Mayor Ashok Sridharan

Official NameCity of Bonn
CountryGermany - Europe
Area141.2 km²
Participant Since29 September 2008
Participation TypeActive
RepresentativeMayor Ashok Sridharan
Next COE Due On26 October 2018

Transparent, fair, aware – Bonn and the Global Compact

Statement from Ashok Sridharan, Mayor of Bonn

Bonn is Germany’s United Nations City and home to roughly 320,000 inhabitants from 180 countries. The UN in Bonn features 18 organisations, who dedicate their work to shaping a sustainable future. Together with German federal ministries, academia, some 150 non-governmental organisations and global businesses, they form a unique hub for sustainable development. The City of Bonn has long been more than a host to this great number of players and stakeholders, forming an active part of the movement. Bonn joined the Global Compact in 2008, when the former mayor Bärbel Dieckmann signed the commitment in presence of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Bonn has continually pursued its path towards sustainability. The field of transparency, global justice and social framework conditions has ranked high in the priority lists of our local government and, of course, of the mayors of Bonn. In March 2014, the City Council adopted the guidelines for civil society participation. With the status of a by-law, they led to the establishment of a City Council board for participation as well as a project office for new approaches towards civil participation. It turned out that municipal budgeting was to become a frontrunner in participation. While German legislation calls for public information on adopted budgets, Bonn includes its citizenship at an earlier point in the budgeting process via online participation as well as by a number of events that enable our citizens to render an active contribution. Furthermore, Bonn has become a fairtrade town. The efforts undertaken by the city administration, in the field of education, by civil society and retail trade have all been bundled in favor of advancing the fairtrade movement and fair consumption in Bonn. Actually, Bonn is the only city Germany-wide to have established a project office for fairtrade! Naturally, fairtrade also concerns our municipal procurement. Already in 2013 and 2014, we trained our staff in the field of sustainable procurement, creating awareness and informing about fair criteria and labels. Currently, our municipal office for Green Spaces, Parks and Forests is in the process of procuring fair work suits for gardeners. Cooperation with the non-governmental organization femnet will help to establish criteria for fairtrade-oriented bids during the next procurement period. The green space management purchases 300 pants and jackets for gardeners, 110 overalls and 120 pants and jackets for foresters every two years. This might sound a small quantity. However, we are the first city to do this – and I sincerely hope that small beacon projects like these will stimulate other cities to proceed likewise. Another project yet to come is a portal for donors on our website. Citizens will be invited to submit their favorite projects online. This will be followed by a public online voting. The winning projects will all be presented, allowing for online donation on that same website. The principles of the Global Compact are more valid than ever in these days of global change. Besides the examples I have quoted, Bonn will continue to advance sustainability in all possible fields of action and make it a priority on all decision levels. I would like to express my heartfelt commitment to the Compact and my hope that it may steer some significant contributions towards the Agenda 2030.