Ban Ki-moon Delivers a Keynote at the International Day of Peace Commemorative Roundtable

On September 19th, Co-Chair Ban Ki-moon gave a keynote speech at International Day of Peace Commemorative Roundtable. This event was held as a part of the annual Peace BAR Festival (PBF), a forum on the topic ‘The Future Unhinged: Climate Justice for All,’ and was hosted by Kyung Hee University from September 16th to 19th.

“In order for individuals and communities to escape the existential threats of climate change, we must act now.” – Ban Ki-moon

At the Roundtable, BKMC Board member Irina Bokova who is also former Director-General of UNESCO and an Honorary Rector of Humanities College at Kyung Hee University featured as a moderator. Club of Rome member Ian Dunlop, Professor Peter Wadhams of Cambridge University and Chancellor of Kyung Hee University System Inwon Choue attended as panelists to address global climate change crisis.

In his speech, BKMC Co-chair Ban said, “We are facing a fast-changing climate phenomenon.” “Record-breaking heat waves, wildfires, and typhoons are no longer perceived as abnormal, but as ‘new-normal’. He insisted that “Individual citizens should change their lifestyle habits to curb rising temperatures.” “If we allow the global temperature to rise more than 3 degrees Celsius, then it may be the end of humanity,” he warned.

He also outlined his efforts in environmental sectors as a UN Secretary-General. “I placed climate change as a top priority,” he said. “In 2007, the first high-level talk with world leaders was held.” Moreover, in December 2015, Co-chair Ban successfully initiated and established Paris Climate Agreement. He continued, “The Kyoto Protocol of 1992 was not an obligation to the largest emitters of greenhouse gases including China and India, but this has been improved in the Paris Agreement.”

“Only 11 years are left before climate change becomes a catastrophe,” said Ban. As he closed his speech, Ban emphasized, “We do not have Planet B. There is no alternative to the Earth. Therefore, there is no Plan B in the climate change problem.” “The only way is to foster cooperation based on multilateralism and coexist with nature.”

“It is very crucial for citizens to share information and knowledge about climate change.” – Inwon Choue

During the Roundtable, Chancellor Inwon Choue said, “Countries have promised to decrease 1.5 degrees by the end of the 21st century, but there is not much of a progress. If this continues, the world’s temperature will increase 1 degree higher by 2030.”  In particular, he said, “At this time, when an environmental catastrophe is currently happening, political leaders do not seem to consider climate change seriously.”

“It is very dire to change how we think and take an initiative.” – Irina Bokova

Bokova added to Chancellor Choue, “Political leaders do not pay attention to urgent climate issues. They seem to have forgotten their responsibility to preserve the planet.”

“We are on a path of increasing the world temperature by 4 degrees Celsius, which brings an environment incompatible with an organized global community. In other words, that represents global collapse.” – Ian Dunlop

In discussing lack of political efforts, Ian Dunlop said, “As climate change issues require long-term efforts, political leaders neglect this matter but rather focus on growth.” He also mentioned that one of the main reasons people are not mobilized to act on the issue despite its expected gravity is that the effects of climate change are not immediately apparent. “Whatever we put into the atmosphere today, we don’t see the full effect for 10, 20 or 30 years to come,” he said. “By the time [the effects] becomes clear, it will be too late to act. That means we have to act now.”

“Solutions are available to us but what we lack is political will to make it happen.” – Ian Dunlop

The experts outlined some specific actions to roll back climate change included decreasing industrial disposal is mandatory. Ian Dunlop said, “The problem is, at the moment, we are not reducing emissions at all – we are actually producing more.” “We should stop all carbon consumption today… [and] need to phase out fossil fuel by no later than 2050. We should remove subsidies to fossil fuel industries, tighten controls on fugitive emissions from fossil fuel operations and redesign agricultural practices to emphasize soil carbon sequestration, ocean sequestration and reforestation.”

