Ban Ki-moon Centre Board Members and CEO Monika Froehler reappointed

The Ban Ki-moon Centre is delighted to announce the prolongation of its board members, and the reappointment of Monika Froehler as Chief Executive Officer for four more years.  

“We have four more years of continued growth & consolidation.”  

said Co-chair Heinz Fischer at the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens virtual board meeting on April 5, 2022.

CEO Monika Froehler moderated the Board Meeting, briefing the Co-chairs and the board members on developments of the Ban Ki-moon Centre US Foundation in New York, and the Ban Ki-moon Centre’s programmatic activities. She highlighted the Centre’s efforts in particular the Leadership Program for African leaders in Climate Adaptation, the Global Citizen Mentorship Program on Global Health and the Global Citizen Scholarship Program and its SDG Micro-Projects, the success of the Agricultural Adaptation Program, and the cooperation with the Austrian government for the SDG Dialogforum 2022.  

The Board discussed strategic methods for promoting the Centre’s activities as well as effective ways to amplify the messages through the Centre’s various partnerships, affiliated offices and channels.  

Check out our board HERE.

Check out our activities in 2021 and our goals for 2022 HERE

Ban Ki-moon and CEO Monika Froehler mission trip to the UAE

BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon and CEO Monika Froehler travel to the United Arab Emirates for a mission trip on climate change and agricultural adaptation.  

Check out the photos from the visit on Flickr.

During 1-5 March 2022, the delegation held several meetings with government leaders, attended events, had private tours to key locations, and also spent a day at the EXPO 2020 Dubai to visit multiple pavilions. The Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens was excited to be in Dubai and Abu Dhabi to promote its advocacy work on agricultural adaptation and global citizenship education.

On the first day of the trip, Co-chair Ban Ki-moon and CEO Monika Froehler met Minister H.E. Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri وزارة التغير المناخي والبيئة Ministry of Climate Change and Environment. They discussed UAE’s leadership on climate action and also the importance of financing climate adaptation.

 
Ban Ki moon with Mariam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Almheiri
Ban Ki-moon with H.E. Mariam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Almheiri, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment.

As an end to the day, Co-chair Ban Ki-moon joined a panel to discuss recovery from COVID19 and accepted the Social Humanitarian Award at the Asian Business Leadership Forum.

Ban Ki-moon on stage the Asian Business Leadership Forum to receive the Humanitarian Award.

Starting the second day with a visit to the UAE Special Envoy for Climate and Minister of Trade and Advanced Industry Co-chair Ban commended H. E. Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber,  for UAE’s pledge to an economy-wide reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 at the COP26. 

The BKMC delegation at the IRENA.

In the afternoon, the delegation was welcomed at the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) in Abu Dhabi. Co-chair Ban Ki-moon and CEO Monika Froehler had a VIP tour of the agency together with DG Francesco La Camera and Deputy DG Gauri Singh as well as a discussion on how crucial renewable energy is in our path towards a sustainable and green future.

In the evening, H.E. Lee Seok-gu, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to the UAE hosted a warm dinner reception at the Embassy of the Republic of Korea to the UAE.

Starting the day with an extensive visit at the GEMS School, Co-chair Ban Ki-moon and CEO Monika Froehler had a meeting with GEMS World Academy CEO Dr. Saima Rana to discuss how to better implement global citizenship education around the world and best practice examples from their curricula.

As Ambassador of the Model United Nations (MUN) of the GEMS World Academy, Co-chair Ban Ki-moon delivered a keynote at the MUN opening ceremony. He addressed the students and Executive Committee with a clear and inspirational message:

“You are the young generation. Use your voice to speak up. You are soon going to be responsible for this world.”
Ban Ki-moon on stage at the GEMS World Academy for a session on the status of the SDGs.

Throughout the day Ban Ki-moon and CEO Froehler held several discussions with different student groups on topics such as How Koreans can have a global impact, Approaches to Leadership, Sustainable Development Goals, skills required to overcome challenges. Ban Ki-moon Centre contributor and CEO of GEMS Education Dino Varkey hosted a dinner reception welcoming GEMS World Academy CEO Dr. Samai Rana to discuss continued collaborations on quality education.

