Together with ICLEI Secretary General Gino Van Begin, Dörner discussed the growing challenges cities are facing in combating climate change and its consequences, as well as the role of municipalities in achieving the Paris climate goals. "When United Nations conferences on climate, nature and land degradation are taking place almost simultaneously in 2021, special importance will be attached not only to Bonn as a German United Nations city and host to the United Nations Climate and Desertification Secretariats, but to the local level as a whole," said Bonn’s Mayor, adding that the important level was “above all the level of cities, municipalities and regions, as the level of implementation where people directly experience change."
Gino Van Begin emphasized, "ICLEI looks back on a twelve-year success story at its Bonn location, from where it has brought its mission of urban sustainability to the world stage. This has been only possible thanks to the personal and dedicated support of the City of Bonn. I look forward to continuing on this path together with Mayor Katja Dörner."
Dörner then met with representatives of the Bonn-based international non-governmental organizations (BINGOs). One of the issues discussed was how the City of Bonn can better support the work of international non-governmental organizations. In addition to the availability of affordable office space in a central location, the improvement of the legal and financial framework conditions is the main focus of the organizations' joint efforts. With around 500 employees and an estimated annual turnover of 50 million euros, the BINGOs not only help to strengthen Bonn as an international sustainability location, but also make an important contribution to the local economy.
ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability
The World Secretariat of ICLEI with its 50 employees has been based in Bonn since 2009. There has been close cooperation between the City and the sustainability city network for many years. From 2010 to 2019, ICLEI and the City of Bonn hosted the Resilient Cities conference series. Last year, for the first time, both invited virtual representatives of municipalities from around the world to the "Daring Cities" conference. Over a period of three weeks, they worked together to find local answers to the climate emergency that is affecting more and more cities around the world. The Council of the City of Bonn has also declared a climate emergency in 2019. The conference series is to be continued in 2021.
As Mayor of the City of Bonn, which is also home to the United Nations Climate Secretariat, Katja Dörner wants to advocate for more climate protection and climate justice both locally in Bonn and on an international scale, and has offered her support to ICLEI for this purpose. The City of Bonn itself has set the goal of being climate neutral by 2035.
Bonn International Non-Governmental Organizations Network
The BINGO Net, the "Bonn International Non-Governmental Organizations Network", comprises around a dozen international NGOs based in Bonn. In addition to the United Nations, it is the BINGOs that make Bonn an important hub for global issues that affect all of humanity. Various social groups as well as some businesses from around the world have established some remarkable international NGOs in Bonn to pursue the overall goal of global sustainability in different ways. Unlike the around 150 German NGOs based in Bonn, BINGO stakeholders and staff are international.