Bonn Symposium 2014

Local Engagement for Development.
Prospects for a Post-2015 Agenda

All over the world, a multitude of task forces, stakeholder forums and discussion groups are engaged in intensive consultations on the new agenda that is to replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) after 31 December 2015. Governments, international organisations, NGOs and other stakeholder groups have highly diverse and sometimes controversial views and expectations of this new agenda. But despite all the differences, there does appear to be one aspect on which the international community can agree: after 2015, the MDGs and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), currently being prepared by a 30-member Open Working Group (OWG), should form a set of shared objectives that will be universally applicable to rich and poor countries alike.

Representatives of the local level are also helping to shape opinions on the new development goals – but many of them would like to have a stronger voice. In the interests of an effective bottom-up approach, they want to make a contribution to developing the substance of the new agenda, rather than simply being tasked with its implementation. With the Bonn Symposium 2014, the Development and Peace Foundation (sef:) aims to support them in this endeavour. The Foundation’s Bonn Symposium is a multi-annual series of workshops which was relaunched in 2013 and will now continue with new cooperating partners, the Minister of Federal Affairs, Europe and the Media of North Rhine-Westphalia, and the Service Agency Communities in One World (SKEW)/Global Civic Engagement Service Point.

The Symposium offers municipal stakeholders from many different regions of the world a forum in which to explore how the various issues of relevance to the local level can be identified and integrated into the post-2015 process, with a view to implementing solutions as democratically, transparently and efficiently as possible.

The event aims to achieve the following objectives:

  1. Local stakeholders will be informed, through a learning dialogue, about the current consultation processes on a new sustainable development agenda. Attention will focus especially on the Reports of the Open Working Group and the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing.
  2. Local stakeholders in Germany will have the opportunity to engage in dialogue with representatives from the Global South.
  3. The event will encourage sharing of experience about existing municipal activities relating to sustainable development (e.g. Local Agenda 21 processes) and, in particular, facilitate discussion of the challenges associated with the multi-level system.
  4. Finally, in the interests of a genuine bottom-up approach, the key findings of the discussions will feed into the post-2015 agenda process at the national and international level.

In cooperation with:
Service Agency Communities in One World (SKEW)

With support of:
Deutsche Welle

Co-financed by:
Foundation for International Dialogue of the Savings Bank in Bonn


Peace must grow from within – but how?


On 8th February 2018, we invite you to a public evening event at the famous Frauenkirche Dresden. The keynote on "Peace must grow from within – but how?" will be given by the UN Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura. Furthermore, Vera Baboun, former Mayor of Bethlehem, Tanja Gönner from GIZ and Hajer Sharief, Extremely Together Young Leader from Libya, will speak about their experience on the long and winding road to peaceful coexistence.

:further info here

sef: Bonn Symposium 2017

Local partnerships to implement Agenda 2030 worldwide


On 5th and 6th December 2017, sef: hosted, together with the Service Agency Communities in One World (SKEW) of Engagement Global gGmbH, the Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia and other supporters, its annual Bonn Symposium. More than 120 experts discussed good examples of partnerships within and between municipalities worldwide. You will find all speakers’ presentations here. A conference report will be published soon. 

:further info here

sef: Policy Lunch 2017

Possible UN-Treaty on Business and Human Rights


At the end of October, the third negotiations on a UN-Treaty on Business and Human Rights took place in Geneva. Goal of the negotiations is a legally binding instrument for States and Businesses. With a sef: Policy Lunch, sef: and CIDSE informed the Brussels community on the outcome of the negotiations on 20 November, and discussed the European positions. Our short conference report provides an overview.

:further info here

First Parliamentary Breakfast

sef: in dialogue with Members of Parliament in North Rhine-Westphalia

On 20 December 2017, sef: welcomed nearly 20 Members of the Parliament of North Rhine-Westphalia to a Parliamentary Breakfast. The Chairperson of the Executive Committee, Renate Hendricks, provided  an overview of the history of sef: and its current projects. The subsequent discussion focussed on possible links to the one world and sustainability policy of the federal state.

:further info here

“Sustaining Peace” – Current challenges for democracy


2018 will be the start of a new high-level sef: series called Dresden Forum for International Politics. On 8/9 February 2018, international experts will convene to discuss current challenges for democracies. What are possible pathways towards lasting peace and nonviolent societies? Staffan de Mistura, UN Special Envoy for Syria, and Steve Killelea, Publisher of the Global Peace Index, have already confirmed their participation.

:further info here