The University of Bordeaux and the Ban Ki-moon Centre: preparing the citizens of the future

The University of Bordeaux (UBx) and the Ban Ki-moon Centre (BKMC) have developed a strong partnership since the Honoris Causa degree ceremony of his Excellency Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at the University of Bordeaux in 2018 and the participation of President Manuel Tunon de Lara (UBx) at the Global Engagement and Empowerment Forum at Yonsei University, Seoul, in 2019.

  • 24/06/2021

BSS African cities in 2030 (May/June 2021) BSS African cities in 2030 (May/June 2021)

Our establishments share a common vision of the challenges that face the world of today and tomorrow as well as a common understanding of the resources necessary to face these challenges. Within this context, the partnership focuses on programs that educate and prepare the citizens of the future on vast topics such as sustainable development, future cities, globalization, equality and diversity, etc.

Our partnership with the BKMC is a fantastic opportunity for UBx to expand the scope and impact of our initiatives in support of the United Nations sustainable development goals.

Stéphanie Debette — Vice-President for External Relations

“It has been an honor, privilege and important enrichment as well as a source of inspiration for us to work on a growing number of joint initiatives with the BKMC. These encompass various disciplines and also involve several European and global strategic partner universities of UBx.” (Stéphanie Debette)

Over the past three years, UBx and the BKMC have participated together in a number of initiatives, e.g. the Next Civilized Cities consortium (co-led by Yonsei University, the BKMC and Yeosijae) and in a meeting dedicated to this topic organized by the BKMC in Astana in April 2019.

In July 2020, ENLIGHT (European university network to promote equitable quality of life, sustainability and global engagement through higher education transformation), was selected by Erasmus+ as a European University. This network, comprising 9 European universities, is co-led by UBx and Ghent University and the BKMC acts as an external partner. Moreover, Monika Froehler (Chief Executive Officer of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens) participates in the external advisory board of the ENLIGHT consortium and delivered an inspiring keynote speech during the ENLIGHT kick-off week, held during the first week of March 2021.  

It has been a pleasure for the Centre to cooperate with the University of Bordeaux on various programs related to sustainable cities, global health, and youth and women's empowerment.

Monika Froehler — CEO of the BKMC

"Joining ENLIGHT as an external partner has also presented new and exciting opportunities for collaboration in this unique European University network exchanging students, faculty and knowledgeThis will help to engage many Europeans as global citizens. As a member of the external advisory board of ENLIGHT, I look forward to watching the network grow and to continuing to find meaningful opportunities to work together." (Monika Froehler)

In 2020, BKMC scholars attended the online Bordeaux Summer School “COVID-19 in Africa: health, economic and political challenges” (organized by BPH, LAM and GREThA at UBx) and, following their time as BSS course participants, these scholars had the opportunity to receive one-on-one mentoring from UBx professors in the implementation of their SDG (Sustainable Development Goals) Micro-Projects.

Following the success of the 2020 online Bordeaux Summer School, the BKMC once again sponsored a number of its scholars to virtually attend the 2021 online Bordeaux Summer School “African cities in 2030: multidisciplinary research to meet health, demographic, economic and political challenges”, jointly promoted by BPH, LAM and GREThA at UBx. 

Participating in the Bordeaux Summer School 2021 on the theme "African cities in 2030" was for me an opportunity for meetings and exchanges.

Fenosoa Ramiaramanana — BKMC Scholar

"The interdisciplinarity at the center of the different presentations and research conducted allowed me to explore other aspects related to this theme outside my field of study. This enriching experience in knowledge led me to have a broader way of thinking for my study project." (Fenosoa Ramiaramanana)

Looking ahead, the BKMC scholars who participated at the 2021 BSS will this year again have the opportunity to participate in a follow-up mentorship program with UBx professors. In addition, a separate mentorship program for empowering young women in the field of global health is also planned, with the kick-off taking place on the 24th June. This program brings together the BKMC, the University of Bordeaux, other core group members of ENLIGHT (Ghent University, University of Göttingen, and University of Groningen) as well as global partners of ENLIGHT (University of Ibandan, University of Lomé, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, Universidad de Cuenca, and Mbarara University).

Recently, Stéphanie Debette, representing UBx and ENLIGHT, was invited to join the education task force of Mission 4.7. A partnership between the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), UNESCO, the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens, and the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University, this recently launched global initiative brings together worldwide leaders to highlight the critical importance of quality education for all and of education for sustainable development.

The Ban Ki-moon Centre

The Ban Ki-moon Centre (BKMC) for Global Citizens is a Quasi-International Organization based in Vienna, Austria. The Centre was established in January 2018 and is co-chaired by Ban Ki-moon, 8th Secretary-General of the UN (2007 – 2016) and by Heinz Fischer, 11th President of the Republic of Austria (2004 – 2016).

The BKMC empowers women and youth to live in a peaceful and prosperous world. It strives for a world based on universal respect for human rights, regardless of age, gender, identity, religion, and nationality, where sustainable development is achieved through global citizenship in shared responsibility, understanding and empathy. The Centre uses its expertise and network to work for peace, poverty eradication, empowerment of youth and women, justice and human rights worldwide.


Founded in 2019 and selected in July 2020 under the Erasmus+ call for European Universities Initiatives, ENLIGHT stands for "European university Network to promote equitable quality of Life, sustainability and Global engagement through Higher education Transformation". In 2021 ENLIGHT was awarded additional funding support under H2020 to build a joint research and innovation agenda with and for society.

Bringing together the University of Bordeaux along with eight other universities from the four corners of Europe, the alliance pursues an ambitious strategy for educational and research transformation in order to innovate methods of dealing with global, societal challenges. The strategy defines and addresses five main flagship challenges which are key determinants of societal well-being and sustainability: health and well-being, climate action, digital innovation, equity, energy transition and circularity.

BSS African cities in 2030

For more information about the BSS African cities in 2030, please consult the dedicated website