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

“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 Ban Ki-moon Institute for Sustainable Development hosts a MUN NSW conference

On March 11th, the Ban Ki-moon Institute for Sustainable Development (BKMISD), an affiliated office of the BKMC in Almaty, Kazakhstan, hosted a conference with students from Afghanistan.

With the theme “The Implication of the Doha Meeting on Building Peace in Afghanistan,” a Model United Nations round table was organized by the BKMISD in cooperation with the Faculty of Journalism of the Al-Farabi Kazakh National University and Afghan students from various universities in Almaty as part of a series of the New Silk Way International Model UN conferences (MUN NSW).

Representatives from the KazNU, Model UN, Qazaq-Afghan Association for Development and Partnership “AFGQAZ”, Afghan Information Agency and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Kazakhstan spoke at the conference, and the students actively asked questions.

 

 

To learn about the MUN NSW, visit: http://munnsw.kz/

Photos: BKMISD

Ban Ki-moon gives a special lecture at his old school, Chungju High School

BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon delivered a special lecture about the United Nations and Global Leadership in the 21st Century at his old school, Chungju High School, on January 7th, 2019. He was welcomed by around 500 students, teachers, and parents who he encouraged to become Global Citizens. For everyone to be able to learn history and become a global citizen, Ban made a donation to help the school build a history hall. The President of the school said that he hopes more students to grow their dreams to become a world leader like Ban Ki-moon.

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

Ban Ki-moon Centre Participates in Event on the SDGs Featuring Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden

This week, the Ban Ki-moon Centre featured at an event entitled, “The 2030 Agenda – From Global Goals to Local Implementation” hosted by the Swedish Embassy in Vienna. BKMC CEO Monika Froehler moderated the event and led a discussion on the SDGs and local implementation in Austria as well as around the world.

The event began with welcoming remarks from H.E. Ambassador Mikaela Kumlin Granit of the Swedish Embassy followed by a powerful opening statement by Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden that set the stage for the discussion that followed. Her H.R.H Princess Victoria said:

“The implementation of the 2030 Agenda is a high priority for the Swedish government, but also for me personally. As advocate of the Global Goals for Sustainable Development, I am delighted to see the commitment with which Austria is working to implement the Agenda. Progress is indeed being made, but now we need to step up the pace.”

Following the opening statement, Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajčák of Slovakia, who is also the former President of the United Nations General Assembly, delivered a keynote in which he stressed the importance of empowering youth and women. He stated:

“Half of this planet are people under 30, and half of this planet are women,” and “our youth are not the future generation; they are here now, and we need to listen to them now.”

Minister Lajčák also thanked the Swedish government for its support of the implementation of  SDG 14, “Life Below Water.”

After the keynote, a panel discussion was moderated by BKMC CEO Monika Froehler, featuring DG Li Yong of United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), Director-General Désirée Schweitzer of the Department for Development Cooperation at the Austrian Foreign Ministry, VP Ulrike Rabmer-Koller of the Austrian Economic Chambers and Director Monika Langthaler of the R20 Austrian World Summit. Experts from Global ResponsibilitySustainable Energy for All, and the IKEA Foundation also shared their expert insights.

Overall, the event emphasized the need for more advocacy, finance, and innovation to achieve implementation of the SDGs and further global collaboration to reach the most marginalized communities. During the Q&A session, the “Youth SDG Advocates” provided by the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens asked questions about the role that the international community should play in advancing the SDGs and how youth can be engaged and represented.

Check out the full video of the event below!

Gepostet von Schwedische Botschaft Wien – Embassy of Sweden Vienna am Mittwoch, 28. November 2018

 

Luncheon with the Heads of the international organizations in Vienna

Ambassador Shin Dong-ik of the Korean Embassy in Vienna hosted a luncheon with the Heads of the International Organizations (IO) based in Vienna at his residence on November 15th, 2018. Including the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens’ partners KAICIID and IACA, delegates from varied organizations such as UNIDO, CTBTO, UNOV, OSCE, and IAEA attended the lunch meeting.

With the presence of the Centre’s Co-chair Ban Ki-moon and Board members, Ambassador Shin and KAICIID Senior Advisor Andrea Pfanzelter, during the luncheon, the Ban Ki-moon Centre shared its work and discussed potential areas of collaborative work with the IOs. As the Centre’s aim and work is broadly supported by the actors in the international community and the governments of different states, it has rapidly grown and will furthermore wield its influence to advance the SDGs with the help of its vast global partnership.

“Are International Treaties in Jeopardy?”

The Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens and the Austrian Federal Ministry of Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs (BMEIA) co-organized a forum titled “Are International Treaties in Jeopardy?” in Vienna, Austria on November 13th, 2018.

Prior to the forum, BKMC Co-chairs Ban Ki-moon and Heinz Fischer and CEO Monika Froehler had a meeting with Minister Karin Kneissl, Ambassador Andreas Riecken, Cabinet Karl Ehrlich of the Minister, and Deputy Spokesperson Peter Guschelbauer at the Ministry.