“Reducing fossil energy on individual level is clearly not enough. Currently 41 billion tons of greenhouse gases are emitted worldwide each year, and 20 billion of which must be eliminated.” – Peter Wadhams

In addition to political dedication, Peter Wadhams, a professor of ocean physics at the University of Cambridge, highlighted the role of science and technology in climate change solutions. According to him, planting trees are less efficient. Rather, air purifiers should be implemented to absorb the greenhouse gases and the absorbed greenhouse gases can be buried in the ground.

Co-chair Ban will attend the first UN Global Summit on Climate Change on Tuesday, September 23rd to bring together political will of different countries.

Source: Korea Joongang Daily

© Korea Joongang Daily & Kyung Hee University

Nobel laureate Rae Kwon Chung visits the Ban Ki-moon Centre

On July 19th, 2019, the Centre had a pleasure of welcoming Professor Rae Kwon Chung, a Board member of the Ban Ki-moon Foundation for a Better Future (보다 나은 미래를 위한 반기문 재단), to the Centre in Vienna, Austria.

He was greeted by Co-chair Heinz Fischer and CEO Monika Froehler and was briefed on the Centre’s work. As a former ambassador for climate change, Chung exchanged his ideas on the necessity of renewable energy revolution for the fight against climate change and also spoke about sustainable develeopment and the Asia Super Grid.

Chung was awarded the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize as a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). He is also the author of the “Green Growth” concept, whereby countries should enable natural assets to deliver their full economic potential on a sustainable basis. 

Ban Ki-moon draws attention to the urgency of youth empowerment in the latest ADA publication

In their latest publication, the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) focuses on Africa’s youth and their vital function for the future of the continent. Africa has the highest number of people under the age of 25, with around 600 million youth in 2017 accounting for almost half of the continent’s population.

Young people represent potential consumers, producers and innovators and can thus contribute to regional economic growth. The risks of conflict, poverty and instability however push more and more youth towards emigration. The report states that investments in health and education systems must dramatically improve in order to make young people’s opportunities in their own countries attractive. Gender inequality and the lack of jobs further hinder sustainable development and a prosperous future for Africa’s youth.

Co-Chairman Ban Ki-moon emphasizes the urgent need to include and empower youth all over the world. “We cannot afford to waste their talents” he claims and points to the fact that in no time in history have there ever been more young people than at this moment.

Investing in human capital should be made a priority if the continent wants to cope with rising demographics. Africa’s youth is energetic and ambitious and more connected than ever before. They have plans but need political will and new social infrastructures in order to fully contribute to economic growth and live happy, sustainable and determined lives.

Co-chair Ban Ki-moon Speaks at Global Citizen Festival in Berlin Calling for Climate Action

On Tuesday May 21st 2019, Ban Ki-moon Centre partner Global Citizen hosted GC Live Berlin, bringing together policy makers from around the world seeking to end extreme poverty and to support African Youth. Former UN Secretary-General and Centre Co-chair Ban Ki-Moon made particular impact through his participation and speech at the event resulting in large coverage across social media and media outlets.

At the event, Nigeria and Zambia made important commitments to water, sanitation, and nutrition. Co-chair Ban, World Bank Chief Executive Kristalina Georgieva, and German Federal Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development Gerd Müller all made powerful statements on the world’s most pressing issues associated with ending extreme poverty and addressing climate change.

Along with CEO Georgieva and Bill Gates, Co-chair Ban chairs the Global Commission on Adaptation focused on climate adaptation.

During his speech at GC live Berline, Co-chair Ban emphasized:

“Now is the moment to make our lives, our homes, and our communities climate friendly and climate ready.”

BKMC CEO Monika Froehler also attended the event in support of African Youth which underlined the idea of one generation, one future.

In addition to the commitments made by African countries, the government of Germany announced support for 60 million smallholder farmers globally to adapt to climate change.

The event followed weeks of campaigning by Global Citizens around the world. Global Citizens from Germany, South Africa, Nigeria, and 143 other countries took action in the lead-up to the event which earned them tickets to the concert. The event celebrated Africa Day, which takes place on May 25 and commemorates the founding of the Organisation of African Unity (now known as the African Union) on May 25, 1963.

