CEO Monika Froehler hosts a penal at the 2020 RAUN Conference

2020 RAUN Conference kicked off in Vienna, Austria on January 15th. In cooperation with the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens, University of Vienna, and the International Security and Conflict Analysis Network (iSCAN), this 2-day annual conference was hosted by the Regional Academy on the United Nations (RAUN). This year, the conference had the theme of “Environmental and Socioeconomic Sustainability: How to Create Lasting Impacts,” and was attended by BKMC CEO Monika Froehler and COO Katrin Harvey.

Today, on the 2nd day of the conference, Froehler chaired a panel session on “Innovations for Sustainable Development.” During the session, two research groups actively presented their ideas and the research outcomes and raised critical questions, highlighting the importance of community engagement, needs assessment, clear communication, and courage.

CEO Monika Froehler said,

RAUN research groups looked at sustainable development and innovation through the lens of cities and SMEs. One group explored best practices in ViennaHamburg, and Prague. The other explored SMEs in Vietnam and how the 4th Industrial Revolution impacts them.”

Learn more about RAUN 2020http://ra-un.org/2020-raun-conference.html

© RAUN

CEO Monika Froehler holds a meeting with Ambassador Prakash Kumar Suvedi of India

Yesterday, Ambassador Prakash Kumar Suvedi of the Embassy of Nepal to Austria visited the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens.

In his meeting with CEO Monika Froehler, Ambassador Suvedi was briefed on the work of the Centre. Then they talked about the challenges and pressures existing in Nepal, including the climate issues, natural hazards and issues with a good number of qualified workers leaving the country. Ambassador Suvedi also introduced SAGARMATHA SAMBAAD, a permanent global dialogue forum initiated by the Government of Nepal.

BKMC CEO Monika Froehler’s remark on the 3rd Anniversary of the Ban Ki-moon Centre

Celebrating the 3rd Anniversary of the Ban Ki-moon Centre on January 3rd, 2020, CEO Monika Froehler shared her remark:

“On January 3rd, 2018, the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens was officially inaugurated at the Austrian Chancellery. What a journey it has been since then?”

“We supported our co-chairs’ leadership, built lasting partnerships across the globe, spread the information on the SDGs and their implementation, and most importantly, touched the lives of hundreds of women and young people to support them and give them a voice, a seat at the table, and opportunities they did not have before.”

“We are grateful for all the support we received on our journey and are humbled by the vast tasks ahead to enhance global citizenship. But as an old Chinese proverb says, ‘No road is too long with friends at your side.’ Thanks to all global citizens for being with us on that journey!”

BKMC CEO Monika Froehler Attended FIA Environment and Sustainability Commission Meeting

Today, FIA’s Environment and Sustainability Commission came together during the Annual General Assembly that is taking place in Paris, France.

At the meeting, delegates discussed its aims to strengthen the FIA’s environmental sustainability credentials across its two pillars of Sport and Mobility by advocating for a cleaner, safer and more sustainable urban mobility as their core agenda. And this year’s agenda was on FIA E&S Commission’s support for UNFCCC’s “Sports for Climate Action Initiative.”

BKMC CEO Monika Froehler spoke highly of the role of FIA in the field and said,

“IOC and FIA are both important champions in this sport for climate action initiative…We are glad to see President of FIA Jean Todt, E&S Commission Chair President of Mexico Felipe Calderón and other high-level representatives of sports and mobility at FIA taking the lead on contributing to climate action in their respective fields.”

During the meeting, FIA’s Environmental Delegate Garry Connelly said,

“We need to be more vocal also about the positive contribution of motor sport and mobility for the environment and society at large: more efficiency for combustion engines, fuels, oils, less fuel consumption and other technological spin-offs.”

© BKMC / FIA

BKMC CEO Monika Froehler Attended SDG Forum 2019

On November 29, BKMC CEO Monika Froehler attended SDG Forum 2019 held in University of Vienna.

Organized by SDG Watch Austria, the forum was dedicated to discussing Austria’s progress in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals together with all relevant actors in politics, administration, science and industry.

At the forum, Minister for Sustainability and Tourism Maria Patek opened the SDG Forum highlighting the pioneering role of the Ministry of Sustainability in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

She said, “In the summer we presented our SDG Action Plan 2019+, which summarizes all initiatives of the Federal Ministry for Sustainability and Tourism. If we all persistently and committedly implement the measures in our sphere of influence, we will reach our goal more quickly. The realization of the UN SDGs is a shared responsibility that we must take on for the next generations.”

