Ban Ki-moon’s Speech at the International BAR Association (IBA) Conference

COEX Convention & Exhibition Center 513,

Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea

Sunday 22-27 September 2019

BAN KI-MOON

Opening Ceremony

Welcoming Remarks

 

The Honorable Mayor of Seoul, Park Won Soon,

Chair of IBA Seoul Conference Host Committee, The Hon. Song Sang Hyun,

President of International Bar Association, Horacio Bernardes Neto,

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

It is my great pleasure to welcome you all to the Opening Ceremony of the 2019 International Bar Association Annual Conference.

 

This is the first time that this huge gathering of esteemed international lawyers has gathered in Seoul. I am simply honored to have been invited to address such an important and influential group hailing from so many continents. I take this opportunity to applaud each of you for making the journey here, whether short or long, and I know some have been of considerable length.

 

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

Our world is presently in flux. It always is, but in recent times there has been a notable acceleration. Perhaps this is due to the fact that we live in an increasingly interconnected world, where what happens on one part of our planet is immediately known and occasionally felt in another part. Under this backdrop, unfortunately, and in a relatively short period, a shrinking of civil society has occurred and the rule of law of is being eroded.

 

Imagine what the world would look like without the rule of law: No independent media. No freedom to assemble and protest peacefully. No freedom to think individual ideas and articulate an opinion. No independent judiciary and no independent legal profession. Just imagine that for a moment.

 

This erosion is happening, gradually. You are the chief guardians of the rule of law, and, in this regard, must increase your unified efforts to stand firm in halting its erosion. As we all know, the rule of law promotes inclusive economic growth and builds accountable institutions that underpin global sustainable development. It protects individuals and businesses alike.

 

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

As the 8th Secretary-General of the United Nations, I am fully aware of the IBA’s rich history and its founding principles. Now, I would like to briefly remind you of the establishment of the UN in 1945, the IBA in 1947, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. Each were the product of like-minded individuals determined, through passion, compassion, integrity, and a guiding sense of justice to carve out a better world for our future generations. What these key institutions have in common is that they were all developed by diverse representatives with different legal and cultural backgrounds hailing from all regions of the world.

 

As the IBA matches the UN in both structure and ambition, I believe this makes it easier to talk to you because the issues that are important to the UN are also critical to the IBA. From such topics as climate change, poverty eradication, cultural diversity, and the promotion of human rights, mental health, and gender equality; it is clear that there is much work to be done, with new challenges always emerging. However, I firmly believe that each of you will contribute in some way towards what is required in these areas. Indeed, we should be reminded of an old proverb that says, ‘It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.’

 

In this respect, the work of the IBA relating to business and human rights, gender equality, and climate change, as well as promoting justice and upholding the principle of accountability are all illuminated candles, and they are lit in alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

 

In addition, I feel particularly connected to the IBA in other ways too, knowing that Mary Robinson, Chair of The Elders, of which I am a Deputy Chair, and the late Nelson Mandela, Founder of The Elders, both have longstanding links to the substantive work of the IBA. Mary Robinson is working on climate justice and Nelson Mandela was the Founding Honorary President of the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute.

 

Before concluding my remarks, I would like to emphasize that an independent legal profession and judiciary are the cornerstone of functioning democracies, and that as much as possible needs to be done to safeguard them.

 

Thanks to your active participation, I am confident that this conference will be crowned with great success. Please allow me to finish by quoting the late Dr Martin Luther King who once said; ‘Injustice anywhere, is a threat to justice everywhere.’

 

Thank you very much for your attention.

Mentorship Program for Young Muslim Austrian Women in Cooperation with Muslim Youth Austria (MJÖ)

On January 16th, the Ban Ki-moon Centre met with members of Muslim Youth Austria (MJÖ), Melisa Boskovic and Nesrin El-Isa, to discuss an upcoming joint project for the empowerment of young Muslim Austrian women.

 

Together, the Ban Ki-moon Centre and MJÖ are collaborating on a mentorship program which will be launched in March this year.

