President of Yonsei University
It is a great honor and pleasure for me to welcome all distinguished guests to the Global Engagement & Empowerment Forum (GEEF) 2023 「Turning Point: From Crisis into Opportunity」, co-hosted by Yonsei University and Ban Ki-moon Foundation For a Better Future.
The last couple of years have been very challenging for all of us, and Yonsei University is more than delighted to host the GEEF 2023 in person. Yet, we have to remember that the world is still faced with various challenges, such as surging geopolitical tensions, disrupted global supply chains, exacerbated food security issues, and the effect of climate change. Such unanticipated crises have just increased our need for greater partnership and solidarity for Sustainable Development (SD). We are at a critical moment to take action to resolve these problems together for a sustainable future.
As a leading university and a think tank in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Yonsei University is committed to creating a sustainable future. While developing and pursuing the strategies to achieve the SDGs, Yonsei will continue to engage in cutting-edge research on quantum computing, AI, and more. In particular, Yonsei University will continue our effort to cooperate with the international community based on the three pillars of Vision-Yonsei 150 : Engagement, Excellence, and Innovation.
The year 2023 marks the mid-point of the 15 years (2016-2030) for pursuing SDGs, where we can evaluate the past seven and a half years while preparing for the next seven and a half years. It is a critical time to turn the tide, using this time as a turning point to transform our experiences of crises into new opportunities.
Through the GEEF, held for the 5th time this year, we seek to share knowledge and insight of the world's most prestigious experts in diverse fields and resolve the challenges faced by humanity. Please join us in our endeavor to achieve the SDGs by participating in GEEF.
8th Secretary-General of the United Nations
Chairman of the BKM Foundation for a Better Future
Co-chair of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens
Let me express my warm greetings to all of you from Yonsei University, Republic of Korea.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, there have been many challenges around the world. Although we are still on the way to overcome the challenges, we are encouraged by the willingness and active participation of the people in the world in rebuilding a better world for a better future.
Thus, it is my great pleasure to invite all of you to the 5th Global Engagement & Empowerment Forum (GEEF), under the theme - “Turning Point: From Crisis into Opportunity”.
The Yonsei University, the Institute for Global Engagement and Empowerment (IGEE), Ban Ki-moon Foundation for a Better Future, and the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens are co-hosting this Forum.
The GEEF 2023 will be held on February 2nd and 3rd to feature various key messages and discussions on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in participation of world renowned distinguished guests and speakers
This will be a great opportunity for us to examine the progress at the mid-point on thy way of SDGs which is vital for a recovery that leads to a greener and better world together. At this turning point, it can be possible to transform the numerous crisis occurring throughout the world into opportunities.
As we move into the post COVID-19 era, it is essential to bring people together and enhance multi-national partnerships that can explore new directions to effectively achieve the SDGs.
By leveraging this challenging time, we will foster global partnership among civil society, international organizations, businesses, governments, and individuals and empower various stake-holders for concerted efforts to successfully achieve the SDGs by 2030.
Together, we can make this year more hopeful. Together, we can build a sustainable path for our common future. Join us in this noble cause. Thank you very much.
11th Federal President of Austria
Co-chair of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens
As co-chair of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens, which works to empower women and youth in implementing the SDGs and is a co-organizer of this Forum, it is a great pleasure to convey my greetings and best wishes to all of you attending the Global Engagement and Empowerment Forum 2023 at Yonsei University and online.
Last year, Austria and Korea celebrated 130 years of diplomatic relations and I look forward to further good cooperation in the future.
Today, the world is facing a number of challenges that give cause for concern and which make cooperation and an active exchange of ideas with leading stakeholders at conferences like GEEF and with democratic and dynamic countries like the Republic of Korea very important.
The Forum’s topic this year is “Turning Point: From Crisis into Opportunity”. It is, in my opinion, a good topic, as the message it conveys is one of hope and optimism. But it also alerts us that more must be done in trying to solve the big problems of our time, most notably the climate crisis, and to justify this optimism.
This conference provides an opportunity to take stock of what has been achieved so far and what remains to be done on the way to Agenda 2030 and in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
Let us go together in the direction of sustainable development for all! Let us keep our optimism that we can make it! In the spirit of Global Citizenship and for all nations!
I wish you a very successful conference.