BKMC celebrates the International Youth Day and urges all the young people in the world to act as global citizens!

Happy International Youth Day!

August 12th marks the international youth day, which was designated by the United Nations General Assembly in 1999 and serves as an annual celebration of the role of young women and men as essential partners in change, and an opportunity to raise awareness of challenges and problems facing the world’s youth.

This year’s theme of the day is “Transforming Education.”

There are currently 1.8 billion young people between the ages of 10 and 24 in the world. This is the largest youth population ever. However, more than half of all children and adolescents aged 6-14 lack basic reading and maths skills, despite the fact that the majority of them are attending school. This global learning crisis threatens to severely hamper progress towards the SDGs.

Co-chair Ban Ki-moon hopes that youth “can help widen respect for all people, expand care for our earth and its resources, and enhance the development of other young people through both education and guiding moral values.”

On this special day today, we should also ruminate upon what Co-chair Heinz Fischer urges young people to:
“Please challenge your leaders, your friends, your colleagues, and even yourselves. Inspire those around you to care about the world we share.”
Read more about the International Youth Day: https://www.un.org/en/events/youthday/
Photo: IGEE

2nd GEEF Preparatory Meeting Held at Yonsei University in Seoul

Last week, the Ban Ki-moon Centre hosted the second GEEF Preparatory Meeting in Seoul at Yonsei University. The Centre’s partners at the Institute for Global Engagement and Empowerment (IGEE) helped in preparing the meeting and led the discussions on the upcoming Forum.

GEEF 2020 will take place on February 26-27, 2020 in Seoul, South Korea. This year’s theme for the Forum will be “Planet and Partnership.”

The meeting at Yonsei brought together members of the Ban Ki-moon Centre, including Board member Ambassador Kim Won-soo along with the team at IGEE and a representative of the Yeosijae Future Consensus Institute in South Korea. Additionally, Al-Farabi University in Almaty, Kazakhstan and Bordeaux University in France joined remotely for the discussions.

During the meeting, the attendees discussed the proposed panel sessions as well as upcoming steps in organizing the Forum.

The Ban Ki-moon Centre looks forward to contributing meaningful sessions to the Forum and to engaging youth and women for the SDGs!

 

Our Present – Our Future: Forum on Global Citizenship and Youth Inclusion

Young people under the age of 30 accounts for over half of the world’s population. Connected to each other like never before, young people have the capacity to learn from one another’s contributions to the resilience of their communities, proposing innovative solutions, driving social progress and inspiring political change. They are also agents of change, mobilizing to advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to improve the lives of people and the health of the planet.

The Youth Forum on Global Citizenship and Youth Inclusion for the SDGs Peace and Security held at the CTBT Science & Technology Conference on June 24 emphasized yet again that multilateralism must include the younger generations to foster sustainable solutions to complex global challenges.

The Forum formed an integral part of the landmark conference. After welcome remarks by CTBTO’s Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo, Dr Heinz Fischer was asked to deliver a special address, encouraging the young audience to be changemakers:

Dear friends,

Dear next generation,

Unless we raise our eyes above the horizon and take action now, we are facing a climate catastrophe.

Unless we reduce inequalities between and within countries, and reduce nationalism and xenophobia, we will risk war.

So please challenge your leaders, your friends, your colleagues – and even yourselves.

Inspire those around you to care about the world we share.

We should not forget that you are not only the future, you are the present!

Monika Froehler, CEO of the Ban Ki-moon Centre, moderated an interactive panel discussion of young leaders who addressed the challenges they had faced to promote change and shared their insights about youth platforms that work to include young voices in the discussions.

The Forum encouraged active participation by the audience through an interactive online presentation. Through several surveys, the audience was able to share their opinion, make statements, ask questions, and tell a bit about themselves.

Find the results from the online presentation-survey here:

  

“Partnering with Young People for Prevention: Sustaining Peace and Addressing Violence, Crime and Corruption”

On June 12th, 2019, the 49th IPI Vienna Seminar took place at the Federal Ministry of Austria for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs (BMEIA) in Vienna, focusing on the role of young people as agents of peace and social change at the global, regional, national and local level.

