“Empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality”

BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon delivered a keynote as well as attending the side events of the 75th session of the UN ESCAP that took place in Bangkok, Thailand from May 27th to 31st. Focusing on the theme “Empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality,” the session comprised a ministerial segment and a senior officials segment.

“I firmly believe our common endeavour to achieve the SDGS can pave the path to equality, overcome expanding division. In order to meet this noble aspiration for equality, cooperation, innovation and engagement by all stakeholders is vital,” said Co-chair Ban Ki-moon as former United Nations Secretary-General

At a side event hosted with Google and the Thai government, Ban Ki-moon shared innovative solutions that promote digital inclusion as the Asia Pacific region faces a deepening digital divide with more than half of the region without access to basic internet.

Ban underscored the urgency for “all hands on deck” to harness ownership and participation from all sectors of society to achieve the SDGs by 2030 and urged stakeholders from all sectors and countries to work together, ensuring inclusiveness and equality not only in the Asia Pacific region but across the world.

Source: https://unescap.org/commission/75/
Photo: UN ESCAP

Ban Ki-moon Institute for Global Education in Support of UNAI opens at Handong Global University

The opening ceremony of the ‘Ban Ki-moon Institute for Global Education’ (IGE) in Support of United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI) Korea was held at Handong Global University (HGU) in Pohang, South Korea on May 27th.
 
The ceremony was attended by distinguished guests from around the world, including BKMC Co-chair Heinz Fischer, Juan Antonio Samaranch, Jr., Vice President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and Ramu Damodaran, Chief of UNAI.
BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon delivered the welcoming speech as Honorary President of IGE.
In his speech, he stressed that “the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals is not possible without the cultivation of global citizens. That is what IGE is all about. IGE will contribute significantly to realization of the United Nations’ 3 pillars and its 17 SDGs by nurturing global citizens through comprehensive and holistic Global Citizenship Education.”

IGE was established at HGU, a higher education institution, in response to calls by the United Nations and the international community to implement GCED as a new educational paradigm, a paradigm for providing sustainable solutions for transforming the world in the era of the SDGs. Founded and administered through cooperation between HGU and UNAI Korea, IGE will offer such education at its Globally Responsible and Advanced Citizenship Education (GRACE) School. GRACE School will incorporate essential subject areas and the essence of GCED into 6 core courses and offer its students as part of a program leading to a Certificate in Holistic Global Citizenship.

In his congratulatory speech, Fischer said, “I want to stress the importance of Global Citizenship Education (GCED). I am impressed that IGE is incorporating GCED into its curriculum and promoting it as an invaluable tool for sustainable peace and prosperity in the 21st century.”
At the inauguration, IOC VP Samaranch received an honorary doctorate degree from HGU. He shared his vision of olympism as a “philosophy of life” achieved through the “combination of sport, culture, and education.”

Welcome remarks

Europe and the SDGs: Best-practices and Recommendations
Heinz Fischer

Address

As Co-Chairman of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens I want to warmly welcome you to our panel discussion on “Europe and the SDGs: Best-practices and Recommendations”, in cooperation with the Embassy of Sweden in Vienna and Think Austria.

It is not a coincidence that we are discussing this topic here today at the Schwedenhaus. Sweden is the leading country when it comes to the implementation of the SDGs and is holding the impressive SDG index score of 85 out of 100, followed by Denmark and Finland.

I remember the year 2015 and the efforts and endurance of my good friend and partner Ban Ki-moon, while he was still Secretary General of the United Nations. Countless hours of drafting and negotiating the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and its 169 targets with numerous different entities were necessary, in order to finally get the signatures of all UN Member States.

The Sustainable Development Summit in New York from September 25 to 27 with over 150 world leaders marked the launch of the ambitious Agenda 2030.  To me, it symbolized the determination of the international community to mobilize efforts to a more equal, sustainable and peaceful world for all.

In my speech as President of the Republic of Austria during the Summit for the Adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in New York on 27 September 2015, I said: “The Agenda 2030 presents us with the opportunity to make sustainable development a reality, but it also gives us significant responsibilities”.

