Co-chair Ban Ki-moon’s Speech at the 2020 Doomsday Clock Announcement Event

Speech by Co-chair Ban Ki-moon

The 2020 Doomsday Clock Announcement

Washington, US

January 23, 2020

 

Thank you Mary, and thank you to Governor Brown, Rachel Bronson and all the team at the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, and all the distinguished guests gathered here today.

As Mary Robinson has said, it is an honor to be here today to unveil the Doomsday Clock. But is with a solemn sense of duty, with a moral responsibility, and with a frightening sense of what is happening.

These are perilous times. The alarming rise in tensions in the Middle East threatens war, and a return to nuclear weapons development in Iran. The world waits to see how North Korea will respond to stalled negotiations over its nuclear ambitions. I am struck by the news released from North Korea that it would not be committed to previously made commitments, to nuclear disarmament, and the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. This is surprising and very, very shocking. Also, the situation in Kashmir between nuclear-armed Pakistan and India remains unpredictable and highly dangerous.

Such tensions demand responsible global leadership, but instead over the last year we have seen precisely the opposite. We have seen the termination of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, division and uncertainty regarding the upcoming Review Conference of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, and, most worryingly, the absence of any meaningful negotiations between the US and Russia to extend New START.

It would send a deeply negative message to the world if New START is allowed to expire in February 2021. This would not only eliminate remaining constraints on deployed nuclear arsenals, but also remove the monitoring and inspection capabilities which have provided both sides with increased transparency regarding nuclear capability.

On the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty, The Elders believe the world must seize the opportunities presented by the review conference that begins in April. This treaty is the backbone of the multilateral consensus on nuclear arms control, and yet disagreements and frustrations between its signatories mean there is a significant risk that the conference could conclude without an agreed outcome – a scenario that would undermine the treaty and could even trigger withdrawal by member states.

Alongside the potential expiry of New START, this is a disastrous scenario for the world. It exemplifies the failures of global leadership, and the weakness of the multilateral system in the face of isolationist politics that sees diplomacy as a zero-sum game rather than a means of finding common solutions to common challenges.

At a time when world leaders should be focused on the clear and present dangers of nuclear escalation and the climate emergency, we are instead witnessing denial, disregard and dangerous brinkmanship.

The existential risks of climate change and nuclear war are increasing just as the decision-making frameworks to address them are unravelling. From the Paris Agreement to the JCPOA; despondency over the Non Proliferation Treaty to impotency at the UN Security Council – our mechanisms for collaboration are being undermined when we need them most.

To echo Mary Robinson – we must see urgent action on the climate crisis in 2020. All countries must come to COP in Glasgow in November with clear plans for delivering carbon net-zero commitments by 2050. We must see an immediate end to the investment in, and exploration of, fossil fuels. We must heed the demands of the young people on our streets and listen to the science.

We cannot negotiate with nature. We must listen to the warning of nature.

The US must somehow begin to demonstrate leadership at the federal level too. Without it, we cannot hope to meet the targets that will keep global warming to manageable levels. Without US leadership there will be no winners from this climate crisis, only losers.

In the end, we will only overcome these existential threats by working together, and to do so the world needs to re-energize multilateralism. I do believe there is an opportunity for this in the coming year.

2020 marks 75 years since the end of Second World War and the birth of the nuclear age – and, indeed, the founding of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists. It also marks the 75th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations.

This is an opportunity for the world to renew its commitment to multilateralism. It is a time for world leaders to bring a new mindset to the key moments ahead of us in 2020 – to create the foundations for a just transition to a carbon net zero economy and redouble the efforts towards a world free of nuclear weapons.

We can overcome the existential threats we face, but we must act, together, now. No country, no individual, no matter how powerful or how many resources, can do this on their own. We need to hold hands and work together.

Thank you.

Mary Robinson and Ban Ki-moon make announcements at the 2020 Doomsday Clock event

“There is an opportunity in 2020 for the world to renew its commitment to multilateralism – to create the foundations for a just transition to a carbon net zero economy, and redouble our efforts towards a world free of nuclear weapons,” said Co-chair Ban Ki-moon.

