Happy United Nations Day! Today marks the anniversary of the entry into force of the UN-Charter on 24 October 1945, which marks the creation of the United Nations.
This year’s UN Day celebration in the City of Bonn took place on 20 October. To celebrate the UN’s 73rd birthday, the UN SDG Action Campaign joined more than 20 UN and international entities from across Germany, numerous NGOs as well as Ministries came together with the City of Bonn last Saturday, to showcase their work towards achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, raise awareness for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and present various opportunities for visitors to be engaged to ensure a better future for everyone, everywhere.
Thousands of visitors were warmly welcomed by the current chair of the heads of UN agencies in Germany, Prof. Dr. Jakob Rhyner, and the Lord Mayor of Bonn, Ashok Sridharan, who encouraged Bonners to take this opportunity and learn more about the organizations’ work towards global sustainable development as well as the importance of SDG Action in Bonn, in Germany and across the world.
The overall theme of the festivities was “Leaving no one behind”, which is one of the fundamental principles of the 2030 Agenda. What does this actually mean? How does the international community follow through? How does it affect us? – These were some of the question visitors asked UN Staff and other exhibitors while they visited the many information booths and displays in front of the city’s Old Town Hall and collected information material. The event was accompanied by a musical stage programme.
Kofi Annan was a visionary leader, a dedicated diplomat and a committed campaigner for peace, human rights and social justice. The UN SDG Action Campaign joins the United Nations family and the rest of the world in mourning the passing on of Mr Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary General who died on the 18th of August, 2018.
Mr Annan worked tirelessly to ensure that the United Nations is about the people and together with Member States delivered the UN Millennium Declaration which gave birth to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
To his eternal credit, Mr Annan established the UN Millennium Campaign, the precursor of the SDG Action Campaign to mobilise the world around the MDGs and rally all people to a global movement of making poverty history. Today, the impact of the MDGs and the work of the Millennium Campaign have both gave the world a renewed vigour and commitment to ending poverty and inequalities and a planet befitting for present and future generations. This is evident in the adoption of the successor frameworks of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015.
Above all, in establishing the Millennium Campaign, Mr. Annan laid the foundation for giving people voices to participate in global and national processes that determine their future. The UN SDG Action Campaign has continued in this light in our work and partnerships across the world.
On his departure, we celebrate the life of a leader, a reformer and a Campaigner. We believe that the best way to immortalise the life and work of Mr. Annan is in promoting the ideals for which he lived and worked for – a world without poverty and injustice. The UN SDG Action Campaign will always be inspired by his vision to continue to work with our partners all over the world to build a global movement that will facilitate the achievement of the SDGs by giving people voices to engage with this universal and transformative agenda.
Ms. Marina Ponti (Italy) has been appointed Head of the Global Campaign Center of the UN SDG Action Campaign in Bonn (Germany).
As one of the main architects of the UN Millennium Campaign -the predecessor of the UN SDG Action Campaign- Ms. Ponti served as Global Deputy Director and Regional Director for Europe for over a decade and was at the vanguard of innovative campaign initiatives, building multi-stakeholder coalitions, mobilizing resources and forging long-term partnerships between civil society organizations, Local Government, parliamentarians, media, the private sector and the UN.
Prior, Ms. Ponti was an advocacy and resource mobilization specialist with UNICEF and the UN Secretariat. She also served as Chief Operating Officer of Catapult -a girls and women’s right crowdfunding platform and as Special Advisor on post-2015 during the final negotiations of the Agenda 2030 for the global network Social Watch.
Ms. Ponti started her career with the Italian NGO Mani Tese as Head of Campaigning and External Relations, leading global campaigns and movements on debt, trade, human rights and development assistance.
She has published several articles for newspapers, magazines, online publications and blogs on the Millennium Development Goals, on the Sustainable Development Goals, on aid effectiveness, financial speculation, gender equality, social development, local development, debt-relief, human rights, and trade. Ms. Ponti holds an MA in Political Science from the University of Milan and has completed an executive education programme from INSEAD in Global Management, Finance and Partnerships. She speaks English, French, Italian and Spanish.
The Sustainable Development Goals took center stage at the BMZ Open Day in Bonn.
Over 14,000 visitors gathered at the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) premises on June 24th, 2018 for a day of music, experiences and activities with the SDGs at its heart. Participants had the opportunity to visit the Hammerschmidt Villa, the official residence of the German President in Bonn, and to learn about sustainability through the many German and international institutions presenting their work.
The UN SDG Action Campaign shared the stage with Mr. Martin Jägger, BMZ State Secretary, and the Lord Mayor of Bonn Ashok Sridharan, to discuss the importance of communicating the SDGs and inspiring collective action to support their implementation.
An interactive space featured some of the Campaign’s flagship advocacy and citizen participation tools on the SDGs, as well as virtual reality screenings designed to build empathy on issues related to the Goals.