Welcome remarks were delivered by Karin Proidl, Director of International Organizations at the BMEIA and Adam Lupel, Vice President of the International Peace Institute (IPI), who stressed the importance of cooperating with youth for addressing violence, crime and corruption and promoting peace.

“We need to give young people face from different levels and make their voices heard,” said BKMC CEO Monika Froehler at the first session on “The United Nations in Vienna: 40 years of Promoting Peace and Security.”

According to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), our world is home to 1.8 billion young people between the ages of 10 and 24, and the youth population is growing fastest in the poorest nations. Out of these, Froehler mentioned, “408 million young people live in conflict zones.” In addition, within this generation are 600 million adolescent girls with specific needs, challenges and aspirations for the future. Froehler rightly pointed out that gender inequality adds to the barrier for youth in participating in peace-building process, which is why empowering both women and young people is equally important.

“We cannot achieve sustainable peace if young generation is not included,” said Samuel Goda, Special Representative of the OSCE CiO Special Representatives on Youth and Security, at his keynote. As a youth representative, he stressed “young people need to have ownership” in tackling global issues.

A number of other youth representatives from different sectors spoke at the seminar, including Nour Barakeh who is Collaborator of SDG 5 Thrive! and Suad Mohamed who serves at the Austrian Red Cross and Diakonie Refugee Service.

Froehler introduced active youth activists such as the UN Youth Envoy as well as existing youth initiatives such as the United Network of Young Peacebuilders (UNOY) to support and partner with them. She also strongly recommended a book titled We are Here.

Learn more about the seminar: https://www.ipinst.org/…/IPI-Vienna-Seminar-2019_Agenda_Par…
Source: https://www.unfpa.org/sites/default/files/pub-pdf/EN-SWOP14-Report_FINAL-web.pdf
Outcome report and pictures: https://www.ipinst.org/2019/06/49th-ipi-vienna-seminar-partnering-with-young-people-for-prevention#3

Co-chair Ban Ki-moon Speaks at Global Citizen Festival in Berlin Calling for Climate Action

On Tuesday May 21st 2019, Ban Ki-moon Centre partner Global Citizen hosted GC Live Berlin, bringing together policy makers from around the world seeking to end extreme poverty and to support African Youth. Former UN Secretary-General and Centre Co-chair Ban Ki-Moon made particular impact through his participation and speech at the event resulting in large coverage across social media and media outlets.

At the event, Nigeria and Zambia made important commitments to water, sanitation, and nutrition. Co-chair Ban, World Bank Chief Executive Kristalina Georgieva, and German Federal Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development Gerd Müller all made powerful statements on the world’s most pressing issues associated with ending extreme poverty and addressing climate change.

Along with CEO Georgieva and Bill Gates, Co-chair Ban chairs the Global Commission on Adaptation focused on climate adaptation.

During his speech at GC live Berline, Co-chair Ban emphasized:

“Now is the moment to make our lives, our homes, and our communities climate friendly and climate ready.”

BKMC CEO Monika Froehler also attended the event in support of African Youth which underlined the idea of one generation, one future.

In addition to the commitments made by African countries, the government of Germany announced support for 60 million smallholder farmers globally to adapt to climate change.

The event followed weeks of campaigning by Global Citizens around the world. Global Citizens from Germany, South Africa, Nigeria, and 143 other countries took action in the lead-up to the event which earned them tickets to the concert. The event celebrated Africa Day, which takes place on May 25 and commemorates the founding of the Organisation of African Unity (now known as the African Union) on May 25, 1963.

Global Citizen Live Berlin was presented in partnership with Engagement Global, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Live Nation.

Source: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/global-citizen-live-berlin-global-citizens-artists-and-world-leaders-from-nigeria-zambia-germany-rwanda-and-ghana-took-unprecedented-action-on-ending-extreme-poverty-by-2030-300854704.html

Photo: Global Citizen

#GCLiveBerlin #EineGenerationEineZukunft #SDGs #GlobalCitizens

“Human beings sometimes forgive, but nature never forgives,” says Ban Ki-moon at Stanford

“Human beings sometimes forgive, but nature never forgives,” said Ban Ki-moon

as he was giving a speech on the topic of “Multilateralism in a Turbulent World” at Stanford University on April 19th, 2019.