Thomas Alge, CEO of ÖKOBÜRO – Alliance of the Environmental Movement and co-founder of SDG Watch Austria, also a gave a welcome remark and said,

“The climate crisis, species extinction, poverty and inequality are highly interconnected. Climate change particularly affects agriculture. It leads to harvest losses and intensifies insect killing. Drought and other climate catastrophes are forcing people from the most affected regions of the world leave their country. The new government must therefore quickly face these challenges and make the implementation of the 2030 Agenda a top priority. Coherent implementation of the Global Sustainable Development Goals can effectively address many of the big challenges of the time.”

Sami Pirkkala, Advisor to Finnish National Commission on Sustainable Development, also presented about Finland’s efforts in implementation of the SDGs: launching a voluntary commitment platform towards the SDGs and gathering more than 1,600 commitments from companies, education sectors, cities and individuals.

Chairman of Austrian Partner Universities Uninetz, Franz Fehr illustrated strategic goals, milestone and daily work of Uninetz and indication of which university leads which subject area of the SDGs. 

A panel discussion on “Where Do We Stand on the SDGs in Austria,” focusing mainly on ways in which Austria’s new administration can adopt the 2030 Agenda and take a leap toward the SDGs implementation, was moderated by Nina Thüllen and featured stellar panelists including:

Parliamentarian Michael Bernhard;

Parliamentarian Josef Moser;

Ambassador Sylvia Meier-Kajbic;

Councilor for Environment and Women Judith Schwentner;

Secretary-General Thoams Weninger;

Managing Director Anja Appel.

© SDG Watch Austria 

BKMC Holds the Reception marking the Launch #OrangeTheWorld Campaign in Austria

November 25 marks the International Day for the Eliminating of Violence against Women and the start of 16 Days of Activism to put an end to violence against women.

Every year, the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens cooperates with UN Women Austria, Soroptimist International Austria and HeForShe Graz to implement the global #OrangeTheWorld Campaign in Austria to raise awareness of the fact that women around the world are subject to rape, domestic violence and other forms of violence.

On November 25, BKMC successfully launched the campaign of 2019 in the Centre. Co-chair Heinz Fischer and CEO Monika Froehler delivered welcome remarks, while Co-chair Ban Ki-moon sent words of appreciation with a video message.

Representatives of the co-organizers Eliette Thurn from Soroptimist International Austria and Marcela Muniz Pivaral from UN Women Austria stressed the urgency of raising awareness for this topic.

Head of HeForShe Graz, Bernhard Gollob, moderated a panel discussion with representatives from Austrian Victim Support Groups, entities that are based in Austrian hospitals and that are essential for detecting and preventing violence against women.

We were grateful to our partners without whom it would not be possible to achieve such a large-scale contribution on behalf of Austria to this global campaign.

© BKMC / Eugenie Berger

BKMC CEO Monika Froehler delivers a keynote at the OSCE-wide Youth Forum in Bratislava

On October 28th, young women and men from across the OSCE region and beyond gathered in Bratislava to discuss how to best engage youth for a safer future by 2030. The two-day OSCE-wide Youth Forum brought together young people, ambassadors, diplomats and experts for an inter-generational dialogue under the OSCE’s flagship Perspectives 20-30 initiative, a key priority of Slovakia’s OSCE Chair. Among the youth participants was the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens’ Communications Officer Minji Kwag who attended the Forum as a delegate from South Korea.

Opening the event, OSCE Chairperson and Slovak Foreign and European Affairs Minister Miroslav Lajčák noted that young people are still not always invited into the rooms of decision-making or given a seat at the table:

“This, simply, does not make sense. It is young people who are driving the changes we all need. They are acting as watchdogs for human rights and fighting corruption. They are finding niche ways to boost and expand our economies. They are speaking truth to power when it comes to climate change. And, they are out there, in some of the most dangerous parts of the world, engaging in their communities to build peace — even when this puts them at risk.”

OSCE Secretary General Thomas Greminger spoke about the significance of the Forum as part of a wider effort to integrate youth voices into the work of the OSCE.

“This event is part of a process, and not a one-off event. Its outcomes will be presented in a side event at the OSCE Ministerial Council in Bratislava in December, and will hopefully provide fresh food-for-thought for our debates. So, I encourage you to take the outcomes of this process seriously and to take these perhaps unconventional ideas back into our discussions in the Hofburg. We are also exploring ways to give continuity to the Perspectives 20-30 initiative in 2020 and beyond,” he said.

The main focus of today’s discussion was a ‘food-for-thought’ paper, Perspectives 20-30: Providing for a Safer Future, which was drafted by a Core Group of Experts made up of young people from across the OSCE area. Ideas in the paper were drawn upon by various speakers today, including issues such as gender equality, technology, education, conflict prevention and non-discrimination.

Speaking about the paper, OSCE Chairperson Lajčák said:

“It tells us — and this really caught my eye — that multilateralism is at risk. And that the only way to rebuild trust in institutions is to open them up; to better communicate what we are doing; to include more voices than ever before.”

