Co-chair Ban Ki-moon delivered a keynote speech at the 8th International Renewable Energy Conference

“Transition to clean, sustainable energy is no longer an option…Clean renewable energy-based green growth is the ONLY alternative to sustainable growth.” – Ban Ki-moon

Today, Co-chair Ban Ki-moon gave a keynote speech on the theme of the necessity of reducing fine dust pollution and the role of renewable energy-centered energy conversion in response to climate change.

“Mankind has artificially created a climate crisis in the course of civilization and economic growth. The transition to clean and sustainable energy is no longer a choice but a necessity in the face of threats to the environment and ecosystems,” he said.

Ban said the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Convention will be determined by the success of energy transition, and renewable energy such as solar and wind power will be more advantageous in terms of marketability and socio-health than existing energy such as fossil fuels and nuclear power.

During the conference co-chair Ban also addressed that,

“All countries in the world should make comprehensive efforts toward a sustainable energy mix. We, particularly, need to take active measures to maximize the share of renewable energy.”

“Today’s conference is very meaningful in that the international community needs to join hands and cooperate closely,” he added.

He also stressed the importance of cooperation among political sectors.

“Political will is important and necessary. Only when politicians show strong will can they achieve the goals and people will participate. It’s not the time to fight each other,” he said.

He also reiterated the need to raise awareness of the environment.

Ban stressed,

“Human beings should be humble. It is not known which direction mankind will go to, but we must adapt to nature based on wisdom. We should not act against nature, but rather we should work with nature to develop sustainable future.

The International Renewable Energy Conference, which kicked off Wednesday in Seoul, is a biannual energy forum. During this three-day event, a discussion of the global climate crisis and measures to expand renewable energy use was opened, and around 3,500 participants from 108 nations, including the US, Germany and China, international organizations, including the International Renewable Energy Agency, and firms such as Danish wind firm Vestas and Korean solar company Hanwha Q Cells attended.

Source: The Korea Herald

© ETNEWS, YONHAP NEWS

Co-chair Ban Ki-moon delivered opening remark at the IVI State Forum

On October 11, Co-chair Ban Ki-moon delivered an opening remark at the IVI State Forum 2019 and congratulated IVI’s 22nd anniversary.

“One of the main arguments for the SDGs is that all people from the world should not die unnecessarily from preventable diseases.” — Ban Ki-moon

International Vaccine Institute(IVI) hosted the forum at Seoul National University, Korea, to introduce the achievements of IVI and provide a dialogue on development and distribution of vaccines to developing countries. 

Co-chair Ban said,

“We need to cooperate in developing and distributing vaccines to achieve the world health and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)…[because] International community simply cannot fulfill its pledge to ‘Leave No One Behind‘ and achieve the SDGs unless it hits its public health target in SDG 3 to ensure healthy life and common wellbeing for all ages.”

Talking about the importance of vaccination, he also said:

“I think health is the most important one. Just look at the SDG 1, SDG 2,SDG 3: poverty eradication, food security, and health. If we meet these three Goals, we may not need to sit here at IVI today. This is why we need to make sure that every enjoys health and particularly preventive diseases. 

Co-chair Ban Ki-moon concluded the remark by saying:

“Immunization is the key not only in achieving SDG 3 but also catalyzing many of other SDGs related to hunger, gender equality, education, clean water, and sanitation.”

© IVI, Yonhap

Ban Ki-moon’s Speech at the International BAR Association (IBA) Conference

COEX Convention & Exhibition Center 513,

Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea

Sunday 22-27 September 2019

BAN KI-MOON

Opening Ceremony

Welcoming Remarks

 

The Honorable Mayor of Seoul, Park Won Soon,

Chair of IBA Seoul Conference Host Committee, The Hon. Song Sang Hyun,

President of International Bar Association, Horacio Bernardes Neto,

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

It is my great pleasure to welcome you all to the Opening Ceremony of the 2019 International Bar Association Annual Conference.

 

This is the first time that this huge gathering of esteemed international lawyers has gathered in Seoul. I am simply honored to have been invited to address such an important and influential group hailing from so many continents. I take this opportunity to applaud each of you for making the journey here, whether short or long, and I know some have been of considerable length.

 

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

Our world is presently in flux. It always is, but in recent times there has been a notable acceleration. Perhaps this is due to the fact that we live in an increasingly interconnected world, where what happens on one part of our planet is immediately known and occasionally felt in another part. Under this backdrop, unfortunately, and in a relatively short period, a shrinking of civil society has occurred and the rule of law of is being eroded.

 

Imagine what the world would look like without the rule of law: No independent media. No freedom to assemble and protest peacefully. No freedom to think individual ideas and articulate an opinion. No independent judiciary and no independent legal profession. Just imagine that for a moment.

 

This erosion is happening, gradually. You are the chief guardians of the rule of law, and, in this regard, must increase your unified efforts to stand firm in halting its erosion. As we all know, the rule of law promotes inclusive economic growth and builds accountable institutions that underpin global sustainable development. It protects individuals and businesses alike.

 

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

As the 8th Secretary-General of the United Nations, I am fully aware of the IBA’s rich history and its founding principles. Now, I would like to briefly remind you of the establishment of the UN in 1945, the IBA in 1947, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. Each were the product of like-minded individuals determined, through passion, compassion, integrity, and a guiding sense of justice to carve out a better world for our future generations. What these key institutions have in common is that they were all developed by diverse representatives with different legal and cultural backgrounds hailing from all regions of the world.

