Co-chairs Ban and Fischer say: “The UN can not do anything without solidarity”

At the European Forum Alpbach 2019, BKMC Co-chairs Ban Ki-moon and Heinz Fischer were interviewed on August 25th by Der Standard, an Austrian daily newspaper published in Vienna.

Journalist Christoph Prantner asked why multilateralism is essential to meet the major global challenges. The two agreed that the international community must find new unity and that otherwise the big global challenges such as the climate crisis can not be overcome.

Ban stressed the “importance of

multilateralism in solving global challenges,” giving examples on the trade war between the USA and China and the rise of populism in Europe. He said that “regional issues were solved through solidarity and diplomacy in the past.”

Fischer added, “leadership alone is not enough, global challenges are always politicalecological
and ideological.”
He used the Paris Agreement as one of the solutions for current issues.

Giving the World War II and the subsequent creation of the United Nations (UN) and European Union (EU), Fischer pointed out that “sometimes we need a shock/crisis to be able to move towards a bigger goal.”

 

Read more (GER): https://bit.ly/2k03s1O

© Eugenie Berger

Meeting with the UNGA President María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés

Co-chairs Ban Ki-moon and Heinz Fischer and CEO Monika Froehler had a meeting with the President of the United Nations General Assembly María Fernanda Espinosa on the margins of the European Forum Alpbach (EFA) on August 24th, 2019.

President Espinosa mentioned that she is “delighted to learn more about the work that the Ban Ki-moon Centre is doing to educate Youth 2030 on global citizenship and multilateralism.”

During the meeting, the leaders agreed on the shared vision of the SDGs as a roadmap for development and a world government programme for all. They also expressed concerns about the most pressing global challenges such as climate change. Having seen young people protesting for climate change outside at the Forum, they stressed the strong need for prompt and collective actions from political leaders.
Hearing the youth raising voices to fight climate change and to solve the global issues at the Forum, President Espinosa said, “our planet is literally on fire … we need to act collectively,” echoing the concerns.
At the opening of the Political and Legal Symposia of the Forum, Espinosa concluded:

Multilateralism may be a difficult word, but easy to explain: greater international cooperation and action. And just when we need it the most, it is being questioned. Multilateralism is the best foundation for liberty and security, and the only hope we have for the future.” – María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés

Ⓒ BKMC / Eugenie Berger & EFA / Andrei Pungovschi & UNPGA Twitte

Ban Ki-moon speaks of multilateralism on Arirang News

“What I am concerned at this time, frankly speaking is that the leaders are not united, the multilateralism is under threat, and people are trying to do it their own way.”

Reflecting on the increased use of trade policies as a means of political action and retaliation, BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon stressed the need for diplomatic solutions during his interview with Arirang News.

“My advice at this time, is that there is no other way but to resolve this through diplomatic negotiation. You may have the freedom of choosing your friends, or even your spouse. But you don’t have any choice when it comes to geographically neighboring countries.”

Seoul has repeatedly invited Tokyo to hold talks aimed at resolving the matter,… and raised the issue at the WTO,… as Japan’s export measures run counter to the organization’s provisions on global trade. Many global observers, including Ban, fear Tokyo’s actions are part of a worrying trend of world leaders backing out of multilateral agreements.

Ban says U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement,… while declaring global warming is a hoax,… is a prime example of that.

“I am deeply concerned. Even I felt the anger when President Trump decided to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement. It was only possible because China, number one GHG emitting country and United States were united and they were leading this campaign. What President Trump was saying is first of all, wrong, economically irresponsible, and politically short-sighted.”

In a time when many societies face critical threats,… from poverty and inequality to climate change and environmental degradation,… Ban stressed the need for all countries to band together for the common good.

The hour-long interview with former Secretary General Ban will air in full on Arirang TV on August eighth, 7:30AM Korea time.

Watch the preview of the interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch…

Ban Ki-moon stresses on multilateralism at the UN Security Council

On June 12th, upon the invitation of the United Nations Security Council, BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon attended the Council’s meeting with Mary Robinson, Chair of The Elders and former President of Ireland, and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, former President of the Republic of Liberia.

Robinson pointed that nuclear weapons and the climate change are the two greatest existential threats to our planet now. “It is in the interests of the P5 to get serious about disarmament if they wish to maintain the near-universal international commitment to preventing nuclear proliferation, particularly in the lead up to next year’s NPT Review Conference,” added Ban.

When the Security Council can cooperate and speak with a strong common voice, “its decisions can have a decisive impact,” Ban Ki-moon told the Chamber as a former Secretary-General of the UN.

“This strong, common voice is needed more than ever at this current time, when the deceptive allure of populism and isolationism is growing across all continents, from North and South America to Africa, Asia and Europe” he stated.

Ban highlighted areas where the Security Council can show effective leadership to support the work of the Secretary-General and improve general conditions for peace and conflict resolution.

Conflict prevention and mediation are two of “the most important tools at our disposal to reduce human suffering” current SG of the UN Antonio Guterres said.

He noted some “encouraging signs,” such as successful constitutional transfers of power in Mali and Madagascar; the rapprochement between Ethiopia and Eritrea; the revitalized agreement in South Sudan; and, after decades of dispute, “the designation of the Republic of North Macedonia to be internationally recognized”.

Read more: https://news.un.org/en/story/2019/06/1040321

Ban Ki-moon concerns about “what is happening over multilateralism”

On June 11th, 2019, a morning briefing session was held by the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, US. President Richard Haass of the Council moderated the session and introduced the high-level speakers:

  • Ban Ki-moon, BKMC Co-chair and a member of The Elders
  • Mary Robinson, Chair of The Elders and former President of Ireland
  • Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, former President of Liberia

On stage, the world leaders discussed on the topic of “Leveraging Multilateralism to Prevent Conflict.” Asked about the current tensions regarding North Korea’s nuclear program, Ban regretted failure of Hanoi Summit and called for more concerted trust-building between the US and North Korea, stressing the need for more focus on humanitarian crisis and food shortage.

“As a global citizen, I am deeply concerned and angry at what’s happening over multilateralism,” said Ban. He praised the US leadership on climate change under former President Barack Obama and expressed his concerns on withdrawal from the Paris Agreement under the current US government.

Robinson explained why climate change and nuclear threat are two priorities existential threats to humanity. On the current issues in Sudan, Sirleaf said that “the will of the people must be respected” but that this requires strong institutions that can withstand pressures to retain military rule and oppression.

Learn more about the Council on Foreign Relations: https://www.cfr.org/
Source: The Elders

“Human beings sometimes forgive, but nature never forgives,” says Ban Ki-moon at Stanford

“Human beings sometimes forgive, but nature never forgives,” said Ban Ki-moon

as he was giving a speech on the topic of “Multilateralism in a Turbulent World” at Stanford University on April 19th, 2019.

“The world is going through pronounced changes,” he said, regarding the current state of climate change. Ban stressed that there needs to be more action taken to prevent and/or adapt to climate change, and the necessity of the global citizen responsibility — specifically that of the youth and women — is paramount.

“The challenges we face are simply too numerous to be left in the hands of a few leaders,” said Ban, encouraging the audience to act as global citizens.

He also expressed optimism about the Paris Agreement that was implemented at the end of his term and disappointment in the current US government’s decision to withdraw from it. Ban called for further collaboration between the US and China in addressing climate change.

Read more: https://bit.ly/2UQXxx9