BKMC Delegation in front of the Dubai Cares Pavillion at Expo2020.

To end the mission trip the BKMC delegation spent the day at EXPO 2020. While visiting the Dubai Cares pavilion Ban Ki-moon met with CEO Dr. Tariq Al Gurg, discussing the future of education and the role of lifelong learning.

Amid the ongoing war between Ukraine and Russia Co-chair Ban Ki-moon expressed his support for the Ukrainian people at the Ukrainian Pavilion. It was a delight to participate in a tour of the UN Pavilion where Co-chair Ban Ki-moon and CEO Monika Froehler saw how the setup inspired daily visitors to act for the SDGs. At the Korean Pavilion, the delegation learned about the future of smart cities and listened to a concert to experience Korean culture and Kpop.

 
The BKMC delegation at the Ukranian Pavillion at the EXPO2020.

An intimate gathering organized by BKMC Program Officer Viola Christian who was also part of the delegation allowed BKMC Fellow alumni Nada Al Turifi and Huda Al Salah an opportunity to discuss their achievements with Co-chair Ban Ki-moon in person for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

READ THE PRESS RELEASE OF FORMER UN SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON’S VISITS TO THE CLIMATE MINISTER AND CLIMATE ENVOY IN THE UAE. 

Ban Ki-moon in “The ASEAN” on multilateralism

Ban Ki-moon Centre Co-chair Ban Ki-moon reflects in “The ASEAN”‘s December/ January Edition on his 10-year tenure as chief diplomat of the United Nations, the role of multilateralism to solve global challenges, and why youth-driven responses give him hope for the future of our planet and its people. 

   

Read the full English version below.

Access the full magazine HERE.

 

„Only the Beginning“– Closing of the ASEAN Youth for SDGs Webinar Series

Throughout a two-month period, 33 young leaders from the Southeast Asian Region took part in the ASEAN Youth for SDGs Webinar Series, organized by the BKMC in cooperation with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). After participating in two webinars and one side event at the margins of the 14th UN Crime Congress, the ASEAN youth representatives were put in charge of planning their own SDG Micro-Projects during a one-month SDG Micro-Project Incubator phase. 

At the end of the Incubator, 33 SDG Micro-Project plans were submitted, accompanied by video pitches putting forth 33 innovative solutions to tackle local challenges and, thus, contribute to the SDGs.

On April 29th we celebrated the closing of the ASEAN Youth for SDGs Webinar Series. As a special highlight, each of the participants received their Certificate of Participation and a unique illustration of their SDG Micro-Project, designed by the artist Kat J. Weiss. The three most compelling video pitches were streamed during the event, demonstrating the immense potential that lies within to act as global citizens. Check out the illustrations at our online exhibition below:

     

Co-chair Heinz Fischer and UNODC Programme Officers Lulua Assad and Gilberto Duarte provided congratulatory remarks and the event provided the opportunity to reminisce about their learnings and experiences throughout the webinar series.

The cohort agreed that this was only the beginning and that the webinar series motivated them to actively contribute to the SDGs and turn their ideas into action. Congratulations to all! 

Looking for some inspiration to turn your ideas into action? Have a look at our album of action here and check out the video about the ASEAN Youth for SDGs Webinar Series below:

 

“Building Bridges”: The BKMC promotes Youth Engagement for the Sustainable Development Goals and the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty

As part of the Decade of Action to advance the SDGs and the Paris Climate Agreement, the BKMC is taking part in the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization’s (CTBTO) “Building Bridges, Nurture Partnership, Embrace Dialogue” project series in partnership with the Government of Switzerland, which invites youth organizations to engage with CTBTO Youth Group (CYG)  members to share best practices, ideas for cooperation, and build partnerships to lead for sustainable development, climate action, peace, and security advocacy.