Global Citizen Live Berlin was presented in partnership with Engagement Global, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Live Nation.

Source: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/global-citizen-live-berlin-global-citizens-artists-and-world-leaders-from-nigeria-zambia-germany-rwanda-and-ghana-took-unprecedented-action-on-ending-extreme-poverty-by-2030-300854704.html

Photo: Global Citizen

#GCLiveBerlin #EineGenerationEineZukunft #SDGs #GlobalCitizens

UNECE Regional Forum on Sustainable Development 2019

The UNECE Regional Forum on Sustainable Development took place on 21 and 22 March 2019 in Geneva. The Forum brought together more than 800 pan-European stakeholders to exchange experiences about the progress and challenges in the implementation of the SDGs.

The BKMC gladly accepted the invitation to this important event and formed part of the wide range of civil society representatives, who are advocating political action for the SDGs.

The conference was chaired by H.E. Ms Ogerta Manastirliu who is Albania’s Minister of Health and Social Protection. In welcoming remarks, Deputy UN Secretary-General Amina Mohammed stressed the importance of the Regional Fora to understand how we can increase ambition and accelerate the implementation of the SDGs. Ms Olga Algayerova, UNECE Executive Secretary and Under-Secretary-General, underscored the RFSD’s convening power in the process of sustainable development.

A High-Level Policy Segment served to present Voluntary National Reviews of UNECE countries and facilitate peer-learning among the government representatives.

The second day addressed SDG 4 (Quality Education), 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth), 10 (Reduced Inequalities), 13 (Climate Action) and 16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions) in a variety of focus events, round tables and side events. Fruitful discussions and meaningful exchange explored the interlinkages of the SDGs.

When it comes to SDG 4 Quality Education, for example, the following challenges were identified:

  • urban-rural gaps
  • education for the elderly
  • effectively drawing on digitalization
  • disparities based on income, location, gender, immigration or minority status and disability
  • integration of Global Citizenship Education (GCED) into curricula

A report will summarize the key messages from the UNECE RFSD 2019 and provide the official input from the UNECE region to the 2019 High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) which will be held between 9 July and 18 July in New York. The HLPF is the United Nations’ central platform for follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals. The BKMC is pleased to have been an active part of the RFSD 2019 and have thereby contributed to the HLPF 2019.

MOU Signing between Bahrain and the Ban Ki-moon Centre

Last week, the Ban Ki-moon Centre welcomed a delegation from the Kingdom of Bahrain including H.E. Shaikh Hussam bin Essa Al Khalifa, the current President of His Royal Highness the Prime Minister’s Court.

The meeting included a briefing on the Ban Ki-moon Centre and its work as well as a memorandum of understanding (MOU) signing between the Centre and the Kingdom of Bahrain.

Bahrain seeks to support and collaborate with the Ban Ki-moon Centre in implementing the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In 2007, the Kingdom established the Khalifa Bin Salman Award for Sustainable Development. Last year, Chairman Ban was awarded with this distinction.

Since the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Bahrain has been actively engaged for sustainable development. The Ban Ki-moon Centre is pleased to sign an MOU with the Kingdom and looks forward to fruitful collaboration for the SDGs!

“Everyone can change the world!” says Ban Ki-moon in the interview with the Austrian Red Cross

Ban Ki-moon Interview
Magazine “My Red Cross” by the Austrian Red Cross

How is the world going to look like in 50 years?

In 50 years sustainability has hopefully become the global norm. The world now has the largest generation of young people in history. I place great hopes in their power and positive activism to shape our future. They are part of the first generation that can end poverty and the last that can avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Hopefully, even before 50 years have passed, quality education will be provided to all, gender equality will become the standard, health and well-being will be guaranteed for each human being and all the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will be achieved. It has to be an effort of everybody at all leaves to leave no one behind.

 

Are you afraid your children and grandchildren will have to live on a destroyed planet one day?

