Starting at 21.10.2017 | UNSSC: 6th UN Summer Academy in Bonn

(Germany, Bonn – 14 August 2017) The United Nations System Staff College (UNSSC) Knowledge Centre for Sustainable Development will hold the 6th UN Summer Academy in Bonn, Germany from 21 to 25 August with more than 120 speakers and participants from over 50 countries. Previous editions were held in New York and Turin.

The 6th UN Summer Academy’s theme “Localising the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” will focus on the different means to implement the sustainable development agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at national and sub-national level and highlight the particular role of cities and local authorities in the process. The City of Bonn is a sustainability hub and home to around 20 different UN entities, as well as more than 150 international organisations working on various thematic areas related to development, making it the perfect venue for the UN Summer Academy.

This year, more than 120 select participants and speakers from over 50 countries will join the UN Summer Academy at the UN Campus’ historic Haus Carstanjen, where the UNSSC Knowledge Centre for Sustainable Development is located. During the 5-day interactive programme, the UN Summer Academy will introduce the conceptual approaches underpinning the notion of sustainable development, the Sustainable Development Goals, as well as the Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Participants will discuss transformative approaches required for implementation and share multiple concrete examples and practices from diverse countries and stakeholder perspectives.

A number of high-level representatives of Bonn-based UN entities will also introduce the contribution and role of their organizations in addressing sustainable development challenges, as well as ways for diverse stakeholders to engage. Distinguished speakers include Olivier Adam, Executive Coordinator of the United Nations Volunteer (UNV) Programme, Shyamal Majumdar, Head of Office of the UNESCO International Centre for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (UNESCO-UNEVOC), as well as Pradeep Monga, Deputy Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification. Various panels and inputs are also provided by representatives of diverse entities, including Professor Günther Bachmann, General Secretary of the German Council for Sustainable Development, as well as representatives from Localizing the SDGs, ICLEI, Simpleshow Foundation, Impact 2030, and the Centre for Research in Energy and Energy Conservation associated with Makerere University in Uganda.

Ms. Patricia Espinosa, Under-Secretary General and Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) will grace the UN Summer Academy with her presence in her keynote closing remarks on the importance of an integrated approach to sustainable development and climate action.

More than 30 interactive workshops, so-called AppLabs, will be conducted during the week on topics including concrete local practices such as the transition town movement, approaches to marine coastal conservation in Ghana, the Saudi Vision 2030, and the use of comics, virtual reality, storytelling and local radio for targeted advocacy efforts around the 2030 Agenda.

Participants represent various UN entities from across the globe, as well as governments, municipalities, civil society organizations, research institutes and universities, as well as other actors. They are united by the relevance of sustainable development approaches in their daily work and the desire to learn from each other through an open dialogue about good practices, as well as difficulties encountered. Thanks to the generous support of Engagement Global, delegates from the City of Bonn, as well as its project partner cities from Chengdu, Cape Coast, La Paz, Bukhara, Minsk, and Ulan Bator will participate in the UN Summer Academy. Their participation is expected to strengthen the partner network and contribute to a deeper exchange among them and with the City in the long run.  Through the cooperation of the German Diplomatic Academy, a contingent from Sudan, Ukraine, Egypt, and Brazil working in embassies and ministries are joining the UN Summer Academy to share their experiencing in planning, coordinating, and financing programmes on sustainable development at national level. Although the UN Summer Academy takes a global view of the current challenges and opportunities of the 2030 Agenda, it also focuses on a number of concrete examples stemming from the City of Bonn, State of North Rhine-Westphalia, and Germany at large.

“This is the biggest UN Summer Academy since its inception 6 years ago” emphasizes Patrick van Weerelt, Head of Office of UNSSC Knowledge Centre for Sustainable Development Bonn. “The quality of applications and the backgrounds of the participants selected are impressive. I am certain that this year’s UN Summer Academy will offer a great platform to have serious discussions on the obstacles as well as innovative solutions across policy, strategies, and implementation of the sustainable development agenda at national and sub-national level. Bonn provides the perfect environment for this kind of knowledge exchange and meaningful discussions.”

To ensure that every participant has the opportunity to present his or her own work on sustainable development, the UN Summer Academy will hold a Share Fair on 24 August from 10:00 am to 12:30 pm, which is open to a limited public. The Share Fair exhibits the work of different organisations on sustainable development and provides a networking platform for participants to engage with the different organisations represented by the delegates as well as organisations in Bonn. The Share Fair will also host the launch of the UNSSC-simpleshow foundation Volunteer Initiative, to create simple and entertaining explainer videos about the 2030 Agenda and its 17 SDGs targeting young people around world.

The UN Summer Academy prides itself in providing engaging learning formats and a safe space where learning is fostered through a combination of discussions underpinned by academic rigour, solution-oriented workshops, and informal gatherings that facilitate knowledge exchange. In the course of the week-long programme, participants will get the chance to experience some of the biggest global challenges that the UN addresses today through the UN Virtual Reality. Participants will be exposed to a real-life example of city undergoing structural changes towards sustainable development in a full-day excursion to Eschweiler that was made possible through the generous support of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia. There will be time to enjoy the warmth of Bonn summer and its people in a welcome reception hosted by Lord Mayor Ashok Sridharan of the City of Bonn on 21 August at the Old Town Hall. Participants will also experience the green scenery and majestic castles of the city in a boat ride on the serene river Rhine.

Members of the Press who wish to cover the UN Summer Academy are welcomed to join us in any of the following schedules:

  • August 21, 6:15 p.m.: Reception hosted by Lord Mayor Ashok Sridharan at the Old Town Hall
  • August 23, 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.: Whole Day Excursion to Eschweiler
  • August 24, 10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.: Share Fair – Localizing the 2030 Agenda
  • August 25, 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.: “An Integrated Approach to Sustainable Development”, Patricia Espinosa, Under-Secretary General and Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC

Contact information: Paulyn Duman,, +49 228 815 2661, +4915159409999, UNSSC Knowledge Centre for Sustainable Development, Martin-Luther-King-Str.8, 53175 Bonn, Germany

More information:

Source: Press Release UNSSC, 14.08.2017