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At the highest level: Heads of Presidential Chancelleries learn about the UN Organizations in Bonn

A dozen Heads of Presidential Chancelleries from European countries today enjoyed the view from the UN tower during a luncheon following an invitation of Lord Mayor Nimptsch and the current Chairperson of the United Nations in Germany, Mr. Bradnee Chambers.

The guests followed the invitation to learn about the United Nations in Bonn. Mr. Chambers, Executive Secretary of the Bonn Convention (Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals) presented the working areas of the 18 Bonn UN organizations whose common goal is to shape a sustainable future for all.

In his presentation Mr. Chambers highlighted the role of Bonn‐ based UN agencies within the broad context of this year’s development agenda of the United Nations, where many crucial decisions will be taken. 2015 is a pivotal year for international development cooperation. Additionally to celebrating its 70th anniversary, the United Nations are setting the scene for the development agenda for the next 15 years and beyond at various summits.

UN Organizations in Bonn form part and parcel in most of the processes: just like these days, when a new Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction is about to be adopted in Sendai, Japan. The same holds true to the “Sustainable Development Goals”, which will follow the expiring Millennium Development Goals. All topics treated from Bonn are anchored in these goals that will be adopted in September at the UN headquarters by the member states.

Finally, the participants were informed about the current state of the negotiations towards a next generation global climate agreement that are led by the Bonn based Climate Change Secretariat. The guests had previously met for two days in the official residence of German Federal President in Bonn, the Villa Hammerschmidt, for a working session.

During this session the high level officials prepared the next meeting of the so‐called Arraiolos‐Group. Named after a Portuguese city, this group of non‐executive Presidents of the European Union meets once a year for an exchange. The meeting in Villa Hammerschmidt was hosted by State Secretary David Gill. German Federal President Joachim Gauck welcomed the guests in Bonn at the occasion of a dinner.

Background: The United Nations in Bonn consists of 18 agencies and spans a vast area of work of the United Nations, including climate change, land desertification, global volunteerism, water, energy, wildlife, human security, health, biodiversity, tourism, education and skills development, peace, sustainability, disaster risk management and satellite‐based information systems. Regardless of the size of each agency housed at the UN Campus, the organizations in Bonn all strive for an inclusive, holistic sustainable future for all.

The United Nations (UN) has had offices in Bonn since 1951. In the summer of 2006, the UN Campus was officially inaugurated by former UN Secretary‐General Kofi Annan and Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel. From a hand full of staff, the UN presence in Bonn has grown steadily since 1996 and has become a UN family with an international staff of almost 1,000 colleagues.

The Arraiolos‐Group was founded in 2003 by Portugal, Germany, Latvia, Hungary, Poland and Finland ‐ on the initiative of the then Portuguese President Sampaio. The number of participants has grown steadily over the years. Currently, the following eleven European countries are part of the group: Austria, Bulgaria, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Malta, Poland and Slovenia.

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