UNECE Regional Forum on Sustainable Development 2019

The UNECE Regional Forum on Sustainable Development took place on 21 and 22 March 2019 in Geneva. The Forum brought together more than 800 pan-European stakeholders to exchange experiences about the progress and challenges in the implementation of the SDGs.

The BKMC gladly accepted the invitation to this important event and formed part of the wide range of civil society representatives, who are advocating political action for the SDGs.

The conference was chaired by H.E. Ms Ogerta Manastirliu who is Albania’s Minister of Health and Social Protection. In welcoming remarks, Deputy UN Secretary-General Amina Mohammed stressed the importance of the Regional Fora to understand how we can increase ambition and accelerate the implementation of the SDGs. Ms Olga Algayerova, UNECE Executive Secretary and Under-Secretary-General, underscored the RFSD’s convening power in the process of sustainable development.

A High-Level Policy Segment served to present Voluntary National Reviews of UNECE countries and facilitate peer-learning among the government representatives.

The second day addressed SDG 4 (Quality Education), 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth), 10 (Reduced Inequalities), 13 (Climate Action) and 16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions) in a variety of focus events, round tables and side events. Fruitful discussions and meaningful exchange explored the interlinkages of the SDGs.

When it comes to SDG 4 Quality Education, for example, the following challenges were identified:

  • urban-rural gaps
  • education for the elderly
  • effectively drawing on digitalization
  • disparities based on income, location, gender, immigration or minority status and disability
  • integration of Global Citizenship Education (GCED) into curricula

A report will summarize the key messages from the UNECE RFSD 2019 and provide the official input from the UNECE region to the 2019 High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) which will be held between 9 July and 18 July in New York. The HLPF is the United Nations’ central platform for follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals. The BKMC is pleased to have been an active part of the RFSD 2019 and have thereby contributed to the HLPF 2019.

MOU Signing between Bahrain and the Ban Ki-moon Centre

Last week, the Ban Ki-moon Centre welcomed a delegation from the Kingdom of Bahrain including H.E. Shaikh Hussam bin Essa Al Khalifa, the current President of His Royal Highness the Prime Minister’s Court.

The meeting included a briefing on the Ban Ki-moon Centre and its work as well as a memorandum of understanding (MOU) signing between the Centre and the Kingdom of Bahrain.

Bahrain seeks to support and collaborate with the Ban Ki-moon Centre in implementing the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In 2007, the Kingdom established the Khalifa Bin Salman Award for Sustainable Development. Last year, Chairman Ban was awarded with this distinction.

Since the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Bahrain has been actively engaged for sustainable development. The Ban Ki-moon Centre is pleased to sign an MOU with the Kingdom and looks forward to fruitful collaboration for the SDGs!

Ban Ki-moon stresses the importance of “resilient and sustainable cities” at the MIPIM 2019

From March 12th to 15th, 2019, the 30th edition of MIPIM, an real estate event, takes place in Cannes, France. It is the world’s leading real estate event gathering key players of the property market. The event allows people from different sectors of the industry to meet and bring the value chain together and provides a unique exhibition and networking platform to forge deals. This year, the main theme for the conferences is “Engaging the Future.”

At the opening ceremony, BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon delivered a keynote and stressed that

“we must ensure that our future cities are resilient and sustainable, creative and innovate, and inclusive and equitable.”

He pointed out that creating resilient and sustainable cities are they key to our future, and the climate change is the “most pressing threat standing in this path.” He also addressed how the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals can help in charting a thriving blueprint for the future.

“Goal 17 of the SDGs clearly highlights the prominent role that the private sector, alongside civil society, academia, and others, should play to help achieve the SDGs,” said Ban. “Global partnerships,” he stressed, “are necessary if we are to deliver on our development commitments.”