“The world is going through pronounced changes,” he said, regarding the current state of climate change. Ban stressed that there needs to be more action taken to prevent and/or adapt to climate change, and the necessity of the global citizen responsibility — specifically that of the youth and women — is paramount.

“The challenges we face are simply too numerous to be left in the hands of a few leaders,” said Ban, encouraging the audience to act as global citizens.

He also expressed optimism about the Paris Agreement that was implemented at the end of his term and disappointment in the current US government’s decision to withdraw from it. Ban called for further collaboration between the US and China in addressing climate change.

Read more: https://bit.ly/2UQXxx9

Launch Event – Mentoring Project for Young Austrian Muslim Women

This week, the Ban Ki-moon Centre launched its project in partnership with Musllim Youth Austria (MJÖ), “Mentoring for Young Austrian Muslim Women – Global Citizens at work.”

At the launch, mentees and mentors were gathered for the first time in one place. To open the event, Ban Ki-moon Centre Co-chair Heinz Fischer delivered a welcome address emphasizing the need to empower women and to reduce inequalities, both between men and women and between different religions.

After the welcome, coach and speaker Daniela Reiter guided the mentors and mentees through ice-breaker activities and offered an overview of mentoring and the months ahead.

As a way of “formalizing” the partnership, mentees and mentors signed a contract and set goals for their time together. The mentoring period will go from April – September and the pairs are recommended to meet at least once per week. In October, there will be a closing event held at the House of Industry in Vienna where mentees will receive a certificate of completion.

The launch event closed with networking, allowing the mentees and mentors to mingle and to get to know one another.

In the months to come, the Ban Ki-moon Centre will host three skill-building workshops for the mentees on different subjects. One of the workshops will be on “Global Citizenship” and will be led by the Centre’s CEO, Monika Froehler.

As a part of the project, the mentoring pairs will also be asked to complete a small “Global Citizen Project” together. This project will encourage the pairs to take action together to give back to their community.

The Ban Ki-moon Centre is proud to partner with MJÖ on this project and looks forward to seeing the mentoring pairs grow and thrive!

 

 

 

 

Photos: Rached Bouguerra

BKMC welcomes all parties of the Austrian Parliament to discuss joint events for youth in Austria

Today, the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens welcomed representatives of all parties of the Austrian parliament (Österreichisches Parlament) to the Centre.

The visitors included Mr. Andreas Schieder, Mr. Hubert Koller, and Mr. Maximilian Unterrainer from SPOE, Mr. Werner Amon, Mr. Nikolaus Berlakovich, and Mr. Josef Lettenbichler from OEVP, Ms. Petra Wagner from FPOE, Ms. Stephanie Krisper from NEOS, and Ms. Alma Zadic from JETZT.

The Ban Ki-moon Centre’s CEO Monika Froehler introduced the mission and the work of the Centre to the delegation. The group discussed possible collaboration for joint events in the parliament regarding youth in Austria.

Symposium on “Empowering Women and Supporting Youth in Development and Global Citizenship”

Hosted by the Ministry of Planning and the MOFA
12th of February, 09:00 – 13:45
Location: Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Cultural Centre, Kuwait

Dear Co-chair President Heinz Fischer,

Your Excellency Mariam Al Aqeel, Minister of State for Economic Affairs,

Your Excellency Khaled Mahdi, Secretary General of the General Secretariat of the Supreme Council for Planning and Development,

Your Excellency Ambassador Sadiq Marafi,

Your Excellencies Ambassadors,

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Salam Alaikum!

First, I would like to thank the General Secretariat of the Supreme Council for Planning and Development and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for organizing today’s “Symposium on Empowering Women and Supporting Youth in Development and Global Citizenship”.

The title of this event truly embraces the fundamental vision and mission of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens.

The Ban Ki-moon Centre was founded one year ago as a quasi-international organization, dedicated to the empowerment of women and youth to strive as global citizens. Since then, it has been actively engaging with numerous partners and has gained the support of committed stakeholders and entities who all seek to make this world a better place for all.

Upon the generous invitation of the State of Kuwait, the Centre is currently holding its third Board Meeting in this beautiful country. Our Board is very thankful to receive the opportunity to gather here and chart the course of this young and thriving organization.

The past days have been filled with productive and intensive talks about the Centre’s achievements and about what lies ahead in 2019 and beyond.