 

Forming personal relationships with established women working in Austria can be especially useful to women coming from a background where they may face discrimination, both in the workplace and in daily life. By pairing young Muslim Austrian women (mentees) with Austrian and international female partners (mentors), the mentorship program will offer the valuable chance to foster interaction, build networks, and to learn from experienced working women in Austria. This will help mentees to grow professionally and personally and will empower them to achieve success in their own careers.

 

The Ban Ki-moon Centre is supporting the project by helping with the planning, providing mentors, hosting a launch event, and facilitating workshops throughout the period of mentoring.

The theme of the mentorship program is “Global Citizens at Work” and will emphasize the importance a maintaining a global perspective both as a worker and as a citizen of the world. In addition to mentoring sessions, the pairs will be encouraged to complete one small project/activity together during the period of mentorship that fits into the framework of “Global Citizenship.”

For more information on the mentoring program, please follow the link to the website of Muslim Youth Austria below.

Stay tuned for more updates on this exciting project!

https://www.mjoe.at/mentoring2019/

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

 

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 emphasizes on the importance of achieving peace through the sports

“Never in the past in my life have I seen together with all the people around the world, such excitement and hope that soon there will be peace and security, and even reunification on the Korean peninsula. That is the moment we witnessed the power of sports. Power of sports. Both South and North have been really trying to reconcile during last at least 3-4 decades, but during last February, we have really seen some moment of truth that one day soon, hopefully, that we will be able to reconcile and promote much better understanding and even reunify the Korean peninsula,” said Ban Ki-moon at the Olympism in Action Forum in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

As Chair of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Ethics Commission, the Centre’s Co-chair Ban discussed the importance of achieving peace and the global goals through sports on the topic of the power of the Olympic truce with Journalist Sonali Prasad.

Dating back to 776 BC and the Ancient Olympic Games, the Olympic Truce was announced before the Olympic Games. The Olympic Truce was revived by the United Nations in 1993. Even under the most tense and volatile of circumstances, the Olympic Truce reaffirms that the Olympic values of peace, solidarity and respect are important across the world. Taking the most recent inspiring example of the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, Ban Ki-moon praised that the two Koreas and the IOC are working towards unity and that the values of Olympism have the power to unite a fractured world.

Co-chair Ban also emphasized on the importance of youth empowerment as “now more than half of the global population is under the age of 24. That means this world is much much younger … there are many young people whose opportunities are not given properly.” As many young people have already taken leadership roles today, Co-chair Ban mentioned that it is just a matter of empowering them and supporting what they have done as the youth are “equally qualified and equally intelligent.”

He said that there are still people suffering from hardships and discrimination due to their given circumstances:

“What is important at this time with all trans-formative development of technology and science and communication is only natural that we should be living in a world better for all, but there are still many people who are suffering from poverty, suffering from discrimination because of sex or because of social and economic status, because of ethnicities, etc.”

Watch the full conversation here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FryWFa0VRuQ
Source: https://www.olympic.org/olympism-in-action/the-power-of-the-olympic-truce

 

Premiere of “Not Our Fate” – European Forum Alpbach 2018

This past August at European Forum Alpbach in Austria, Nour Barakeh premiered her theatre piece “Not Our Fate,” a powerful play about the societal dynamics that perpetuate conflict and the pursuit of peace. Ban Ki-moon Centre Co-chairs Ban Ki-moon and Heinz Fischer as well as Board members joined the audience at the premiere.

Barakeh is a young playwright who has experienced life as a refugee firsthand. To create the play, Barakeh conducted interviews in her native Syria, gathering firsthand accounts of life during war and the stages of mutual accusation, estrangement, and finally, shared awareness. The characters in the piece are portrayed by youth of different nationalities and backgrounds, underscoring the universality of the topic.

The play opens with Doaa, a character portrayed by Doaa Al Zamel, real-life subject of the book “A Hope More Powerful than the Sea: One Refugees’s Incredible Story of Love, Loss, and Survival” by Melissa Flemming. In the play, Doaa speaks about her experience of war, loss, and of her survival.

