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.

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/

Visits of international delegates to the Centre

Since the new year 2019 begun, the Centre has welcomed a number of delegates from different countries and entities. On January 30th, Ambassador Dmitry E. Lyubinskiy of the Russian Embassy in Vienna visited the Centre to have a meeting with Co-chair Heinz Fischer.

On the following day, Ambassador Leena Alhadid and Third Secretary Sami Samawi of the Jordanian Embassy in Vienna visited the Centre for a meeting with BKMC CEO Monika Froehler.

On February 1st, former Chancellor of Austria Wolfgang Schüssel visited the Centre to discuss about youth empowerment with Co-chair Heinz Fischer and CEO Monika Froehler.

On the same day, Director Sybille Straubinger of Vienna Institute for International Dialogue and Cooperation (VIDC) also came to the Centre to discuss the importance of international cooperation through mutual communications and exchanges.

 

The Ban Ki-moon Centre Hosts Workshop on “The Global Citizen Mindset” at JCI World Congress in Goa, India

On November 1st, 2018, the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens hosted a workshop at Junior Chamber International’s (JCI) World Congress in Goa, India. The workshop was facilitated by the Centre’s Associate Julia Zimmerman.

The session was entitled “The Global Citizen Mindset.” It focused on advocacy and included examples of best practices which were featured on the panel. Besides sharing best practices, the session helped participants learn more about opportunities to engage in advocacy both through JCI-led initiatives and other global initiatives.

The first part of the session included an introduction of advocacy, global citizenship, and the Ban Ki-moon Centre as well as a short presentation by the Kofi Annan Foundation’s Extremely Together initiative working to combat violent extremism. In addition to receiving an overview of the initiative, a representative from Extremely Together, Hassan Ndugwa from Uganda, shared his personal experience with violent extremism with the participants.

After this, a panel was invited to the stage to share their insights. The panel included Maud Roure from Extremely Together and the Kofi Annan Foundation, Adetola Juyitan from I am Africa Nigera, Pascal Dike from Peace is Possible, Kevin Hin from Step Up  For Europe, and Heidi Solba from Let’s Do it World and World Cleanup Day.

During the panel, the panelists were asked about the challenges young people face in building and growing movements and what it takes for movements to have sustainable societal and political impact.

Following the Q&A, participants split up into groups with the panelists for round-table discussions. During the round-table discussions, participants considered the challenges as well as the solutions they have encountered in their own work or in the work of other initiatives. They also discussed which community stake-holders must be engaged in order to address issues in a powerful and meaningful way.

After the round-table discussions, the facilitator shared the different ways to get involved with the initiatives spotlighted at the session and encouraged those present to engage as advocates with a “global citizen mindset.”

The Ban Ki-moon Centre looks forward to partnership with JCI on more exciting events in the future. Learn more about the initiatives mentioned and find out ways to get involved by clicking on the names that are linked to their websites.

Ban Ki-moon Centre Presents at JCI World Congress in Goa

Last week, the Ban Ki-moon Centre’s Associate Julia Zimmerman participated and represented the Centre in its partner Junior Chamber International’s (JCI)‘s World Congress in Goa, India. The Centre was introduced to the JCI community at the General Assembly during which a video greeting from Co-chair Heinz Fischer was also screened and shared with the audience from all over the world.

The Ban Ki-moon Centre also hosted a workshop “The Global Citizen Mindset” and featured advocacy specialists. The workshop aimed to help participants understand the concept of advocacy and the role young people can play in advocating for causes they care about. It also emphasized different opportunities to engage with advocacy globally.

JCI is non-profit organization for young active citizens between the ages of 18-40 committed to creating positive impact in their communities. JCI has members around the world and seeks to help them in developing the skills, knowledge and understanding necessary to make informed decisions, and most importantly, to take action for positive change.

 

JCI’s mission is:

“To provide development opportunities that empower young people to create positive change”

Every year, JCI holds a week-long World Congress including trainings, workshops, social and networking events, and meetings with its leadership and General Assembly. As JCI is a valued partner of the Ban Ki-moon Centre that promotes the notion of global citizenship and the importance of youth empowerment, Secretary-General Arrey Obenson of JCI is on the Board of the Centre.

