BKMC CEO Monika Froehler meets with former UN Under-Secretary-General Dr. Noeleen Heyzer

On July 17th, 2019, BKMC CEO Monika Froehler met with Dr. Heyzer, former Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, in Vienna, Austria.

Dr. Heyzer was the first woman to serve as the Executive Secretary of the United Nations ESCAP and the first woman from the South to head the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), which is a part of UN Women. She became UNIFEM‘s longest serving Executive Director transforming it from a small entity to a powerhouse leading in women‘s empowerment and gender equality.

Dr. Heyzer also led an unprecedented dialogue with Myanmar’s leaders on development and poverty reduction, resulting in the Government of Myanmar requesting the formation of a development partnership. She was announced by BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon, who was then Secretary-General of the UN in 2013, as his Special Adviser for Timor-Leste, working to support peace-buildingstate-building, and sustainable development.

Watch a short video that features Dr. Heyzer, made by the Asian Development Bank. In this video, she shares her thoughts on what goes into making successful women leaders by introducing “The Three Cs” by her definition.

 

Ban Ki-moon stresses on multilateralism at the UN Security Council

On June 12th, upon the invitation of the United Nations Security Council, BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon attended the Council’s meeting with Mary Robinson, Chair of The Elders and former President of Ireland, and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, former President of the Republic of Liberia.

Robinson pointed that nuclear weapons and the climate change are the two greatest existential threats to our planet now. “It is in the interests of the P5 to get serious about disarmament if they wish to maintain the near-universal international commitment to preventing nuclear proliferation, particularly in the lead up to next year’s NPT Review Conference,” added Ban.

When the Security Council can cooperate and speak with a strong common voice, “its decisions can have a decisive impact,” Ban Ki-moon told the Chamber as a former Secretary-General of the UN.

“This strong, common voice is needed more than ever at this current time, when the deceptive allure of populism and isolationism is growing across all continents, from North and South America to Africa, Asia and Europe” he stated.

Ban highlighted areas where the Security Council can show effective leadership to support the work of the Secretary-General and improve general conditions for peace and conflict resolution.

Conflict prevention and mediation are two of “the most important tools at our disposal to reduce human suffering” current SG of the UN Antonio Guterres said.

He noted some “encouraging signs,” such as successful constitutional transfers of power in Mali and Madagascar; the rapprochement between Ethiopia and Eritrea; the revitalized agreement in South Sudan; and, after decades of dispute, “the designation of the Republic of North Macedonia to be internationally recognized”.

Read more: https://news.un.org/en/story/2019/06/1040321

“Empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality”

BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon delivered a keynote as well as attending the side events of the 75th session of the UN ESCAP that took place in Bangkok, Thailand from May 27th to 31st. Focusing on the theme “Empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality,” the session comprised a ministerial segment and a senior officials segment.

“I firmly believe our common endeavour to achieve the SDGS can pave the path to equality, overcome expanding division. In order to meet this noble aspiration for equality, cooperation, innovation and engagement by all stakeholders is vital,” said Co-chair Ban Ki-moon as former United Nations Secretary-General

At a side event hosted with Google and the Thai government, Ban Ki-moon shared innovative solutions that promote digital inclusion as the Asia Pacific region faces a deepening digital divide with more than half of the region without access to basic internet.

Ban underscored the urgency for “all hands on deck” to harness ownership and participation from all sectors of society to achieve the SDGs by 2030 and urged stakeholders from all sectors and countries to work together, ensuring inclusiveness and equality not only in the Asia Pacific region but across the world.

Source: https://unescap.org/commission/75/
Photo: UN ESCAP

“Europe and the SDGs: Best-practices and Recommendations”

The Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens and the Embassy of Sweden in Vienna co-hosted the event on “Europe and the SDGs: Best-practices and Recommendations” on May 21st, 2019 in Vienna, Austria. The event gathered representatives and experts from both public and private sectors and provided an open-discussion platform where the best practices and the recommendations on the SDG implementation were discussed.

H.E. Ambassador Mikaela Kumlin Granit of the Swedish Embassy and BKMC Co-chair Heinz Fischer delivered welcome remarks.

Fischer pointed out that “now it is time to look at the current implementations by governments and business in Europe and how they can be improved.”

He mentioned that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Agenda 2030 that were adopted by the United Nations when Co-chair Ban Ki-moon was serving as Secretary-General of the UN and that it is crucial to cooperate to advance the 17 Goals. Then he added the efforts to achieve the SDGs should not be done by competition but in collaboration.

“The Agenda 2030 presents not only the opportunity to make sustainable development reality, but it also gives us significant responsibilities,” said Fischer.

Following the welcome remarks, Sabine Schneeberger, Director at the Coordination DG of the Austrian Federal Chancellery delivered a keynote. She said that the Austrian government has integrated the 2030 Agenda into their programs, requiring all its ministries to incorporate the principles of the Agenda.