Providing concrete input on how to further develop the paper, keynote speaker Monika Froehler of the Ban Ki-moon Centre urged participants to take the discussion paper as a first step in the right direction which now has to be followed by action. She called on all participants to capitalize on their own, individual capacities to drive change.

“Don’t ask what the OSCE can do for you, but what you can do for the OSCE and for the region,” she stressed.

Speaking on behalf of the Perspectives 20-30 Core Group of Experts, Katarina Kertysova underlined that youth currently constitutes one of the most under-represented groups in the political sphere.

“This week’s Forum is a powerful engagement tool and an opportunity for us – the youth – to take ownership of the solution,” she said. “We hope this will serve as an example for other organizations to follow.”

Participants of the OSCE Youth Forum continue to exchange their perspectives, facilitated by the two Special Representative of the Chair on Youth and Security Alba Brojka and Samuel Goda, and youth, peace and security experts from the OSCE, on the steps needed to secure a safer future through in-depth discussions on the rule of law, building peace, new technologies, environmental change, human rights, and education as a catalyst for change.

More information about the 20-30 Perspectives project can be found here: www.osce.org/youth

Source: OSCE Secretariat

BKMC and SDSN Youth announced the launch of the SDG Student Program Certificate at The Vatican!

“As Ban Ki-moon said, we do not have a Plan B, we only have Plan A. In my opinion, this plan A is the SDGs.” 

– Monika Froehler during the Vatican Youth Symposium 2019

On October 16, the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) co-hosted the annual Vatican Youth Symposium at the Casina Pio IV, Vatican City. 

At the symposium, Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens and SDSN Youth announced the launch of the SDG Students Program Certificate, a component of the SDG Students Program

Jointly developed by Ban Ki-Moon Centre for Global Citizens, SDSN Youth, and the SDG Academy, the Certificate aims to encourage university students around the world to learn about, engage with, and take action on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

Certificates are signed by Co-chair Ban Ki-Moon; Ms Chandrika Bahadur, President of the SDSN Association; and Mr Siamak Sam Loni, Global Coordinator of SDSN Youth.

“Today, more than 207 million students are enrolled in higher education. Young people have the energy, ideas, and determination to improve our communities, and we need to give students a platform to learn about the Sustainable Development Goals and take action in their local communities.” co-chair Ban said. “Through the creation of SDG Student Hubs on universities around the world, SDSN Youth is creating spaces for students to learn about, engage with, and take action to achieve the SDGs.”

The SDG Students Program is an initiative of SDSN Youth that aims to engage students in higher education in the global effort to achieve the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs, as well as empower them with the knowledge, skills, and pathways to action to be effective agents of change today. Through the creation of a global network of hubs of learning and engagement for the SDGs on universities worldwide, the Program ensures that students from all walks of life have the opportunity to become drivers of new solutions to the problems that surround them.

“We need to make sure we raise the new generation of leaders that knows the SDGs and questions we currently have to tackle.”

– Monika Froehler during the Vatican Youth Symposium 2019

“We are excited to be partnering with SDSN Youth to launch the SDG Students Program Certificate, and to be an endorser of the SDG Students Program,” CEO Monika Froehler remarked at the launch. “By incorporating the content that the Ban Ki-moon Centre is producing into the SDG Students Program, we hope to give university students all over the world a foundational knowledge of sustainability that will aid them in all their future activities.”

In order to attain the Certificate, students need to complete several tasks across the three pillars of “learn about”, “engage with”, and “take action” on the SDGs. One of the core requirements for attaining the Certificate involves the completion of “Sustainable Development in the 21st Century with Ban Ki-moon”, a course co-developed by the Ban Ki-moon Centre and its partner the Institute for Global Engagement and Empowerment (IGEE) at Yonsei University. 

“Designed to be completed over the course of an academic year, it is our shared hope that when students achieve the Certificate, they will gain the foundational knowledge of sustainability and skills they need to be advocates for sustainability in the diverse occupations and industries they will enter,” Project Leader of the SDG Students Program Yi Jun Mock shared at the launch. 

“Moving forward, the SDG Students Program will remain a core element of SDSN Youth’s global programming for young people, and we are excited to continue deepening our cooperation with the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens and the SDG Academy to reach an  even wider audience of university students around the world,” SDSN Youth Global Coordinator Siamak Sam Loni concluded.

BKMC CEO Monika Froehler stresses the importance of GCED and E4J at the UNODC Conference

The Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens team and the Women’s Empowerment Program Asia (WEP Asia) fellows participated in the International High-Level Conference “Educating for the rule of law: Inspire. Change. Together.” hosted by UNODC’s Doha Declaration Global Programme in Vienna, Austria on October 7th, 2019.

