Ban Ki-moon speaks of peace and security through sports at the PyeongChange Peace Forum 2020

During the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics, South and North Korean athletes entered the opening ceremony together and formed a joint women’s hockey team, creating momentum that led to bilateral talks between the South and North. Maintaining that legacy and peacebuilding, the PyeongChang Peace Forum 2020 “Peace! Here and Now” took place from February 9th to 11th in Pyeongchang, South Korea. The three-day conference attracted around a thousand participants, who were global leaders, scholars and/or experts from 25 countries, featuring the theme “Action Plan: End the Korean War” and topics related to sports, economy, ecology and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. One of the key goals of the forum was to deliver an action plan for officially ending the Korean War, said Choi Moon-soon, the governor of Gangwon Province, where Pyeongchang is located.
“We want to bring out a concrete action plan and to make it a global agenda,” said Choi at a press conference on Sunday. “This year we want to put an end to the Korean War and to forge a peace agreement.”
In his keynote address to start the forum, BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon echoed the need to carry forward the diplomatic momentum from the Olympic Games.
“The [peace] process was kickstarted here in beautiful Pyeongchang during the Peace Olympics,” said Ban. “Even though it may be fading a little bit at this moment, we should never be deterred by the setbacks we have now. Only through mutual dialogue and respect will we be able to overcome the current impasse between North and South Korea. We need all global citizens to come together.”
This three-day forum, which is being held for the second time, featured sessions on topics such as inter-Korean tourism, developing the DMZ as a peace zone and sports diplomacy. The Korean War ended in 1953 with a ceasefire agreement but not a permanent peace treaty, which has left the neighbors technically still at war for almost 70 years. The 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang became the starting point of a renewed period of detente on the Korean Peninsula and led to a series of inter-Korean summits as well as a pair of summits between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Ban emphasized that the world is facing shared challenges such as a climate crisis and urged countries to work together to tackle global issues by adopting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
“Sustainable development cannot be achieved without peace and security,” said Ban.
Gangwon Governor Choi said,
“Despite difficulties including the stagnant dialogue between North Korea and the US and continuing sanctions against North Korea, the historic efforts for peace on the Korean Peninsula, which started with the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, must continue ceaselessly.”
In addition to the forum, in its second edition, PyeongChang and Gangwon Province hope to continue to use sports events as peace-building tools. Such efforts paid off in January when the International Olympic Committee chose PyeongChang to host the Winter Youth Olympics in 2024. South and North Korea are seeking to co-host the Olympics in 2032. Source: The Korea HeraldUPI © Yonhap News, Daehan News, Thomas Maresca / UPI, Lee Seokyung / Penta Press, Lee Soo-gil / Newsway

Co-chair Ban Ki-moon’s acceptance speech for Sunhak Peace Prize

Speech by Co-chair Ban Ki-moon

Sunhak Peace Prize 

Seoul, Korea

5 February 2020

 

Thank you for your warm introduction.

Dr. Hak Ja Han, Universal Peace Federation Founder,

Sunhak Peace Prize Foundation Members,

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

It is my great privilege to stand before you this evening and humbly accept the 2020 Sunhak Peace Prize.

I’m incredibly grateful for this esteemed honor, and it is quite meaningful to follow in the footsteps of the previous luminary awardees you have bestowed this honor upon.

My special recognition goes to Dr. Hak Ja Han for her visionary patronage of this award, as well as for her longtime advocacy efforts in support of world peace, global citizenship, and sustainable development issues.

I also take this opportunity to commend the impressive work and forward-thinking vision of the Sunhak Peace Prize Foundation.

The critical efforts by the Sunhak Peace Prize Foundation are essential as we collectively strive to expand essential understanding, cooperation, and tolerance on the road to world peace and global sustainability.

In this connection, I simply couldn’t be more proud to receive this award intended to further the ideals of such a pioneering individual who so firmly believed in the importance of peace, human development, coexistence, and environmental protection.

My deepest gratitude goes to the Sunhak Peace Prize Foundation Members for this very special honor.

 

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Our world is changing and this is bringing many new challenges and uncertainties to the geopolitical and economic order.

Multilateral cooperation is viewed with increasing skepticism just as the world needs it the most. Human rights are under threat as nationalism spreads. Development and humanitarian funds are being slashed.

And our climate crisis is deepening as wildfires burn, sea levels rise higher, and temperatures continue to surge.

