Bundesstadt Bonn

Mayor Dörner presents Bonn’s Voluntary Local Review on sustainable development

Bonn is one of the pioneering cities nationwide in the local implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. As the representative of German municipalities, Mayor Katja Dörner will report on Bonn's experiences at the European Union in Brussels on Thursday, March 16, 2023.

In 2023, the EU Commission will submit its first EU Voluntary Review on the 2030 Agenda and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to the United Nations in New York. At the halfway point in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, the report will show whether the European Union is on track towards achieving the global goals.

The City of Bonn has already presented a Voluntary Local Review (VLR) on the Sustainable Development Goals twice (in 2020 and 2022), making it one of the pioneering cities nationwide. At the event, Mayor Dörner, like her counterpart Mathias de Clercq from Ghent (Belgium), will report on municipal experiences with reporting through Voluntary Local Reviews. The VLRs of the two cities can serve as a blueprint for other European municipalities as well as an inspiration for the EU Commission on the way to an EU Voluntary Review. The panel discussion that will follow will highlight expectations for the forthcoming EU review and the importance of municipalities' VLRs for EU reporting.

The hybrid event in Brussels, entitled "Localising the SDGs 2.0" on the implementation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, will be attended by about 90 representatives of EU institutions on site and around a hundred virtual participants. Bonn's Mayor is speaking - also virtually - at the invitation of the NRW Ministry of the Environment. The event is a joint effort of the European Committee of the Regions, the Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Transport of North Rhine-Westphalia, the Service Agency Communities in One World of Engagement Global on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, and the Agenda 21 state working group.

Mayor Dörner: Making sustainability a priority

Mayor Dörner: "Cities have an important role to play in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals. As Mayor of the City of Bonn, where the United Nations has concentrated its commitment to sustainability, this issue is very close to my heart. That's why I'm committed both locally and nationally to ensuring that sustainability is understood as a priority in which all levels - EU, federal, state, and local - work together." Katja Dörner has been a member of the German Council for Sustainable Development (RNE) since 2023, which advises the federal government on all issues relating to sustainable development. The Mayor of Bonn is the only municipal representative on the 15-member body.

Background Voluntary Local Reviews

With its two Voluntary Local Reviews, the City of Bonn is making a special commitment to implementing the 17 SDGs and regularly reporting on its local implementation process to the United Nations. 

In 2020, the City of Bonn was one of the first cities in Germany and worldwide to submit its first local report on the SDGs. It received a great deal of positive feedback at the international level. In preparing its second VLR, the City of Bonn participated in the testing of the "Sustainable Municipality" reporting framework, which was developed by the German Council for Sustainable Development. This new format, for the first time, combines quantitative indicators and qualitative aspects in sustainability reporting. The report also maps the developments in the municipal fields of action of sustainability since the adoption of the Bonn Sustainability Strategy in February 2019.

Background: 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

In 2015, the United Nations adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. 17 goals are intended to help tackle the major challenges facing humanity, such as combating hunger and poverty, the climate crisis, species extinction and social inequalities. Every two years, the member states of the United Nations report on the status of implementation in New York. In 2015, the City of New York submitted the first Voluntary Local Review to the United Nations. Meanwhile, more than 200 cities worldwide are preparing VLRs on the implementation of the SDGs.