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UN Bonn anniversary

The UN Secretary-General has led celebrations for the twentieth anniversary of the UN’s presence in Bonn.


Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier - were welcomed to the World Conference Centre on 8 March to take part in a panel discussion on ‘20 years of Bonn as a UN city – shaping a sustainable future in the light of volunteering’.


The city is now firmly associated with the commitment of countless volunteers who work worldwide for peace, climate protection and human rights, noted Foreign Minister Steinmeier, after paying tribute to the work of the United Nations Volunteers - one of the larger organizations based in the UN premises in Bonn.


The Secretary-General’s address included a quotation from Erich Kästner’s poem, Moral: ‘Nothing good is achieved unless you do it.’ He also noted how the UN in Bonn had grown from the seed of an idea to a true centre for sustainable global development.


The Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) was among the first UN organisations to have its headquarters in the city, subsequently giving the Convention its byname and being where it was first negotiated in 1979.


Bonn also continues to be the seat of the CMS Secretariat which is housed in the former offices of German parliamentarians, the ‘Langer Eugen’ tower on the banks of the Rhine. The Secretariats of the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird and the Agreement on the Conservation of Populations of European Bats - which became part of UN Bonn in 2000 - are also located there, while the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services is also based in the city.


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