“If we continue to hold back [women that is] a half of the world’s population, it is simply impossible to reach our full potential on the three UN pillars of peace and security, sustainable development, and human rights.”On January 21, Co-chair Ban Ki-moon visited the Cambridge Union and gave a keynote on “SDGs and Women,” followed by a Q&A session.
Co-chair Ban Ki-moon started off his address by reiterating the importance of multilateralism. According to him, multilateralism is the key to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals in the world where nationalism, armed conflicts, climate crisis, and corruption are still rampant.
“I believe that multilateralism much be the glue that binds our targeted efforts together.”
With respect to the fact that the progress of implementing the SDGs is indeed speeding up, Co-chair Ban also pointed out uneven rates of the implementation of the Global Goals across different regions. He boldly called for an “All Hands-on Deck” approach. Co-chair Ban furthermore stressed the importance of women’s empowerment of their active participation in achieving the SDGs. He said,
“We need to move forward with a sense of urgency with 10 years left to go.”
“The Empowerment of women is a prerequisite to global responses to global challenges, which are inherently interconnected.”As a concluding remark, Co-chair Ban encouraged the Cambridge students to take a role as an active global citizen in coping with global challenges, think beyond national boundaries, and harness a global vision to achieve a better future for our planet and for humanity. He said,
“We can create the future we want, one that is anchored in sustainability, inclusion, and empowerment for all people and our planet. But we must remember that the challenges we face are simply too enormous to be left in the hands of a few leaders. All of us have to work together in solidarity.”The Cambridge Union Society is the oldest debating society in the world and has been defending free speech since its start in 1815. Watch the full video. © Nordin Ćatić / Cambridge Union
“Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences will remain as a partner for the SDGs.”Lastly, the Ban Ki-moon Centre CEO Monika Froehler said,
“Never say what you cannot do, say what you can do and will do.”She also thanked BKMC Program Officer Viola Christian for her endeavors and efforts to put together this amazing program. On behalf of all the WEP GCC fellows, Nourah Aloseimi from Kuwait delivered remarks and expressed gratitude for such inspiring and meaningful opportunities the Ban Ki-moon Centre has provided together with Diplomatic Academy of Vienna. Before the graduation, the WEP GCC fellows presented about their My SDG Micro-Project proposals, which they will implement in their own communities after the completion of their trainings. Visit BKMC gallery for more photos. © BKMC / Eugenie Berger
“I don’t want you to lower your expectation, but I want you to lower your self-criticism.” – Helena Zimmerdahl from the Embassy of SwedenWomen’s Empowerment Program (WEP) is in its full swing! As a part of BKMC’s Women’s Empowerment Program, WEP GCC fellows participated in a Round Table hosted in Diplomatic Academy of Vienna on November 19. At this Round Table, Susanne Keppler-Schlesinger, Deputy Director of the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna, featured as a moderator at the Round Table. Speakers were: Lulua Asaad from UNODC, Maggie Childs from Metropole and Austrian Startups, Mona Ali Khalil from MAK Law International, and Helena Zimmerdahl from the Embassy of Sweden to Austria. Lulua Asaad asked the fellows a critical question: “What does leadership mean to you?”
She also added that leadership is not about a position one is in, but responsibility leaders are capable of taking in their world. Regarding women’s empowerment, Mona Ali Khalil said,
“It is important to have support from women within your network, while not neglecting the role of men.”
As an international lawyer, she stressed that gender parity policies should be actual actions rather than lip service and should effectively address sexual harassment/sexual discrimination issues that still exist everywhere across the sectors. Minister-Counselor Helena Zimmerdahl pinpointed ‘transparency’ as an important trait of a good leader and said we must “speak up” for ourselves to make our voices heard. Zimmerdahl also advised the fellows to
“Empowerment of women requires men who are enlightened and women who are willing empower each other.”
Maggie Childs emphasized the need for getting help from mentors, friends and other experts when necessary and said,
“look at yourself and your accomplishments from the outside” in order to empower themselves.
A follow-up workshop was facilitated by WEP Project Coordinator Viola Christian from the Ban Ki-moon Centre. The fellows were grouped into 5 and discussed advice and points made from the Round Table, which they created their own manifesto with. © BKMC / Eugenie Berger For more photos of the event, visit BKMC album.
“You don’t have to know everything before you do it… It is lonely at the top. You need to have your private space and friends who just listen to you. Having those friends would make you feel less lonely.”
“More than ever does the world need young female leaders like yourself to advocate for a sustainable future with a fresh and innovative mind,” said Co-chair Ban Ki-moon in his video message.Together with the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna, the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens hosted a welcome reception for the fellows of the Women’s Empowerment Program GCC on November 11th, 2019.
Co-chair Heinz Fischer warmly welcomed the crowd and briefly introduced the history of Austria as a former President of Austria, and BKMC CEO Monika Froehler and Deputy Director Susanne Keppler-Schlesinger of the Diplomatic Academy also delivered remarks on the first day of the program.
“You will shine, and you will empower others to shine with you!” – CEO Monika Froehler
“In these two weeks, you will further develop your skill-set to make sustainable development happen and to empower women globally,” said Monika Froehler during her welcome remarks.H.E. Ambassador Marafi from the Embassy of Kuwait participated in the welcome reception to welcome and congratulate all the selected fellows from GCC regions. 20 aspiring fellows of WEP GCC gathered from Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. They will be participating in a 2-week tailor-made program to advance their global potential to promote the Sustainable Development Goals and foster women’s empowerment. Watch a video diary of WEP GCC’s first day!
“Change-makers, motivation, and peace. Everything you just said are the definitions of global citizens,” said BKMC CEO Monika Froehler.The Women’s Empowerment Program fellows participated in an active workshop moderated by CEO Froehler at the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens office on October 1st, 2019. The group actively discussed the meaning of global citizenship, what are their favorite SDGs, and what they could do to achieve the Goals. Co-chair Heinz Fischer also shared the history of women’s empowerment and what was the role of women in the development of the Austrian and European society.
“Today’s program was so useful for us because we found the SDGs and the connections between these Goals, and we could feel empowered to develop these Goals.” – Sohaila Rezaee from Afghanistan 🇦🇫
“The workshop today was very practical. It taught me skills in how to give my ideas in a structured and organized manner.” – Soo Min Jun from South Korea 🇰🇷
“I learned a lot about global citizenship, what it is to be a global citizen, and we had a lot of fun activities related to the SDGs. It is a very good opportunity to take time to talk about each one of them.” – Catherine Harry from Cambodia 🇰🇭
“I was worried that I felt far from the terms such as SDGs, Global Citizenship, and female leaders, but after this session, I found these terms to be fairly relatable to each one of us, to our countries and to our communities.” – Delgermaa Antangerel from Mongolia 🇲🇳
“More than ever does the world need young female leaders like yourself to advocate for a sustainable future with a fresh and innovative mind,” said Co-chair Ban Ki-moon in his video message.Among the participants were BKMC Board member Ambassador Shin Chae-hyun of the Embassy of South Korea in Vienna, Ambassador Khojesta Fana Ebrahimkhel of the Embassy of Afghanistan in Vienna, and Director Martin Nesirky of the United Nations Information Service. Watch Ban Ki-moon’s message: