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25 years of UN in Bonn

On June 20, 1996, the United Nations flag was ceremoniously hoisted in front of House Carstanjen in Plittersdorf in the presence of the then UN Secretary-General Boutros Ghali. This was, in a way, the birth of the United Nations City of Bonn.

  1. Highlights in the anniversary year
  2. Review of past events

Inside the UN Campus – click here to take a virtual tour of the ‘Langer Eugen’ building and learn about the UN Secretariats working in and from Bonn

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Happy Birthday, UNBonn!

On June 20, 1996, the United Nations flag was ceremoniously hoisted in front of House Carstanjen in Plittersdorf in the presence of the then UN Secretary-General Boutros Ghali.

Also present at this event was Angela Merkel, then Minister of the Environment and German Chancellor today.

In the following years, the United Nations Secretariats in Bonn grew strongly and more organizations relocated to or were established in Bonn. As a result, Haus Carstanjen was soon about to burst at the seams. UN Bonn definitely needed more space! 

Another important milestone in the development of the UN City of Bonn was therefore the handover of the former "Langer Eugen" high-rise building to the United Nations in 2006 - exactly 10 years after the Climate Secretariat had moved to Bonn. The UN Secretary-General also traveled to Bonn for this event - at that time it was Kofi Annan. And again, Mrs. Merkel was there - this time as German Chancellor.  

Today, Langer Eugen forms the heart of Bonn's UN Campus, which also includes the Old Parliament Building and the Old Waterworks – home to the German Bundestag from 1986 to 1992/93. Bonn’s UN Campus is thus a very special site of German parliamentary history and at the same time a symbol of the transformation of our city from the former German capital to a center for international cooperation. Another building is currently being constructed on the grounds of the UN Campus, which is expected to be occupied by the end of this year. Then all UN facilities in Bonn will be gathered on the city’s UN Campus.

The impressive development of Germany’s United Nations City, which will welcome precisely its 25th UN entity this year would not have been possible without the great support of the Federal Government and the State of North Rhine-Westphalia. Roughly 1,000 UN staff are working from the banks of the Rhine today.

The City of Bonn has developed into an internationally renowned location of the United Nations and a hub for sustainable development. The city also gained international recognition as the venue for the 23rd United Nations Climate Change Conference in 2017, when more than 20,000 delegates and observers traveled to Bonn to participate in the climate negotiations under the presidency of the Republic of Fiji. To date, this has been the largest international conference held in Germany.

But Bonn is not only the German host city for the United Nations. The city also sees itself as bearing a special responsibility, especially when it comes to such important issues as environmental and climate protection, the Sustainable Development Goals or peace and justice in our world. It is therefore important to Bonn to support and provide visibility to UN Bonn and its valuable work from here. 

It is in this spirit that Bonn is also celebrating "25 Years of Bonn as a Germany’s UN City" this year. The entire Bonn international family is invited to participate in this wonderful anniversary and to place related events under this umbrella. 

We hope that in fall we will be able to host our annual birthday celebration for the United Nations in Bonn’s city center. This year’s birthday party will feature a colorful program with information, entertainment and music for all. Hopefully we will be able to look back on Corona with relief then, and the defeated pandemic will have become yet another fine example of what states can achieve together, in the true spirit of the United Nations. 

Video message by Mayor Katja Dörner

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Highlights in the anniversary year

#UNBonn25: 17 Goals - One Future

Digital event series on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the United Nations in Bonn.
(Dates and more information will be announced in the event calendar before each event). 

How does the work of the United Nations impact urban society, Bonn citizens and organizations based here, as well as businesses? How are the United Nations and the city connected? Who works with whom and how? Which networks and interfaces exist? What impulses do scientists from Bonn provide for international discourses, for example on sustainability, disaster prevention or biodiversity? What does it mean for international non-governmental organizations to operate from Bonn? How do people from Bonn contribute to the implementation of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals? 

25 years after the ceremonial raising of the UN flag in front of Haus Carstanjen, the City of Bonn, together with local and international partners, would like to shed light on these questions in a series of public events. You are cordially invited to participate in this online dialogue.


