ASEAN YOUTH FOR THE SDGs

The ASEAN Youth for SDGs Webinar Series aims to  elevate the knowledge and skills of 33 youth  representatives to effectively contribute to the SDGs,  take action,  and become SDG leaders in their communities. The program boasts three stages including, two expert webinars, one high-level side event as well as an SDG Micro-Project incubation period.

Under the umbrella of the UNODC’s Education for Justice (E4J) “Southeast Asian Youth Empowerment Dialogue” the representatives took part in two webinars one focusing on the SDGs, Global Citizenship, and SDG Micro-Project Implementation, and a second interactive ideation session with brainstorming and group presentations.

   

On March 11, the young participants took part in a virtual side event connecting them with Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Officer at UNODC Billy Batware, BKMC Global Citizen Scholar 2020 Barbara Nakijoba & Asia Coordinator for United Network of Young Peacebuilders Mridul Upadhyay. Gaining first-hand insights into the Kyoto Crime Congress the representatives discussed crime prevention through youth empowerment & global networks for SDG 16 Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions.

 

The last phase of the program was launched on March 17 by CEO Monika Froehler and Program Officer Viola Christian. The SDG Micro-Project incubation phase will allow the 33 ASEAN youth delegates to spot a challenge and suggest a solution related to the disruption of education in times of COVID-19, youth unemployment, the digital literacy gap in rural and urban areas, mental health, and inclusive growth.

Stay tuned here for all the updates.

The ASEAN Youth for SDGs Webinar Series is implemented in partnership with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and is funded by the Government of Japan.

Launch of Cooperation with UNODC to foster ASEAN Youth Leadership for the SDGs

On Monday, 22 February, the BKMC signed a Project Cooperation Agreement with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), marking the launch of a partnership to foster ASEAN Youth Leadership for the SDGs, supported by the government of Japan.

Japan, as the host of this year’s Crime Congress, has put a strong emphasis on the inclusion of youth in criminal justice and crime prevention issues. The Southeast Asian region currently counts a population of 213 million youth constituting the largest ever cohort of ASEAN youth. Responding to this, the Education for Justice (E4J) Initiative of UNODC offered a platform for 33 young leaders of the region to respond to local challenges related to youth empowerment, education, and UNODC mandated-areas.

 

As part of UNODC’s Dialogue Series, the BKMC was asked to host a webinar series for 33 ASEAN youth leaders, focusing on the SDGs and Global Citizenship. The “ASEAN Youth for SDGs Webinar Series” takes between March and April of 2021 and will elevate the knowledge and skills of 33 ASEAN youth representatives to effectively contribute to the SDGs, take action, and become local SDG leaders. The BKMC will support the young leaders in planning individual SDG Micro-Projects in their communities, which respond to local challenges in the ASEAN, particularly challenges related to justice and the rule of law.

Innovative Initatives to Prevent Gender-Based Violence

As a part of 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence and the Orange the World Campaign, the Ban Ki-moon Centre hosted an interactive session during the  Education for Justice Global Dialogue Series organized by the United Nations Office of Drugs & Crime.

The event series, part of the Education for Justice initiative held between 1 – 4 December, was launched with a virtual high-level opening, where Co-chair Ban Ki-moon delivered his opening remarks, underlining the importance of youth education and rule of law for a more just world Empowering children & youth to understand & exercise their rights is what will bring us an equitable & sustainable future based on the universality of human rights” – Ban Ki-moon 

 

The interactive session hosted by the BKMC titled “Education, Empowerment and Effective Policies: Preventing Gender-Based Violence”  welcomed three experts and presentations of their innovative initiatives to prevent gender-based violence.

Setting the tone of the discussion, CEO Monika Froehler highlighted the urgency of the topic: Education, empowerment, and effective policies are key tools to prevent and eliminate gender-based violence. We must act now to create a long-term solution.” 

As the first intervention Humberto Carolo – Executive Director of White Ribbon Canada, shared his expertise on education for and inclusion of all, in particular men and boys, to address all forms of gender-based violence:  “Accountable, intersectional, human rights-based, feminist-informed primary prevention with men and boys is an important complementary approach to ending all forms of gender-based violence and discrimination. Men and boys have important roles to play as gender equality allies and change agents at the individual and systemic levels.  

Sabeeka Ahmad, BKMC Global Citizen Fellow, and Social Entrepreneur shared her expertise on women’s empowerment and the mission of her business. The Bahrain based social enterprise Warsha develops customized programs for survivors of violence and works with women in the long run especially on financial stability:  “We support survivors of GBV by listening to them. Only then we can design our intervention towards empowerment and recovery!” 