During the opening ceremony of the world congress, national presidents took to the stage while displaying their countries’ flags and inciting cheers from the audience. However, as much as national pride was celebrated, the collective mission of JCI and its members was the overarching theme.

Learn more about the JCIWC: http://www.jciwc2018.com/

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

 

Ban Ki-moon Centre’s First Global Citizen Scholars – European Forum Alpbach 2018

This year, the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens sponsored four scholars to attend European Forum Alpbach in Tyrol, Austria. These “Global Citizen Scholars” were nationals of countries in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa.

To be selected, each scholar had to show that they were active as global citizens in their communities. Whether founding their own NGOs or participating in leadership roles in already established youth and women’s empowerment organizations, the selected scholars displayed outstanding dedication to the principles of global citizenship.

During the Forum, the scholars had a busy schedule, including opportunities to engage face-to-face with the Centre’s Board and Co-chairs. One event was dedicated to the scholars sharing their stories and plans for their future work as global citizens. After their presentations, they each received a certificate of achievement.

 

The Scholars:

Alhassan is Ghanaian and pursuing his Master’s degree in a joint international MSc program in Sustainable Development, majoring in Energy and Material Resources. Alhassan is also a co-founder of Recycle Up! Ghana (RUG), an NGO working to educate and empower Ghanaian youth to develop local solutions to waste problems. To learn more about this initiative, check out their website!

Loan is Vietnamese and enrolled in a joint program for her European Master’s in Social Work with Family and Children. Loan is a trained Social Worker and recently served as the Manager of “Alumni Hands-on Mentorship,” a partnership with the US Embassy in Hanoi that connects undergraduate alumni from rural communities with alumni mentors from the Vietnam-US Alumni Club.

Mohammad is Lebanese and is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. After experiencing life as a refugee first-hand, Mohammad was empowered to pursue his higher-education by the United Lebanon Youth Project (ULYP). Today, Mohammad gives back to his community as a volunteer with ULYP and is a passionate advocate for education for all. To learn more about ULYP, check out their website!

Juliana is Palestinian and is enrolled in a Master’s degree in Human Resource Counselling. She recently served as the Vice-President of the local Youth Council in Bethlehem-Palestine. The Youth Council creates opportunities for its members to implement initiatives that serve the city and to represent Bethlehem in many local and international events. To learn more, check out their work here.

Stay tuned for more updates on the Centre’s Global Citizen Scholars! These four change-makers are now alumni and ambassadors of the scholarship program and the Centre looks forward to watching them continue their journeys as global citizens!

Photo: Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens

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

Co-chair Ban Ki-moon Delivers Speech at the UN Global Compact Conference

Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens’ Co-chair Ban Ki-moon delivered keynote speech at the 10th China-Japan-Korea Roundtable Conference hosted by the UN Global Compact Network Korea (UNGC Network Korea) on August 31, 2018. The conference is annually hosted by each of three countries respectively in order to facilitate discussions on the UNGC and CSR (corporate social responsibility) in Asia.
 
The topic of this year’s conference was “SDGs for Business: Challenges or Opportunities?”.

Co-chair Ban, who is also Honorary Chair of the UNGC Network Korea, praised the conference as an outstanding example of regional cooperation that helped three countries diffuse CSR and that contributed to global cooperation. He urged that the SDGs must be achieved in order to leave no one behind, to reach gender equality, to sustain people’s health, and to protect the environment.

 

The conference featured President Dong-gun Lee of UNGC Network Korea, President Goto Toshihiko of UNGC Network Japan, President Brian Gallegher of the United Way Worldwide, CEO Gyubok Choi of Yuhan Kimberly, CEO Wu Nianbo of Suzhou Good-ark Electronics, and many other leading figures from both private sector and public sector.

 
Student representatives from all three countries, Korea, Japan, and China, had presentations on the topic of “Business for Peace in East Asia.” The representatives prepared the presentations throughout two-month-long research and discussions on the main issues of human rights, labor issues and conflicts, and the roles of the government, corporations, academia, and civil society. They actively proposed suggestions to solve the issues and also screened a film produced by themselves about “The Fourth Industrial Revolution and Sustainable Business.”