3 years have passed since the Agenda 2030 has come into force and it is time to look at current implementations by governments and businesses in Europe and how they can be improved.

What I notice when looking at the 2018 SDG Index prepared by SDSN and the Bertelsmann Stiftung, is that all countries in the Top 20 are OECD countries. This should, however, not stop us from continuing our efforts towards efficient policy implementations.

Austria is ranked 9th and even though I am no expert in this field, allow me to say that we can do better.

On the one hand, it is important to highlight best-practices and make them publicly available so that everyone, from governments and businesses to civil society, can be inspired and incorporate them into their own agenda. In 2018, Concorde Europe did this by publishing good practices from across the continent and divided the examples into 4 categories, namely: Monitoring and Accountability, New Partnerships, Parliament Involvement and Participative Processes. Our panel today should also serve as a platform to exchange innovative ideas and to empower one another to do more!

On the other hand, critical assessments and accountability are crucial for new policy recommendations and the achievement of the SDGs. Yes, Austria is under the top 10, but if I look at our scores for SDG5, gender equality, and SDG17, partnerships, I see room for improvement. We have to grasp those weak spots and treat them as opportunities for transformation, transformations that will benefit the entire society.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Let me conclude my remarks by emphasizing that the Agenda 2030 is not a competition. In the end, we should focus less on ranks and more on supporting each other by strengthening cooperation in the implementation of the SDGs. Let’s learn from each other. Let’s inspire each other. Let’s work beyond national borders to reach our common goal of an equal, sustainable and peaceful future for all.

Thank you.

Photo: Harald_Klemm

“Europe and the SDGs: Best-practices and Recommendations”

The Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens and the Embassy of Sweden in Vienna co-hosted the event on “Europe and the SDGs: Best-practices and Recommendations” on May 21st, 2019 in Vienna, Austria. The event gathered representatives and experts from both public and private sectors and provided an open-discussion platform where the best practices and the recommendations on the SDG implementation were discussed.

H.E. Ambassador Mikaela Kumlin Granit of the Swedish Embassy and BKMC Co-chair Heinz Fischer delivered welcome remarks.

Fischer pointed out that “now it is time to look at the current implementations by governments and business in Europe and how they can be improved.”

He mentioned that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Agenda 2030 that were adopted by the United Nations when Co-chair Ban Ki-moon was serving as Secretary-General of the UN and that it is crucial to cooperate to advance the 17 Goals. Then he added the efforts to achieve the SDGs should not be done by competition but in collaboration.

“The Agenda 2030 presents not only the opportunity to make sustainable development reality, but it also gives us significant responsibilities,” said Fischer.

Following the welcome remarks, Sabine Schneeberger, Director at the Coordination DG of the Austrian Federal Chancellery delivered a keynote. She said that the Austrian government has integrated the 2030 Agenda into their programs, requiring all its ministries to incorporate the principles of the Agenda.

The event was divided into two panel discussions that were moderated by CEO Monika Froehler of the Ban Ki-moon Centre:

Panel I – Government Best-Practices

  • Inger Buxton, Deputy Head of the Global Agenda Department at the MFA, Sweden
  • H.E. Ambassador Sylvia Meier-Kajbic, Federal Ministry of Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs, Austria
  • H.E. Ambassador Pirkko Hämäläinen, Ambassador of Finland to Austria and Permanent Representative to the International Organizations in Vienna
  • Kvetoslav Kmec, Director for Strategic Planning at the Deputy Prime Minister’s Office, Slovakia

Panel II – Business and CSO Best-Practices

  • Helena Lindemark, Founder and CEO of Sustainable Development Sweden AB
  • Dr. Gabriela-Maria Straka, Director of CSR & Corporate Affairs, Grüne Brauerei Göss, Austria
  • Bernhard Zlanabitnig, member of SDG Watch Austrian Steering Committee; Director of EU-Umwelt Büro
  • Markus Haas, Head of Export Finance, International Projects, and Financial Institutions at the Austrian Economic Chambers (WKO)

The audience also actively engaged themselves in the discussions, bringing different perspectives and expertise to the floor.