With regards to effective policies for #GBV, Kristina Lunz, Co-founder & Co-director of the Centre for Feminist Foreign Policy underlined how current ideas and concepts in the security and foreign policy sector are based on an idea of dominating other states and individuals. She claimed: “Domination always requires violence. Gender-based violence is an epidemic in our society – we will only be able to overcome male violence against women once we have created a society based on equality. An end to violence is always grounded in mutual respect. “

 

 

Following the presentations, the audience was invited to join three virtual booths with each expert (Education, Empowerment, and Effective Policies) to engage in a brainstorming session and discuss innovative initiatives to prevent gender-based violence.  

The education booth led by Humberto emphasized the need for a multi-stakeholder approach against backlashes to women’s rights. Sabeeka engaged her participants in the discussion via an online survey, discussing the complementing elements to financial empowerment such as education, trained health services, women’s clubs, etc. 

Kristina encouraged attendees with a provoking question to think about how to drive change: “What makes you furious and angry about current policies for GBV? “ . Effective policies are only so effective when more women are part of the decision-making process, all people are educated on the issue, and multi-stakeholders recognize and raise awareness on GBV. 

Women’s Empowerment for Latin America

The Ban Ki-moon Centre is excited to soon start a new Women’s Empowerment Program catering to young dedicated women from Latin America. The program will be implemented together with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and with the generous support of the State of Qatar.

 The 11th President of the Republic of Austria and BKMC Co-chair Heinz Fischer and His Excellency Sultan bin Salmeen Al Mansouri, the Permanent Representative of the State of Qatar to the UN in Vienna showed their dedication to this innovative program through contributing key remarks on the initiation of the Women’s Empowerment Program (WEP) for Latin America during an online meeting on 13 May 2020. UNODC was represented by John Brandolino, Director of the Division for Treaty Affairs and Marco Teixeira, Senior Programme Officer of the Global Programme for the Implementation of the Doha Declaration and was moderated by Lulua Assad.
 “We are encouraged to see us joining forces for this tailor-made Women Empowerment Program.  Especially in challenging times like these, it becomes evident how necessary it is to continue our work to strengthen multilateralism, justice, rule of law and build partnerships that contribute to achieving the SDGs.”, emphasized Heinz Fischer Co-chair of the Ban Ki-moon Centre.
  During the virtual exchange, the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens CEO Monika Froehler presented some of the details of our future collaboration which will be part of the Education for Justice (E4J) initiative, a component of the Global Programme for the Implementation of the Doha Declaration. The Program will focus on training and equipping 20 young, dedicated women from Latin American countries with the skill-set to act as SDG leaders within their fields of work. While all of the 17 SDGs provide the framework for the programme, its focus will be on SDGs 4,5,16 and 17. It will start with a period of online learning, followed by 2-week in-person training in Vienna and will conclude with the implementation of SGD Micro-projects by the participants in their local contexts.  The WEP for Latin America will be the Ban Ki-moon Centre’s first initiative for that region. Taking the first step in this strategic partnership with UNODC, we are looking forward to the opportunity to transform education policy into action with the distinguished support of the State of Qatar.  Please stay tuned for more information on the program.

CEO Monika Froehler speaks at UNODC Education for the Rule of Law: Advancing Engagement on Human Rights Conference

“Education in human rights and rule of law is wise investments for equipping future generations with a compass to navigate in an increasingly complex world,”
Yesterday, Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens CEO Monika Froehler attended and spoke at UNODC’s Education for the Rule of Law: Advancing Engagement on Human Rights event that took place in United Nations Headquarter in Geneva. This event was co-hosted by UNODC and the Permanent Mission of the State of Qatar to the UN in Geneva. Its aim was to explore the inter-linkages between human rights and the rule of law education and, particularly, to highlight the importance of empowering the next generation to uphold the rule of law and human rights. CEO Froehler stressed the role of Education for Justice (E4J) in achieving the SDGs and promoting human rights. She said,
“there is a firm correlation between rule of law, human rights, education and the SDGs. It has been proven that those countries on track to achieve the Global Goals have all these in place. Their attainment is key.”
Stellar speakers who joined the event are: H.E. Ali Al-Mansouri, Ambassador and Permanent Rep of the State of Qatar to the UN Geneva

“Doha Declaration was established to prevent crime and uphold rule of law. This promotes justice for each and every person and encourages building institutions to benefit all.”

