The United Nations in Germany

Government officials and organisations and stakeholders from the business, environment and technology sectors from all over the world will meet at the UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn in November 2017, when the 23rd Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) will take place. The Pacific island state of Fiji will host the summit in the Federal City of Bonn, headquarters of the UNFCCC Secretariat. The aim of this year’s COP is to draw up a rule book to be adopted at the next climate summit in Poland at the end of 2018. In addition, both the private and public sectors will display promising climate-protection initiatives and projects.

COP 23 Enlarge image COP 23 (© COP 23)

Germany is the host country to a large number of UN organisations, 29 of which have offices in seven cities in Germany. In addition to the main location in Bonn, there are further UN offices in Berlin (International Labour Organization (ILO), UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), World Food Programme (WFP) and the World Bank Berlin Office), Hamburg (International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea and the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning), Dresden (United Nations University), Munich (WFP Innovation Accelerator), Nuremberg (UNHCR – Regional Representation for Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic) and Frankfurt am Main (International Finance Corporation).

The history of the UN in Bonn dates back to 1951, when the UNHCR Liaison Office was opened in what was then the seat of the West German Government. Bonn developed rapidly as a UN location following German reunification and the move of the capital to Berlin. The opening of the UN Campus in Bonn in the former parliamentary quarter on the Rhine in July 2006 by then UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel was an important step in Bonn’s development as a major UN location. Around 1000 employees currently work in the 19 UN organisations and offices in Bonn. The focus of the UN’s work in Bonn is on shaping a sustainable future in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. With over 500 employees, the UNFCCC Secretariat is the largest UN organisation in Bonn. It is thus no coincidence that Bonn, which is described as a powerhouse of sustainability, has been chosen as the venue for COP23.

Rheinaue mit LEU Enlarge image (© Taenzer-Westphal, AA Bonn)

“Like no other city, Bonn is the embodiment of sustainability. In the Federal City, we are rigorously pursuing an approach based on partnership. Together with many scientific and economic institutions, as well as many non-governmental organisations, people are working here together to forge global solutions for our future as the international community.”

Sigmar Gabriel
Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs

UN-Fahne vor UN-Tower in Bonn Enlarge image (© Bundesstadt Bonn/Michael Sondermann) 10 May 2017 The UN enjoys ideal working conditions on the UN Campus in Bonn. Two buildings that formerly housed offices of Members of the German Bundestag (one nicknamed Langer Eugen, a reference to Eugen Gerstenmaier, a former President of the German Bundestag) and Haus Carstanjen, an old palace on the banks of the Rhine, were given to the UN for permanent use as offices. A new building on the UN Campus containing 330 offices is scheduled for completion in 2020. A state-of-the-art conference centre (the World Conference Center Bonn) is located beside the UN Campus and can host conferences for up to 7000 participants. A new train station called UN Campus will be opened in time for COP23.

The UN’s ever-growing links with Bonn are a visible symbol of multilateral cooperation. These links will foster, expand and intensify further international cooperation.

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The United Nations in Germany

UN-Erweiterungsgebäude (Modell) in Bonn (UNFCCC)