The forum facilitated discussions on international treaties and rapidly changing status quo of the global society to seek for global solutions for global challenges impacting international relations. Both Co-chairs of the Centre delivered a keynote.

Co-chair Fischer, former Austrian President, said that

“The commitment solves challenges and problems like migration through cooperation.”

He continued,

“there is still a long way to go, and we have learned that we must work this way together, respecting each other, compromising our own national benefit in order to sustainably pursue this project of humankind.”

Co-chair Ban, former United Nations Secretary-General, highly criticized that Austria has recently withdrawn from the global compact on migration.

“Ever since the Vienna Convention on the law of treaties was signed almost fifty years ago,” Ban said, “commitments are eroding, treaties are disrespected, and agreements are ignored.”

He emphasized that political leaders should approach global issues with moral perspective rather than following their political will.

“World leaders, they led global visions, global citizenship; they always speak loud and clearly that “I work for humanity.” But, when they go back to national governments, they all become national leaders. That is why I really want to foster global citizenship. We need to work together. Nothing can be done alone.”

In order to solve the global issues, Ban said that it is important for the states to advance the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that must be owned by the member states who should prioritize supporting “women, young people, and the least advantaged.”

During the panel discussion, Co-chair Fischer also pointed out that the international rule of law should be the final goal for a state to reach and that one has to rely on international treaties and agreements.

Minister Kneissl, Deputy Spokesperson Guschelbauer, and Head Thomas Hajnoczi of Disarmament Department of the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs were also featured on the panel as well as Ms. Mona Ali Khalil, former Senior Legal Officer with the UN Office of the Legal Counsel, and Professor Gerhard Hafner for International Law at the University of Vienna.

Watch Co-chair Ban Ki-moon’s keynote: https://youtu.be/dNlaAP0nP2s
Watch Co-chair Heinz Fischer’s keynote: https://youtu.be/JqaFieHNevM

Photo: Ashraf Mahmoud / BMEIA

“Leaving No One Behind” World Disasters Report 2018 Launch

World Disasters Report 2018 was launched by International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), Austrian Red Cross, United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), and the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens on November 12th, 2018 in at the Vienna International Centre in Austria.

The event featured BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon, Chief Luc St-Pierre of Space Applications at UNOOSA, President Annemarie Huber-Hotz of Swiss Red Cross, Under Secretary-General Jemilah Mahmood of IFRC, and Secretary-General Verner Kerschbaum of Red Cross Austria on the panel.

Addressing his keynote, Co-chair Ban said that

“The IFRC has been a frontier at drawing attention to the world’s complex challenges and looking into the areas where emergency interventions need to be addressed and advanced.”

He underlined his appreciation to the IFRC for its dedication to

“saving lives, protecting livelihoods, strengthening recovery from disasters and crisis, enabling healthy and safe living, and promoting social inclusion and the culture of non-violence and peace.”

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) reported that only 97 million were selected to receive humanitarian aid out of about 134 million people in need this year. A lack of global investment in disaster relief leaves tens of millions of people exposed to preventable disaster risks. Out of 25 billion dollars required, less than 12 billion dollars have been received.

Titled “Leaving No One Behind,” the World Disasters Report 2018 emphasizes that the international humanitarian sector must do more to respond to the needs of the world’s most vulnerable people.

“The international community, states, and individuals to come together to further reach marginalized area and to give hands to people in vulnerable situations,” urged Ban.

After the launch event, Dr. Eva Poecksteiner from ORF interviewed Co-chair Ban Ki-moon asking some questions including how the international community can prevent disasters, what disasters have touched him personally, and what impact the climate change has on the world’s disasters.

Read more about the World Disasters Report 2018 here: https://media.ifrc.org/ifrc/world-disaster-report-2018/

Watch Ban’s interview with ORF here: https://tvthek.orf.at/…/Machtwechsel-in-der-Ostukr…/14395234

Hungarian Ambassador awards Ban Ki-moon with a bronze statue

Ambassador Katalin Bogyay of the Permanent Mission of Hungary to the UN awarded Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens’ Co-chair Ban Ki-moon a commemorative bronze statue on the occasion of Hungarian National Day commemorating the 1956 Hungarian Revolution. Ban was awarded “A Cry for Freedom” statue for his strong advocacy for the Hungarian Revolution and for his support for spreading the history through promoting freedom and human rights.

In 1956, the Hungarian people rose up against the communist dictatorship. For decades, the UN kept classified documents, which contained mosaics about the activities of the ‘Special Committee on the Problem of Hungary’ that was established by the General Assembly in January 1957 with a mandate to investigate and gather evidence on what happened during and after the revolution. Upon request by Hungary and with the support of Ban Ki-moon, parts of the classified documents were opened up for research purposes.