Under this backdrop of instability and waning internationalism, I firmly believe that we must work together through expanded partnerships and cooperation, as well a driving commitment to global citizenship, to cope with these seemingly insurmountable challenges.

During my ten-year tenure as United Nations Secretary-General, I strived to execute my leadership duties by leveraging the power of partnerships and promoting the spirit of global citizenship.

This was critical in bringing the entire world together to agree to the UN’s 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals, as well as the Paris Climate Agreement.

These were two of my biggest achievements leading the UN as they provide humanity, and our planet, with a collaborative blueprint to ensure the future we want.

And global partnerships, including the active participation of nonprofit organizations, civil society groups, religious organizations, philanthropists, and other key stakeholders like you, are necessary if we are to deliver on the United Nations’ development and climate commitments.

But to establish long-term solutions, achieve world peace, and save our rapidly warming planet, we need inclusive and participatory action from all global citizens.

This includes, especially, young people, as they are absolutely essential to solving so many of the world’s challenges such as achieving the SDGs, tackling climate change, and building peace and resolving conflicts.

As such, I’ve been trying my best to help elevate global citizenship as a driving vision for young, transformative leaders to help us forge a more peaceful and sustainable world.

In this regard, two years ago I launched the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens, based in Vienna, Austria to help provide young people and women with a greater say in their own destiny, as well as a greater stake in their own dignity.

 

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

The actions we take in the next ten years will be critical to ensure the future viability of both humanity and our planet. So we must work hard to illuminate true peace.

What type of peace? I am reminded of the words of President John F. Kennedy who said, “I am talking about genuine peace, the kind of peace that makes life on earth worth living, the kind that enables men and nations to grow and hope and build a better life for their children …not merely peace in our time, but peace for all time.”

In 2020, the year of the rat, and beyond, we all share a common destiny grounded in sustainability, peace, and prosperity. Let’s expand our unified efforts to realize this shared destiny for all global citizens in the years to come.

I thank you for your attention and this great honor.

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

Ban Ki-moon meets with South Korean President Moon Jae-in to discuss the climate and air quality issues

On December 3rd, Co-chair Ban Ki-moon of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens, who also serves as Chair of the National Council on Climate and Air Quality of Korea (미세먼지 문제 해결을 위한 국가기후환경회의), visited The Blue House to meet with President Moon Jae-in of the Republic of Korea to discuss the climate and air quality issues in the country.
Ban said, “It is crucial that we now cultivate the future for the young generation,” suggesting including the education on the environment in the school curriculum.
He also discussed the importance of cooperating with the country’s neighboring countries, Japan and China.
  Seah Kim, Representative of Children said,
“I envy adults who used to eat flowers and snow and get wet in the rain in the past. Nowadays, we can’t feel such pleasure in nature. Please let us romp around in nature by restoring it like it was in the past.”
  President Moon expressed his appreciation for the efforts of the citizens who are actively making policy suggestions from their perspective through the Council. © The Blue House

Ban Ki-moon calls for bolder global efforts to adopt renewable energy

“For developing countries, in particular, the green energy transformation can play the role of a bridge to modernization, economic growth, and greater social inclusiveness.” – Ban Ki-moon
On October 21, Co-chair Ban Ki-moon called for greater international efforts to expand the adoption of renewable energy so as to achieve the shared goal of policy transition toward sustainable development.

“We cannot overstate the importance of this broad, global objective. We – the international community – will need to adopt resolute measures to transform our fossil fuel-based energy systems,” said co-chair Ban in a video message to the opening of the Global Green Growth Week (GGGW), an annual conference hosted by the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) in Seoul.

“This transition towards renewable energy sources is not only about challenges. It presents new opportunities to modernize our energy systems, accelerate and diversify their economies, create green jobs, increase productivity and competitiveness and reduce poverty,” he said.

Green growth calls for seeking economic growth through environment-friendly technologies and industries. Under that initiative, South Korea set up GGGI on its soil to help develop strategies to promote the environment-friendly cause.

The green growth week, running through Friday, is an annual gathering of the 33 GGGI member countries and related participants from around the globe with an aim to promote green growth and sustainability and discuss key issues such as air pollution.

Co-chair Ban, current chairman of the GGGI Council, underscored the importance of taking concrete actions, especially at government levels, to advance the transformation to renewable energy.