Climate change is the most pressing challenge we face as human beings today. It is not slowing down, and the clock is ticking. Natural disasters are becoming more and more frequent and devastating, from historic floods, fires, storms, tsunamis and earthquakes. To protect our planet for future generations, steps must be taken to both combat and to adapt to the changing climate and with accelerated action. It is our collective responsibility as global citizens to see that our planet remains inhabitable and safe for the generations to come.

 

There are more extreme weather events in the world and climate change seems to be speeding up. Do you think mankind has realized what is at stake?

Many of us are very aware of what is at stake, especially those who are making it their life’s work to mitigate and adapt to climate change. However, despite the many who are aware and active, some are choosing to turn a blind eye. This is troubling, particularly when it comes from national leaders. When the US and President Trump pulled-out of the Paris Climate agreement, this was deeply concerning. I have been speaking out that his vision is politically short-sighted, and economically irresponsible and scientifically wrong. So, he is standing on the wrong side of history. Despite this, I am encouraged and hopeful that the whole world will be united in moving ahead with this Paris Climate Change Agreement. It is the political and moral responsibility of our political leaders to support this.

 

You traveled to the US in 1962 with students from 42 different countries to visit the American Red Cross and meet president Kennedy. How did that influence you?

Thanks to the American Red Cross, I was given the opportunity to join students from 42 countries to travel across the United States visiting Red Cross chapters. This opened my eyes to the world. During the trip, I met then President John F. Kennedy, who said to us “there are no national boundaries; there is only a question of whether we can extend a helping hand.” This strong message has been engraved in my memory ever since and I continue to try my utmost to do my share as a global citizen to help those in need. All our helping hands are needed.

 

What are your feelings when you look back from our very different time with very different presidents?

The world has changed vastly since 1962. Since then, the world has faced rising global challenges. Leaders, in recent years, have turned towards nationalism and populism, putting up walls instead of extending helping hands. This is, plainly stated, not the way forward. Leaders must have and enlist a global vision in all that they do, seeing beyond their national borders. I have not met many that have a global vision. Nelson Mandela is one of the examples that comes to mind. Many around the world were greatly influenced by his selfless struggle for human dignity, equality and freedom.  He touched our lives in deeply personal ways.  At the same time, no one did more in our time to advance the values and aspirations of the United Nations.

 

You come from South Korea – and 80 percent of the people affected by natural disasters live in Asia. Who should start to accomplish the turnaround in climate politics?

Natural disasters are having a major impact around the world and indeed Asia is majorly affected. China has a great responsibility in the region as well as in the world in leading the turnaround in climate politics. Recently, the country has shown great leadership in cleaning up the air and has contributed greatly to the Green Climate Fund. Additionally, China reached its 2020 carbon emission target three years ahead of schedule with the help of the country’s carbon trading system. China will be key to getting other countries to comply with the Paris Climate Agreement.

 

What can individuals do to change the world?

I firmly believe that individuals have the power to change the world for the better, be it at a local, regional, or global level. Women make up half the world and half the world’s population are under the age of 25; therefore, it is vital to empower these groups to act as global citizens, showing solidarity and compassion towards the challenges the world faces. At the beginning of 2018 we founded the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens in Vienna, Austria together with my Co-chair Former Federal President of the Republic of Austria Heinz Fischer for this exact purpose. In the world today, there are plenty of people with passion, yet not enough with compassion. This is unfortunate, so we must educate the world’s youth to understand that their actions have ripple effects on other around the world. We must teach empathy alongside math and history, for without this and a global vision, we will not succeed in creating a sustainable future for us all, leaving no one behind.

 

What is necessary to achieve a turnaround – does the planet need a new economic system to find a path towards sustainability?

To achieve the turnaround, there are many steps the world needs to take. These may be at the systemic level, but also at the social and individual levels. Businesses need to understand the economic and additional benefits that come from operating more sustainably. The system may not need to change, but the structures within it and leadership can be transformative. The Global Compact has proven that companies who adapt to more sustainable practices will have a “win-win” situation as their success requires stable economies and healthy, skilled and educated workers, among other factors. And sustainable companies experience increased brand trust and investor support.

