary session of the 3rd International Conference on GCED hosted by the APCEIU in Seoul in September 2018.

The MOU was signed by BKMC CEO Monika Froehler and APCEIU Director Chung Utak in order to work together on further promoting the notion of global citizenship and fostering many collaborative activities, including organizing meaningful workshops and conferences on GCED.

Upon the visit to the APCEIU office, the Centre also had an opportunity to introduce its work and mission to the professors of Kyung-Hee University, who were having a meeting to discuss implementing global citizenship courses as mandatory courses for all students at the university to take starting from this spring semester.