The event was divided into two panel discussions that were moderated by CEO Monika Froehler of the Ban Ki-moon Centre:

Panel I – Government Best-Practices

  • Inger Buxton, Deputy Head of the Global Agenda Department at the MFA, Sweden
  • H.E. Ambassador Sylvia Meier-Kajbic, Federal Ministry of Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs, Austria
  • H.E. Ambassador Pirkko Hämäläinen, Ambassador of Finland to Austria and Permanent Representative to the International Organizations in Vienna
  • Kvetoslav Kmec, Director for Strategic Planning at the Deputy Prime Minister’s Office, Slovakia

Panel II – Business and CSO Best-Practices

  • Helena Lindemark, Founder and CEO of Sustainable Development Sweden AB
  • Dr. Gabriela-Maria Straka, Director of CSR & Corporate Affairs, Grüne Brauerei Göss, Austria
  • Bernhard Zlanabitnig, member of SDG Watch Austrian Steering Committee; Director of EU-Umwelt Büro
  • Markus Haas, Head of Export Finance, International Projects, and Financial Institutions at the Austrian Economic Chambers (WKO)

The audience also actively engaged themselves in the discussions, bringing different perspectives and expertise to the floor.

Emphasizing the importance of acting promptly to advance the SDGs and to facilitate the collaboration between private and public sector, Froehler said that it is also crucial that individuals contribute to the sustainable development of all, no matter how small each contribution may be.

She concluded “because I think, on an individual level, on a national level, and on the international level, there is so much to gain” and that one should try to convert “pain” into “gain.”

Watch the recorded video of the first panel: https://www.facebook.com/BanKimoonCentre/videos/2366321576931251/
and the second panel here: https://www.facebook.com/BanKimoonCentre/videos/343893992935647/

Photos: Harald Klemm

The Peace Museum of the 8th United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon opens in Eumseong

“The Peace Museum of the 8th United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon” had its grand opening on December 6th, 2018. The museum has been established in Eum Seong, a small county in Korea where Ban was born.

The 2800-square-meter museum is equipped with a cultural center that exhibits donated souvenirs that Ban has received from all over the world, materials and videos related to the UN, and also a virtual-experience hall for the Model UN General Assembly. There are also lecture rooms, an outdoor performance stage, and meeting rooms.

Beginning from next year in January, the museum will provide varied experience programs through which youth can learn more about the UN and become inspired to be global citizens. The museum is also surrounded by the Ban Ki-moon Peace Land and the Ban Ki-moon Memorial Hall.

“I hope the peace museum will become a venue for education that helps our youth become global citizens,” said Ban.

At the opening ceremony of the museum, around 300 guests came to celebrate it, including the Ambassadors from the Austrian Embassy, Kuwaiti Embassy, and Tanzanian Embassy in Seoul.

Ban also delivered a special lecture on the topic of “the United Nations and 21st-Century Leadership” at Eum Seong High School, encouraging the students to understand how they can contribute to make the world a better place.

Photo: Eumseong County Office

António Guterres holds a meeting with Ban Ki-moon at the UN headquarters in New York

Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens’ Co-founder and Co-chair Ban Ki-moon served as the 8th Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN) from 2007 to 2016. Last week, he revisited the headquarters of the UN in New York, US and was greeted by current Secretary-General António Guterres and Deputy SG Amina Mohammed. Guterres invited Ban to have a bilateral meeting in his office, and the two world leaders openly discussed the status quo of the global issues.

Before his tenure as the 9th UNSG, Guterres served as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees between 2005 and 2015, during most of which period Ban served as SG. Guterres was the Prime Minister of Portugal from 1995 to 2002 and was elected President of Socialist International in 1999. He held both posts until his resignation from the latter.

Chelsea Clinton and Susan Blaustein receive the ‘Ban Ki-moon Award for Women’s Empowerment’

At the 17th Annual Asia Initiatives Gala on October 18th, 2018 in New York, US, Vice President Chelsea Clinton of Clinton Foundation and Susan Blaustein, Founder and Executive Director of WomenStrong International were conferred the ‘Ban Ki-moon Award for Women’s Empowerment’ created in recognition of Ban Ki-moon’s leadership in support of women’s rights and gender equity. As the award’s first honoree, BKMC Co-chair Ban’s vision led to the creation of UN Women and its HeForShe Campaign, the first High-Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment, and to his appointment of the first UN female force commander to head peacekeeping operations and the employment of increased number of women at the UN system.

“It is such an honor for me to be able to properly recognize these amazing women. During my tenure as Secretary-General, I always worked to make women’s empowerment a top priority, and I can see that Asia Initiatives is carrying on that legacy,” said Ban.

Asia Initiatives is an international non-profit organization that leverages social capital to promote sustainable development and has annually held the gala to recognize women for their work advocating for women and girls. Women empowerment is an important asset to achieving the SDG 5: Gender Equality.

