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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

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. 

Videomessage of Mayor Katja Dörner

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Highlights in the anniversary year

Earth Day 2021 is celebrated on 22 April

Earth Day 2021 will be celebrated with a Global Day of Conversation on 22 April.

Cities are on the frontlines of climate change - its worst effects happen locally and vary from region to region. Local governments have a responsibility to respond to these challenges by taking climate action. 

The Green Cities and Local Governments campaign engages with cities to respond to climate change by providing resources, partnerships and a platform to take climate action. 

Global Media Forum: Disruption and Innovation

June 14 to 15, 2021

GMF 2021: DW's international and interdisciplinary conference will be taking place as a hybrid event this year.

2020 was an extraordinary and challenging year, which the Global Media Forum met head-on with digital solutions. The 2021 Global Media Forum will explore further ways to help us address such disruptions with innovation.

For more information and registration, please visit: 

 https://www.dw.com/en/gmf-2021-dws-international-and-interdisciplinary-conference/a-55956711 (opens in a new tab)

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:  https://skew.engagement-global.de/bundeskonferenz.html (opens in a new tab)

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

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