On January 23, together with Mary Robinson, Chair of The Elders and former President of Ireland, BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon, who also serves as Deputy Chair of The Elders, joined experts from the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists for the unveiling of the Doomsday Clock in Washington DC, an annual assessment of the existential risks faced by humanity.

The Clock’s hands were moved forward to 100 seconds to midnight – the closest to midnight they have been since they were first set in 1947. The decision takes into account the precarious state of nuclear arms controls, the growing threat of climate disaster, and how these can be compounded by disruptive new technologies.

“Our planet faces two concurrent existential threats: the climate crisis and nuclear weapons. We are faced by a gathering storm of extinction-level consequences, and time is running out,” Mary Robinson said.

Ban Ki-moon and Mary Robinson specifically called on President Trump to respond to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s offer to open negotiations on New START, which will expire in February 2021 unless the agreement between Washington and Moscow is extended.

Following the termination of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty in July 2019, the end of New START would mean there was no remaining arms control treaty in force between the United States and Russia, raising the prospect of a new nuclear arms race.

The Elders reiterated their proposals for a “nuclear minimization” agenda as the best way of making progress towards complete disarmament by the five Permanent Members of the UN Security Council and all other nuclear powers.

Ban warned that the threat of catastrophe is being exacerbated by attacks on, and disregard for, the multilateral rules-based system:

“The existential risks of nuclear conflagration and climate change are increasing just as the decision-making frameworks to address them are unraveling. From the US withdrawal from the Paris Agreement and the Iran Nuclear Deal to deadlock on nuclear disarmament talks and division at the UN Security Council, our mechanisms for collaboration are being undermined when we need them most.”

On the climate emergency, The Elders Chair Mary Robinson called for a change of mindset if the world is to tackle the threat effectively:

“The science of the climate crisis makes it imperative that we take urgent action in 2020.  We need a change of mindset in politics, finance, business and civil society, one that enables us to keep temperature rises at or below 1.5°C, whilst protecting the rights, dignity and livelihoods of those affected by the shift to a carbon neutral economy. Not to do so will be a death sentence for humanity.”

Co-chair Ban Ki-moon believes 2020 is a crucial year to defend and revitalize the multilateral system’s ability to address the threats of nuclear and climate catastrophe, as the world marks the 75th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations.

Source: The Elders

© The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists

Ban Ki-moon boldly calls for “All Hands-on Deck” approach to achieve the SDGs at the Cambridge Union

“If we continue to hold back [women that is] a half of the world’s population, it is simply impossible to reach our full potential on the three UN pillars of peace and security, sustainable development, and human rights.”

On January 21, Co-chair Ban Ki-moon visited the Cambridge Union and gave a keynote on “SDGs and Women,” followed by a Q&A session.

“I believe that multilateralism much be the glue that binds our targeted efforts together.”

Co-chair Ban Ki-moon started off his address by reiterating the importance of multilateralism. According to him, multilateralism is the key to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals in the world where nationalism, armed conflicts, climate crisis, and corruption are still rampant.

“We need to move forward with a sense of urgency with 10 years left to go.”

With respect to the fact that the progress of implementing the SDGs is indeed speeding up, Co-chair Ban also pointed out uneven rates of the implementation of the Global Goals across different regions. He boldly called for an “All Hands-on Deck” approach.

Co-chair Ban furthermore stressed the importance of women’s empowerment of their active participation in achieving the SDGs. He said,

“The Empowerment of women is a prerequisite to global responses to global challenges, which are inherently interconnected.”

As a concluding remark, Co-chair Ban encouraged the Cambridge students to take a role as an active global citizen in coping with global challenges, think beyond national boundaries, and harness a global vision to achieve a better future for our planet and for humanity. He said,

“We can create the future we want, one that is anchored in sustainability, inclusion, and empowerment for all people and our planet. But we must remember that the challenges we face are simply too enormous to be left in the hands of a few leaders. All of us have to work together in solidarity.”