  Mr. John Brandolino, Director of the Division for treaty Affairs at UNODC

“Respect for one cannot exist without respect for the other. Educating youth on justice must consider the various dimensions of human rights that are intrinsic therein.”

  H.E. Major-General Dr. Abdullah Al-Mal, Legal Advisor to the PM and Minister of Interior of the State of Qatar

“Supporting and promoting the rule of law cannot be achieved without protecting human rights. Therefore, it’s critical that we look more at strengthening education around human rights.”

  Dr. Najat Maalia M’jid, Special Rep of the Secretary-General on Violence Against Children

“Through education, we empower children and youth, including the most vulnerable, to leave no one behind…Nothing for them without them!”

Addressing education and preventing violence against children, she added, “when youth are provided with tools to reach their full potential they will be driving forces towards promoting a culture of lawfulness and achieving the SDGs.”

  Mr. Ibrahim Salama, Chief of the Human Rights Treaties Branch at OHCHR

“If there is one single thing which links all changes, it’s education. If you speak about education and the role of law, you’re essentially speaking about human rights.”

  Dr. Koumbou Boly Barry, Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education

“It’s fundamental that human rights is integrated into education. If we want to change the world, we need to invest in education, which is free, quality and inclusive.”

  Ms. Damaris Akhigbe, Education for Justice (E4J) Youth Champion

“Youth are tired of the way things are. We are now the drivers of change. We’ve seen it with Malala. We’ve seen it with Greta. Change is here.”

“Youth are ready to act for rule of law. Education for Justice provides the necessary platform to make world more peaceful, just and inclusive and implement the UN Youth Strategy and human Rights.”

  Mr. Marco Teixeira, Global Coordinator for Global Programme for the implementation of the Doha Declaration at UNODC

“In Education for Justice, we work with young people. This is essential as they are agents of positive change.”

“Rule of law and promotion of human rights are very closely related. Education youth on rule of law issues has a direct bearing on building a next generation that will stand up for human rights.”

© UNODC  

BKMC CEO Monika Froehler stresses the importance of GCED and E4J at the UNODC Conference

The Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens team and the Women’s Empowerment Program Asia (WEP Asia) fellows participated in the International High-Level Conference “Educating for the rule of law: Inspire. Change. Together.” hosted by UNODC’s Doha Declaration Global Programme in Vienna, Austria on October 7th, 2019. BKMC CEO Monika Froehler participated in Session II “‘Talking’ rule of law & ‘building bridges’: comprehensive approaches to building a culture of lawfulness and also moderated Session III “Creative approaches to strengthening the rule of law through education: good practices from around the world.”
“Education for justice should be taught at all levels,” said Froehler at the Session II.
She introduced existing initiatives and best practices of education for justice (E4J) such as UNESCO publications, UNESCO APCEIU’s GCED Online Campus, SDG Academy’s edX, OSCE, UNODC’s Education for Justice, and more. She said that different forms and tools of education that are effective should be adapted and utilized.
She said, “education on Global Citizenship and the SDGs is the key” and “what is spent for weapons should rather be spent for education.”
As Froehler introduced the WEP Asia fellows to the crowd, she emphasized that youth empowerment is crucial and also that
“we need to focus on ladies and girls, and we need to educate them to be part of the movement, change, and these initiatives.”
Patricia Colchero, Coordinator of Research and Studies at the National System for the Integral Protection of Children and Adolescents of Mexico, said that
“we need to respect educators and youth, and rules should be applied fairly.”
She also emphasized that emotional skills should be taught and developed along with the traditional education on knowledge. Yoshimitsu Yamauchi, Assistant Vice-Minister of Justice of Japan, said that general education taught in a family also contributes to the overall development of society. Sharing collaborative examples between the educational sector and the justice sector, he stressed the importance of mutual understanding, involving the private sector, treating the rules equally, and seeing what is behind the constitution. Salem Al-Ali, Assistant Secretary-General of the Prevention Sector at the Kuwait Anti-Corruption Authority, also emphasized on the importance of youth engagement:
“education policy should be extended all the way to youth and young generation so that they can fight corruption.”
During Session III, best practices and challenges of education for justice in Brazil, Macedonia, Qatar, and Nigeria were presented. Aly Jetha, President and CEO of a cartoon company Big Bad Boo Studios, shared his company’s efforts in utilizing cartoons to educate children for justice and to teach them a global citizenship mindset. The audience also actively involved themselves in the discussion and shared various perspectives. A representative from Ukraine said that informal education that comes from communications and/or home brings values that cannot be learned but can only be earned through one’s engagements and soul. The Ambassador for Nigeria spoke about the existing language barrier for education, stressing the importance of providing access to education for all. A youth representative from Thailand also said that people from diverse backgrounds should be able to feel that they are represented. As a closing remark, Dr. Zainab Bagudu, First Lady of Kebbi State of Nigeria, said that
“the world needs to invest in education now.”
The Conference successfully provided the international community with an opportunity to discuss ways and means to promote education for the rule of law through diversified and creative educational approaches and activities.
© BKMC / Eugenie Berger