To empower women and girls, Clinton has endeavored to provide them with more opportunities to be engaged in society. She has written a couple of books as a series titled She Persisted to share the stories of empowered women to help children cultivate new perspectives on women’s role and gender equality. Susan Blaustein works to catalyze women-led initiatives around the world, including those in Ghana, Kenya, Haiti, India, and the United States. She has also worked on solving poverty problems.

“Empowering women and girls worldwide is key to peace, to eliminating all forms of violence, and to enabling families, communities, and nations to thrive,” said Blaustein. “Asia Initiatives’ Ban Ki-moon Award is such an honor and such an important recognition of the brilliance and hard work of women and girls everywhere, who know best what they need to succeed and whose truthful, clarion voices deserve to be heard, now more than ever.”

Source: https://bit.ly/2AmRkNs
Source: http://asiainitiatives.org/

Ban Ki-moon sends congratulations to the Nobel Peace Prize Winners 2018

Co-chair Ban Ki-moon sends congratulations to the winners of the Nobel Peace Prize 2018. The peace prize was awarded jointly to Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad
“for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict.”

Murad was appointed as UN Goodwill Ambassador Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking by Co-chair Ban in 2016 during his tenure as Secretary-General of the UN for spreading the misery of refugee women and girls who are the victims of human trafficking. The Nobel Prize Committee said she had demonstrated “uncommon courage in recounting her own suffering.” She founded Nadia’s Initiative, an advocacy organisation working to protect the rights of women and minorities in Iraq, and wrote a memoir, The Last Girl: My Story of Captivity, and My Fight Against the Islamic State.

Congolese gynecologist Denis Mukwege is known as “Doctor Miracle” for his ability to repair through reconstructive surgery the horrific damage inflicted on women who have been raped. Mukwege establisehd Panzi Hospital in Bukavu, Congo nearly 20 years ago – shortly after he had his first experience of treating a woman who had been raped and mutilated by armed men. He, along with his colleagues, have since treated tens of thousands of victims. Panzi Hospital now cares for more than 3,500 women a year.

This year 12 new laureates have been awarded for achievements that have conferred the greatest benefit to humankind. Their work and discoveries range from cancer therapy and laser physics to developing proteins that can solve humankind’s chemical problems. The work of the 2018 Nobel Laureates also included combating war crimes, as well as integrating innovation and climate with economic growth.

Source: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-45759304Photos: Reuters and AFP (Left: Denis Mukwege / Right: Nadia Murad Basee Taha)

Statement by Mr. Ban Ki-moon on passing of Mr. Kofi Annan, the 7th Secretary General of the United Nations

Having heard with a great shock and deepest sorrow, my wife and I join the world´s people and all the colleagues of the United Nations system in extending our deepest condolences to Mrs. Annan and his bereaved family on the untimely passing of Mr. Kofi Annan, my predecessor Secretary General of the United Nations I also convey the same to the government and the people of Ghana.

For the last 15 years, I have had closely worked with Secretary General Kofi Annan for peace, development and human rights for all the people around the world. After retirement from the United Nations, Mr. Annan has been most energetic in the sublime works of realizing the goals of the United Nations, and has been leading The Elders Group where I had been honoured to work with him since 2017.

During and after his life-long service with the United Nations, he has been astutely guiding the United Nations organization into the 21st century defining an ambitious agenda that had made the UN truly indispensable to peace, prosperity and human dignity around the world.

He will always be admired and remembered for his vision and courage in upholding the United Nations principles and ideals.

May his soul rest in peace and eternity,

Ban Ki-moon
8th Secretary General of the United Nations

CEO Monika Froehler Conducts Workshop at the Regional Academy on the United Nations 2018

CEO Monika Froehler of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens was invited to give a lecture-workshop at the Regional Academy on the United Nations (RAUN) held at the Vienna International Centre today. RAUN is an international and multi-disciplinary program that allows youth to discuss issues related to the UN and international affairs. Participants are Master and PhD students who get to conduct group research projects in close cooperation with an international organization like UNDP, UNODC, UNIDO, UNEP, IOM, OSCE etc. This year’s theme is “Innovations for Development: Towards Peaceful, Sustainable and Inclusive Societies.”

During the workshop, 48 students learned about the Ban Ki-moon Centre’s vision and work and participated in group works on the topic of global citizenship. The students were split into working groups to brainstorm and exchange ideas about the concept of global citizenship and how to effectively promote it. One speaker of each group presented on the outcomes of their discussion. The winner team was awarded the Ban Ki-moon Centre pin.

The first sessions of this year´s RAUN class were held in Bratislava and Vienna from May 9-11. The RAUN scholars will continue their journey to Budapest in September and come back to Vienna from 15-18 in January 2019. The academic responsibility for the program is carried by the RAUN project manager headquartered in Vienna.

With assistance from mentors, UN practitioners and guest lecturers, the participants will write research papers which will be published through RAUN. Their research will result in the students developing their knowledge in respective areas, integrate theoretical knowledge on policy situations, advance practical thinking, obtain methodological tools for research, and advance their competence to analyze.

Source: http://www.ra-un.org/