Mobilising to Advance the SDGs – A Joint Event and Interactive Panel

On March 3, the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens together with European Union Delegation in Vienna (Twitter: @euunvie), Joint SDG Fund (Twitter: @JointSDGFund), and The OPEC Fund for International Development (Twitter: @TheOPECFund) hosted a panel discussion on the successes and challenges of mobilising to advance the SDGs and the 2030 Agenda.

The event was opened by His Excellency Ambassador Stephan Klement, EU Ambassador and Head of Delegation of the European Union to the International Organisations in Vienna. Followed by the warm welcome from Deputy Head of Representation of the European Commission in Austria, Wolfgang Bogensberger.

Co-chair Heinz Fischer delivered opening remarks before the panel discussion. Sharing his personal experience of his presidency of the Republic of Austria, he emphasised the importance of cooperation to achieve the SDGs.

Co-chair Heinz Fischer went on to talk about the previous Millenium Development Goals and how the Sustainable Development Goals developed, integrating lessons learned from the MDGs. Co-chair Heinz Fischer did not hesitate to also mention the difficulties when it comes to the implementation of the SDGs.

“Even if the the SDGs might not be entirely perfect, they are currently the best instrument to indicate the diverse situations of each country and stress that each country must do its share to achieve a world in which peace and prosperity is a given, leaving no one behind.”

In subsequence, the panel discussion, moderated by Ms. Mona Khalil, provided more detail on how international institutions mobilise to advance the SDGs. The speakers included

  • Ms. Katrin Harvey, Chief Operating Officer, Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens
  • Mr. Gautam Babbar, Chief of Strategic Planning and Interagency Affairs, United Nations
  • Mr. Walid Mehalaine, Head, Grants and Technical Assistance Unit, OPEC Fund

It became evident, that the organizations concentrate on strategically investing their efforts and resources in projects and programs that promise the biggest impact to advance the SDGs. Nevertheless, the speakers highlighted that the impact of any project remains minimal if the commitment of national governments towards the SDGs is limited. The annual 2.5 trillion USD funding gap that continues to exist needs to be tackled through multilateral partnerships if the SDGs are to be achieved by 2030.

In the Q&A session, following the panel discussion, the audience showed through interactive and dynamic engagement that the SDGs are a priority issue, not only for international organizations but also for academia, the private sector and civil society actors.

We thank our partners for the fruitful cooperation that made this event a success!

BKMC CEO Monika Froehler meets with IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi

On February 18th, BKMC CEO Monika Froehler made an official visit to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) headquarters in Vienna and met with IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi.


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During this meeting, CEO Monika Froehler and Program Officer Julia Zimmerman briefed IAEA Director-General Rafael Grossi and his team on the works of BKMC and discussed potential avenues of cooperation, particularly related to education and the empowerment of women.
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© Dean Calma / IAEA

BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon visits Vienna to celebrate New Year’s Eve 2019

On December 30th, 2019, Co-chair of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens, Ban Ki-moon and his wife Madam Yoo Soon-taek arrived in Vienna, Austria to spend New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day in Vienna. He had a couple of personal engagements, and the highlight was attending Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra’s New Year’s Concert 2020. As a patron to Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Co-chair Ban Ki-moon has been attending this annual concert for the past years. This year, the concert took place in the Musikverein under the baton of Conductor Andris Nelsons.

On December 31st, Co-chair Ban Ki-moon and Madam Yoo Soon-taek met with an old friend of his, Mr. Karol Skornik, Advisor at International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and his daughter. Ban and Skornik became acquainted in 1962 during AmeriCorps VISTA. Both were selected as a delegate of their country to undertake a one-month sponsored tour to the USA and a meeting of then-President John F. Kennedy at the White House.

Concert photos: Hürriyet Daily News & Jeannette Handler

The Third Regional Preparatory Meeting for the GEEF 2020 Took Place at the Margins of the 4th Board Meeting

The third regional preparatory meeting for the upcoming Global Engagement and Empowerment Forum (GEEF) on Sustainable Development took place at the margins of the 4th Board meeting of the Ban Ki-moon Centre in Vienna on August 28th, 2019. Manager Gyeongseok Yang and Dr. Taein Park from the Ban Ki-moon Center for Sustainable Development of the Institute for Global Engagement and Empowerment (IGEE) at Yonsei University joined the Board meeting during which they had a presentation.

The presentation included the outcomes of the previous GEEFs and specific plans for plenary and parallel sessions as well as inviting speakers. Having the previous two preparatory meetings, the GEEF Secretariat together with the Ban Ki-moon Centre came to more concrete ideas and strategic logistics for the upcoming Forum. On behalf of the IGEE, Manager Yang expressed his deepest appreciation for the participation of the BKMC Board members in the previous Forums.

“The first two GEEFs could be successful thanks to the commitment and contribution of the Ban Ki-moon Centre Board members,” said Yang.

Following up on the presentation, the representatives from the IGEE came to the Ban Ki-moon Centre’s office and discussed further details of the objectives and logistics for the Forum with BKMC CEO Monika Froehler and Program Officer Julia Zimmerman. Under the theme of “Planet and Partnership,” GEEF 2020 will focus on some of the most pressing global challenges such as climate change, sustainable cities, youth activism, and more. The next regional preparatory meeting will be held at the margins of the UNGA meeting in September 2019 in New York, USA.

GEEF 2020 will be held on February 26-27th next year at Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea.

The 4th Board meeting of the Ban Ki-moon Centre takes place in Vienna

“Half of my heart lies in Vienna,”

said Co-chair Ban Ki-moon at the beginning of the 4th Board meeting held on August 27-28th. Following the first Board meeting hosted in Seoul, the second in Alpbach, and the third in Kuwait, the fourth was hosted at the City Hall of Vienna in Austria.

Mayor of Vienna Michael Ludwig welcomed the BKMC Board members and expressed his appreciation for having the Ban Ki-moon Centre based in Vienna as well as its contributions to the city’s development in the field of multilateralism and its leading role in international affairs.

The participants included:

  • Ban Ki-moon, BKMC Co-chair & 8th Secretary-General of the United Nations
  • Heinz Fischer, BKMC Co-chair & 11th President of Austria
  • Márcia Balisciano, Director of RELX Corporate Responsibility
  • Irina Bokova, Former Director-General of UNESCO
  • Maurice Lévy, Chairman of Publicis Groupe
  • Ed Futa, Former General-Secretary of Rotary International
  • Ambassador Kim Won-soo, former UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs
  • Ambassador Sadiq Marafi, Permanent Representative of Kuwait to the United Nations in Vienna
  • Andrea Pfanzelter, Senior Advisor of the KAICIID International Dialogue Centre
  • Michael Sheldrick, Co-founder and Vice President, Global Policy and Government Affairs at Global Citizen
  • Ambassador Shin Chae-hyun, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Korea to the United Nations in Vienna
  • Jean Todt, President of the FIA and United Nations Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Road Safety
  • Dimitri de Vreeze, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of DSM Netherlands
  • Monika Froehler, Chief Executive Officer of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens
  • Ambassador Choi Sung-ju, Ban Ki-moon Foundation for a Better Future

CEO Monika Froehler moderated the meeting, briefing the Board on the Centre’s past engagements and development. The Board discussed strategic methods for promoting the activities and projects of the Centre as well as effective ways to amplify the messages through the Centre’s various partnerships and affiliated offices. Ambassador Choi from the Ban Ki-moon Foundation for a Better Future based in Seoul also presented the Foundation’s vision and mission to the BKMC Board and discussed possible collaborations.

 

© BKMC & Eugenie Berger