Additionally, engaging women more in the economic system will also cause a transformation of the global economy and vastly impact sustainability. When more women work, economies prosper and grow. An increase in female labour force participation and a reduction in the gap between women’s and men’s labour force participation, leads to faster economic growth.

These are just a few of the ways in which the turnaround, with regards to the economy, can be achieved.

 

You say global issues need global solutions, and that it takes responsibility and global citizenship. But isn’t growing nationalism around the world – and blaming globalisation for problems – preventing just that?

Nationalism is truly the antithesis of the notion of global citizenship and it is hampering our progress towards building a sustainable planet. Indeed, global solutions are necessary. However, when world leaders and nations retreat into their own bubbles, we are not able to have the difficult discussions needed to make progress towards achieving the 2030 Agenda and meeting the challenges we face today. Therefore, multilateralism must continue to be fostered wherever possible. We need to keep these avenues of discourse open.

Read the magazine (German) here: http://epaper.roteskreuz.at/MRK1Wien2019/

Photo: Peter Lechner

 

 

GEEF 2019 Opening Remarks Ban Ki-moon

OPENING REMARKS

GEEF OPENING SESSION – Ban Ki-moon
Yonsei University, Korea
14th February 2019

His Excellency Sebastian Kurz, Chancellor of Austria;

His Excellency Heinz Fischer, Former President of Austria;

Her Excellency Helen Clark, former Prime Minster of New Zealand;

Dr. Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, Executive Secretary of UNESCAP;

Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin, Senior Vice President of the World Bank Group;

Honorable Park Won-soon, Mayor of Seoul Metropolitan Government;

Her Excellency Lee Mikyung, President of KOICA;

Dr. Natalia Kanem, Executive Director of UNFPA;

Welcome to the second annual Global Engagement and Empowerment Forum on Sustainable Development.

During my ten-year tenure as United Nations Secretary General, one of United Nations’ most important accomplishments was establishing the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, known as the SDGs. In 2015, the UN member states showed their devotion and adopted this new vision for sustainable development based on a single principle: “leave no one behind.”

Leaders from all around the world embodied this principle with collective commitment to leave no one behind in the SDGs. These goals are people-centered development that focuses on progression against the existing challenges such as poverty, inequality, public health, gender equality, and many other. Today, the world is changing fast and the journey of achieving inclusive and sustainable development cannot be done alone. That is why leaving no one behind requires a transformation in humanity through communities coming together as one global partnership.

Today, GEEF 2019 continues its momentum from the previously successful GEEF 2018. Last year, GEEF 2018 provided a platform that displayed a global network with thousands of people in attendance. Enthusiastic and dedicated people were witnessed, assembled, and cooperated together to ensure the mutual pursuit of the SDGs.

This year’s GEEF 2019 will serve as a platform that goes beyond simply sharing and extending ideas. As the 17 SDGs emphasize the 2030 Agenda’s five key elements (planet, people, prosperity, peace, and partnership), also known as the 5P’s, GEEF 2019 will offer in-depth discussions of long-term and specific plans to integrate these elements into promoting the concept of sustainability, sustainable development, and social equity.

 

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Please allow me to conclude that achieving the SDGs by 2030 may seem as a never-ending mission. Yet, year 2030 is soon to come. Therefore, a global legacy needs to be addressed for the betterment of our world. The whole process will be a continuing challenge. Currently, challenges remain but progress are shown. Progress is visible but is still uneven. For example, the 2018 SDG Report stated that poverty gap still remains in which there are approximately 38 million more hungry people in the world, rising from 777 million in 2015 to 815 million in 2016.

Despite this reversal result, I still believe that we are ahead in the right direction. I am also confident in all of our ongoing efforts and commitments that can ultimately achieve our goals of the 2030 global agenda.

 In this regard, a collective effort is needed to promote a global collaborative partnership among all stakeholders at every level of our society. We must work together. We must all play our parts in this progression to become more effective, cohesive, and accountable. I urge you to take full responsibility, join in our efforts as Global Citizens, and contribute towards building a global community, sustainable cooperation, and a world with a better future for all.