On March 18, BKMC Program Officer Julia Zimmerman participated in a panel at the CTBTO’s second webinar “Building Bridges, together with five other youth-led NGOs/community groups, and especially stressed the role of youth as key to speeding up progress for the achievement of the SDGs and the connection between sustainable development and disarmament 

“We need to take on these challenges collectively and apply a global citizen mindset. That also includes in disarmament. There is no sustainable development without disarmament. There is no equal world without disarmament.” 

Ban Ki-moon Centre  Program Officer Julia Zimmerman

Program Officer Zimmerman also highlighted the BKMC’s role in guiding its fellows, scholars, mentors, and mentees in the implementation of SDG Micro Projects for their communities. These are best practice examples of youth contributing to accelerating action for sustainable development, an essential part of which is disarmament for the insurance of peace and security. 

Spot the challenge and find the solution. Everyone can take action for the SDGs in their communities.

Ban Ki-moon Centre  Program Officer Julia Zimmerman

The BKMC is looking forward to cooperating with the CTBTO, CYG, African Young Generation in NuclearGlobal Young Academy, Nuclear and Strategy Network – New Generation, YOUNGO, and the Sustainable Development Solutions Network to strengthen young people’s role in tackling challenges and leading within the global peace and security agenda. 

Click HERE to watch a recording of the Building Bridges Webinar.  

For more practical insights, check out “Youth, Peace & Security: A Programming Handbook”

Ban Ki-moon Centre 2020 Annual Report is Out!

We are thrilled to share the 2020 Annual Report of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens with you. We hope to inspire you with what we have accomplished together in 2020  and with what we will build on it in 2021 and beyond with your place in our valuable global network.

“We want to thank our co-chairs, our board, and all our partners and supporters for an unprecendented yet impactful year that gave us hope that with dedication, hope, and team spirit we can continue to contribute to a better future for all – leaving no one behind. “

Ban Ki-moon Centre CEO Monika Froehler

Read our report below, share it and join us in supporting global citizens around the world.

 

Conversation with Young Global Citizens

BKMC COO Katrin Harvey joined a group of young global citizens from France, USA, and Canada to discuss the idea behind global citizenship and how youth can be involved.

On 21.12.2020, COO Katrin Harvey was invited to an interactive chat, as a part of the World Series organized by the Young Global Citizens, a cross-border initiative to educate pupils of every age about global citizenship. The international audience ranged from elementary school to high school students as well as their teachers, all interested in becoming more involved with the Sustainable Development Goals and tackling climate change.

Hear from the students themselves:

“Hello! I am Jade and I am 12 years old from Blessed Sacrament School in Vancouver, Canada. 2 years ago we started working on a movement that would bring young people together to shape a better world. We felt even elementary-age students had something valuable to contribute, and talents and skills to share. Together, we created Young Global Citizens with our teachers and parents. Today we are leading series of interviews around the world to find out what it means to be a Global Citizen. A cause that I am passionate about is sharing about my culture, which is the Filipino culture. I am also a proud Canadian and I want everyone to feel welcome in this movement. That is what it means to be a Global Citizen, that we value and accept everyone.

“Hello my name is Sean, and I am 12 years old. Like Jade, I am from Vancouver where we started the idea of promoting positive values and making a difference. One thing I am passionate about is ocean life and water in general. I love fishing, I love swimming, and I love drinking water. I am worried ocean life is being devastated by climate change. That is why I am an active Young Global Citizen. I want to meet with scientists and learn real science and what science can do to find lasting sustainable solutions for our planet.”

Young Global Citizens is conducting series of Zoom interviews with business, cultural, political, and social leaders around the globe who are also trying to enact change. Their goal is to build a global coalition and report to Canadian Prime Minister Mr. Justin Trudeau on our findings.

Watch the full event below:

Conclusion of First Research Cycle with Students of University of Economics, Vienna

On January 26th, the BKMC successfully concluded the first research cycle in partnership with the institute for Public Management and Governance at the University of Economics, Vienna (WU). During the winter semester 2020/2021 the BKMC cooperated with a group of six Bachelor students of the Public and Non-Profit Management program to conduct research on the BKMC’s SDG Micro-Projects.

