Geneva, international city par excellence

At the heart of Western Europe, at the foot of the Alps and the Jura mountains, Geneva has been a multicultural city and a major international crossroads for diplomatic and humanitarian affairs since the XIX Century, when the International Committee of the Red Cross was founded.

At the heart of Western Europe, at the foot of the Alps and the Jura mountains, Geneva has been a multicultural city and a major international crossroads for diplomatic and humanitarian affairs since the XIX Century, when the International Committee of the Red Cross was founded.

A prosperous town since the Middle Ages, Geneva was the cradle of the religious reforms in the XVI Century and came to be called the Protestant Rome.

Today, 40% of the population are of foreign origin. One hundred and sixty-one countries are represented in Geneva and there are some 40,000 international civil servants, which makes Geneva one of the most international cities on the planet.

Twenty-six International Organisations have their Headquarters in Geneva, benefitting from headquarters or fiscal agreements with the Swiss Government (Conseil Fédéral). These International Organisations deal with a whole panoply of subjects, from human rights to training and education, humanitarian action, trade, the environment and sustainable development, meteorology, intellectual property, health, nuclear research, telecommunications and labour.

The United Nations has one of its Headquarters in Geneva, the United Nations Office in Geneva (UNOG) with the Economic Commission for Europe (ECE), the United Nations Commission for Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Several UN specialised agencies are also based in the city: the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the International Telecommunications Union (ITU),  the UNESCO International Bureau for Education (UNESCO-IBE), the World Health Organisation (WHO), the World International Property Organisation (WIPO) and the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO).

Other International Organisations which are not part of the UN family are also based in Geneva, including: the Agency for International Cooperation and Information on International Trade (ACICI), the European Centre for Nuclear research (CERN), the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), the Inter-parliamentary Union (IPU), the International Standards Organisation (ISO), the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV) and the World Trade Organisation (WTO),

Large meetings may be held at the International Conference Centre Geneva or at Palexpo.

The public transport network in Geneva is very good. The city tax paid at hotels provides all visitors with a pass for all public transport for the duration of their stay. Plan of the network at www.tpg.ch

First Contracts

Practical information

ITU French - English - Spanish

UNOG French - English - Spanish

WHO French - English - Spanish

WIPO French - English - Spanish

WMO French - English - Spanish


2017

Recommended citation format:
VEGA Network. "Geneva, international city par excellence". aiic.net July 29, 2009. Accessed November 12, 2019. <http://aiic.net/p/3294>.



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