“This is great! What can I do? How can I contribute?” was the most shared response of the many visitors at the stand, when hearing about the 17 Goals and hearing people’s stories from around the world. The Campaign team had the honor of welcoming State Secretary Jägger, who recognized the importance of the Campaign’s work and committed to continuing to support the Campaign going forward. “You’ve got a very difficult job to do, and a very important one,” he said to the Campaign team members.
The United Nations SDG Action Campaign is proud to be part of the growing United Nations family in Bonn, Germany.
The UN is currently represented in Bonn with about 20 organizations. UN Bonn supports targeted efforts by governments for a sustainable future in the fields of climate change, land degradation, biodiversity and ecosystem services, wildlife conservation, volunteerism, health, human security, disaster risk reduction, tourism, as well as education and training.
This not only includes the sustainable use of natural resources and their precautionary preservation for future generations, but also the global fight against poverty.
The United Nations has had offices in Bonn since 1951. In 2006, the UN Campus was officially inaugurated by the former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel, with the “Langer Eugen” as the main building.
The UN presence in Bonn has grown steadily, from a handful of staff in 1996 to what has become a UN family with an international staff of almost 1,000 colleagues. Furthermore, the United Nations are represented in Germany with institutions and liaison offices in Dresden, Hamburg, Berlin, Frankfurt and Nuremberg.
Almost 300 university and tertiary-level students had the opportunity to experience a first-hand interaction with the UN SDG Action Campaign last Saturday, the 20th of January, at the first Internship Fair at the German Foreign Office premises in Bonn.
Apart from receiving information on internship opportunities at UN agencies, they built up their knowledge about the SDGs and learned about several ways to engage, such as answering the My World 2030 survey.
The fair brought together 25 international organizations and EU institutions in the region, including several UN organizations such as United Nations Regional Information Centre, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, World Health Organization and International Organization for Migration.
The region of Bonn is considered a sustainability cluster since it gathers several global players and around 150 NGOs working in the fields of development co-operation, peacekeeping, renewable energies, and sustainable resources management.
Media is playing a major role in challenging the narrative about progress in the developing countries and shining the spotlight to the people who are often left out of the conversation. Is the UN is providing the tools, information and resources available to make sure journalists can succeed in their missions? Are media professionals aware that these tools exist?
For the 10th year, around 2,0000 journalists, media professionals, communications experts, politicians and civil society representatives from 130 countries gathered for the Global Media Forum in Bonn. This year the forum, focused on identity and diversity, hosted key international speakers such as the entrepreneur and Kremlin critic Mikhail Khodorkovsky and the Secretary-General of Amnesty International, Salil Shetty, to discuss the innovations of the digital world, artificial intelligence and journalism, the threat to values that populism represents, the role of the media, as well as international politics, human rights and innovative journalism concepts.
The UN SDG Action Campaign invited participants to experiment with the existing tools for communicating the SDGs and to participate in the creation of new ones: A hands-on session focused on engaging ways to shift the spotlight to those left further behind and mobilise everyone to take action for the SDGs.
A hands-on session focused on engaging ways to shift the spotlight to those left further behind and mobilise everyone to take action for the SDGs. The participants discovered the MY World 2030 survey, the stories behind the data, youth-led solutions and the power of a single story from the Building Bridges Foundation. How do we engage those millions left further behind in the conversation? How do we make people shift from observers to doers?
In our interactive SDG Space the participants had the opportunity to fully immerse in refugee realities, the life of an Ebola survivor or the struggle of a mother after losing a son to a bombing in the Gaza strip. The MY World 2030 Survey generated great interest and expectation and a number of representatives participated in the survey.
Congratulations to all participants and organisers for bringing together great ideas, new approaches and generate active discussions around key issues, we are sure will ignite positive actions in the near future.
For more than 20 years, the United Nations has a permanent place in Germany. Through the exhibition “The United Nations in Germany: Commitment to Agenda 2030” the Federal Foreign Office welcomes the public to explore and find out about their commitment on sustainability, climate protection and refugee and migration issues. The exhibition can be visited at the Federal Foreign Office premises in Berlin until 10th May 2017.
“We take the still steadily growing presence of the world organization in the former federal capital Bonn and at six other German locations as an occasion to honor the diverse activities of the United Nations.” Dr. Cyrill Nunn from the Federal Foreign Office welcomed the audience and stressed Germany´s commitment to the United Nations and to the Agenda 2030.
UN Bonn comprises of 19 organizations and serves to help governments and people find answers and ways for humanity to achieve a sustainable future on this planet. The UN SDG Action Campaign, one of the newest members of the United Nations in Bonn, opened the exhibition.
Xavier Longan, SDG Action Campaign Europe Focal Point, expressed, “Beyond government, we need different stakeholders to be actively involved as well as youth, civil society, cities and business. Together we can achieve the SDGs by 2030! To collaborate, we need to communicate and build understanding of other perspectives, experiences and needs as a basis for working together towards shared goals.”
