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

Lecture series in the UN City of Bonn

Bonn, 16.04.2015 bis 05.11.2015


German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE)
Forum Internationale Wissenschaft (FIW)
Liaison Office International Academic Sciences of 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.


16 April 2015:
Never-ending story: Reforming the United Nations

Silke Weinlich, Senior Researcher, German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE)
Please note that the location has changed: The lecture will be at FIW.

7 May 2015:
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

28 May 2015:
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

18 June 2015:
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

7 September 2015:
Save the people and the planet: The quest for sustainable development goals
Jens Martens, Executive Director, Global Policy Forum (GPF)
Christine Hackenesch, Researcher, German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE)

16 September 2015:
New Humanitarian actors and the UN
Dennis Dijkzeul, Professor of Organization and Conflict Research, Ruhr-Universität Bochum
Location: FIW
Comment: Karl-Otto Zentel, CARE Germany-Luxembourg e.V.

7 October 2015:
After the Summit: Implementing the sustainable development agenda

Thomas Gass, Assistant Secretary-General, UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA)
Comment: Imme Scholz, DIE
Location: DIE

15 October 2015:
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

5 November 2015:
Fit for Purpose? The United Nations‘ role in the future we want

Panel discussion with:
Jacob Rhyner, Vice-Rector in Europe, UN University (UNU)
Richard Dictus, Executive Coordinator, UN Volunteers (UNV)
Richard Kinley, Deputy Executive Secretary, Climate Change Secretariat (UNFCCC)
Lutz Möller, Deputy Secretary-General, German Commision for UNESCO
Jürgen Zattler, Deputy Director General, German Ministry for Economic Co-operation and Development (BMZ)

Events start at 17:00, except the panel discussion on 5 November 2015, which starts at 18:00. After the lectures DIE, FIW and the City of Bonn are inviting to a reception.

Hinweis / Please note

Während unserer Veranstaltungen werden z.T. Foto- und/oder Filmaufnahmen gemacht, die für Zwecke der Veranstaltungsberichterstattung und allgemeinen Öffentlichkeitsarbeit in verschiedenen Medien veröffentlicht werden. Sie haben jederzeit das Recht, die Foto- oder Videograf*innen darauf hinzuweisen, dass Sie nicht aufgenommen werden möchten.

During our events photos and/or videos may be taken which may be published in various media for the purposes of documentation and PR activities. You have the right at any time to point out to the photographer or videographer that you do not want to be photographed or filmed.


16.04.2015 bis 05.11.2015


German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE)
Tulpenfeld 6
53113 Bonn

Forum Internationale Wissenschaft (FIW)
Bonner Universitätsforum
Heussallee 18-24
D-53113 Bonn


Please register for the events of the lecture series in the UN City of Bonn. Registration for each date starts two weeks prior the scheduled date and ends one day before the lecture and can be found here.


Storify "Peacekeeping at the crossroads"

You can read our documented Twitter discussion of this event here.

Fit for Purpose? The United Nations' role in the future we want