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North Rhine-Westphalia: Joining Forces for the Federal City

Over the past 25 years, Bonn has gained enormous new political strength and has written a remarkable success story. For North Rhine-Westphalia, this is both an ambition and an obligation. Together with all local stakeholders, the state government is continuously working to ensure that the international location of Bonn is strengthened and expanded as a unique center of expertise for global sustainability and international politics. To this end, the state government cooperates closely with the German federal government and the City of Bonn on the strategic development and expansion of the location. The experts from the UN secretariats based here, international institutions, internationally active scientific and economic institutions, church institutions, companies and governmental and non-governmental organizations are all important partners for the state government in this professional dialogue. 

The State of North Rhine-Westphalia actively supports the establishment of international institutions in Bonn, such as the UN’s Global Water Operators’ Partnerships Alliance (GWOPA), the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) or the Global Crop Diversity Trust. Most recently, the Council of the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) decided that a new location of the European authority with around 150 employees is to be established in Bonn as of mid-2021. North Rhine-Westphalia, together with the federal government and the City of Bonn, has strongly supported this decision and will cover the relocation costs for ECMWF staff. The state government also promotes international conferences and events, such as the "Daring Cities" conference series of ICLEI (Local Governments for Sustainability), the Global Media Forum of Deutsche Welle or, in 2017, the World Climate Conference COP 23, and supports projects and campaigns of UN Bonn and international organizations on site. 

Bonn also has gained an excellent reputation as a university and science location for international topics and the sustainability agenda in general. A unique research landscape has emerged around the University of Bonn and the scientific institutions in the city and the region, and North Rhine-Westphalia is playing a key role in shaping the global sustainability debate. For example, the Bonn Alliance for Sustainability Research was founded in November 2017 during COP 23 under the leadership of the University of Bonn. Six established Bonn institutions, some of them funded by the state, are all united under this alliance: BICC (Bonn International Centre for Conflict Studies), the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE), the Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences (H-BRS), the Institute for Environment and Human Security of the United Nations University (UNU-EHS) and the University of Bonn with its Center for Development Research (ZEF). The common goal is to provide scientific support for the implementation of the UN Agenda 2030 from the local to the global level. The scientific direction of the Bonn Alliance is made possible by financial support rendered from the State of North Rhine-Westphalia through the Ministry of Culture and Science of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia (MKW). In this context, the MKW also supports the development of the Innovation Campus Bonn (ICB). In addition, the strengths of Bonn as an international UN and science location are to be further expanded and developed through the "North Rhine-Westphalian Academy of International Affairs", which was founded in the summer of 2020. 

As a federal city and the primary German location of the United Nations, Bonn is unique in Germany. For this reason, the state government will continue to work closely with the federal government, the region and the city to develop a binding strategy for the future development of the international location.

As the responsible unit, the State Chancellery of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia maintains the relevant contacts with regard to Bonn at the federal, state and international levels. It coordinates all issues relating to the location and links the work of the NRW departments on specific projects. 

Contact persons

Contact persons in the State Chancellery of North Rhine-Westphalia at the departmental level:

UN and International Location of Bonn:

Anke Lehmann

Head of Unit

IV B 3 (Development Policy, International City of Bonn) 

State Chancellery of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia

Horionplatz 1| 40213 Düsseldorf | Tel.: +49 (0) 211 837 1443 | 

E-Mail:  anke.lehmannstk.nrwde | Web: (opens in a new tab) 


Federal City of Bonn: 

Ursula Mecklenbrauck

Head of Unit 

II B 1 (Home Affairs, Justice) 

State Chancellery of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia 

Horionplatz 1| 40213 Düsseldorf | Tel.: +49 (0) 211 837 1492 | 

E-Mail:  ursula.mecklenbrauckstk.nrwde | Web: (opens in a new tab)