We have had the unique chance to meet with the most respected leaders of this country and discuss further opportunities of cooperation between the Ban Ki-moon Centre and the State of Kuwait.

Furthermore, it has been a wonderful experience to dive into Kuwait’s extraordinary culture, traditions and heritage.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The work of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens is aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals. Their implementation is necessary to empower women and the youth to live in a world, in which all people can thrive as global citizens.

The 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals is one of the UN’s most significant achievements. It builds on the Millennium Development Goals and provides humanity, and our planet, with a collaborative blueprint to ensure the future we want.

Adopted by 193 countries in New York in September 2015, the SDGs offer us a way forward to confront the most critical issues of our time. These include poverty, education, inequality, climate change, public health, and gender equality.

Sustainability means ensuring prosperity and environmental protection without compromising future generations and our planet.

And it means that women and girls are afforded equal rights and equal opportunities.

Half the world are women and half the world are under the age of 25.

To achieve sustainable development, it requires the active participation of us all, especially of women and youth, those whose futures most depend on the realization of the goals.

During my time as UN Secretary-General I understood that young people and women are absolutely essential to solving so many of the world’s biggest challenges.

Indeed, without the engagement of women and youth, we will not succeed. That is why in 2010, I established UN Women and in 2013, I appointed first ever UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, Ahmad Alhendawi who is now a member of the Ban Ki-moon Centre.

So we must do more to engage and empower these two groups as they are the enablers to achieve sustainable development. By doing so, we can help unlock their unbridled potential as the agents of change and dynamic global citizens of tomorrow.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We have taken significant leaps forward in the field of global development in recent years. The international community, guided by the United Nations Millenium Goals and Sustainable Development Goals, has undoubtedly improved human welfare around the world.

Extreme poverty rates were cut by half in 2010. This represents over 1 billion people and is truly an incredible achievement. During this period, the under-five mortality rate has been halved and rates of maternal deaths have been reduced by 45 percent.

And since 1990, 2.1 billion people have benefited from access to improved sanitation and over 2.6 billion people now have improved sources of water.

But there is still much work to be done. Nearly 10 percent of the world’s workers and their families still live on less than $1.90 a day. Over 6 million children perish each year before they reach their fifth birthday.

And 663 million people remain without drinking water. This figure is in danger of worsening as a result of climate change-accelerated droughts.

Inequality is also growing, both between and within nations. Since 2000, 50 percent of the increase in global wealth has only benefitted the top 1% of the world’s population.

Even more jarring, a recent report indicated that just 42 rich individuals hold as much wealth as the 3.7 billion people who comprise the poorest 50% of the global population.

Challenges to the post-Second World War international order and our multilateral institutions are being felt in a variety of spheres.

Our world is going through pronounced changes and this is resulting in elevated uncertainties and new risks.

Tariffs and protectionism are threatening free trade, conflicts between the US and its traditional allies such as Canada are growing, and US trade wars with China and the EU are expanding.

Human rights are under threat as nationalism and xenophobia spreads. Development and humanitarian funds are being slashed. Our climate is changing, and this is bringing dire risks to our ailing planet.

At the same time, new technologies are altering how we communicate, live, and work. Sweeping advances in the fields of AI, blockchain, biotechnology, and robotics will alter the future of our countries, cities, businesses, and interpersonal relationships.

Under this backdrop of waning internationalism and dizzying change, we must continue to work together through expanded partnerships and cooperation. We must also forge ahead through a driving commitment to global citizenship to help cope with these seemingly insurmountable challenges.

At the same time we must acknowledge the progress that we have made in key areas and I am confident that we also have invaluable opportunities to change the world for the better.

Much of this progress is grounded in the power of partnerships and cooperation to achieve our development goals. And much of this hope is driven by my belief in education, youth empowerment, and action.

Young people are such a crucial part of the ultimate success of the United Nation’s efforts to ensure a more peaceful and sustainable world.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The 2030 Agenda promises to leave no one behind – and help the furthest behind first.

In a decade as Secretary-General, I have seen what is possible when we work together. The United Nations, governments and the private sector are collaborating more, with important results.

We will need to activate business as never before, and quickly. We need to spread the word far and wide that every business has a responsibility to improve our world.