BKMC CEO Monika Froehler participated in Session II “‘Talking’ rule of law & ‘building bridges’: comprehensive approaches to building a culture of lawfulness and also moderated Session III “Creative approaches to strengthening the rule of law through education: good practices from around the world.”

“Education for justice should be taught at all levels,” said Froehler at the Session II.

She introduced existing initiatives and best practices of education for justice (E4J) such as UNESCO publications, UNESCO APCEIU’s GCED Online Campus, SDG Academy’s edX, OSCE, UNODC’s Education for Justice, and more. She said that different forms and tools of education that are effective should be adapted and utilized.

She said, “education on Global Citizenship and the SDGs is the key” and “what is spent for weapons should rather be spent for education.”

As Froehler introduced the WEP Asia fellows to the crowd, she emphasized that youth empowerment is crucial and also that

“we need to focus on ladies and girls, and we need to educate them to be part of the movement, change, and these initiatives.”

Patricia Colchero, Coordinator of Research and Studies at the National System for the Integral Protection of Children and Adolescents of Mexico, said that

“we need to respect educators and youth, and rules should be applied fairly.”

She also emphasized that emotional skills should be taught and developed along with the traditional education on knowledge.

Yoshimitsu Yamauchi, Assistant Vice-Minister of Justice of Japan, said that general education taught in a family also contributes to the overall development of society. Sharing collaborative examples between the educational sector and the justice sector, he stressed the importance of mutual understanding, involving the private sector, treating the rules equally, and seeing what is behind the constitution.

Salem Al-Ali, Assistant Secretary-General of the Prevention Sector at the Kuwait Anti-Corruption Authority, also emphasized on the importance of youth engagement:

“education policy should be extended all the way to youth and young generation so that they can fight corruption.”

During Session III, best practices and challenges of education for justice in Brazil, Macedonia, Qatar, and Nigeria were presented. Aly Jetha, President and CEO of a cartoon company Big Bad Boo Studios, shared his company’s efforts in utilizing cartoons to educate children for justice and to teach them a global citizenship mindset.

The audience also actively involved themselves in the discussion and shared various perspectives. A representative from Ukraine said that informal education that comes from communications and/or home brings values that cannot be learned but can only be earned through one’s engagements and soul. The Ambassador for Nigeria spoke about the existing language barrier for education, stressing the importance of providing access to education for all. A youth representative from Thailand also said that people from diverse backgrounds should be able to feel that they are represented.

As a closing remark, Dr. Zainab Bagudu, First Lady of Kebbi State of Nigeria, said that

“the world needs to invest in education now.”

The Conference successfully provided the international community with an opportunity to discuss ways and means to promote education for the rule of law through diversified and creative educational approaches and activities.

© BKMC / Eugenie Berger

CEO Monika Froehler moderates a session on “Voices of Youth” at the 4th GCED Conference

On September 3rd-4th, BKMC CEO Monika Froehler attended the 4th International Conference on Global Citizenship Education that was co-organized by UNESCO APCEIU, Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Korean Ministry of Education in partnership with UNESCO in Seoul, South Korea.

“I dream of a world in which young people are heard and empowered to be the changemakers they want to be,” said Froehler.

She moderated a plenary session “Voices of Youth” with youth representatives.

  • Olha Bondarenko, Member of the Financial Department, European Youth Parliament Ukraine
  • Diego Manrique, Core Member & Coordinator, GCED Youth Network
  • Priscilla Kini, Gender and Research Lead, Open Dove Children’s Foundation

The panelists touched the participants of the Conference with their inspiring stories.

Bondarenko from Ukraine spoke about her experience as an internally displaced person and how it led to her volunteer work with Afghan and Syrian refugees.

Being an IDP herself and having lost her home in Eastern Ukraine, Olha movingly spoke about forcibly displaced children and her own experience of teaching GCED.

Manrique from Guatemala shared his deep insights on how to network with youth for GCED.
“GCED to me is simply a tool with a lot of potentials,” he said.

Kini from Ghana expressed her love for promoting peace with children. She has reached hundreds of kids in Ghana and helped them overcome conflicts.

APCEIU Director Hyun-mook Lim said, “GCED will support humanities with slow but unstoppable advancement to peace.”

The Conference also hosted a booth on the “GCED Online Campus” by UNESCO APCEIU. In partnership with the APCEIU’s Office of Education and Training, the Ban Ki-moon Centre has co-developed two online courses this year.

As one of them titled “Becoming Global Citizens for a Sustainable Society” will be launched on the Online Campus platform later in this month, the booth displayed promotional materials and more information on the course. Lots of the Conference participants were curious to know more about this course as well as the other course on gender equality.

Learn more about the Conference: http://gced.unescoapceiu.org/conference/
Learn more about the GCED Online Campus: http://gcedonlinecampus.org

© UNESCO APCEIU