Bonn Under the theme "Leaving no one behind", a United Nations Day public festival took place in Bonn on Saturday. Information tents were set up on the Marktplatz to inform the public about the work of the 21 UN organizations based in Bonn.
A United Nations organization with the name UN-Spider - that sounds exciting. But Radu Nikolaus Botez explained to the audience at the UN-Spider information stand on Marktplatz on United Nations Day: No, it's not about spiders, it's about a web. Satellites in the earth's orbit are networked in order to collect and evaluate information about natural disasters and make it available to countries, such as flood mapping and earthquake regions. "We are also working with African countries," says Botez. "That is the focus of the Bonn office."
He had to speak loudly to be understood, because there was a lot of activity in the tent where the information stand was located. On Saturday, visitors to all the stands wanted to find out more about the work of the UN in Bonn. What do the volunteers do? How are bats protected? What measures can be taken to reduce the damage caused by natural disasters? Of course, the visitors also received answers to all these questions. They learned all there is to know about the UN campus. "It's nice to be able to have this exchange with the local population," Raduz said. "We are a specialized field and we can show what it is useful for."
This was the case for most of the United Nations offices. New in Bonn is the UN Office One HR. An office that actually works behind the scenes: "We are a global service center for personnel administration," explained Sascha Strobel. One HR, for example, is responsible for ensuring that the earnings of UN employees recruited in different countries are adapted to the salary conditions of their respective countries of origin. Last September, the office moved from Bangkok to Bonn. Strobel tirelessly answered the visitors' questions. "Many people also ask me where they can get a job at the United Nations." According to Strobel, however, he is not responsible for that, he then refers them to the UN career portal.
The UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) has been in existence for 25 years. There have been successes in many countries, said Yukie Hori of the Bonn Secretariat. 120 countries have signed the legally binding international agreement and each has developed its own goals. It is not a question of reforesting arid landscapes, but of dealing responsibly with these ecosystems. There was a lot of interest among the visitors, Hori said. "The UN Day offers a good opportunity to make us better known.
Many non-governmental organizations - so-called NGOs - also introduced themselves to the visitors. At Welthungerhilfe, for example, a big Africa puzzle had to be put together - a challenge not only for children. The German government was on site with the Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and showed a film on the consequences of climate change in Madagascar. Those who wanted to watch the film had to wear special glasses.
At the stand of the UN Refugee Aid, visitors could look at a tent which is normally used to accommodate a family of five refugees. And the employees advertised with comedian Dave Davis for the campaign "Two billion kilometers towards protection".
In front of the Old Town Hall there was a stage program with the band UNbearables of the United Nations, African clowns, the BAP cover band MAM and children's magician Mecki.
It was on that stage where Lord Mayor Ashok Sridharan opened the festival together with Shyamal Majumdar, Head of the UN International Center for Vocational Education and Training. Bonn is a UN city "because there are many nice and colorful people here," Majumdar said. Sridharan invited the visitors to inform themselves, but also to seek exchange: Good ideas for a more sustainable life would be welcomed, said the Lord Mayor.
Original text: Stefan Knopp