Speech by Co-chair Ban Ki-moon
5 February 2020
Thank you for your warm introduction.
Dr. Hak Ja Han, Universal Peace Federation Founder,
Sunhak Peace Prize Foundation Members,
Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is my great privilege to stand before you this evening and humbly accept the 2020 Sunhak Peace Prize.
I’m incredibly grateful for this esteemed honor, and it is quite meaningful to follow in the footsteps of the previous luminary awardees you have bestowed this honor upon.
My special recognition goes to Dr. Hak Ja Han for her visionary patronage of this award, as well as for her longtime advocacy efforts in support of world peace, global citizenship, and sustainable development issues.
I also take this opportunity to commend the impressive work and forward-thinking vision of the Sunhak Peace Prize Foundation.
The critical efforts by the Sunhak Peace Prize Foundation are essential as we collectively strive to expand essential understanding, cooperation, and tolerance on the road to world peace and global sustainability.
In this connection, I simply couldn’t be more proud to receive this award intended to further the ideals of such a pioneering individual who so firmly believed in the importance of peace, human development, coexistence, and environmental protection.
My deepest gratitude goes to the Sunhak Peace Prize Foundation Members for this very special honor.
Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Our world is changing and this is bringing many new challenges and uncertainties to the geopolitical and economic order.
Multilateral cooperation is viewed with increasing skepticism just as the world needs it the most. Human rights are under threat as nationalism spreads. Development and humanitarian funds are being slashed.
And our climate crisis is deepening as wildfires burn, sea levels rise higher, and temperatures continue to surge.
Under this backdrop of instability and waning internationalism, I firmly believe that we must work together through expanded partnerships and cooperation, as well a driving commitment to global citizenship, to cope with these seemingly insurmountable challenges.
During my ten-year tenure as United Nations Secretary-General, I strived to execute my leadership duties by leveraging the power of partnerships and promoting the spirit of global citizenship.
This was critical in bringing the entire world together to agree to the UN’s 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals, as well as the Paris Climate Agreement.
These were two of my biggest achievements leading the UN as they provide humanity, and our planet, with a collaborative blueprint to ensure the future we want.
And global partnerships, including the active participation of nonprofit organizations, civil society groups, religious organizations, philanthropists, and other key stakeholders like you, are necessary if we are to deliver on the United Nations’ development and climate commitments.
But to establish long-term solutions, achieve world peace, and save our rapidly warming planet, we need inclusive and participatory action from all global citizens.
This includes, especially, young people, as they are absolutely essential to solving so many of the world’s challenges such as achieving the SDGs, tackling climate change, and building peace and resolving conflicts.
As such, I’ve been trying my best to help elevate global citizenship as a driving vision for young, transformative leaders to help us forge a more peaceful and sustainable world.
In this regard, two years ago I launched the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens, based in Vienna, Austria to help provide young people and women with a greater say in their own destiny, as well as a greater stake in their own dignity.
Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
The actions we take in the next ten years will be critical to ensure the future viability of both humanity and our planet. So we must work hard to illuminate true peace.
What type of peace? I am reminded of the words of President John F. Kennedy who said, “I am talking about genuine peace, the kind of peace that makes life on earth worth living, the kind that enables men and nations to grow and hope and build a better life for their children …not merely peace in our time, but peace for all time.”
In 2020, the year of the rat, and beyond, we all share a common destiny grounded in sustainability, peace, and prosperity. Let’s expand our unified efforts to realize this shared destiny for all global citizens in the years to come.
I thank you for your attention and this great honor.