The Cambridge Union Society is the oldest debating society in the world and has been defending free speech since its start in 1815.

Watch the full video.

 

© Nordin Ćatić / Cambridge Union

CEO Monika Froehler hosts a penal at the 2020 RAUN Conference

2020 RAUN Conference kicked off in Vienna, Austria on January 15th. In cooperation with the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens, University of Vienna, and the International Security and Conflict Analysis Network (iSCAN), this 2-day annual conference was hosted by the Regional Academy on the United Nations (RAUN). This year, the conference had the theme of “Environmental and Socioeconomic Sustainability: How to Create Lasting Impacts,” and was attended by BKMC CEO Monika Froehler and COO Katrin Harvey.

Today, on the 2nd day of the conference, Froehler chaired a panel session on “Innovations for Sustainable Development.” During the session, two research groups actively presented their ideas and the research outcomes and raised critical questions, highlighting the importance of community engagement, needs assessment, clear communication, and courage.

CEO Monika Froehler said,

RAUN research groups looked at sustainable development and innovation through the lens of cities and SMEs. One group explored best practices in ViennaHamburg, and Prague. The other explored SMEs in Vietnam and how the 4th Industrial Revolution impacts them.”

Learn more about RAUN 2020http://ra-un.org/2020-raun-conference.html

© RAUN

CEO Monika Froehler holds a meeting with Ambassador Prakash Kumar Suvedi of India

Yesterday, Ambassador Prakash Kumar Suvedi of the Embassy of Nepal to Austria visited the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens.

In his meeting with CEO Monika Froehler, Ambassador Suvedi was briefed on the work of the Centre. Then they talked about the challenges and pressures existing in Nepal, including the climate issues, natural hazards and issues with a good number of qualified workers leaving the country. Ambassador Suvedi also introduced SAGARMATHA SAMBAAD, a permanent global dialogue forum initiated by the Government of Nepal.

New Year’s Greetings from the Ban Ki-moon Centre and Happy BKMC Anniversary!

Today, January 3rd, 2020, marks the 3rd year and the 2nd anniversary of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens. By its co-founders, former Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon and former President of Austria Heinz Fischer, the Centre was established on this date in 2018 in Vienna, Austria. A BKMC Board Member, Ambassador Sadiq Marafi of the Embassy of Kuwait in Vienna, invited the team to his residence for New Year’s Eve and celebrated the year-end and welcomed the Centre’s new Chief Operating Officer Katrin Harvey.

For the last two years, the Centre has made proud accomplishments and progress in advancing the SDGs through our co-chairs’ leadership, mediation, advocacy, and education. Through various projects, events and scholarship/fellowship/mentorship/training programs, the Ban Ki-moon Centre has aimed to empower youth and women, and we will try to empower more globally in the upcoming years to reach the Global Goals by 2030. To discuss the Centre’s upcoming plans and strategies, CEO Monika Froehler briefed the co-chairs on the progress made, and the BKMC leaders had an important planning session on New Year’s Day of 2020 in Vienna.

Co-chair Ban Ki-moon Gives a Keynote during the 6th Seoul Climate-Energy Conference 2019

“The USA should return to Paris Climate Agreement…It is a political and moral responsibility of the US.”

On December 20, Co-chair Ban Ki-moon attended and gave a keynote at the 6th Seoul Climate-Energy Conference 2019 held in Seoul, Korea. 

The 6th Seoul Climate-Energy Conference, under the theme of “New Climate Regime and the New Normal,” placed heavy emphasis on global climate change discussions and international cooperation. This year’s conference endeavored to redefine what “normal” is as climate change that has been accelerated by unpredictability in global politics and pushes the globe close to the point of no-return. 

Renowned experts from academia, business, industry and policy together reviewed the outcomes of COP 25, examined the tole of higher education in sustainable development, discussed big data as the newest source of clean energy, revisited the importance of the renewable-nuclear alliance, and investigated the prospects of engaging young generations in climate change discussions.