After Doaa, other characters share their stories and slowly begin pointing fingers at one another, blaming others for their fates. This climaxes in anger and accusations coming from all sides. Suddenly, the room falls silent and the characters turn their backs on one another.

Zina, portrayed by Barakeh, seeks to mediate by explaining the circumstances that led to their current plight, calling for cooperation and understanding. Slowly, the actors turn one by one to face one another, taking hands. This final symbol of unity and peace is profound and moving.

When asked about her experience premiering the play in Alpbach, Barakeh stated,

“’Not Our Fate’ is a real revelation from the heart and a rational analysis seeking methods to build peace among youth in conflict situations. Together with my colleagues from different continents we worked and represented diversity at European Forum Alpbach 2018.”

Having former Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and former Federal President of Austria Heinz Fischer in the audience was particularly meaningful for Barakeh,

“As the Syrian problem symbolizes our world’s interrelated problems, I was honored to perform this piece in front of the man who looked at the core of our interrelated problems and said, ‘leave no on behind.’ Dr. Ban Ki-moon and former Austrian President Dr. Heinz Fischer honored us with their presence.”

 

To learn more about the play, check out the video produced by the ORF Akademie 18’ at European Forum Alpbach (German).

Photo by Laurent Ziegler / European Forum Alpbach

The Ban Ki-moon Centre signs MoU with IACA

During European Forum Alpbach 2018, the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens (BKMC) and the International Anti-Corruption Academy (IACA) signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Sunday, August 26, 2018.

The MoU was signed by BKMC Co-chairs Ban Ki-moon and Heinz Fischer and Martin Kreutner, Dean and Executive Secretary of IACA. Upon the agreement, both parties will cooperate to provide a framework to fight against corruption and work together for empowering women and youth towards the fulfillment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

BKMC Co-chair Ban commented:

“Educating global citizens to help make the world safer and more sustainable for current and future generations is a vital part of the Centre’s mission. I am confident that our new partnership with IACA, a global hub for anti-corruption education, will make an important contribution in this regard.”

BKMC Co-chair Fischer continued:

“Major global challenges such as corruption require us all to work together to seek solutions. Today’s agreement, between two Austria-based organizations with a shared global outlook, represents a significant further commitment to this inclusive approach.”

IACA Dean/Executive Secretary Kreutner concluded:

“Investing in anti-corruption education and empowerment is essential if we are to realize the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. IACA is extremely pleased to be joining forces with the Ban Ki-moon Centre, and we look forward to working together to prevent and fight corruption across the globe.”

Source: https://www.iaca.int/1088-iaca-and-ban-ki-moon-centre-join-forces-against-corruption.html

 

BKM Centre Board members featured at breakout sessions during EFA 2018

Some of the Board members of the Ban Ki-moon Centre were featured with other world leaders and experts at different breakout sessions of the political symposium during European Forum Alpbach 2018 on August 26, 2018.

A session co-hosted by the Centre and Austrian Development Agency (ADA) had a discussion focused on “Women and Youth Empowerment – the Sustainable Development Goals in Practice.” The featured panelists were:

  • Márcia Balisciano, Director of Corporate Responsibility, RELX Group in London
  • Michael Sheldrick, Global Director of Policy and Advocacy, Global Poverty Project, Global Citizen in New York
  • Karin Kneissl, Austrian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Österreichisches Außenministerium
  • Martin Ledolter, Managing Director, ADA
  • Nour Barakeh, a youth representative

Other youth representatives including a Syrian refugee, Doaa Al Zamel, also presented their thoughts during the panel discussion. The panelists listened to their concerns and ideas regarding various social issues and proactively shared their expertise.