Emphasizing the importance of acting promptly to advance the SDGs and to facilitate the collaboration between private and public sector, Froehler said that it is also crucial that individuals contribute to the sustainable development of all, no matter how small each contribution may be.

She concluded “because I think, on an individual level, on a national level, and on the international level, there is so much to gain” and that one should try to convert “pain” into “gain.”

Watch the recorded video of the first panel: https://www.facebook.com/BanKimoonCentre/videos/2366321576931251/
and the second panel here: https://www.facebook.com/BanKimoonCentre/videos/343893992935647/

Photos: Harald Klemm

GCA preparation for the UN Climate Action Summit in New York

As Chairman of the Board of the Global Center on Adaptation, Ban Ki-moon together with World Bank Chief Executive Kristalina Georgieva chaired the meeting of the Global Commission on Adaptation and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development of Germany on May 21st, 2019, in Berlin, Germany.

 “There is no time to waste. The decisions we make today have a long-lasting impact.”

The groups discussed their inputs and possible collaboration for the UN Climate Action Summit held by UN Secretary-General António Guterres in New York on September 23rd, 2019. Among the topics were the definition of climate change to people in developing countries and the possible mitigating effects.

The 2019 Climate Action Summit should accelerate the implementation of the Paris Agreement on a collective national level and in turn support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Learn more about the GCA here: https://gca.org/

 

Co-chair Ban Ki-moon Speaks at Global Citizen Festival in Berlin Calling for Climate Action

On Tuesday May 21st 2019, Ban Ki-moon Centre partner Global Citizen hosted GC Live Berlin, bringing together policy makers from around the world seeking to end extreme poverty and to support African Youth. Former UN Secretary-General and Centre Co-chair Ban Ki-Moon made particular impact through his participation and speech at the event resulting in large coverage across social media and media outlets.

At the event, Nigeria and Zambia made important commitments to water, sanitation, and nutrition. Co-chair Ban, World Bank Chief Executive Kristalina Georgieva, and German Federal Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development Gerd Müller all made powerful statements on the world’s most pressing issues associated with ending extreme poverty and addressing climate change.

Along with CEO Georgieva and Bill Gates, Co-chair Ban chairs the Global Commission on Adaptation focused on climate adaptation.

During his speech at GC live Berline, Co-chair Ban emphasized:

“Now is the moment to make our lives, our homes, and our communities climate friendly and climate ready.”

BKMC CEO Monika Froehler also attended the event in support of African Youth which underlined the idea of one generation, one future.

In addition to the commitments made by African countries, the government of Germany announced support for 60 million smallholder farmers globally to adapt to climate change.

The event followed weeks of campaigning by Global Citizens around the world. Global Citizens from Germany, South Africa, Nigeria, and 143 other countries took action in the lead-up to the event which earned them tickets to the concert. The event celebrated Africa Day, which takes place on May 25 and commemorates the founding of the Organisation of African Unity (now known as the African Union) on May 25, 1963.

Global Citizen Live Berlin was presented in partnership with Engagement Global, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Live Nation.

Source: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/global-citizen-live-berlin-global-citizens-artists-and-world-leaders-from-nigeria-zambia-germany-rwanda-and-ghana-took-unprecedented-action-on-ending-extreme-poverty-by-2030-300854704.html

Photo: Global Citizen

#GCLiveBerlin #EineGenerationEineZukunft #SDGs #GlobalCitizens

The Ban Ki-moon Centre mentors young researchers writing paper on the SDGs

Young researchers from the Regional Academy on the United Nations visited the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens on May 9th. The group of three young scholars from Austria, the Czech Republic,and Germany presented their ideas for conducting researches on the SDGs.

As their mentors, BKMC Co-chair Heinz Fischer and CEO Monika Froehler encouraged the group, stressing that their inputs will also inspire others to take initiatives and further actions to make changes in society as global citizens,

The group’s research findings will bring together and reflect varied perspectives and fields of expertise with the examples of best practices. A 20-page research paper will be submitted by the end of this year and presented at the RAUN conference in early next year.

