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

The 4th Board meeting of the Ban Ki-moon Centre takes place in Vienna

“Half of my heart lies in Vienna,”

said Co-chair Ban Ki-moon at the beginning of the 4th Board meeting held on August 27-28th. Following the first Board meeting hosted in Seoul, the second in Alpbach, and the third in Kuwait, the fourth was hosted at the City Hall of Vienna in Austria.

Mayor of Vienna Michael Ludwig welcomed the BKMC Board members and expressed his appreciation for having the Ban Ki-moon Centre based in Vienna as well as its contributions to the city’s development in the field of multilateralism and its leading role in international affairs.

The participants included:

  • Ban Ki-moon, BKMC Co-chair & 8th Secretary-General of the United Nations
  • Heinz Fischer, BKMC Co-chair & 11th President of Austria
  • Márcia Balisciano, Director of RELX Corporate Responsibility
  • Irina Bokova, Former Director-General of UNESCO
  • Maurice Lévy, Chairman of Publicis Groupe
  • Ed Futa, Former General-Secretary of Rotary International
  • Ambassador Kim Won-soo, former UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs
  • Ambassador Sadiq Marafi, Permanent Representative of Kuwait to the United Nations in Vienna
  • Andrea Pfanzelter, Senior Advisor of the KAICIID International Dialogue Centre
  • Michael Sheldrick, Co-founder and Vice President, Global Policy and Government Affairs at Global Citizen
  • Ambassador Shin Chae-hyun, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Korea to the United Nations in Vienna
  • Jean Todt, President of the FIA and United Nations Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Road Safety
  • Dimitri de Vreeze, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of DSM Netherlands
  • Monika Froehler, Chief Executive Officer of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens
  • Ambassador Choi Sung-ju, Ban Ki-moon Foundation for a Better Future

CEO Monika Froehler moderated the meeting, briefing the Board on the Centre’s past engagements and development. The Board discussed strategic methods for promoting the activities and projects of the Centre as well as effective ways to amplify the messages through the Centre’s various partnerships and affiliated offices. Ambassador Choi from the Ban Ki-moon Foundation for a Better Future based in Seoul also presented the Foundation’s vision and mission to the BKMC Board and discussed possible collaborations.

 

© BKMC & Eugenie Berger

A global monumental journey and its voluntary reports by BKMC CEO Monika Froehler

“The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are an action plan for people, planet, peace, and prosperity that are indivisible and connected. But how do we know if we are on track?”

EU Umweltbüro published its magazine EUropainfo which includes an article on “a global monumental journey and its voluntary reports” written by the Ban Ki-moon Centre CEO Monika Froehler and Consultant Nadine Gürer.

“It is evident that we need targeted action to leave no one behind,” Froehler quoted Co-chair Ban Ki-moon’s famous catchy phrase.

“The Action plan is a demonstration of the SDG mainstreaming approach adopted at Federal level capturing the latest activities, instruments and projects of the Austrian Federal Ministry for Sustainability and Tourism’s eight departments.”

The magazine also features other articles on how much Austria, ranking the 5th place on the SDG Index, has advanced in achieving the SDGs and what are the strategic plans of its government. The Ban Ki-moon Centre has hosted an event in partnership with the Swedish Embassy in Vienna where the topic was discussed with the public.

Read the article on the previous event at the Swedish Embassy: https://bankimooncentre.org/europe-and-the-sdgs
Learn more about the EU Umweltbüro: https://www.eu-umweltbuero.at/

BKMC attends the UNESCO Conference on ESD and GCED

At the UNESCO Forum on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) and Global Citizenship Education (GCED) held on July 2-3, 2019 in Hanoi, Vietnam, BKMC CEO Monika Froehler said:

“In today´s world too many leaders are just focused on their country first. Global citizenship is the opposite. It is putting collaboration before confrontation,” featuring as a speaker on a panel discussion.