 

 

Photo: Arno Melicharek

GEEF 2019 Welcome Remarks Heinz Fischer

WELCOME REMARKS

GEEF OPENING SESSION – HEINZ FISCHER
Yonsei University, Korea
14th February 2019 10:30 – 12:10 

Your Excellency Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz,

My Dear Friend Ban Ki-moon,

Your Excellency Helen Clark, former Prime Minister of New Zealand,

Your Excellency President Kim Yong-Hak, Yonsei University,

Distinguished friends and students,

Ladies and gentlemen,

It is a great pleasure and honor for me to be addressing you today on the occasion of the Second Global Engagement and Empowerment Forum at Yonsei University here in Korea.

I am happy to be back in Korea at this University and want to thank the University for hosting this landmark conference for the second time.

With more than 1,400 participants and a hundred speakers from more than 70 different countries, GEEF 2019 will deliberate the theme: “A Call to Action: Empower People, Share Prosperity.” At the Forum, we have identified pivotal dimensions towards implementing the Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Agenda.

Our Ban Ki-moon Centre team in Vienna enjoyed great cooperation with the team here in Seoul in preparing for this Forum. Thank you all for your hard work! It is well invested work to serve the Sustainable Development Goals and to do it in the global interest of peace and in the interest of empowering young people and women.

Looking into the audience in this hall, I see hundreds of young people bursting with potential and energy. This is what we need to carry the message of engagement and empowerment for global citizenship forward.

Youth, namely male and female citizens under 30, now represent over 50% of the world population; the largest percentage in history.

Despite this reality, youth globally remain disadvantaged when it comes to political participation, access to the labor markets, housing, education, and other issues.

At present, about 63 million young people are unemployed and 141 million young people are trapped in working poverty. Additionally, the competition for good education and good jobs is getting tougher and tougher.

Yet youth have better means of communication and activism at their fingertips than ever before. The future of the whole world is dependent on the active engagement and connection of youth worldwide.

Therefore, the Ban Ki-moon Centre focuses its attention on empowering and ensuring that it is YOUR TIME and that YOUR rights are upheld, and that YOU can actively shape the future. This is essential to achieving sustainable development.

Women and girls face additional barriers to their participation and overall prosperity.

The Global Risk Report 2019, published some weeks ago, tells us in addition that 1 in 3 women globally suffer from violence during their lifetime including intimate partner violence. This is not acceptable.

A Global Citizen is not defined by gender, age, race, nationality or religion, but rather by the actions that unite us as human beings.

The Sustainable Development Goals represent this common ground and the shared challenges that we face as humankind.

I am personally impressed by Korea and the speed of its economic growth and development. I am sure this success story can be attributed at least in part to the emphasis on education, the level and room for innovation, and the dedication to learn and to work.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It has now been a year since the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens in Vienna was founded by the initiative of Ban Ki-moon. We have achieved a lot in this first year.

We look forward to 2019 and to continuing to scale and pursue our mission to empower youth and women worldwide to act as global citizens in a peaceful, prosperous, and fair world on the basis of human rights.

We thank all of you for your engagement, energy and inspiration as global citizens of today, tomorrow and beyond.

Thank you!

 

Photo: IGEE

“We are at an inflection point,” Ban Ki-moon speaks out.

Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens’ Co-chair Ban Ki-moon delivered a keynote and had a panel discussion at an event hosted by a leading French agricultural cooperative group InVivo on December 19th, 2018.

“We are at a point of historical inflection in demographic and environmental levels,” said Ban.

InVivo aims to help French agriculture and agricultural cooperation to regain their rightful place in the global food value chain. CEO Thierry Blandinières ‏of InVivo said that the company is committed to bringing solutions for the challenges that the country and the world face. In order to achieve the sustainable development of the planet and human population, InVivo focuses on four fields of expertise: Agriculture, Animal Nutrition and Health, Retail and Wine.

Learn more about the group here: https://www.invivo-group.com/en

Photo: Jeudi Photo