Nearly every UN entity is partnering with companies to advance common objectives, from disaster relief and sanitation, to women’s empowerment and education.

This is why the third Session of today’s symposium about “The Role and Efforts of the Private Sector in Empowering Women and Supporting Youth in Development” is absolutely essential. I am looking forward to listening to the insights of Kuwait’s experts in this regard.

We have learned that the SDGs point the way toward the business activities and markets of the future.

Now is the time to mobilize the global business community as never before. The case is clear. Realizing the Sustainable Development Goals will improve the environment for doing good business and

building markets. Trillions of dollars in public and private funds are to be redirected towards the SDGs, creating huge opportunities for responsible companies to deliver solutions.

The SDGs are unprecedented in their ambition – but the fundamental ways that business can contribute remain unchanged. Companies need to do business responsibly and then pursue new opportunities. In short, companies must not make our world’s problems worse before they try to make them better.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Global citizenship is an important concept that can serve as a unique tool to help solve some of our most pressing challenges and assist us in reaching our global goals.

Global citizens are those who identify themselves not as a member of a nation, but instead, as a member of humanity more largely. They are understanding and tolerant of other people and cultures.

They fight for the protection of our planet and human rights. They are committed to service and helping others. They build bridges rather than construct walls. They look beyond the narrow prism of national and personal interests and work for a better world.

And to establish long-term solutions, we need inclusive and participatory action from young global citizens as an essential ingredient to leverage the great potential of partnerships that I spoke of earlier.

Let us act as Global Citizens. Let us look beyond national borders and empower each other to thrive in a peaceful and prosperous world. For the first time in history we can end poverty, for the first time in history we are all interconnected and have the knowledge of humankind at our fingertips. We have more tools at hand than ever

before. Particularly the young need to be given the right opportunities to build “their tomorrow.”

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Moving forward, to have a more secure world, we must base our growth on sustainability and equality. The foundation must be human rights and, as we continue to grow, we must remain resilient and open to change.

We all have the power as global citizens to be a part of insuring the sustainable development and progress of our communities, countries, and world. The SDGs are the pathway for our future and the roadmap for our continued success as human beings.

This Symposium is a platform for exchanging views, listening, and understanding opinions and the positions of others. This can lead to new ideas and the birth of new initiatives, collaborations, and successes.

Please allow me to conclude my remarks by saying that despite the challenges we currently face, if we join together in strong partnerships and move forward as global citizens, we can achieve our global goals and create a brighter future for all.

Shukran.

Thank you.

Symposium on “Empowering Women and Supporting Youth in Development and Global Citizenship”

Hosted by the Ministry of Planning and the MOFA
12th of February, 09:00 – 13:45
Location: Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Cultural Centre, Kuwait

Dear Ban Ki-moon,

Your Excellency Mariam Al-Aqeel, Minister of State and Foreign Affairs,

Your Excellency Khaled Mahdi, Secretary-General of the General Secretariat of the Supreme Council for Planning and Development,

Your Excellency Ambassador Sadiq Marafi,

Excellencies,

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

First of all, I want to say that it is a great pleasure and honour for the delegation of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens to be here in this wonderful country and to participate in the Symposium on “Empowering Women and Supporting Youth in Development and Global Citizenship”.

My first intensive contact to Kuwait was in 1981 when I accompanied Federal Chancellor Bruno Kreisky on his State visit to Kuwait.

I was able to visit Kuwait for a state visit exactly ten years ago, in February 2009, when I learned to appreciate the great hospitality from His Royal Highnesses Emir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.

I took away great memories from this visit.

Today’s Symposium about Empowering Women and Supporting Youth in Development and Global Citizenship clearly underscores the vision of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens.

Our work at the Centre seeks to empower women and youth to strive as global citizens in a peaceful and prosperous world.

This work cannot be done without a dedicated Board that serves as the backbone of our organization and of course our partners, such as the State of Kuwait, who support us and contribute to the resources that we need to be successful.

Leadership, mediation, advocacy, education, and also compassion are cornerstones and mechanisms that we have identified to be most valuable in the implementation of our goals.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Women represent 50% of the population globally. Nevertheless, the history of civilization is coined by the discrimination of women in various cultures and eras.

Women’s rights have been infringed and the burdens of life have been lying much heavier on women’s shoulders than on men’s.