With the theme “Learning and Teaching for Peaceful and Sustainable Societies: from early childhood to primary and secondary education,” concerned stakeholders coming from all regions met to learn about and debate on the latest information on the trends, issues and data related to GCED and ESD.

ESD and GCED are part of the 2030 Agenda and were built into the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 on education. Target 4.7 prioritizes ESD and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and the appreciation of cultural diversity.

“Set commitments and targets for global citizenship and sustainable development education. Update curricula!”

said H.E. Prof. Dr. Phung Xuan Nha, Minister of Education and Training of Vietnam, who attended the forum.

Froehler pointed out that “the data on GCED and ESD is missing” and that “we need to work together to establish meaningful indicators,”

agreeing to what UNESCO sees as essential to advance a value-based and holistic approach to learning that is truly transformational in taking ESD and GCED forward (UNESCO 2015). For effective teaching and learning, UNESCO stresses that all three learning dimensions need to be developed:

  • Cognitive: To acquire knowledge, understanding and critical thinking about global, regional, national and local issues, the inter-connectedness and inter-dependency of different countries and populations, as well as social, economic and environmental aspects of sustainable development;
  • Social and Emotional: To have a sense of belonging to a common humanity, sharing values and responsibilities, empathy, solidarity and respect for differences and diversity, as well as fell and assume sense of responsibility for the future;
  • Behavioral: To act effectively and responsibly at local, national and global levels for a more peaceful and sustainable world.

Froehler concluded that

“Global Citizenship – no matter which definition you are looking at – always has a component of ‘ACTION’ in it.”

© APCEIU

CTBTO Youth Group visits the Centre to talk about the SDG implementation

“Half of the world is below age 25, and also half of the world is also women. Not only to have the youth as token voice but also to have youth at the table – is the key.”

BKMC CEO Monika Froehler said to the representatives of the CTBTO Youth Group that visited the Centre today. The group was briefed on the Centre’s mission and work and discussed on the topic of the SDG implementation and rooms for improvement.

Coming from all different countries such as Russia, Mexico, Iran, Egypt, Austria, the US, etc., the young leaders gathered raised issues on the lack of education provided on the SDGs, lack of local, national and regional strategies for implementing the SDGs, and lack of acknowledgement of the notion of global citizenship or awareness on global issues such as climate change.

“Only 7% of humankind knows of the notion of global citizenship,” said Froehler.

She stressed that young people and individuals should take concrete actions, no matter how small they may be: from signing petitions to talking to local politicians and to gathering youngsters to inform them of knowledge and to make changes together. Global Citizen was given as a good example of young people taking actions. It started as a small NGO founded by a couple of young people who made their small steps counted and grew their NGO to now a big entity that has influence on making social and political changes in the international community..

Froehler quoted former President of the United States John F. Kennedy: “Ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country.”

Our Present – Our Future: Forum on Global Citizenship and Youth Inclusion

Young people under the age of 30 accounts for over half of the world’s population. Connected to each other like never before, young people have the capacity to learn from one another’s contributions to the resilience of their communities, proposing innovative solutions, driving social progress and inspiring political change. They are also agents of change, mobilizing to advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to improve the lives of people and the health of the planet.

The Youth Forum on Global Citizenship and Youth Inclusion for the SDGs Peace and Security held at the CTBT Science & Technology Conference on June 24 emphasized yet again that multilateralism must include the younger generations to foster sustainable solutions to complex global challenges.

The Forum formed an integral part of the landmark conference. After welcome remarks by CTBTO’s Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo, Dr Heinz Fischer was asked to deliver a special address, encouraging the young audience to be changemakers:

Dear friends,

Dear next generation,

Unless we raise our eyes above the horizon and take action now, we are facing a climate catastrophe.

Unless we reduce inequalities between and within countries, and reduce nationalism and xenophobia, we will risk war.

So please challenge your leaders, your friends, your colleagues – and even yourselves.