Co-chair Ban Ki-moon emphasized the importance of getting support from political leaders to mitigate climate change effects and promote sustainable development, and said, 

“Every state should make choices for humanity rather than its own selfish national interests. It is the responsibility of sovereign states to engage in transnational cooperation and participate in global challenges.”

 

He also proposed a multilateral approach as a solution. Co-chair Ban said,

“Even a country with abundant resources like the US cannot solve such a multifaceted issue alone. We must act in unity to solve the problem.”

Co-chair Ban then presented an example of Bangladesh,

“In 1971, a fatal cyclone in Bangladesh resulted in more than 300,000 casualties. However, after devising appropriate policies to prevent future lose, the average number of yearly casualties due to cyclones dropped to less than 10. Likewise, if we implement proper measurements, we can adopt to climate change and prevent climate catastrophes.” 

As he concluded his keynote, Co-chair Ban said,

“Former President John F. Kennedy once said that we choose to go to the moon, not because they are easy, but because they are hard. Because solving climate change is also hard, we must do it and do it together.”

 

© Yonhap News

The first World Forum on Non-formal Education convened by the Scout Movement kicks off in Rio de Janeiro

The World Non-Formal Education Forum, convened by the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM), UNICEF, UNFPA and the Office of the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, kicked off in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on December 9th and will run until December 11th. The Forum is the first convening of its kind offering an international platform for ideas on non-formal education and aiming to explore how organisations can keep pace with the latest trends in non-formal education and contribute towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“Non-formal education is a prerequisite for meaningful engagement in modern society. We are witnessing the largest generation of youth the world has ever seen, and it is our responsibility to ensure that every young person has access to opportunities that allow them to thrive in this rapidly changing society,” said Ahmad Alhendawi, Secretary General of the Scout Movement, who also serves on the Ban Ki-moon Centre’s Board.

Moderated by Alhendawi,

the first plenary session was held under the theme of “A Changing World of Learning: Where does Non-Formal Education fit in?” where BKMC CEO Monika Froehler featured as a key speaker.

She said “a life-long learning is incredibly important and non-formal education is actually much faster than formal education and is a pioneer in the life-long learning platform.”

“We need people that have agency. We need people with a global citizenship mindset,”quoting Jack Ma, Founder of Alibaba Group and Jack Ma Foundation, Froehler said that this is exactly what non-formal education says.

Contrary to the notion that education happens only through the formal educational curriculum, non-formal education is what happens in places such as youth organizations and clubs, and community groups where young people meet to undertake projects together, facilitate peer-to-peer learning, and engage in activities like camping, music and community service. Research highlights the increasing relevance of non-formal in building a wide-range of competencies that are necessary for a changing-world.

Jayathma Wickramanayake, the UN Youth Envoy, stressed that there should be “mutual respects across generations and within the generation.” Leading the youth panel discussion, she agreed that young people should not be expected to bring new solutions but rather that they are here to encourage the decision-makers to actually implement the solutions.

The three-day programme features a series of main panel discussions led by sector experts, stage talks, innovation labs and over 30 interactive sessions and side events. Among the key outcomes of the event will be a joint statement referred to as the Rio Declaration, presenting action items and commitments to advance the agenda and investment in non-formal education.

“Non-formal education is a powerful force for empowering young people to become active citizens and create social impact towards sustainable development. The next three days will bring key actors on board to drive more recognition and investments in non-formal education and allow us the opportunity to collaborate internationally and form successful partnerships,” said Pia Melin Mortensen, Member of the World Scout Committee and Chair of the World Non-Formal Education planning team.

The event is also providing a platform for alliances of youth orgnaisations to convene their annual side meetings including the International Coordination Meeting of Youth Organisations (ICMYO) and the “Big 6” group of youth organisations which includes the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, YMCA, YWCA, International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, and The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award.

 

“We are small organizations but have enormous impacts. Our work is super valuable,” said one of the participants from the audience at the youth panel discussion.

