Ban Ki-moon’s Speech at the International BAR Association (IBA) Conference

COEX Convention & Exhibition Center 513,

Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea

Sunday 22-27 September 2019

BAN KI-MOON

Opening Ceremony

Welcoming Remarks

  The Honorable Mayor of Seoul, Park Won Soon, Chair of IBA Seoul Conference Host Committee, The Hon. Song Sang Hyun, President of International Bar Association, Horacio Bernardes Neto, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,   It is my great pleasure to welcome you all to the Opening Ceremony of the 2019 International Bar Association Annual Conference.   This is the first time that this huge gathering of esteemed international lawyers has gathered in Seoul. I am simply honored to have been invited to address such an important and influential group hailing from so many continents. I take this opportunity to applaud each of you for making the journey here, whether short or long, and I know some have been of considerable length.   Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,   Our world is presently in flux. It always is, but in recent times there has been a notable acceleration. Perhaps this is due to the fact that we live in an increasingly interconnected world, where what happens on one part of our planet is immediately known and occasionally felt in another part. Under this backdrop, unfortunately, and in a relatively short period, a shrinking of civil society has occurred and the rule of law of is being eroded.   Imagine what the world would look like without the rule of law: No independent media. No freedom to assemble and protest peacefully. No freedom to think individual ideas and articulate an opinion. No independent judiciary and no independent legal profession. Just imagine that for a moment.   This erosion is happening, gradually. You are the chief guardians of the rule of law, and, in this regard, must increase your unified efforts to stand firm in halting its erosion. As we all know, the rule of law promotes inclusive economic growth and builds accountable institutions that underpin global sustainable development. It protects individuals and businesses alike.   Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,   As the 8th Secretary-General of the United Nations, I am fully aware of the IBA’s rich history and its founding principles. Now, I would like to briefly remind you of the establishment of the UN in 1945, the IBA in 1947, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. Each were the product of like-minded individuals determined, through passion, compassion, integrity, and a guiding sense of justice to carve out a better world for our future generations. What these key institutions have in common is that they were all developed by diverse representatives with different legal and cultural backgrounds hailing from all regions of the world.   As the IBA matches the UN in both structure and ambition, I believe this makes it easier to talk to you because the issues that are important to the UN are also critical to the IBA. From such topics as climate change, poverty eradication, cultural diversity, and the promotion of human rights, mental health, and gender equality; it is clear that there is much work to be done, with new challenges always emerging. However, I firmly believe that each of you will contribute in some way towards what is required in these areas. Indeed, we should be reminded of an old proverb that says, ‘It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.’   In this respect, the work of the IBA relating to business and human rights, gender equality, and climate change, as well as promoting justice and upholding the principle of accountability are all illuminated candles, and they are lit in alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.   In addition, I feel particularly connected to the IBA in other ways too, knowing that Mary Robinson, Chair of The Elders, of which I am a Deputy Chair, and the late Nelson Mandela, Founder of The Elders, both have longstanding links to the substantive work of the IBA. Mary Robinson is working on climate justice and Nelson Mandela was the Founding Honorary President of the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute.   Before concluding my remarks, I would like to emphasize that an independent legal profession and judiciary are the cornerstone of functioning democracies, and that as much as possible needs to be done to safeguard them.   Thanks to your active participation, I am confident that this conference will be crowned with great success. Please allow me to finish by quoting the late Dr Martin Luther King who once said; ‘Injustice anywhere, is a threat to justice everywhere.’   Thank you very much for your attention.

Ban Ki-moon Delivers a Keynote at the International Day of Peace Commemorative Roundtable

On September 19th, Co-Chair Ban Ki-moon gave a keynote speech at International Day of Peace Commemorative Roundtable. This event was held as a part of the annual Peace BAR Festival (PBF), a forum on the topic ‘The Future Unhinged: Climate Justice for All,’ and was hosted by Kyung Hee University from September 16th to 19th.

“In order for individuals and communities to escape the existential threats of climate change, we must act now.” – Ban Ki-moon

At the Roundtable, BKMC Board member Irina Bokova who is also former Director-General of UNESCO and an Honorary Rector of Humanities College at Kyung Hee University featured as a moderator. Club of Rome member Ian Dunlop, Professor Peter Wadhams of Cambridge University and Chancellor of Kyung Hee University System Inwon Choue attended as panelists to address global climate change crisis. In his speech, BKMC Co-chair Ban said, “We are facing a fast-changing climate phenomenon.” “Record-breaking heat waves, wildfires, and typhoons are no longer perceived as abnormal, but as ‘new-normal’. He insisted that “Individual citizens should change their lifestyle habits to curb rising temperatures.” “If we allow the global temperature to rise more than 3 degrees Celsius, then it may be the end of humanity,” he warned. He also outlined his efforts in environmental sectors as a UN Secretary-General. “I placed climate change as a top priority,” he said. “In 2007, the first high-level talk with world leaders was held.” Moreover, in December 2015, Co-chair Ban successfully initiated and established Paris Climate Agreement. He continued, “The Kyoto Protocol of 1992 was not an obligation to the largest emitters of greenhouse gases including China and India, but this has been improved in the Paris Agreement.”

