„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

Launch of Mission 4.7 at the Vatican Youth Symposium

On December 16th, the Ban Ki-moon Centre, along with UNESCO, the SDSN, and the Center for Sustainable Development (CSD) at Columbia University, launched a new initiative – Mission 4.7 – at the Vatican Youth Symposium.

The Vatican Youth Symposium is an intergenerational gathering Co-hosted by SDSN Youth and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences (PASS), bringing together leaders in global development to catalyze solutions and partnerships for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The first day of the symposium was dedicated to the Launch of Mission 4.7. This new initiative brings together leaders from around the world to highlight the critical importance of quality education for all and of education for sustainable development and global citizenship.

Mission 4.7 will build on and draw upon UNESCO’s expertise in Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) and Global Citizenship Education (GCED), as well as of its responsibility for monitoring SDG 4 on Quality Education and its target SDG 4.7.

The launch event consisted of 3 sessions. The opening session featured a special video message from His Holiness Pope Francis, stating his support for the new initiative:

Mission 4.7 is part of a, “New wave of educational opportunities based on social justice and mutual love, an act of hope amidst the globalization of indifference.”

“The Global Compact on Education and Mission 4.7 will work together for the civilization of love, beauty and unity.”

Following the statement by His Holiness Pope Francis, the Patrons of Mission 4.7, Director General of UNESCO Audrey Azoulay and Co-chair of the BKMC Ban Ki-moon, shared remarks. Ban Ki-moon shared a call to action:

 

“It is a critical time to share a call to action and to launch this initiative (Mission 4.7) aimed to advocate for, inspire and mobilize governmental and non-governmental actors to prioritize education for sustainable development.”

 

Following the remarks by the Patrons, Jeffrey Sachs (President of the SDSN and BKMC Board Member) along with the other Co-chairs of the initiative – Stefania Giannini, Assistant Director-General for Education, UNESCO, Tan Sri Jeffrey Cheah, Founder and Chairman, Sunway Group, and Monsignor Marcel Sánchez Sorondo, Chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences) – were introduced and offered remarks.

After the opening session, CEO of the BKMC Monika Froehler moderated a session focused on ‘Education for Sustainable Development in Primary and Secondary Schools.’

The speakers for the session included Stefania Giannini, Assistant Director-General for Education, UNESCO, Amanda Abrom and Sam Loni, Global Schools, SDSN, Andreas Schleicher, Director of Education and Skills, OECD, Siva Kumari, Director-General, International Baccalaureate Organization, Mustafa Ozturk, Professor, Hacettepe University, and Professor Abdulkerim Marzouk, Director, Executive Education Center, Al Akhawayn University.

The session focused on how education can be reimagined and transformed to embed the concepts of ESD and GCED. It also reflected on the impacts of Covid-19 on education and what will be necessary moving forward as well as the role of youth in sustainable development.

 

“If you give young people the tools, the platform, they will drive change.” – Sam Loni, Program Director, SDSN and Director, Global Schools

 

Finally, to close the launch event, Chandrika Bahadur, Director of the SDG Academy, moderated a session on ‘Education for Sustainable Development in Tertiary and Professional Settings.’

During the session, former Director-General of UNESCO and BKMC Board Member Irina Bokova offered her insights:

“When we speak about higher education, it is very important to mention that the complexity of our world needs a different approach to University education. An intersectional approach.”

 

The BKMC looks forward to continuing work on this important mission in the coming year! Thank you to all partners involved and champions for the mission who have committed their time and energy to this important initiative.

 

To watch the recording of the launch event: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hH9JYp8NFm8&feature=youtu.be

To learn more about the mission: https://www.mission4point7.org/

Ban Ki-moon Global Citizen Scholars 2020 – Closing Ceremony

On December 15, 2020, the Ban Ki-moon Global Citizen Scholarship Program 2020’s Closing Ceremony took place. The BKMC, together with RELX & University of Bordeaux awarded, six extraordinary African Global Citizen Scholars – Akosua PepraOduor Kevin, Hikmat Baba Dua, Tafadzwa Sachikonye, Barbara Nakijoba, and Ruvimbo Samangafor successfully completing the scholarship program and implementing outstanding SDG Micro-Projects in their communities 

The Ceremony was opened by Co-chair Ban Ki-moon, who greeted participants in a video statement and welcomed the scholars to the alumni family of the BKMC, expressing support and gratitude for the scholars’ contributions to the Agenda 2030: More than ever the world needs young leaders like yourselves. It makes me proud that you have chosen to be ambassadors of global citizenship and that we can consider you as a valued member of the BKMC family. 

Márcia Balisciano, Global Head of Corporate Responsibility at RELX Group and a valued member of the BKMC Board, also addressed the audience.  Márcia Balisciano expressed RELX’s enthusiasm for funding the Ban Ki-moon Global Citizen Scholarship Program 2020 while sharing exciting news, We are thrilled to have participated in this program and we would like to announce that we would like to fund this program again next year.”  

BKMC CEO Monika Froehler also congratulated the scholars and emphasized the impact they have created with their projects: This is exactly what a global citizen mindset is about: global citizen values and 21st-century skills. We are honored that we had the chance to have worked with you.  