SDG Micro-Projects lie at the heart of the BKMC’s objective to equip young and dedicated individuals with the skills they need to be agents of change for the achievement of the SDGs. So far nearly 100 small-scale activities were implemented under the guidance of the BKMC, contributing to one or more SDGs in 23 different countries. The SDG Micro-Projects are concluded with an SDG Micro-Project report, summarizing the activities, achievements, and impact of the projects and their implementers.

The WU students were tasked to conduct research on impact reporting and develop an optimized prototype of an SDG Micro-Project report form and impact measurement scheme, to be used by the BKMC for all future SDG Micro-Projects.

After four moths of empirical research based on interviews and literature research, the students presented their results to the BKMC and submitted a final report as well as sophisticated prototypes. Their findings will guide the BKMC in our efforts to optimize the process of evaluating and presenting the SDG Micro-Projects as concrete examples of acting as global citizens.

The students, in turn, gained a thorough understanding of the SDGs and were inspired to act for the SDGs themselves. The research project did not only advance them in their studies, but also allowed them to peek behind the scenes of a non-profit organization in an international environment.

We congratulate the students on their insightful research and look forward to a renewed cooperation with the next group of young researchers in the summer semester of 2021. Together with the students we will investigate the impacts of COVID-19 on the digitalization of youth activism and youth organizations and related lessons learned.

Ban Ki-moon in conversation with die Furche: “We need more Global Citizens”

The Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens Co-chair Ban Ki-moon was interviewed by Die Furche for its January Edition about the impact the United Nations had during his upbringing in Korea, his time as United Nations Secretary-General, his expectations for President-Elect Joe Biden, and how the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, Paris Climate Agreement and Global Citizenship are the road maps to achieve a better future for all.

Read the full English version below.

Access the full German Version here:

2021.1a Ban Ki-moon ITV 

2021.1b Ban Ki-moon ITV


“We need more Global Citizens”

Die Furche, 7 January 2021

1. Former UN Secretary General, may I start with a personal question: You come from a country that has been divided by war to this day – how did that shape you for your later role as the world’s top peacemaker and peacekeeper? 

When I was born before the end of the Second World War, everybody was poor. Soon after, South Korea was attacked by North Korea. At that time, the United Nations had sent troops and humanitarian aid. As a child growing up during the Korean War my family received food ratios and I studied with either kerosene lamps or with candlelight from schoolbooks that were provided by UNESCO. These are my first memories of the UN. Later it was the United Nations’ efforts that substantially helped rebuild and recover South Korea from the Korean War. Observing the incredible impact of the UN in supporting a divided country and assisting on the road to peace and prosperity has influenced me in my various roles. On many occasions, I have emphasized the importance of multilateralism in peacekeeping and I still believe in the role of the United Nations and the other global players in steering the peace between North and South Korea.

In the first months of this year, while the number of individuals infected by the virus and death tolls rose sharply, many trivialized Covid-19 by comparing it to the annual wave of influenza. On the other hand, others over-dramatized the situation and overstated the actual number of victims. Slowly, a more realistic picture has emerged.

2. 75 years after the end of the Second World War, 75 years after the founding of the United Nations, with the aim of “saving future generations from the scourge of war”, it looks in many places as if politicians and peoples have become “tired of peace”. Do you share this impression and how can the willingness to work for peace be rekindled?

Yes – in 2020 the UN was celebrating its 75th anniversary. It has been a great privilege for me to serve as Secretary-General of the United Nations for two terms. My motto was that I will make this “most impossible job”, as the first UNSG Trygvie Lie said, into a “possible mission.” I have been trying this during my ten years tenure, devoting all my time, passion and energy.