On October 16, the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) co-hosted the annual Vatican Youth Symposium at the Casina Pio IV, Vatican City. At the symposium, Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens and SDSN Youth announced the launch of the SDG Students Program Certificate, a component of the SDG Students Program. Jointly developed by Ban Ki-Moon Centre for Global Citizens, SDSN Youth, and the SDG Academy, the Certificate aims to encourage university students around the world to learn about, engage with, and take action on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Certificates are signed by Co-chair Ban Ki-Moon; Ms Chandrika Bahadur, President of the SDSN Association; and Mr Siamak Sam Loni, Global Coordinator of SDSN Youth. “Today, more than 207 million students are enrolled in higher education. Young people have the energy, ideas, and determination to improve our communities, and we need to give students a platform to learn about the Sustainable Development Goals and take action in their local communities.” co-chair Ban said. “Through the creation of SDG Student Hubs on universities around the world, SDSN Youth is creating spaces for students to learn about, engage with, and take action to achieve the SDGs.” The SDG Students Program is an initiative of SDSN Youth that aims to engage students in higher education in the global effort to achieve the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs, as well as empower them with the knowledge, skills, and pathways to action to be effective agents of change today. Through the creation of a global network of hubs of learning and engagement for the SDGs on universities worldwide, the Program ensures that students from all walks of life have the opportunity to become drivers of new solutions to the problems that surround them.
“As Ban Ki-moon said, we do not have a Plan B, we only have Plan A. In my opinion, this plan A is the SDGs.”
– Monika Froehler during the Vatican Youth Symposium 2019
“We are excited to be partnering with SDSN Youth to launch the SDG Students Program Certificate, and to be an endorser of the SDG Students Program,” CEO Monika Froehler remarked at the launch. “By incorporating the content that the Ban Ki-moon Centre is producing into the SDG Students Program, we hope to give university students all over the world a foundational knowledge of sustainability that will aid them in all their future activities.” In order to attain the Certificate, students need to complete several tasks across the three pillars of “learn about”, “engage with”, and “take action” on the SDGs. One of the core requirements for attaining the Certificate involves the completion of “Sustainable Development in the 21st Century with Ban Ki-moon”, a course co-developed by the Ban Ki-moon Centre and its partner the Institute for Global Engagement and Empowerment (IGEE) at Yonsei University. “Designed to be completed over the course of an academic year, it is our shared hope that when students achieve the Certificate, they will gain the foundational knowledge of sustainability and skills they need to be advocates for sustainability in the diverse occupations and industries they will enter,” Project Leader of the SDG Students Program Yi Jun Mock shared at the launch. “Moving forward, the SDG Students Program will remain a core element of SDSN Youth’s global programming for young people, and we are excited to continue deepening our cooperation with the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens and the SDG Academy to reach an even wider audience of university students around the world,” SDSN Youth Global Coordinator Siamak Sam Loni concluded.
“We need to make sure we raise the new generation of leaders that knows the SDGs and questions we currently have to tackle.”
– Monika Froehler during the Vatican Youth Symposium 2019
COEX Convention & Exhibition Center 513,
Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Sunday 22-27 September 2019
Welcoming RemarksThe 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.
“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
“SportAccord Summit will be an important stage to share the knowledge and information on the topic of ‘The Future of Big Data and Analytics‘,”
“Children are the single most vulnerable group in conflict-affected areas. Without adequate safety, justice and support they fall victim to the abuses of war, which destroys a society’s chance of recovery by eroding the social cohesion of a future generation.”Director of Corporate Responsibility of RELX Group, Dr. Márcia Balisciano, moderated a session “International Young Scholars’ Perspectives: Spotlight on National Initiatives for the SDGs I” where speakers discussed various topics covered by the papers that the scholars have submitted. Senior professionals and experts in the relevant field exchanged their insights and knowledge with the young scholars and the audience. An award ceremony followed the session where the winners of the selected papers received awards. For the “Youth as Partners to Achieve the SDGs” session moderated by Sam Okyere, a TV host in Korea, Co-founder and Vice President Michael Sheldrick of Global Citizen participated as an advisor to the youth presenters who presented their innovative ideas and project plans for advancing the SDGs. Sheldrick did not only mentor the students, giving them his insights on their projects, but also introduced existing mentoring programs and potential partners they could approach to further develop their projects. This youth session introduced various student-led initiatives such as the Environmental Group “Yongreen,” “YeS” that works to free the world from urban waste, “Rhythm of Hope” for rescuing patients for disaster medical cost, “Education for Democratic Citizenship,” Medical Volunteering Club “Uichung,” and “YMDU” that aims to reduce inequality through Yonsei Hope Expedition.