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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.

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. 

Highlights in the anniversary year:

At this time, a colorful anniversary program is being compiled. As soon as detailed information is available, we will publish it here.

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

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