Photo by: Yann Coatsaliou

A ‘Small UN’ Ban Ki-moon Foundation to be opened in Seoul

On March 5th, the “Ban Ki-moon Foundation for a Better Future (tentative title)” was announced to be established in Korea at the meeting of promoters held in Seoul. Having BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon as the Chair of its Board, the Foundation will serve as a non-political, non-profit public organization that acts as a ‘small UN’ with below objectives:

  • To improve and promote Ban Ki-moon’s philosophy and vision as the 8th UN Secretary-General by realizing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and conducting academic researches and suggesting policies in order for everyone to ensured of human rights
  • To establish a perpetual peace in the Korean Peninsula as well as to promote peace in East Asia and the globe
  • To protect the future vision and the rights of women, youth, and children and to establish future-oriented values
  • To create and execute varied programs to eradicate poverty and disease in developing countries
  • To lead education on cultivating people of talents and global citizenship in cooperation with various international organizations, including the United Nations, and civil organizations, academic institutes, and  educational institutions both inside and outside Korea

Starting from May 2019, the Foundation will pursue projects with the above visions.

Ban mentioned that “I have tried to promote the agenda on climate change, sustainable development, and women’s empowerment while in the UN” and “now I would like to realize such visions both inside and outside the country in cooperation with the people from different sectors in Korea.”

The meeting of promoters had 46 participants, including:

  • Kim Hwangsik, former Prime Minister of Korea; Chairman of the Board of Directors at Ho-am Foundation (Head of the Meeting of Promoters for the BKM Foundation)
  • Gong Ro-myung, former Minister of Foreign Affairs; Chairman of East Asia Foundation
  • Lee Sang-hee, former Minister of National Defense
  • Kim Yong-hak, President of Yonsei University
  • Han Bi-ya, President of Global Citizen School of World Vision; Author of a best-selling book “Daughter of the Wind: Three and a Half Times around the Globe on Foot”
  • Kim Sook, former Korean Ambassador to the UN; former President of UN Women’s Executive Board
  • Rye Seung-min, Korean gold-medalist table tennis player; Athlete Member of the IOC
  • Son Yeon-jae, Korean retired rhythmic gymnast; 3-time Asian Championships All-around Champion
  • Yoo Dong-geun, Korean actor

Ban Ki-moon and Heinz Fischer commends Kenyan President on “The Big 4”

On March 4th, Minister Counselor Humphrey Kanana and First Secretary Glenns Etyang of the Kenyan Embassy in Vienna visited the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens to discuss possible collaboration between the Centre and Kenya.

Last month, BKMC Co-chairs Ban Ki-moon and Heinz Fischer wrote a letter to President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya to commend him on “The Big 4” Agenda that the president has initiated to ensure affordable health and living for all Kenyans which will hopefully leapfrog the country’s human development and progress.

The Agenda focuses on:

  • Manufacturing
  • Affordable Housing
  • Universal Health Coverage (UHC)
  • Food Security

On the letter, Co-chair Ban also hoped for fruitful exchanges with the president during his visit to Kenya in May 2019 and expressed his support for advancing road safety in the African region together with President Jean Todt of the International Federation of Automobiles (FIA), who is a Board member of the Centre.

Watch an informative video about “The Big 4” here:

 

 

BKMC co-organizes the symposium on “Empowering Women and Supporting Youth in Development and Citizenship” in Kuwait

In cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the General Secretariat of the Supreme Council for Planning and Development of Kuwait, the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens co-organized the symposium on “Empowering Women and Supporting Youth in Development and Citizenship” in Kuwait on February 12th, 2019.

At the opening, BKMC Co-chairs Ban Ki-moon and Heinz Fischer delivered a keynote.

Ban emphasized that “now is the time to mobilize the global business community as never before.”

“Realizing the Sustainable Development Goals will improve the environment for doing good business and building markets. Trillions of dollars in public and private funds are to be redirected towards the SDGs, creating huge opportunities for responsible companies to deliver solutions,” said Ban.

“Despite the challenges we currently face,” he concluded “if we join together in strong partnerships and move forward as global citizens, we can achieve our global goals and create a brighter future for all.”

Co-chair Fischer stressed that women’s empowerment

“must also be regarded as a global issue and put into the bigger picture. It is a key to peace, to eliminating all forms of violence, and to enabling families, communities, and nations to thrive.”

He also shared the deepest appreciation to the Centre’s Board member, Ambassador Sadiq Marafi, praising his commitment to supporting the Centre from the beginning and to all his collaborative initiatives to foster women’s empowerment.