But frankly speaking we need to have much more sense of unity and collaboration amongst states of the world, much more global solidarity and compassion. The unanimous adoption of the 2030 Agenda by the 193 UN member states and the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015 were steps in the right direction. This still gives me hope. The Sustainable Development Goals provide a clear path towards creating equal, prosperous, and peaceful societies around the globe. By pledging to implement the global goals by 2030, governments, businesses, civil society, and academia are showing their will to join forces in the fight against poverty, hunger, inequality, corruption, human rights abuses and climate change to achieve a peaceful world.  

This is therefore not the time to be “tired of peace”, on the contrary, it is the time to recommit to the UN Charter and Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the SDGs and the Paris Climate Agreement for our future generations.

3. In a CNBC interview, you were unusually harshly on trial with today’s generation of politicians. You said: “I do not have much expectation on current global leaders – they are all aiming for short time political gains – this is shameful.” Why is that so? How can we as society counteract this? Or is the saying true: people get the politicians they deserve? 

Solidarity, empathy, and cooperation are the foundations on which societies can thrive. Especially in times of crisis, global leaders must portray these values and work together in the common interest of all humanity. However, today we see global leaders who have lost their focus and who do not base their policies on inclusive human rights. We see leaders who are favouring personal interest and profit over the well-being and safety of their own people.

To counteract destructive, exploitative, and unsustainable policies we need to empower a generation of politicians who are passionate and compassionate global citizens and who are living up to leaving no one behind. We can only create these leaders by fostering Global Citizenship Education and by promoting knowledge about the Sustainable Development Goals. The global citizenship mindset encompasses global citizen values, knowledge about the sustainable development goals and their implementation and 21st century skills.

4. In 1962 you took a trip to Washington, D.C. for an English competition. A meeting with US President John F. Kennedy during this trip led you, according to your biography, to become a diplomat. Almost 60 years later: Do you think the incoming US President Biden could also motivate young people to stand up for diplomacy and cooperation worldwide?

I will always cherish the memory of this trip to the US as a young man, meeting JFK. It was a turning point in my life. I do believe the new President-elect of the US, Joe Biden will also be an inspiration to a lot of young people around the world. Not only will he motivate youth to stand up for inclusive policies and international cooperation but once President-elect Joe Biden renews America’s commitment to Paris Climate Agreement, he also has a unique role to turn climate ambition into global climate action for the new generation. Also, by joining forces with Kamala Harris as the first female Vice President-elect, he has set an example for inclusive policies and that anything is possible. Despite facing so many challenges at the start of their term, I believe they can inspire next generations, influence their ambition and commitment to make this a better future for all.

5. And beyond that – what do you expect from President Biden and his administration for international cooperation in general and for the United Nations in particular?

The promise of President-elect Joe Biden to re-join the Paris Climate Agreement, as he takes office on 20 January 2021, will hopefully not only restore faith in the United States as an international team player, but will also strengthen cooperation with the United Nations. Not abandoning a commitment made 5 years ago and valuing fundamental rights and freedoms in their international leadership role, will result in the revival of the importance of the US in multilateralism, striving towards global solutions for global challenges.

6. In 2021 we hope to get the health effects of the Covid-19 pandemic under control with vaccinations – what lessons should the global community learn from Corona, in particular for global solidarity and cooperation?

The Covid-19 pandemic hit the global community unexpectedly hard. The pandemic exacerbated existing challenges such as climate change, humanitarian crises, widening disparity and strengthening authoritarian regimes. The tasks we are now facing are enormous, but not impossible to achieve if we work together and act in solidarity. The key notions that matter during and after the pandemic are cooperation, solidarity, responsibility, discipline, and compassion for the most vulnerable. The global situation also requires a strong commitment by all stakeholders to the Agenda 2030 and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Covid-19 sheds light on the many profound inequalities that persist on our planet. Therefore, the verbal and theoretical commitments to solidarity must also be reflected in concrete actions supporting vulnerable groups such as refugees, migrants and racial minorities.

It is up to us to chart the right course for a better future for all. The pandemic showed us that we all have a responsibility as global citizens to stay vigilant. If the global community can show courage and empathic leadership today, we will all benefit from it by being equipped with tools to tackle equally grave challenges tomorrow.

