The 9th UN Summer Academy, organized by the United Nations System Staff College (UNSSC) Knowledge Centre for Sustainable Development, will take place online from 24 to 28 August, 2020.

As the world prepares to mark the 75th anniversary of the United Nations, this year’s UN Summer Academy is themed around the vision of the “Future We Want”. Against the backdrop of the ongoing global health crisis, the five-day programme brings together government and civil society representatives, thought leaders, academia, as well as youth to discuss  the threats that face our world, and  the opportunities to better understand, and meet the needs of the present and the future. The UN Summer Academy is integral to promoting participatory dialogue that articulates interests, and builds innovative approaches to enable the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

The key message: we need renewed commitment to multilateralism and evidence-based optimism in humankind’s ability to create a world for all to thrive.

Natalie Samarasinghe, Chief of Strategy in the Office of the Special Adviser on the Preparations for the Commemoration of the United Nations’ 75th Anniversary, will open this year’s UN Summer Academy. The programme features live webinars with thought leaders, including Professor Parfait Eloundou-Enyegue, member of the independent group of scientists who authored the 2019 Global Sustainable Development report, Professor Imme Scholz, Deputy Director of the German Development Institute, and Dr. Irene Guijt, Head of Research, Oxfam Great Britain. Participants will use  their learnings from these inputs, into working group sessions where they will collaborate on video submissions for UN75’s global conversation. Videos will be based the on the theme of the summer academy  

This first-ever virtual edition of the UN Summer Academy is made possible by the generous sponsorship of the Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia, which has not only enabled UNSSC to offer the course at a reduced rate, but also funded more than 50 full scholarships. As a result, over 100 participants representing 50 countries will connect for this immersive online learning event.

While participants cannot physically come to Bonn in 2020, the virtual Summer Academy will retain its linkages to the City of Bonn, which has hosted the UN Summer Academy since 2016. The sustainability hub is home to more than 20 different UN entities and programmes, as well as more than 150 international organizations working on sustainable development. Whether it is through expert inputs from Bonn-based UN entities, or an online performance by the World BEAThoven project, participants will still have the opportunity to connect virtually with the city.

About UNSSC/About KCSD

The UNSSC is the learning organization of the United Nations system, headquartered in Turin, Italy. The UNSSC designs and delivers learning programmes for UN staff and their partners. The Knowledge Centre for Sustainable Development in Bonn has been established by the UNSSC to respond to the learning, training, and knowledge management needs of UN Staff and UN partners in the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Climate Change Agreement. The Knowledge Centre facilitates the implementation of these global agreements by offering joint learning and knowledge-sharing opportunities to all stakeholders. The Knowledge Centre offers customised training, workshops, and collaborative spaces and actively engages in the successful implementation of the global plan of action for people, planet, and prosperity.

Members of the Press who wish to cover the UN Summer Academy are welcome to join us for any of the following sessions:

  • August 24, 14:00 - 16:00 CEST: Opening ceremony, including remarks by Natalie Samarasinghe,Chief of Strategy in the Office of the Special Adviser on the Preparations for the Commemoration of the United Nations’ 75th Anniversary
  • August 28, 14:00 - 16:00 CEST: Closing ceremony

Contact information for media inquiries: sustainable-development[at], UNSSC Knowledge Centre for Sustainable Development, Martin-Luther-King-Str. 8, 53175 Bonn, Germany