The live-streamed videos of this session can be found on the Centre’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Another breakout session was hosted by Bertelsmann Stiftung and Environment Agency Austria with the topic on “Implementing the SDGs: the challenges countries face and the solutions they offer.” During this session, BKM Centre Co-chair Ban Ki-moon gave comments and the featured panelists were:

  • Aart Jan De Geus, Chairman and CEO, Bertelsmann Stiftung in Gütersloh
  • Christian Kroll, Senior Expert, Bertelsmann Stiftung in Gütersloh
  • Susan Myers, Senior Vice President, UN Foundation in New York
  • Monika Mörth, Managing Director, Environment Agency Austria in Vienna
  • Herbert Ritsch, Director of Business Ethics, Bankhaus Schelhammer & Schattera AG in Vienna
  • Jeffrey Sachs, Director of SDSN and the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University, Professor of Economics; Special Adviser to the UNSG on SDGs; Bestselling Author; Syndicated Columnist based in New York

 

 

Women Mediators Networks: Connecting for Inclusive Peace-making

As regional women mediator networks have emerged around the world, the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Norwegian Centre for Conflict Resolution, and the Peace Research Institute Oslo organized a meeting with these networks from Africa, Mediterranean Sea, ASEAN and different regions of the world in Oslo, Norway in March 2018.

The Ban Ki-moon Centre participated and learnt from the expertise of the OSCE, the EU, the UN DPA Mediation Support Unit and many others. The meeting was to discuss cooperation and the possible establishment of a global alliance of women mediators. Now a video on the importance of building a global network said by the women mediators is available online.

“If we connect all the mediating networks, we can pull resources; we can exchange best practices; we can reinforce each other.”

  • Magda Zenon, Mediterranean Women Mediators Network (MWMN)

“All of us are different levels of development, different levels of violence, and different levels of peace. Women have been working in isolation for a number of years, but now we are realizing that we should be working together. And having a network like this brings together the women from all works of life on the continent to bring about peace and security, and stability.”

  • Stella Sabiiti, FemWise-Africa

“I think the networks that have been created over the last few years are incredibly important, and the reason is that they are linking together with each other, they are sharing good practice and experience, but also they are building a movement. And that is about insuring that mediators and member states know that women have this experience. They have this impact, and we need to look at their access to this process.”

  • Nahla Valji, Senior Gender Advisor Executive Office of UN SG

“[It is important] that different networks know about each other and that you can use women from across the globe in different mediation efforts.”

  • Hilde Salvesen, Nordic Women Mediators

Source: https://spaces.hightail.com/space/WY5vWfNKYS/files/fi-0a8250db-ee49-43a4-8c04-f187a56fcda2/fv-fd4d1fcb-6caf-4ebb-82c4-be119ec41e1d/0610_Noref1_v6.mp4

Ban Ki-moon Stressed the Importance of Collaboration and Reaching Gender Equality and Global Citizenship at PAS 2018

PATA Annual Summit 2018 (PAS 2018) took place in Gangneung, Republic of Korea on May 17-20, 2018 under the theme “Building Bridges, Connecting People: How Collaboration Creates Opportunities.” As PATA stands for Pacific Asia Travel Association, the association hold the 4-day international summit in the field of tourism with 372 delegates from 182 organizations.

“The PATA Annual Summit is a unique opportunity for us to highlight the issues that are affecting our industry, and for our delegates from both the public and private sector to come together to addresses the challenges and opportunities facing our various organisations,” said PATA CEO Dr. Mario Hardy.

During the one-day conference on May 18, Ban Ki-moon gave a special keynote through which he emphasized the importance of cooperation and collaboration in world’s most pressing issues and the significance of the tourism industry that also fosters multicultural understanding and empathy.

The session included an one-on-one interview by the BBC World News Presenter and Producer Sharanjit Leyl. During the interview, Ban showed his hope for the peaceful reunification of two Koreas and said that

“The US-North Korea Summit will make a good progress.”

He also stressed the importance of achieving greater gender equality and spreading awareness of global citizenship.

To achieve gender parity and women empowerment, Ban said he has been trying his best “to make sure that women are given equal opportunities if not more than men” as “considering the global population, there are more women in this world.” Furthermore, he urged world leaders not to erect wars but to “build the bridges and connect the people,” keeping the mindset of global citizenship.

Speech Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aMybkWDGMI8
Interview Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Fup2SjFdXs
Source: https://www.pata.org/h-e-ban-ki-moon-inspires-delegates-at-pata-annual-summit-2018/
Photo: E News Today