Co-chair Ban said,

“Governments need to take advantage of the rapidly falling cost of solar, wind and other renewable energy sources. They also need to abandon fossil fuel subsidies and instead provide incentives for businesses to invest in clean energy infrastructure and technologies.”

“This energy transformation could greatly impact the labor markets, investment landscapes and even the way we do business.”

He voiced hope that this week’s conference will serve as a chance to explore various dimensions associated with the topics in a way that would better support countries to create the right policy for green growth transition.

GGGI is a treaty-based organization established in Seoul in 2012, focusing on supporting and promoting ways for inclusive and sustainable economic growth in developing and emerging countries.

The Global Green Growth Week 2019 (GGGW2019) has officially kicked off today in Seoul, Republic of Korea. GGGW2019, the 3rd instance of the Global Green Growth Institute’s (GGGI) flagship conference, is being held in conjunction with the Korea Renewable Energy Conference (KIREC) and in partnership with the Green Growth Knowledge Partnership (GGKP), the American Chamber of Commerce in Korea (AMCHAM), REN21, LG Chemical, the Incheon Global Campus, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Korea.  Under the banner of Unlocking Renewable Energy Potential, GGGW2019 runs October 21-24 and welcomes decision–makers and with high-level speakers from around the world to contribute in a number of feature events. 

 

Source Yonhap News Agency, GGGI  © Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens / Co-chair Ban Ki-moon during the launch of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens

BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon delivered a keynote speech at the 6th Yoon Hoo-jung Unification Forum

On October 2, Co-chair Ban Ki-moon delivered a keynote speech at the 6th Yoon Hoo-jung Unification Forum held at Ewha Womans University ECC Lee Sam-bong Hall in Sinchon, Seoul.

“There is no ideology in diplomacy. There should be no politics involved in security.” – Ban Ki-moon

At the event titled “Unification of the Korean Peninsula in the World,” co-chair Ban explained the current international situation surrounding the Korean Peninsula, including the competition between the U.S. and China and North Korean nuclear. He also presented a direction for the right foreign and security policies. On peace and unification on the Korean Peninsula, co-chair Ban said,
“The Republic of Korea is currently placed at its biggest diplomatic and security crisis since the Korean War.”
Co-chair Ban also added that
“Peace unification on the Korean Peninsula can be achieved on the basis of diplomatic relations with neighboring states.”
Source Ewha Womans University  © Ewha Womans University  

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.

Ban Ki-moon speaks with religious leaders about the climate crisis

On September 19th, BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon, who is also a chairman of the National Council on Climate and Environment Conference of South Korea, visited pastor Hong-jeong Lee of the National Council of Churches in Korea and other leaders of the Christian Council of Korea including Reverend Sung-bok Kim, to foster Christian communities’ participation in climate actions.

“Peace emphasized in Christianity, unity through dialogue and cooperation, and the conservation of the natural world are fundamental to solving the climate and environmental problems we currently face.”

Emphasizing the importance of the activities the National Climate and Environment Committee and the need for global cooperation, Co-chair Ban said, “Korea’s fine dust level is the lowest among OECD countries. It poses a direct danger to people’s health.” “Thus, I would like to ask Christian community to actively participate in a peaceful solution to tackle  a variety of climate and environmental problems, including the fine dust that has become a national disaster.” Source: Yonhap News © PCKWORLD

The 2019 Ban Ki-moon Global Citizen scholars present their project ideas to the BKMC Board members!