“Only 11 years are left before climate change becomes a catastrophe,” said Ban. As he closed his speech, Ban emphasized, “We do not have Planet B. There is no alternative to the Earth. Therefore, there is no Plan B in the climate change problem.” “The only way is to foster cooperation based on multilateralism and coexist with nature.”

“It is very crucial for citizens to share information and knowledge about climate change.” – Inwon Choue
During the Roundtable, Chancellor Inwon Choue said, “Countries have promised to decrease 1.5 degrees by the end of the 21st century, but there is not much of a progress. If this continues, the world’s temperature will increase 1 degree higher by 2030.”  In particular, he said, “At this time, when an environmental catastrophe is currently happening, political leaders do not seem to consider climate change seriously.”

“It is very dire to change how we think and take an initiative.” – Irina Bokova

Bokova added to Chancellor Choue, “Political leaders do not pay attention to urgent climate issues. They seem to have forgotten their responsibility to preserve the planet.”

“We are on a path of increasing the world temperature by 4 degrees Celsius, which brings an environment incompatible with an organized global community. In other words, that represents global collapse.” – Ian Dunlop

In discussing lack of political efforts, Ian Dunlop said, “As climate change issues require long-term efforts, political leaders neglect this matter but rather focus on growth.” He also mentioned that one of the main reasons people are not mobilized to act on the issue despite its expected gravity is that the effects of climate change are not immediately apparent. “Whatever we put into the atmosphere today, we don’t see the full effect for 10, 20 or 30 years to come,” he said. “By the time [the effects] becomes clear, it will be too late to act. That means we have to act now.”
“Solutions are available to us but what we lack is political will to make it happen.” – Ian Dunlop
The experts outlined some specific actions to roll back climate change included decreasing industrial disposal is mandatory. Ian Dunlop said, “The problem is, at the moment, we are not reducing emissions at all – we are actually producing more.” “We should stop all carbon consumption today… [and] need to phase out fossil fuel by no later than 2050. We should remove subsidies to fossil fuel industries, tighten controls on fugitive emissions from fossil fuel operations and redesign agricultural practices to emphasize soil carbon sequestration, ocean sequestration and reforestation.”

“Reducing fossil energy on individual level is clearly not enough. Currently 41 billion tons of greenhouse gases are emitted worldwide each year, and 20 billion of which must be eliminated.” – Peter Wadhams

In addition to political dedication, Peter Wadhams, a professor of ocean physics at the University of Cambridge, highlighted the role of science and technology in climate change solutions. According to him, planting trees are less efficient. Rather, air purifiers should be implemented to absorb the greenhouse gases and the absorbed greenhouse gases can be buried in the ground. Co-chair Ban will attend the first UN Global Summit on Climate Change on Tuesday, September 23rd to bring together political will of different countries. Source: Korea Joongang Daily © Korea Joongang Daily & Kyung Hee University

Ban Ki-moon visits the UN Memorial Cemetery in Korea to pay tribute to fallen soldiers

Co-chair of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens Ban Ki-moon visited the “United Nations Memorial Cemetery in Korea” in Busan, South Korea and paid tribute to fallen soldiers on August 11th. This cemetery is the final resting place of the fallen UN soldiers and war veterans who fought in defense of peace and freedom following the outbreak of the Korean War. Hearing that South Korea had been invaded by North Korea on June 25th, 1950, the UN Security Council unanimously passed a resolution declaring the invasion as an act of provocation that threatened international peace and security and demanded that the North immediately withdraw its forces. Furthermore, the Council asked the member nations of the General Assembly for assistance for South Korea. General Douglas MacArthur became the Chief Commander of the UN Forces in South Korea and the decision to dispatch UN Forces was reached. Combat units and medical units provided by 21 nations under the UN flag came under the leadership of General MacArthur. The Korean War was a war that free nations banded together under the UN flag and successfully fought off the aggressors to preserve international peace. A symbolic area in the Cemetery always flies high the 21 nations’ national flags and the UN flag for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Visit UNMCK: http://www.unmck.or.kr

Ban Ki-moon delivers a keynote on the topic of education and peace at the One Asia Convention 2019

At the One Asia Convention 2019 took place in Seoul, South Korea on August 5-6th, 2019, BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon delivered a keynote on the topic of education and peace. Ban expressed his concern that “it is inevitable that the conflicts between nations exist when I look at a number of countries in the world” and stressed that “such issues to be solved in a constructive way.” He stressed the crucial role and necessity of education that fosters future experts who would contribute to solving conflicts on top of the issues we are facing and make drastic changes in order to promote sustainability, capacity, and peace. Following the keynote speech, a round table was hosted under the theme of “Education and Peace” on the first day. On the second day, the convention also had breakout sessions divided into the following four fields; ・Reports of the course on Asian Community ・Politics, Economics, Environment and Social Matters ・History, Education, Thought, Philosophy and Religion ・Culture, Media, Arts and Others In total, 650 scholars and students from 325 universities in 32 countries and regions attended the convention. Learn more about the One Asia Convention Seoul 2019: http://www.oneasia.or.jp/en/activity/activities.html Photos: Konkuk University