 

Watch the live streaming here:

Welcome to #NFEforum Live

Article Source: https://worldnfeforum.com/largest-specialized-world-forum-on-non-formal-education-kicks-off-in-rio-de-janeiro/
Highlights: https://worldnfeforum.com/highlights-of-the-day/

© Enrique Leon / World Scouting

 

BKMC awards innovative social leaders from Latin America “Latin America Leader Award 2019”

On December 4th, the Global School for Social Leaders hosted a Latam Awards Ceremony 2019 in support of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens, Humanist World, Cámara de Diputados, 1 Million Startups, and GIAO at the Impact Hub in Vienna. At the ceremony, the top 8 selected social leaders and innovators from Latin America, who work for the SDGs, were awarded the “Latin America Leader Award 2019.”

Giving a keynote, BKMC CEO Monika Froehler asked the audience,

“Do you believe that you can make a change in this world?”

She said that by networking and cooperating with each other, we will eventually be able to convince that “we CAN make it happen.”

Froehler also introduced the Ban Ki-moon Centre’s partner Global Citizen to the gathered social entrepreneurs by explaining how it all started as a small initiative by young change-makers who now raise billions of money to make changes in the global society and how individuals can contribute to creating a bigger impact by doing global citizen deeds.

Ambassador Alejandro Solano of the Embassy of Costa Rica in Austria, Consul Fernando Flores of Ecuador in Austria, Diego Masera, Chief of the Renewable Energy Unit at UNIDO, and other SDG experts and global social entrepreneurs also delivered speech and presentations.

© Global School for Social Leaders

BKMC CEO Monika Froehler Attended SDG Forum 2019

On November 29, BKMC CEO Monika Froehler attended SDG Forum 2019 held in University of Vienna.

Organized by SDG Watch Austria, the forum was dedicated to discussing Austria’s progress in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals together with all relevant actors in politics, administration, science and industry.

At the forum, Minister for Sustainability and Tourism Maria Patek opened the SDG Forum highlighting the pioneering role of the Ministry of Sustainability in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

She said, “In the summer we presented our SDG Action Plan 2019+, which summarizes all initiatives of the Federal Ministry for Sustainability and Tourism. If we all persistently and committedly implement the measures in our sphere of influence, we will reach our goal more quickly. The realization of the UN SDGs is a shared responsibility that we must take on for the next generations.”

Thomas Alge, CEO of ÖKOBÜRO – Alliance of the Environmental Movement and co-founder of SDG Watch Austria, also a gave a welcome remark and said,

“The climate crisis, species extinction, poverty and inequality are highly interconnected. Climate change particularly affects agriculture. It leads to harvest losses and intensifies insect killing. Drought and other climate catastrophes are forcing people from the most affected regions of the world leave their country. The new government must therefore quickly face these challenges and make the implementation of the 2030 Agenda a top priority. Coherent implementation of the Global Sustainable Development Goals can effectively address many of the big challenges of the time.”

Sami Pirkkala, Advisor to Finnish National Commission on Sustainable Development, also presented about Finland’s efforts in implementation of the SDGs: launching a voluntary commitment platform towards the SDGs and gathering more than 1,600 commitments from companies, education sectors, cities and individuals.

Chairman of Austrian Partner Universities Uninetz, Franz Fehr illustrated strategic goals, milestone and daily work of Uninetz and indication of which university leads which subject area of the SDGs. 

A panel discussion on “Where Do We Stand on the SDGs in Austria,” focusing mainly on ways in which Austria’s new administration can adopt the 2030 Agenda and take a leap toward the SDGs implementation, was moderated by Nina Thüllen and featured stellar panelists including:

Parliamentarian Michael Bernhard;

Parliamentarian Josef Moser;

Ambassador Sylvia Meier-Kajbic;

Councilor for Environment and Women Judith Schwentner;

Secretary-General Thoams Weninger;

Managing Director Anja Appel.

© SDG Watch Austria