The new batch of the Ban Ki-moon Global Citizen scholars of this year met with the Ban Ki-moon Centre team and its Board members in Alpbach on August 25th. A total of 6 scholars were chosen this year respectively from Rwanda, South Korea, Ghana, Jordan, and Nigeria. The scholars presented their innovative ideas and projects aimed to advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in front of the Centre’s co-chairs and Board members and received some suggestions and advice on how to move forward with strategic plans to make the most impact. Salahaldeen Alazaizeh, who is a Business & Innovation Designer at مؤسسة فاي للعلوم Phi Science Institute introduced “Xi Education” which is a social enterprise that aims to educate undergraduate students, equip them with advanced skills and give them an interactive experience to enhance their knowledge in research, applied science and innovation. He stressed the importance of advancing the SDG 4: Quality Education and creating a solid scientific community of young multi-disciplined youth in Jordan.
“Presenting my project in front of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens team, listening to the inspirational story from Co-chair Heinz Fischer and getting structured feedback from Co-chair Ban Ki-moon himself was one of my best experiences here in Alpbach!” – Salahaldeen Alazaizeh
Eun Ji Scarlett Park from South Korea presented her project idea on “Rain Water Harvesting” by using rainwater jars that are environmentally friendly, cost-efficient, and sustainable. She tackled the issues of increased population and pollution as well as other impacts of climate change.
“I have truly learned to acknowledge myself as a global citizen. As an individual with passion, we can be a good leader; but with the drop of compassion, you can be a global one.” – Eun Ji Park
Oyindamola Adegboye from Nigeria introduced “Common Futures Conversations” initiated by Chatham House: The Royal Institute of International Affairs where she serves as a Country Representative of Nigeria. The program’s objectives are to address the disconnect between young people and traditional policy-making processes at both a national and international level; to use digital dialogues to give young people to opportunity to enhance their understanding, connect with peers and develop their own ideas; to make their voices heard; and to foster more global cooperation on controversial and highly-debated issues. She suggested the digital hub and the CFC communities as solutions.
“I was mostly inspired by the work of the other young scholars who are doing amazing things towards a more equal and sustainable world. The passion and innovation were evident in the atmosphere and I was privileged to be in the midst of such people. They give me hope for the future of the world.” – Oyindamola Adegboye
The “Light to Read” project was initiated by Samuel Afadu who is the founder of Light My World International. In Ghana, “over 6 million people are living without electricity in their homes,” he said.
“Providing solar-powered lamps to school children in communities with no access to electricity in Ghana will enable students to study at night, improving their education and knowledge level while reducing the expense of money used by their parents to provide light for the family.” – Samuel Afadu
Belinda Isimbi Uwase, Founder of the Girls Light Our World (GLOW), explained her project which supports young girls who have recently graduated or are still in high school in Rwanda. She said the group intends to provide a platform for female students to freely express themselves, learn new skills and contribute to their community through volunteering and taking actions. After presenting her project, Uwase said,
“Having the honor of presenting my project to such influential people was a dream come true. I felt an overwhelming feeling of pride and gratitude, and I am so thankful to the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens for giving me this opportunity. I have never felt so proud to be a global citizen.” – Belinda Isimbi Uwase
Daniel Park from South Korea presented his idea of connecting directly with farmers through an online platform in order to empower farmers and to have them have a 100% profit from their products. To execute the project, Park said that there needs to be some support from volunteers and NGOs and that sharing knowledge with others is crucial. After sharing his project ideas, Park expressed his appreciation for having an opportunity to share his ideas and to learn from the other change-makers and leaders from all over the world.
“It was a truly amazing experience in Alpbach where I had an opportunity to see and listen closely to many global leaders such as former SG Ban Ki-moon.” – Daniel Park
One of the scholars from last year Alhassan Muniru, Co-founder of Recycle Up! Ghana, also participated in the meeting to share his experience and his own project ideas with the new scholars. The BKMC Board members, including the co-chairs, congratulated the scholars on their progress made and encouraged them to continue their impact while applying a global citizenship mindset. At the end of the presentations, the scholars were awarded the “Ban Ki-moon Global Citizen Scholarship” certificate. Learn more: https://bankimooncentre.org/projects/global-citizen-scholars-fellows Ⓒ BKMC / Eugenie Berger

Ban Ki-moon visits the UN Memorial Cemetery in Korea to pay tribute to fallen soldiers

Co-chair of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens Ban Ki-moon visited the “United Nations Memorial Cemetery in Korea” in Busan, South Korea and paid tribute to fallen soldiers on August 11th. This cemetery is the final resting place of the fallen UN soldiers and war veterans who fought in defense of peace and freedom following the outbreak of the Korean War. Hearing that South Korea had been invaded by North Korea on June 25th, 1950, the UN Security Council unanimously passed a resolution declaring the invasion as an act of provocation that threatened international peace and security and demanded that the North immediately withdraw its forces. Furthermore, the Council asked the member nations of the General Assembly for assistance for South Korea. General Douglas MacArthur became the Chief Commander of the UN Forces in South Korea and the decision to dispatch UN Forces was reached. Combat units and medical units provided by 21 nations under the UN flag came under the leadership of General MacArthur. The Korean War was a war that free nations banded together under the UN flag and successfully fought off the aggressors to preserve international peace. A symbolic area in the Cemetery always flies high the 21 nations’ national flags and the UN flag for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Visit UNMCK: http://www.unmck.or.kr