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:   

“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 Outcome report and pictures: https://www.ipinst.org/2019/06/49th-ipi-vienna-seminar-partnering-with-young-people-for-prevention#3

Ban Ki-moon meets with Pope Francis to talk about peace in Korea and climate change

On April 11th, 2019, BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon visited the Vatican to have a private meeting with His Holiness Pope Francis. The two discussed on the topic of peace in the Korean peninsula and the globe as well as the issues surrounding climate change. Mentioning his firm advocacy for peace in the Korean peninsula, the Pope stressed the importance of the continuous conversation between two Koreas in settling peace on the peninsula. He also stressed that the environment is the matter directly related to the existence of mankind, and the humankind cannot survive without solving the climate issues. As the Pope delivered a speech at the UN General Assembly in 2015 and supported the UN with adopting the Paris Climate Agreement, Ban expressed his gratitude again for the Pope’s great attention to the global issues. Mentioning his new leadership role as the Head of the National Committee to fight against micro dust issues in Korea, Ban asked for the Pope’s continuous attention to the climate challenge and support for the necessary cooperation within the international community. News clip by Yonhap News Agency (Korean): https://bit.ly/2VPVupK  Photos: The Vatican

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

“Leaving No One Behind” World Disasters Report 2018 Launch

World Disasters Report 2018 was launched by International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), Austrian Red Cross, United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), and the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens on November 12th, 2018 in at the Vienna International Centre in Austria. The event featured BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon, Chief Luc St-Pierre of Space Applications at UNOOSA, President Annemarie Huber-Hotz of Swiss Red Cross, Under Secretary-General Jemilah Mahmood of IFRC, and Secretary-General Verner Kerschbaum of Red Cross Austria on the panel. Addressing his keynote, Co-chair Ban said that
“The IFRC has been a frontier at drawing attention to the world’s complex challenges and looking into the areas where emergency interventions need to be addressed and advanced.”
He underlined his appreciation to the IFRC for its dedication to
“saving lives, protecting livelihoods, strengthening recovery from disasters and crisis, enabling healthy and safe living, and promoting social inclusion and the culture of non-violence and peace.”
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) reported that only 97 million were selected to receive humanitarian aid out of about 134 million people in need this year. A lack of global investment in disaster relief leaves tens of millions of people exposed to preventable disaster risks. Out of 25 billion dollars required, less than 12 billion dollars have been received. Titled “Leaving No One Behind,” the World Disasters Report 2018 emphasizes that the international humanitarian sector must do more to respond to the needs of the world’s most vulnerable people.
“The international community, states, and individuals to come together to further reach marginalized area and to give hands to people in vulnerable situations,” urged Ban.
After the launch event, Dr. Eva Poecksteiner from ORF interviewed Co-chair Ban Ki-moon asking some questions including how the international community can prevent disasters, what disasters have touched him personally, and what impact the climate change has on the world’s disasters. Read more about the World Disasters Report 2018 here: https://media.ifrc.org/ifrc/world-disaster-report-2018/ Watch Ban’s interview with ORF here: https://tvthek.orf.at/…/Machtwechsel-in-der-Ostukr…/14395234

The Ban Ki-moon Centre Hosts Workshop on “The Global Citizen Mindset” at JCI World Congress in Goa, India

On November 1st, 2018, the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens hosted a workshop at Junior Chamber International’s (JCI) World Congress in Goa, India. The workshop was facilitated by the Centre’s Associate Julia Zimmerman. The session was entitled “The Global Citizen Mindset.” It focused on advocacy and included examples of best practices which were featured on the panel. Besides sharing best practices, the session helped participants learn more about opportunities to engage in advocacy both through JCI-led initiatives and other global initiatives. The first part of the session included an introduction of advocacy, global citizenship, and the Ban Ki-moon Centre as well as a short presentation by the Kofi Annan Foundation’s Extremely Together initiative working to combat violent extremism. In addition to receiving an overview of the initiative, a representative from Extremely Together, Hassan Ndugwa from Uganda, shared his personal experience with violent extremism with the participants. After this, a panel was invited to the stage to share their insights. The panel included Maud Roure from Extremely Together and the Kofi Annan Foundation, Adetola Juyitan from I am Africa Nigera, Pascal Dike from Peace is Possible, Kevin Hin from Step Up  For Europe, and Heidi Solba from Let’s Do it World and World Cleanup Day. During the panel, the panelists were asked about the challenges young people face in building and growing movements and what it takes for movements to have sustainable societal and political impact. Following the Q&A, participants split up into groups with the panelists for round-table discussions. During the round-table discussions, participants considered the challenges as well as the solutions they have encountered in their own work or in the work of other initiatives. They also discussed which community stake-holders must be engaged in order to address issues in a powerful and meaningful way. After the round-table discussions, the facilitator shared the different ways to get involved with the initiatives spotlighted at the session and encouraged those present to engage as advocates with a “global citizen mindset.” The Ban Ki-moon Centre looks forward to partnership with JCI on more exciting events in the future. Learn more about the initiatives mentioned and find out ways to get involved by clicking on the names that are linked to their websites.