WEP Asia fellows actively discuss on the topics of leadership and global issues at tailor-made training sessions

Since the program kicked off on September 30th, the global citizen fellows of the Women’s Empowerment Program Asia (WEP Asia) have actively participated in a number of tailor-made training sessions.
  • Pitching & Presenting – Skills and Capacity Training by Kate WALKER (Lecturer, University of Vienna; Independent Consultant)
  • “Taking urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts” by Reinhard STEURER (Associate Professor, Institute of Forest, Environmental and Natural Resource Policy, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences)
  • Leveraging Differences: Building Cross-Cultural Management and Leadership Capacity for Game Changers & Cosmopolitan Leadership for a Complex World by Andreas Sami PRAUHART (Leadership and Development Catalyst and Policy Advisor)
“Climate change is not about some species going extinct. It is about whether we will survive in the next 200 years,” Steurer said.
During the lecture, the fellows shared their own views on climate change, what needs to be done and beyond.
“One part of the negotiation is justice,” said Prauhart who taught the importance of building communication skills to reach mutually beneficial solutions.
Critical questions were raised such as:
  • “What would you do with an apple when two different parties want it?”
  • “How can we overcome the adaptive challenges that we face in our workplaces?”
During their visit to the United Nations Vienna, the WEP Asia fellows also listened to Director Martin Nesirky of the United Nations Information Service Vienna (UNIS) who shared the role of UNIS in giving service to different UN organizations, amplifying their work, and seeking partnerships with the private sector.
Christoph Bierwirth, Head of UNHCR Liaison Office to the OSCE and Vienna-based UN Agencies, and Marie-Claire Sowinetz from the UNHCR Austria also gave lectures on the work of the UNHCR, including its advocacy to raise awareness on refugee issues and to integrate refugees into society.
© BKMC / Eugenie Berger

WEP Asia fellows participate in a round table with women leaders

The Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global CItizens together with the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna hosted a Round Table: “Effective Women Leadership” for the Women’s Empowerment Program (WEP) Asia participants on October 2nd in Vienna, Austria. The event was moderated by BKMC CEO Monika Froehler and featured outstanding women leaders as panelists:
  • Lulua Asaad, Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Officer at UNODC
  • Selma Prodanovic, CEO and Founder of 1MillionStartups
  • Vera Strobachova Budway, Senior Coordination Advisor, Gender Section, OSCE
  • Helena Zimmerdahl, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Sweden in Vienna
The event provided a secured space where the fellows freely shared their personal stories, discussed various challenges they are facing, and received advice from the senior women leaders. Critical questions were raised such as
“What is a good/bad leader?” “How can we make men with closed mind listen to us?” “How can we overcome the challenges we are facing?”
          Prodanovic said that the WEP Asia fellows have already achieved so much and that it is important for them to reflect on what they have done to succeed and think about how to further amplify the efforts.
She said, “the fact that you ladies are here shows that you are among the top 1% that cares about women’s empowerment” and encouraged the group to “follow your inner voice, and do the right thing!”
Budway shared her motto and encouraged the aspiring young women leaders to be “open for new challenges. She said that one can become an expert in anything that she desires and is passionate about.
“Take risks; don’t be afraid. Step out of your comfort zone!” 
Zimmerdahl also reminded the young fellows that they don’t have to be good at everything. She continued, “Go easy on yourself. You are very capable but do not have to do it all” and encouraged the individuals to create their exit strategy and work on it.
“Even if you have chosen a path, if it does not make you feel comfortable, don’t be afraid to change this path.”
        Asaad said, “leadership is not only about leading but having an impact on society and on the people around us.” She also stressed that “leadership is also about being authentic and being true to oneself.”
She then added that “the network that we have as women and with women is so important as we are essential in promoting each other” but that “Gender equality is a responsibility for everyone: boys, men, girls, and women.”
In consequence of the round table, Froehler moderated a workshop during which the WEP Asia fellows came up with their own list of the most important elements for being a good woman leader. The group created a manifesto that consists of total 16 elements with which they will further develop their leadership skills and continue to make changes:
  • Let me be wrong in my way!
  • Lower your expectations.
  • Be vulnerable; Embrace yourself.
  • Dare to delegate.
  • Ask for help when needed.
  • Make small steps and celebrate small successes.
  • Change is not easy, but it was your choice.
  • Amplify; Speak for yourself.
  • Raise your voice even ignored or interrupted.
  • Amplify the voice of another woman.
  • Teach boys and men about gender equality.
  • Share inspirational stories about other women in other communities.
  • Read a book that inspires you.
  • Share what you find inspiring.
  • Find a mentor and a supporting system.
  • Get out of your comfort zone.
© BKMC / Eugenie Berger