Learn more: http://www.ra-un.org/

“You cannot be what you cannot see,” says BKMC CEO Monika Froehler at her mentoring session for Muslim youth

“You cannot be what you cannot see!”
said CEO Monika Froehler of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens at the mentoring session taken place at the Centre on May 8th, 2019. As part of the Centre’s project  “Mentoring for Austrian Muslim Women – Global Citizens at Work,” Froehler met with her mentee from the Muslim Youth Austria (Muslimische Jugend Österreich) and discussed about the importance of having inspirations around for one to be empowered

As girls often do not see enough women leaders around them to have them as their role models, Froehler said that it is challenging for them to take further steps to reach their goals. Aspiring leaders need leaders that reflect themselves and that they can look up to.The two also talked about the crucial role of social entrepreneurship in advancing the SDGs.

RELX SDG Inspiration Day Delhi: Inspiring collaborative action on the 17 global goals

On 2 May 2019, BKMC partner RELX held its fourth SDG Inspiration Day in Delhi to catalyze action on the UN Sustainable Development Goals. This event took place at the iconic Imperial Hotel in partnership with Global Compact India, Responsible Media Forum and the Ban Ki-Moon Centre for Global Citizens. The theme Sustainable Cities: SDG 11, critical to the rest inspired rich discussion among participants from business, government, civil society and academia who explored the interconnection of SDG 11 with cross-cutting themes, such as health and the rule of law.

In the opening plenary, BKMC Board member Marcia Balisciano, Director, Corporate Responsibility at RELX, explained that India is in the top 10 countries for research on SDG 11 and in the last five years India’s research output on sustainable cities has more than doubled. A keynote from Ambassador Kim won-soo, BKMC Board member and former UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, highlighted the need for smaller cities and the role of technology to harmonize this.

The day featured an expert café with contributions from Arunava Dasgupta, Head , Department for Urban Design, Centre for Urban Design Innovation; Amit Sharma, BU Head, Energy and Sustainability Services, Schneider Electric India and Aditi Haldar, South-Asia Director, GRI among others, who explored the challenges of health planning for urban populations, the role of data, technology and smart infrastructure, circular and green energy systems and the future of jobs and skills.

Youth were well represented during the partnership fair, with a number of student presentations from the School of Urban Planning who shared their proposals for cities that were greener, more resilient and were more caring for older populations.

SDG Inspiration Day Delhi was the fourth of a series of inspiration days held across the world: London in 2017, which launched the RELX SDG Resource Centre; Silicon Valley which explored disruptive technology to advance the SDGs and Amsterdam on the importance of partnerships for the Goals, both in 2018.

Read more: https://sdgresources.relx.com/news-features/relx-sdg-inspiration-day-delhi-inspiring-collaborative-action-17-global-goals

Photo: RELX Group

 

“Leave no one behind,” says Heinz Fischer at the symposium for Global SDGs in a Mediatized World

A 2-day symposium “Global Sustainable Development Goals in a Mediatized World” took place at the Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften in Vienna, Austria on April 4-5th, 2019.

At the opening, BKMC Co-chair Heinz Fischer delivered a keynote, mentioning the great success of the world having reached the consensus on the Human Rights Declaration, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and then the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by the United Nations.

Expressing his appreciation of “what is done and how many institutions and universities are dealing with teaching about the SDGs,” Fischer urged that we should cooperate to advance the SDGs and “leave no one behind.”

Mediatization shapes public discourses and thus influences the way in which the Agenda 2030 is reflected, criticized, and implemented. Communication plays an important and sometimes decisive role in the awareness and individual acceptance and the political and economic legitimization of the SDGs due to digitalization, convergence, and globalization in a rapidly changing societal environment.

The symposium brought together experts, scientists, and researchers in the field to highlight these aspects, discuss the consequences across disciplines, and elaborate the implications of research related to the implementation of the Agenda 2030. Their research findings were also presented during the symposium, and it showed what Austrian scientists can make to the SDGs, deepen the interdisciplinary dialogue among scientists and beyond, and better acquaint researchers with the SDGs.

Learn more: https://www.facebook.com/events/384052535730580/