  1. Local Commitment - Global Impact
    Millions of people around the world are committed to the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Many of them do so on a voluntary basis. Within the United Nations, the Bonn-based Volunteers programme coordinates volunteer engagement at the global level. In Bonn, this is visible in many ways: not only in the context of major conferences, but also, for example, through a prize for volunteers from Bonn, which is awarded jointly with the city of Bonn. 
    UNESCO is responsible for culture and education issues within the United Nations. It works with national commissions such as the German UNESCO Commission in Bonn, which, for example, awards prizes to projects in education for sustainable development or the World Decade for Biodiversity.
    Neighborhood assistance or volunteer economic consulting abroad? Learning in and from the world, supporting integration? What opportunities for engagement are there and how do they work globally, but also locally in Bonn?
    The event presents organizations and opportunities to get involved in an interactive format and aims to encourage dialogue and engagement.
  2. Team-up - Together for the SDGs
    None of us can implement the 17 major Sustainable Development Goals alone. Not only achievable "steps" are needed, but also "teams". When people tackle things together, things happen. And everyone can join in: Small and large, young and old, in the private sphere or even at work. Get to know teams from Bonn who are working together to achieve a good future. Get inspired and find your team and your very own "Bonn SDG Summer Challenge 2021". 
  3. Global Action - Local Interaction
    Besides the United Nations, it is the BINGOs, the Bonn International Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), that make our city an important hub for global issues. All of them pursue the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, and their topics and focus of work are diverse. They range from sustainable urban development to Paralympic sports. Several BINGOs are concerned with how production and trade can function according to social and ecological criteria, especially in agriculture and forestry. For example, the Fair Trade movement has its global headquarters in Bonn.
    Another group within the BINGOs deals with renewable energies, because wind, sun, water, biomass and co are the energy sources on which the future is built. Stadtwerke Bonn has also been offering electricity from renewable sources for a long time. Most BINGOs use their location in Bonn to work hand in hand with the Bonn UN Secretariats, international organizations such as the International Renewable Energy Agency and many other organizations based here. Learn more about the work of some of these exciting organizations and how the BINGOS in Bonn are also connected locally.
    This event will be conducted in English
  4. Listen to science made in Bonn
    Bonn is home to a number of excellent research institutions. Some of them work closely with and for the UN agencies based here. Why does the UN need science? How can research promote global debates? What scientific services are provided for the UN in Bonn? And how does cooperation with the UN system work?
    During the international climate conference COP23 in November 2017, leading research institutions and universities in and around Bonn joined forces to form the Bonn Alliance for Sustainability Research with the aim of strengthening knowledge and skills for a sustainable future. The Innovation Campus Bonn (ICB), which is currently being established and expanded, will provide the Bonn Alliance with a common home in the future.
    Bonn scientists report on their work with and for the United Nations and answer your questions.
  5. #UNBonn25 Quiz - Test your knowledge about the UN City of Bonn
    When did the United Nations come to Bonn? Which topics are dealt with here? How many countries do the staff members come from? And what is it about the much-cited tiles?
    Test your knowledge about the UN City of Bonn in an entertaining quiz evening, alone or in a household team. We will raffle a surprise prize among the winners of the evening.
    The #UNBonn25 quiz in English is offered in cooperation with the BonnExpat event series.

German National Conference of Municipal Development Policy

Together. Fair. Global. Sustainable.

Agenda 2030 - Communities Shape the Future

Online event from June 14 to 16, 2021.

Municipalities are crucial for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda with its 17 global Sustainable Development Goals thanks to their proximity to citizens. The solutions to global challenges are mostly found at the local level: fair procurement, social cohesion, digitalization, climate protection, and pandemic response. But what does this mean in concrete terms for municipalities and their partners in the Global South? These and other questions are the focus of the 15th Federal Conference on Municipal Development Policy. The online conference will be broadcast live from the World Conference Center Bonn.

The 15th Federal Conference on Local Development Policy is organized by Engagement Global / SKEW in cooperation with the City of Bonn.

More information and registration at: (opens in a new tab)

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  • Michael Sondermann/Bundesstadt Bonn
  • Foto: Michael Sondermann/Bundesstadt Bonn
  • Bundesstadt Bonn

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