BKMC CEO Monika Froehler speaks at the UNODC Conference on Education for Justice

On September 27th, the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens, Permanent Mission of The State of Qatar to the United Nations, and the UNODC’s Doha Declaration hosted a special event at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, US. Under the theme of “Synergies and Partnerships for Success: An Inclusive and Comprehensive Approach to Promote Education for Justice and Sustainable Development,” the gathered delegation discussed the role of partnerships and empowering children and youth through education.
The maintenance of peaceful and inclusive societies is at the core of Sustainable Development Goal 16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions), a mission to which UNODC has been committed for over two decades, and which entails imparting the fundamental basics of rule of law at every level of society and for children at every stage of their formal education. The latter is the sole purpose of the Education for Justice (E4J) initiative, a component of UNODC’s Global Programme for the Implementation of the Doha Declaration, whose resources on quality education in these and other matters, as defined in Sustainable Development Goal 4, have been helping strengthen young people’s resilience to crime and helping them form a positive sense of identity and belonging.   Introducing the session and the panellists, Ambassador Alya Al Thani, Permanent Representative of the State of Qatar to the United Nations, explained that
“the effective prevention of violence and the promotion of justice must look at youth as agents of positive change. If young people are to uphold the rule of law, then education can empower them to do so, especially if they have more knowledge about the complex issues related to crime, justice and violence.”
With the difficulties faced around the world to provide a formal education for many children, the availability and facility of use of E4J’s resources were considered to be a particularly strong factor for all the panellists. As observed by Monika Froehler, CEO of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens,
“teachers worldwide now have resources to draw on to teach the rule of law, thanks to UNODC and Qatar.”
Maria Maras, Associate Professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, fully agreed: “Education for Justice fills a critical need gap in education, by providing open-source materials on key issues.”  In applying these resources and the values they presented, panellists also made the important point that it was necessary to take a wide-angle lens view of the mission to spread lawfulness; all needed to understand that education concerned everyone, not just educators and students.
“We must empower communities to solve common challenges,” remarked Luis Carrilho, Police Advisor at United Nations Police, “because re-establishing peace and education are mutually reinforcing.”
This need to have a holistic approach was echoed by Alina Peter of the Grumeti Fund, as she stressed that “inclusive decision-making is key to promoting the rule of law, and for our conservation efforts.” The panel brought together the three important and intertwining topics of education, the rule of law and partnerships, and it also focused on the role of the younger generation in impacting its own future.
“The Doha Declaration is an innovative landmark, recognizing the power of youth to promote the rule of law,” said Major-General Abdullah Al Mal, Advisor to the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior of the State of Qatar. “That is why we are looking forward to continuing our excellent partnership and collaboration with UNODC in implementing the Doha Declaration.”
Concluding with a similarly positive outlook, Marco Teixeira, Senior Programme Officer and Global Programme Coordinator, noted:
“The synergies that we establish today are a fundamental part of E4J’s success in advancing the ambitious goals of our Global Programme. With our valued partners, we are committed to continuing promoting values of lawfulness, and to forming global citizens with a solid moral and ethical compass.”
At the conclusion of the 13th United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice held in Qatar, the Doha Declaration was adopted. Calling for the integration of crime prevention and criminal justice into the wider agenda of the United Nations, and endorsed by the General Assembly, the Doha Declaration has at its centre the understanding that the rule of law and sustainable development are interrelated and mutually reinforcing. Photos & Source: UNODC