Fischer added, “we are looking forward to intensifying our work with Kuwait and in particular with the General Secretariat of the Supreme Council for Planning and Development and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kuwait and to identifying further opportunities for cooperation.”

The 1st session of the symposium was entitled “Empowering Women,” featuring women leaders and representatives from both public and civil sector. BKMC Board members Irina Bokova, former UNESCO Director-General, and Andrea Pfanzelter, KACIID Senior Advisor, were featured as panelists of the session.

For the 2nd session entitled “Youth Role in Development and Citizenship,” representatives of a specialized center in supporting youth development in Kuwait and from the civil society, a graduate student from Kuwait University, as well as BKMC Board members were featured. The featured Board members of the Centre included Jean Todt, FIA President, Ahmad Alhendawi, Secretary-General of the World Organization of the Scout Movement, and Michael Sheldrick, Global Citizen Vice President.

The last session entitled “Role and Efforts of Private Sector in Empowering Women and Supporting Youth in Development” featured representatives from Zain Telecommunication, Kuwait National Bank, and private sector.

 

BKMC meets with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Economic Affairs of Kuwait

The Board of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens visited Bayan Palace in Kuwait on February 11th to have meetings with Kuwaiti Deputy Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and Minister Mariam Eqeal Al-Saied Hashem Al-Aqeal of State for Economic Affairs as well as other delegates of the government.

At the meeting with Minister Al-Aqeal, Co-chair Ban Ki-moon delivered a compliment on Kuwait’s role of mediation and moderate diplomacy. He said that “Kuwait is seemingly the country that has contributed to the unity and solidarity,” aiming for GCC. Ban emphasized that the Centre aims to foster global citizenship and that the protectionism that builds up walls needs to be demolished.

Co-chair Heinz Fischer said that “global risks need global attention.” He stressed the importance of achieving humanitarian goals without unnecessary competitions.

Minister Al-Aqeel said that “Kuwait has implemented the SDGs in National Development of the Plan 2020” and that the implementation is currently in action.

Dr. Khaled Mahdi, Secretary General of the General Secretariat of the Supreme Council for Planning and Development, also mentioned that the Kuwaiti government will deliver the first report on the SDGs by July 2019.

He said that the goals will be implemented “on the national level as well as global level.”

The BKMC Board shared the impact and influence of the Centre’s work in women’s empowerment as well as some ideas on the strategic direction for the Kuwaiti government to reach the level of taking an effective role in women’s empowerment.

Ban emphasizes the importance of leadership in ahiceving the SDGs at the WGS 2019

On February 10th during the World Government Summit 2019 held in Dubai, Co-chair Ban Ki-moon spoke about the importance of the leadership of national and international leaders and the governments

“in the formulation of policies that can lead to achieve the UN SDGs.”

As President of Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), Ban featured at the “High-Level Panel on the Implementation of the SDGs” which was moderated by Catherine Cheney, Senior Reporter for Devex, and consisted of

  • Henry Puna, Prime Minister, Cook Islands
  • María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, President of the UN General Assembly
  • Mahmoud Mohieldin, Senior Vice President, World Bank Group
  • Ban Ki-Moon, 8th UN Secretary General

Ban also spoke at the Climate Change Forum to discuss the impact of climate change on human health.

The participants included:

  • Gina McCarthy, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
  • Adnan Amin, Director General, IRENA
  • Laurent Fabius, President of the Constitutional Council in France
  • Luis de Alba, UNSG Special Envoy for 2019 Climate Summit

Russian students from the Eurasian Club System visit BKMC

A group of Russian students from the Eurasian Club System (ECS) with the club’s President and CEO Marat Shafigullin visited the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens (BKMC) on January 21st, 2018. BKMC CEO Monika Froehler and Associate Julia Zimmerman briefed the students on the Centre’s work and missions. Specializing in politics and economics, the students showed interest in how to advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as global citizens.

The ECS is an organization that aims to facilitate international cooperation for and by youth. Learn more: http://ecseducation.ru

(The SDG signs provided by Stadt Wien)