The Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, visited the UN premises in Bonn, Germany, on 31 January 2014, where one of UN-SPIDER's offices is located. The Secretary General met with high-level representatives of Bonn-based UN agencies, including the Directors of UNFCCC, UNCCD, UNV and the Head of the UN-SPIDER Bonn Office, and addressed the UN staff in a town hall meeting. He particularly highlighted three topics that are of high relevance to the Bonn-based organisations, namely the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015, the on-going process concerning the elaboration of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the on-going process regarding a new global climate change agreement.
The Secretary General recognized the important work that agencies in Bonn are carrying out on themes related to the sustainable use of the environment, disaster risk reduction and disaster management. These topics are particularly relevant in the context of sustainable development. He also pointed out the need to provide more attention and visibility to "silent crises" - those that are not in the headlines every day, such as desertification, drought and land degradation.
The Secretary General visited Bonn after having met high-level representatives of the German government in Berlin including Germany's chancellor Angela Merkel. He had also attended the inauguration and first session of the Scientific Advisory Board of the United Nations Secretary General in Berlin. This board, comprised of 26 experts from different fields of science and technology and from different Member States, will provide policy-relevant advice to the Secretary General and other UN organizations on scientific and technical issues relevant to sustainable development and other goals of the UN system.
Photos of the visit are available on Flickr.