Germany (Day 1): Elyx learns about Sustainable Development

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In the past week wherever Elyx went there was talk of the Sustainable Development Goals. But what is sustainable development and what are these goals? Excellent question to put to our colleagues in Germany where a multi-city tour is organized for Elyx.

First stop Bonn, the former capital of the Federal Republic of Germany and a United Nations city. Almost a thousand of our colleagues from 18 secretariats work together on key issues of the future.

Elyx is delighted by the beautiful location of the UN campus, on the bank of the Rhine, and very excited to enter “Langer Eugen” the skyscraper that was the centre of parliamentary life in Germany.

Elyx learns that the United Nations has had offices in Bonn since 1951. In 2006, the UN Campus was officially inaugurated. (Photo Credit: UNBonn/ Alice Fiser)

Elyx is slightly confused by all the acronyms – UNCCD, UNV, UNEP/CMS, UNEP, UNFCCC. But as digital ambassador very eager to learn about what they all do.

Elyx learns it is a particularly busy time in Bonn, and especially for #UNFCCC, the Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Everyone is working hard to prepare an important conference on the climate in December in Paris.

Elyx meets with Christiana Figueres, the Executive Secretary of UNFCCC, and reads the first draft of the new climate change agreement (Photo Credit:UNFCCC/James Dowson).

Elyx is glad to get the chance to meet with Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of UNFCCC, who provides the digital ambassador with more information about the conference. COP21, also known as the 2015 Paris Climate Conference, will, for the first time in over 20 years of UN negotiations, aim to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on climate, with the aim of keeping global warming below 2°C.

Elyx gets an answer to the initial question as well: Sustainable development meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. For example efforts promoting economic growth should also take into account possible impacts on the environment or well being of the people.

Elyx visits the “Old Wasserwerk” (Photo Credit: UNBonn/ Alice Fiser).

But Elyx also learns that apart from working on the climate, colleagues in Bonn also work to combat desertification, land degradation, and conserve wildlife. Elyx likes very much the idea of UNV – UN Volunteers to promote volunteerism and promises to return to learn more about #UNV.

Before saying auf Wiedersehen to Bonn, Elyx is taken on a visit to what is called “Old Wasserwerk”, the provisional assembly room of the German Parliament from 1986 until 1992. Historic decisions were made in this building.  The “Bundestag” (the parliament of the Federal Republic of Germany)  voted for the unification in 1990, where 25 years ago Germany became united again.

Elyx visits the Roland in Bremen, a UNESCO World Heritage site (Photo Credit: UN/UNRIC Brussels).

A hop on a cloud North is the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen. Our digital ambassador gets the pulse in the Market Place. The Town hall and the statue of Roland are yet two more UNESCO World Heritage sites. Elyx learns that Germany has 40 World Heritage Sites, with the Speicherstadt and the adjacent Kontorhaus district in Hamburg being the most recent UNESCO site that was awarded the seal earlier this year.

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Learn more about the Germany at the United Nations

Secretariat of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)
Secretariat of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (UNEP/CMS)
Secretariat of the Agreement on the Conservation of African‑Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (UNEP/AEWA)
Secretariat of the Agreement on the Conservation of Small Cetaceans of the Baltic, North East Atlantic, Irish and North Seas (UNEP/ASCOBANS)
Secretariat of the Agreement on the Conservation of Populations of European Bats (UNEP/EUROBATS)
Secretariat of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES)
UNESCO International Centre for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (UNESCO-UNEVOC)
Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
United Nations Regional Information Centre (UNRIC) – German liaison office
United Nations University – Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU‑EHS)
United Nations University – Institute for Sustainability and Peace (UNU‑ISP), Operating Unit SCYCLE
United Nations University – Vice Rectorate in Europe (UNU‑ViE)
United Nations Volunteers Programme (UNV)
UNW Decade Programme on Capacity Development
UNWTO on Tourism and Biodiversity
International Labour Organization – Representation in Germany (ILO)
UNHCR– Regional Representation for Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic
World Food Programme – Liaison Office in Germany (WFP)
United Nations University – Institute for Integrated Management of Material Fluxes and of Resources (UNU‑FLORES)
International Finance Corporation (IFC) of the World Bank
International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS)
UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL)
UNHCR Nuremberg

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