By using interactive elements, participants can understand what the agenda means for people around the world and which topics are most important to them. Participants also had the opportunity to take a seat at the “SDGs corner”, take pictures with those SDGs closest to their friends and family and make real commitments to take action by sending a postcard to their “Future Selfs”.
The Exhibition will be open until May 10th 2017 and is free for the public.
To know more about the UN in Bonn go to www.unbonn.org or here to know more about the exhibition.
5,000 swing cards featuring the Sustainable Development Goals were placed in 100 public vehicles in Bonn (hung from passenger handlebars on buses and trams), along with digital slide on the SDGs on the vehicle screens, from 28 February to 14 March 2017, including during the Global Festival of Ideas for Sustainable Development on 1-3 March.
The swing cards and screens were organized by the UN SDG Action Campaign with the support of the Bonn public transport authority, Stadtwerke-Bonn.
Photo: Some of the Festival team members with volunteers at the Global Festival of Ideas for Sustainable Development. photothek/Inga Kjer
We would like to thank everyone, especially the partner organizations, inspiring speakers and colleagues for being part of history at the first ever Global Festival of Ideas for Sustainable Development on 1-3 March 2017 at the World Conference Center Bonn!
The Festival was supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Hosts: UN SDG Action Campaign & Overseas Development Institute (ODI)
Organizing partners: City of Bonn, Cepei, Data-Pop Alliance, Engagement Global, Plan International, Salzburg Global Seminar, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), World Food Programme (WFP) and World Resources Institute (WRI)
Supporting partners: Deutsche Welle, DW Global Media Forum, European Union, SDSN
Mitchell Toomey, Global Director, UN SDG Action Campaign
Ishbel Matheson, Director of Public Affairs and Communications, ODI
Ashok Sridharan, Lord Mayor, City of Bonn
Dr. Alaa Murabit, SDG Global Advocate and UN High Level Commissioner
Dr. Ingolf Dietrich, Commissioner for Agenda 2030, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Sarah Poole, Deputy Assistant Administrator and Deputy Director, Bureau for Policy and Programme Support, UNDP
Anne-Birgitte Albrectsen, CEO, Plan International
Paul Okumu, Head of Secretariat, Africa Platform
Kumi Naidoo, Launch Director, Africans Rising for Justice, Peace and Dignity
Claire Melamed, Executive Director, Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data
Casper Sitemba, Executive Office of the Deputy President, Kenya
Philipp Schönrock, Director, CEPEI
Soumya Chattopadhyay, Senior Research Fellow, Growth, Poverty and Inequality Programme, ODI
Meng Zhaoli, Chief Economist, Tencent Institute
Jakob Trollbäck, Founder, The New Division by Trollbäck+Company
Cristina Gallach, Under-Secretary General for Communications and Public Information, UN
Karol Alejandra Arámbula Carrillo, International Affairs Consultant and MY World Partner in Mexico
Dr. Tauni Lanier, Executive Director, Impact 2030
Natalie Robi Tingo, Accountability Advocate, Restless Development
Emi Mahmoud, World Poetry Slam Champion
Edda Hamar, UN SDG Young Leader and Founder/ Director Undress Runways
Namhla Mniki-Mangaliso, Director, African Monitor
Pedro Conceição, Director of Strategic Policy, Bureau for Policy and Programme Support, UNDP
Beckie Malay, Vice President, Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement
Honorable Members of the German Parliament: Dr. Claudia Lücking-Michel, Mr. Ulrich Kelber
Nadira Hira for being a fantastic MC
DW Global Media Forum for hosting 7 minutes for discussion on the Live Stage
UNFCCC for supporting communications outreach, supporting the Festival comms team on-site and event security
The UN Bonn Common Information Unit and UNRIC for supporting the press conference and media outreach
The News and Media Division and UN TV from the UN Department of Public Information for coverage and the livestream
Deutsche Post DHL Group for providing the SDG postcards, mailbox and stamps
Amazing Youth Leaders for hosting the cross-generational dialogues on the Live Stage
Abinav Batachan, UNDP Panda Champion
Usman Khan, UNDP Panda Champion Bringing Education to Youth and Learning Initiatives (BEYLI) Organization Pakistan
Jilt van Schayik, Director Building Bridges Foundation
Edda Hamar, Youth Leader, Founder and Director of Undress Runway
Chernor Bah, Education Advocate, Girl Champion & International Development Professional
Frances Simpson-Allen, Programme Management Officer, Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth at United Nations
Rosario del Pilar Diaz Garavito, Founder The Millennials Movement
Alex Wang, Secretary General of Youthink Center
Cunsong Xia, Youth4SDG
Michelle Xinyang Mei, Youthink Center
Karol Alejandra Arámbula Carrillo, International Affairs Consultant and MY World Partner in Mexico
Natalie Robi Tingo, Accountability Advocate, Restless Development
The amazing Festival volunteers
All the participants who made the Festival an enriching experience, we hope to see you next year!