Inspire those around you to care about the world we share.

We should not forget that you are not only the future, you are the present!

Monika Froehler, CEO of the Ban Ki-moon Centre, moderated an interactive panel discussion of young leaders who addressed the challenges they had faced to promote change and shared their insights about youth platforms that work to include young voices in the discussions.

The Forum encouraged active participation by the audience through an interactive online presentation. Through several surveys, the audience was able to share their opinion, make statements, ask questions, and tell a bit about themselves.

Find the results from the online presentation-survey here:

  

“Empowering Unwed Mothers in Korea”

“My mother pitied me, yet she did not allow me to come near her neighborhood.”

“I cried buckets over the miserable reality I was facing, in front of a doctor I’d never met before.”

Young unwed mothers Ka Young Jo and Kye Eun Lee openly and bravely shared their stories with the audience at the Human Library of a session hosted by the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens at the JCI Asia-Pacific Conference 2019 on June 19th.

On the topic of “Empowering Unwed Mothers in Korea,” the Centre co-organized the forum with Intree, an unwed mothers’ club in Korea, and the Seoul Young Leaders Club of Rotary. The session aimed to address existing social stigma as well as societal and political challenges faced by unwed mothers in Korean society.

Introduced by President Choi HyungSuk of Intree, Secretary General Arrey Obenson of JCI, who also serves as a Board member of the Centre, and BKMC CEO Monika Froehler welcomed the participants, emphasizing on the importance of empowering women through cooperation.

“What would you like your child to see in the future?” asked Froehler to the gathered audience, answering her own question that she would like to show her child a society that “does not stigmatize unwed mothers anymore” when she visits the country again.

 

Chairperson Hyekyung Lee of the Korea Foundation for Women expressed her appreciation when giving a congratulatory remark:

“It is delightful that the Centre has selected the topic of the issues of unwed mothers. The Ban Ki-moon Centre’s engagement with JCI, Intree and SYLC makes a huge impact,” said Lee.

The first section entitled ‘Human Library’ was moderated by MC Myoung Ryoon Kim, a women’s right activist, who facilitated heartfelt conversation with two young unwed mothers. For the second section, representatives from academic, private and public sectors gave presentations on the best-practice examples of supports for unwed mothers and discussed areas to improve in the Korean government’s policies towards them:

  • Heekyung Jo Min, Executive Vice President & Head of CSR, CJ CheilJedang
  • Hyeyoung Kim, CEO of Korean Institute for Healthy Family (KIHF)
  • In Gyun Baek, Executive Director of Business Administration Division, KDB Bank
  • Jung Hyeun Sung, Professor of Social Welfare, Hyupsung University
  • Lisa Kuzunishi, Special Researcher, Rikkyo University
  • Simone Eun Mi, Adoption Human Right’s Activist

       

Professor Sung talked about challenges and stigma that Korean unwed mothers face daily, stressing that providing them with psychological supports needed for each phase of pregnancy, childbirth, and child-rearing is also important. Dr. Kuzunish suggested residence as a solution to social issues, using the cases of single-parent families in Japan. The “Hello Dream” project of the CJ Welfare Foundation as well as the Triangle project of the KDB Welfare Foundation were introduced to the unwed mothers who were attending the session.

KIHF CEO Kim presented the current policies on single mothers and their children and the integrated framework. Simone Eun Mi shared that she was born to a Korean mother, who later became a single mother, and then was sent for an adoption to the Netherlands by her father. She shared perspectives of the overseas adoptees born to a single mother in Korea.

“[Some] society sees the unwed mothers as problems. For me, I see them as solutions,” said

At the end of the session, as a women’s right advocate, JCI Youth Peace Ambassador, UN Youth Champion, and a singer-songwriter, Tennille Amor also delivered a message on the importance of making the voices of women and girls heard and performed two meaningful songs that she wrote: “Bad Name” and “I am a Girl.”

Watch the music videos: