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The United Nations at 70: Fit for "The Future We Want"?

Lecture series in the UN City of Bonn

2015 marks the 70th anniversary of the United Nations. Both, the world and the UN, have changed since its 51 founding members signed the UN Charter on 26 June 1945 to prevent the doom of another World War. Today, the UN totals 193 member states while the nature and scope of the United Nations' activities have greatly expanded.

Moreover, 2015 does not merely mark a jubilee but will see a number of landmark events that are bound to shape the world organization's - and thereby the world's - future: an emergent sustainable development agenda awaits final agreement, a global accord to save the planet from unabated global warming is finally to be reached, peacekeeping is due for yet another makeover, all the while the search for a new Secretary-General to succeed Ban Ki-moon is set to begin.

Positioned at the interface of research and policy-making, this public lecture series aims to review how some of the most pressing global challenges are addressed by the United Nations. Taking a long-term perspective, eminent experts will offer critical appraisals of the United Nations' role in pertinent policy fields such as sustainable global development, peacekeeping, human and refugee rights or international climate policy and contextualize them in view of current processes and perennial reform debates. Ultimately, these talks will contribute to answering the question whether the UN is fit to deliver on a "future we want" - the rallying call of the United Nations' "Rio+20" summit in 2012.



Never-ending story: Reforming the United Nations
Silke Weinlich, Senior Researcher, German Development Institute /
Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE)

Location: FIW




The United Nations at 70: A historical appraisal
Sir Richard Jolly, Honorary Professor and co-director UN Intellectual History Project, University of Sussex, UK

Location: DIE



From the Berlin Mandate to a Paris Agreement?
A brief history of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change

Steffen Bauer, Senior Researcher, German Development Institute /
Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE)

Comment: Nick Nuttall, UNFCCC

Location: DIE



Peacekeeping at the crossroads. 
Current challenges for the United Nations

Conrad Schetter, Director for Research, Bonn International Center for
Conversion (BICC)
Francesco Galtieri, Chief, Peace Programming Section, UN Volunteers (UNV)

Location: DIE





Save the people and the planet: 
The quest for sustainable development goals

Jens Martens, Executive Director, Global Policy Forum (GPF)

Christine Hackenesch, Researcher & Political Scientist, Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik / German Development Institute (DIE)

Location: FIW


New humanitarian actors and the UN
Dennis Dijkzeul, Professor of Organization and Conflict Research, Ruhr-Universität Bochum

Comment: Karl-Otto Zentel, Secretary General and Board, CARE Germany-Luxembourg e.V.

Location: FIW


After the Summit: Implementing the sustainable development agenda
Thomas Gass, Assistant Secretary-General, UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA)

 Imme Scholz, DIE

Location: DIE



The emergence of the post-war international order and the idea of world society
Rudolf Stichweh,Founding Director, Forum Internationale Wissenschaft
Comment: Dirk Messner, DIE

Location: FIW










  • Jakob Rhyner, Vice-Rector in Europe, UN University (UNU)
  • Richard Dictus, Executive Coordinator, UN Volunteers (UNV)
  • Richard Kinley, Deputy Executive Secretary, Climate Change Secretariat
  • Lutz Möller, Deputy Secretary-General, German Commision for
  • Jürgen Zattler, Deputy Director General, German Ministry for Economic Co-operation and Development (BMZ)
      Moderation: Monika Hoegen
Welcoming addresses by
  • Prof. Dr. Michael Hoch, Rector, University of Bonn
  • Ashok-Alexander Sridharan, Mayor, City of Bonn

Music by UNFCCC-Staff Band "The UNbearables"

Location: FIW


  • Venues:
    German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für
    Entwicklungspolitik (DIE)
    Tulpenfeld 6
    D-53113 Bonn

    Forum Internationale Wissenschaft (FIW)
    Bonner Universitätsforum
    Heussallee 18-24
    D-53113 Bonn
  • Contact for inquiries:  
    Björn Müller-Bohlen  
    Email: [Email protection active, please enable JavaScript.] 

The lecture series is co-organised by the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE), the Forum Internationale Wissenschaft (fiw) and the Liaison Office International Academic Sciences of the UN City of Bonn.


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