In the 18th century, during the period of Enlightenment, Europe finally started to have serious discussions about women’s rights and equality.

The idea of universal fundamental and human rights based on human dignity and to be granted regardless of origin, race, sex or religion etc. was introduced to politics and incorporated in the goals of progressive movements and in the texts of modern constitutions.

Documents of the French Revolution and the Declaration of Independence of the United States of America did pioneer work in that regard.

The 20th century was characterized by movements towards the political equality of human beings.

In 1918 and 1919 Germany, Austria and other European countries introduced women’s active and passive right to vote.

In the aftermath of the Second World War, the Human Rights Declaration of the United Nations was passed in 1948 and the European Human Rights Convention followed five years later in 1953.

In the last 50 years the question of equal rights for women and men is less a legal question, but a question of practice and reality.

More and more legal regulations in politics, economy and society seek to decrease the gap between theoretical equality and practical discrimination of women.

A central initiative for that purpose are the Sustainable Development Goals, especially with Goal 5 for Gender Equality.

Global initiatives against the discrimination of women and for women’s empowerment bring people together to raise awareness.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

History shows that we have come a long way. We achieved a lot but there remains a lot that is to be done.

It is estimated that an alarming 1 in 3 women globally will suffer from violence during their lifetime. Violence against women continues to persist and to pose an extreme obstacle to their ability to live in dignity and to their general well-being.

In the political sphere, female heads of states or heads of government are somewhat present but continue to be a very rare minority.

We need more women in parliaments and as political leaders because politics concerns women as much as it concerns men.

To achieve full gender equality in our societies, politics must serve as an example: women belong in leadership positions because we cannot afford to forget the skills and competencies of the female half of our populations.

The economy also demonstrates various aspects in which women are disadvantaged.

In Europe, for instance, women’s salaries are up to one third less than men’s salaries. This must be adjusted and rectified. Fairness and equality mean that women’s work is valued just as much as men’s work.

Europe has made major progress in the field of education.

In the 50s, while I was studying, the percentage of female students was 20%. Then, in the 80s, when I served as the Austrian Minister for Science and Research, more than a third of all students were female.

Today, in Austria, women make up over 50% of all students and this also goes for many other European States.

Men have a clear advantage over women when it comes to university professor positions, showing the obstacles that women face to access leadership positions.

Women’s empowerment must also be regarded as a global issue and put into the bigger picture. It is a key to peace, to eliminating all forms of violence, and to enable families, communities, and nations to thrive

Today, it is particularly interesting to us that we shed light on the advancement of women’s empowerment in the State of Kuwait.

Preparing for this visit, I learned that when it comes to women’s empowerment in the region of the Gulf states and even the whole Middle East, Kuwait has an indeed pioneering role.

Women in Kuwait are amongst the most emancipated in the whole region.

Especially the last 50 years brought significant change for women in Kuwait. Women’s political rights are increasingly respected, giving us hope that we are on the right path.

The General Secretariat of the Supreme Council for Planning and Development of Kuwait is the entity in charge of the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and thus, also of Goal Number 5.

Under the directorship of Khaled A. Mahdi, the Secretariat has been keen on implementing the Global Goals.

Today’s Symposium on Empowering Women and Supporting Youth in Development and Global Citizenship reflects this commendable ambition and gives us the chance to discuss the steps that have been done already to make this world a more peaceful and prosperous place for all.

Thanks to you and your Secretariat, experts from around the world are gathered here today to exchange ideas and concrete action plans to implement the SDGs and promote the concept of Global Citizenship.

My deep appreciation also goes to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Kuwait H.E. Sheikh Sabah Al Khaled Al Ahmad Al Sabah who are generously hosting today’s third Board Meeting of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens.

Our good friend, his Excellency Ambassador Sadiq Marafi has been a committed and generous Board member of the Ban Ki-moon Centre right from the very beginning and is a great partner for all initiatives to foster women’s empowerment. We are very grateful for your support.

We are looking forward to intensifying our work with Kuwait and in particular with the General Secretariat of the Supreme Council for Planning and Development and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kuwait and to identifying further opportunities for cooperation.

Let us unite our efforts to reach the great and important goal, namely equal rights and chances for men and women globally in our present world.

Thank you very much.