BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon delivered a keynote speech at the GCF Private Investment for Climate Conference

As the Chair of the Council of Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), Co-chair Ban Ki-moon delivered a keynote speech at the Green Climate Fund Private Investment for Climate Conference that kicked-off on October 7th and lasted until October 9th in Incheon, the Republic of Korea.

If we delay action today, we’ll have to pay much a dearer price tomorrow. Let us show the world that we can work and thrive together to make this planet better and sustainable. — Ban Ki-moon

The GCF Private Investment for Climate Conference (“GPIC”) is a global marketplace and ecosystem where leading private sector actors including project sponsors, institutional investors, financial institutions, climate leaders, and the public sector come together to accelerate climate action in developing countries. This year’s GCF Private Investment for Climate Conference, focusing exclusively on the private sector gathered more than 600 participants from over 100 countries.  On the second day of the GPIC, under the theme of Mobilizing Institutional Investors and the Global Finance Sector for Climate, Co-chair Ban said, 
The private sector manages more than $210 trillion in assets but invests less than 5% in climate finance. The climate crisis is too big, too serious, too urgent to use the resources of public institutions alone. 
The Green Climate Fund (GCF) is the world’s largest dedicated fund helping developing countries reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and enhance their ability to respond to climate change. GCF has a crucial role in serving the Paris Agreement, supporting the goal of keeping average global temperature rise well below 2°C. We do so by channelling climate finance to developing countries and mobilizing private sector capital at scale. GCF’s decision to hold this second annual private sector-focused forum reflects the Fund’s recognition that investments by businesses and other financial actors needs to be greatly increased if the world is to effectively deal with warming global temperatures. The conference offers a unique opportunity to chart ways for institutional investors, including sovereign wealth funds, pension funds and insurance companies, to tap GCF finances to expand emerging markets of low-emission and climate resilient growth. GCF’s Private Investment for Climate Conference helped further drive the momentum of increasing private sector engagement in tackling the climate challenge which was a marked feature of the UN summit. Source: Green Climate Fund © GGGI

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 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

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

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