7. I started with a personal question. May I end the conversation with another one: How was the feeling when you were no longer UN Secretary-General on the first day and the pressure was gone: Pride? Disappointment? Relief? 

Whatever successes or achievements there may be associated to my tenure, they are the outcome of joint efforts – not by me alone. The Secretary-General, however capable or willing, cannot achieve anything alone. No single country or person can do it alone without support. In that regard, I am deeply grateful to UN´s dedicated staff an all the partners around the globe, who have been working day and night – in many cases, in very dangerous circumstances. Without their hard work, we would not have achieved the Paris Agreement on climate change, we would not have had the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Both compounds serve as blueprints for humankind efforts towards the path to peace, prosperity and to building sustainable societies, a greener economy, and empowering the most vulnerable, leaving no one behind.

During my ten years serving as Secretary-General of the United Nations, I was always guided by four principals: setting priorities, never giving up, focusing on the people, and standing up for those who are left behind. No longer the Secretary-General, I am still guided by these principals. I continue my work by advocating the mindset of global citizenship and the importance of multilateralism.


Global Citizen Scholar Samuel Afadu & Global Citizen Fellow Horia Sardarzada at VEF

The VEF Virtual Series “Empowering Women and Youth to Accelerate the Clean Energy Transition”, on January 12-13, invited women and young leaders to discuss how we can ensure a clean energy transition that is just and leaves no one behind.

For this year’s first virtual VEF session, we were excited to see our Global Citizen Scholar (2019) Samuel Kofi Afadu & Global Citizen Fellow (2019) Horia Sardarzada participate in the January Edition, focused on gender, youth and equity.

After introductory remarks, the session diverged into four Breakout Sessions on different themes. The session “Enabling Environment for Youth,” featured Global Citizen Scholar Samuel Kofi Afadu Co-founder of Light my World International, an NGO that is working to promote access to clean energy solutions to off-grid communities in Ghana. The session also featured Israel FaleyeMYSOLARBID LTD, Jichen Liu Clear Plate®, Pontsho Moletsane – GCIP South Africa 2017 Youth Winner, Esther Wanza – SDG7 Youth Constituency, Tracey CroweSeforAll, Anurag MalooSeedstars Asia-Pacific , and David OutRural Electrification Agency (REA).

Global Citizen Scholar Samuel commented how including youth is a prerequisite to a successful clean energy transition. He also highlighted that there is a need for youth to take action and that their actions should be taken seriously by decision-makers. “It is time for the youth to take action. The youth of today and the world will benefit or suffer from our actions and in-actions. Let’s take action in solving problems and connecting them with our passions, creating a sustainable and equitable world for all.”  

 

Global Citizen Fellow Horia Sardarzada, who is currently serving as Director-General of Early Childhood Care and Education ECCE/Kindergartens at Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs in Afghanistan, participated in the Breakout Session “Enabling Environment for Women,” alongside Sheila OparaochaENERGIA/Hivos, Abir El SaadiMinistry of Trade and Industry Egypt, Kerry MaxGlobal Affairs Canada, Kavita SinhaGreen Climate Fund, Marta Luca- SNAM, Jasmin Haider – Austrian Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation & Technology, and Reuben James Barrete – Male Champions of Change.

Horia pointed to gender norms, social and cultural practices, the lack of financial funds, and limited access to networks and partnerships as the main challenges women entrepreneurs face in equally leading, contributing to and benefiting from the clean energy transition.    

“Through the platform Women’s Initiatives for Sustainable Energy (WISE) we started to provide input, access to information for female fresh graduates who want to invest in green energy or do partnerships. We provided them with access to information, training, advocacy, where they could meet with financial organizations.”

Horia Sardarzada is founder of the organization Women’s Initiatives for Sustainable Energy (WISE), which is aiming to economically empower women in Afghanistan to invest in clean energy sector. 

Credits: https://twitter.com/ForumVienna/status/1350056114260504576

 

To watch a recap of the session, visit VEF Virtual Series

For more information about the VEF, visit VIENNA ENERGY FORUM