Bonn Symposium 2015

CC BY 2.0 flickr/Reedz-Malik

Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals at the Local Level – Strategies and Mechanisms

17 to 18 November 2015
Deutsche Welle, Bonn

The UN General Assembly adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in September 2015. The SDGs follow on from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) but also take account of the outcomes of the 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20). The new 2030 Agenda thus captures all aspects of sustainable development – i.e. its environmental, economic and social dimensions – and applies to developing, emerging and industrialised countries alike.

For all the world’s countries, this raises the question of how to implement the new goals. Their success will be determined not in the UN General Assembly or in cabinet but, above all, in towns and cities where people live and work. The Bonn Symposium 2015 therefore aims to provide a forum for a range of local stakeholders (policy-makers, administrators and civil society) to explore the opportunities and challenges arising from the new Sustainable Development Goals and, together, to discuss possible strategies and mechanisms for their implementation. It will focus particularly on the role of local sustainability strategies.

The Bonn Symposium has long stood for international dialogue among local stakeholders. The global dimension of the SDGs creates a need and, above all, an opportunity for mutual learning. Thanks to the MDGs, many municipalities in the Global South are already well-versed in implementing binding international commitments and in producing suitable strategies and are able to share this experience with their counterparts in Europe, including Germany.

The two-day Symposium will focus on the following questions:

  • Which Sustainable Development Goals have been adopted?
  • How are they to be implemented?
  • Which contribution can and must the municipalities around the world make to SDG implementation?
  • How might local management for sustainability look?
  • Which mechanisms, processes and resources are needed in this context?

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