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Strong location: the UN in Bonn

Bonn is the third largest United Nations location in Europe and of prominent UN secretariats.

The UN campus in Bonn
The UN campus in Bonn © dpa

Since when has the UN been represented in Germany?

Since German reunification in 1990, the federal government has been trying to locate UN organizations in Bonn. It wants to use the infrastructure of the former German capital and to develop it into an international centre for sustainable development. In 1996, the blue UN flag was hoisted in Bonn; since then, the location has grown steadily. In 2016, the German government announced that it would invest 17 million euros in the further expansion of UN’s Bonn location.

How many UN staff work in Bonn?

More than 1,000 staff work here in about 20 UN institutions. These include ones as large as the UN Climate Secretariat, which employs a few hundred people, but also lesser known ones such as the Bat Secretariat and the Secretariat for the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds. Around 150 non-governmental organizations have settled around the UN organizations, working mainly in the area of sustainability.

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Does the UN have its own grounds in Bonn?

The first location was a villa on the Rhine in 1996, the so-called Haus Carstanjen. In the former government district today there is the Campus of the United Nations. It consists of two former parliament buildings, including the “Lange Eugen”, a landmarked skyscraper. A third building is under construction and should be ready for use in 2020.

Does the UN hold big conferences in Bonn?

Bonn is very well suited for international conferences. Alone the World Conference Centre, which opened in 2015, offers space for 5,000 guests. For even larger meetings, such as the Climate Conference COP23, temporary meeting rooms are being constructed in the meadows along the Rhine River.

Are there other UN locations in Germany?

The UN is represented in six other German cities: Berlin, Dresden, Frankfurt am Main, Hamburg, Munich and Nuremberg. The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea is located in Hamburg, the International Finance Corporation of the World Bank has a branch office in Frankfurt, and there is an office of the International Labour Organization in Berlin. But Bonn is by far the most important UN location in Germany; after Vienna and Geneva the third largest in Europe. Germany is thus one of the most important outposts of the UN worldwide.

The United Nations in Bonn