 

As the IBA matches the UN in both structure and ambition, I believe this makes it easier to talk to you because the issues that are important to the UN are also critical to the IBA. From such topics as climate change, poverty eradication, cultural diversity, and the promotion of human rights, mental health, and gender equality; it is clear that there is much work to be done, with new challenges always emerging. However, I firmly believe that each of you will contribute in some way towards what is required in these areas. Indeed, we should be reminded of an old proverb that says, ‘It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.’

 

In this respect, the work of the IBA relating to business and human rights, gender equality, and climate change, as well as promoting justice and upholding the principle of accountability are all illuminated candles, and they are lit in alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

 

In addition, I feel particularly connected to the IBA in other ways too, knowing that Mary Robinson, Chair of The Elders, of which I am a Deputy Chair, and the late Nelson Mandela, Founder of The Elders, both have longstanding links to the substantive work of the IBA. Mary Robinson is working on climate justice and Nelson Mandela was the Founding Honorary President of the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute.

 

Before concluding my remarks, I would like to emphasize that an independent legal profession and judiciary are the cornerstone of functioning democracies, and that as much as possible needs to be done to safeguard them.

 

Thanks to your active participation, I am confident that this conference will be crowned with great success. Please allow me to finish by quoting the late Dr Martin Luther King who once said; ‘Injustice anywhere, is a threat to justice everywhere.’

 

Thank you very much for your attention.

BKMC Board members get welcomed by South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yeon in Seoul

Upon their visit to Seoul, South Korea to participate in the Global Engagement & Empowerment Forum (GEEF) 2019, some of the Board members of the Centre were welcomed by South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yeon on February 15th, 2019. Prime Minister Lee has also welcomed the BKMC Board last year on the occasion of the Centre’s first Board meeting held on the margins of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.

During the meeting this time, Prime Minister Lee and Ambassador Choo Jong-youn, who is Diplomatic Advisor to the Prime Minister, were informed of the Centre’s implemented projects with the fund received from the Korea Foundation at the end of last year. Including the GEEF 2019 that took place on February 14-15th, the Centre exchanged its successful ongoing and upcoming projects in close partnership with its partners in Korea. BKMC Co-chair Heinz Fischer, who is former President of the Republic of Austria, and Prime Minister Lee also discussed the peace process in Korea, including denuclearization in the Korean peninsula.

Other BKMC Board members who were present at the meeting were Ambassador Sadiq Marafi of the Kuwaiti Embassy in Vienna, Ambassador Shin Dong-ik of the Korean Embassy in Vienna, Dr. Irina Bokova who is former Director General of UNESCO, Dr. Márcia Balisciano who serves as Director of Corporate Responsibility of RELX Group, and Monika Froehler, CEO of the Centre.

The Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens looks forward to further strengthening its close relationship with Korea throughout pursuing the upcoming cooperative projects with its partner organizations in Korea.

Photo by the Prime Minister’s Office

BKMC signs an MOU with the Austrian Chancellery

On February 14th, 2019, the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens and the Austrian Chancellery signed an Memorandum of Understanding in Seoul, South Korea on the margins of the Global Engagement and Empowerment Forum 2019.

 

The MOU Signing ceremony was followed by a bilateral meeting between BKMC Co-chairs Ban Ki-moon and Heinz Fischer and CEO Monika Froehler, and the Austrian delegation from the chancellery.

As the youngest head of government in the world, Chancellor Kurz resembles the important role that youth leadership plays to ensure a sustainable future of our planet. As the Centre received fund from the chancellery this year to pursue projects for youth fellowship, this gave the opportunity for the two partners to sign the MOU to work towards the implementation of the SDGs by empowering young leaders.

 

Photos: Arno Melicharek

The International Day of Peace 2018 celebrated in Korea

To celebrate the International Day of Peace on September 21st, the Korean Organizing Committee for UN International Day of Peace (KOCUN-IDP) organized a three-day event on the topic of “Together Finding the Korean Peninsula Solutions for Building Peace in Northeast Asia.”

The Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens’ Board member Ambassador Kim Won-soo, Former Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, featured at a panel discussion during the event at Kintex in Goyang, Korea. CEO Monika Froehler delivered remarks and interacted with youth participants discussing the meaning of global citizenship and how peace can be achieved in Korea through reunification. KOCUN-IDP also hosted a reception at the National Assembly of Korea.

The International Day of Peace was established in 1981 by the General Assembly of the United Nations. Two decades later, in 2001, the General Assembly unanimously voted to designate the Day as a period of non-violence and cease-fire. The United Nations invites all nations and people to honor a cessation of hostilities during the Day, and to otherwise commemorate the Day through education and public awareness on issues related to peace.

Source: https://www.peaceday.kr/programs-2018

A trilateral MoU is signed by the Ban Ki-moon Centre’s affiliated offices

The Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens (BKMC for GC) and its affiliated offices, the Ban Ki-moon Center for Sustainable Development (BKMC for SD) in Seoul, Korea and the Ban Ki-moon Institute for Sustainable Development (BKMI for SD) in Almaty, Kazakhstan, signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) during European Forum Alpbach on Sunday, August 26, 2018.

The BKMC for SD was established under the Institute for Global Engagement & Empowerment (IGEE) at Yonsei University in September 2017, and the BKMI for SD was established at Al-Farabi Kazakh National University in May 2018.

At the signing ceremony, the pre-signed MoU by Executive Director Sohn Myeongsei of IGEE was signed by Co-chairs Ban Ki-moon and Heinz Fischer of the BKMC for GC and Rector Galym Mutanov of the BKMC for SD. The three parties in different countries will strengthen their partnership to cooperate on empowering youth and women through education and other areas to effectively implement the SDGs worldwide.