The University of Bordeaux, represented by Vice President for External Relations Stéphanie Debette, shared her words of congratulations and also positive feedback from professors at the university who mentored the scholars during their SDG Micro-project implementation.

The highlight of the ceremony was the presentations by our GC scholars where they shared the impact they have created in their communities. 

To improve the livelihoods of widows and orphans involved in farming, GC Scholar Akosua Pepra developed the SDG Micro-Project “Climate Resilient Agriculture for Widows and Orphans in Rural Communities in Ghana” (SDGs 1, 2, 5 and 13).  


Barbara Nakijoba, deeply passionate about youth empowerment, conceptualized the “Youth take the lead”  in the Rugaba Division in Uganda to create a more peaceful society by reducing crime by 2021 (SDG 16). 


Action4Periods by Hikmat Baba Dua, created a safe space for 60 women and girls in rural communities in Mbanaailiy (Ghana) by engaging elders, women and girls to discuss the stigma of menstrual hygiene and produced 60-70 reusable pads, improving access to menstrual products (SDG 3, 4, 5 and 13).  


 

GC scholar Oduor Kevin founded INFO4FOOD, as he realized that food waste was dumped on the roads by vendors contributing to environmental degradation. With his project he prevented post-harvest losses, reaching 87 households in Kenya.


 

Ruvimbo Samanga’s project Agrispace, helps farmers in Zimbabwe gather missing agricultural data by using satellite technology to monitor agricultural productivity, leading to more sustainable and climate-resilient practices. The program can map different agricultural zones providing soil data, weather soil analysis, and monitoring crop health and irrigation, allowing farmers to have better time and yield tools for crops. Agrispace contributes to many SDGs, particularly SDG 2 for “zero hunger” and target 2.1.2 for “food insecurity”.


Tafadzwa Sachikonye raised public and private awareness for improved urban wastewater system in Zimbabwe with her project Waterclix for sustainable urban water systems in Zimbabwe (SDG 6 and also 3, 5, 13).  

   

In the last part of the evening, Program Officer Julia Zimmerman awarded the scholars with their certificate of achievement, and Co-chair Heinz Fischer offered closing remarks, commending all GC scholars 2020 on their efforts, You showed resilience, passion and transformed challenges into opportunities. 

We want to congratulate all of our GC scholars 2020! We are immensely proud of the results of your hard work and look forward to seeing what you do next! Additionally, we want to thank our partners RELX Group and the University of Bordeaux again for their wonderful support and collaboration for the program this year! 

Tackling the Shadow Pandemic: Violence Against Women During COVID-19 Times

Before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, data estimated that 1 in 3 women will experience violence in their lifetime. As countries went into lockdownreports on domestic violence have spiked 

Kicking off the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence and as part of the global Orange the World Campaign, the BKMC hosted virtual High-Level Roundtable titled “Tackling the Shadow Pandemic – Violence against Women During COVID-19 Times on 26 November 2020. The multi-stakeholder event aimed to highlight the dramatic impact of COVID-19 on violence against women and girls (VAWG).   

Ban Ki-moon and Heinz Fischer, Co-chairs of the BKMC, opened the BKMC’s Orange the World event showing their support in emphasizing that VAWG violates our common values as humanity.

VAWG does not only affect victims, it impacts the entire society through multiple generations. We must engage in an open dialogue and bring all stakeholders to the table. Every field, every sector must be involved. – Ban Ki-moon

Heinz Fischer highlighted the life-threatening aspect of VAWG and underlined that women’s rights are also human rights: Only solidarity, empathy, and the will for action can turn this shadow pandemic around and give women and girls the rights and dignity they deserve.

In a special message, Phumzile Mlambo-NgcukaUnited Nations Under-Secretary-General and UN Women Executive Director called for “all hands on deck” to address the silence around VAWG and the discrimination against survivors:We must engage as allies in this situation, and that includes men and boys.

The highlight of the OTW event was the high-level roundtable discussing how to tackle the Shadow Pandemic with the outstanding panelists Helen Clark, Former Prime Minister of New ZealandAngela Cretu, CEO of AvonMohammad Naciri, Regional Director of UN Women Asia and Pacific & Trisha Shetty, women’s rights activist and founder of SheSays 

Helen Clark highlighted the need to have more women in leadership to formulate gender-responsive responses against VAWG, arguing that “More attention is paid to issues that address women when women are there to do something about it”. 

Along with raising awareness for domestic violence, Angela Cretu stressed that the private sector provides the necessary economic measures to empower women: “Only 10% of women report abusers to officials in fear of losing their children or livelihood. Businesses, together with governments need to create opportunities for women to gain financial freedom.”

With a unique perspective from the Asia & Pacific Region, Mohammad Naciri underscored that victims are not only trapped at home with their abusers, but digitalization has enabled the rise of online harassment and online misogyny: “We need to expand the legislation that criminalizes harassment as stalking. This does not exist in some countries.”  

Considering the dramatic increase of domestic violence cases, Trisha Shetty especially advocated taking action by investing in support services for survivors and advocating for leadership that celebrates women’s dignity and proactively acts against VAWG.  

Trisha emphasized,“…we are leaving far too many behind. It is costing us progress to our society and economy.” Ending violence concerns everyone!

Watch the whole event:

Special Message from Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka:

To learn more about orange the world click here.