Former UN chief Ban calls for "global citizens" to build bridges

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ALPBACH, Austria, Aug. 25 (Xinhua) -- Former UN chief Ban Ki-Moon, who is co-chair of the Ban Ki-Moon Center for Global Citizens in Vienna, said Sunday that the concept of global citizenship is an important framework in times of rising populism and nationalism.

Global citizens identify themselves not only as a member of a nation, but also as a member of global community, Ban said, adding that they can act as agents of change and future leaders.

"Our aim is to build bridges rather than walls," he added.

"During my time at the United Nations for ten years, I have met numerous numbers of leaders, mostly political leaders, but I have not seen many global leaders," Ban said in his opening remarks at a political session at the European Forum Alpbach (EFA).

To deal with today's challenges, including poverty, economy hardship and social insecurity, the world needs "global citizens", who understand and accept other cultures, beliefs and people, Ban said at the session themed "Think globally, act regionally: promoting the UN Sustainable Development Goals in Europe".

The European Forum Alpbach was established in 1945 after the Second World War and meets every year with more than 5,000 attendees, 900 speakers, 700 young scholarship holders, from more than 3000 countries.

[ Editor: Shi Ruoqi ]