The city of Geneva has a long tradition of hosting international and non-governmental organisations, scientific and academic actors, civil society and the private sector who today work together to find solutions to the global challenges of our societies. For that reason, reference is made to "International Geneva". This acknowledges not only its pivotal role in terms of cooperation but also its position at the forefront of multilateral diplomacy.
Facts and figures about International Geneva
International Geneva in numbers
- 42 international organizations in the Lake Geneva Region (45 in total in Switzerland)
- 177 states
- About 750 Non-governmental organizations (NGO)
- About 32,000 international civil servants, diplomats and representatives of the civil society
- More than 4,700 annual visits of heads of state and government, ministers and other dignitaries
- More than 3,400 meetings annually with a total of 182,000 delegates from all around the world
Since the founding of the Red Cross in 1863, International Geneva has evolved considerably into what is now one of the foremost centres of global governance. It thus embodies the significant international humanitarian commitment made by the Swiss Confederation and by Geneva itself.
Switzerland has been host to international organisations and conferences for more than 150 years. This role of host state is firmly rooted in Switzerland's tradition of humanitarianism and policy of making its good offices available. International activities take place in Basel, Bern, in the canton of Vaud and above all in Geneva. The city of Geneva itself is host to 39 international institutions, organizations, bodies as well as a secretariat established under a treaty, approximately 750 NGOs and the permanent representations of 177 member states, including Switzerland.
International Geneva – or the international interests of Switzerland through Geneva – is a valuable instrument and most significant platform for Swiss foreign policy. Through its long-standing humanitarian tradition, it symbolises the core values that the vast majority of the Swiss population recognise as their own.
Finally, International Geneva is an essential component of Geneva's identity and acts as a major economic driver for the whole of the Lake Geneva region.
Recognised areas of expertise
The policy of actively welcoming and continually adapting to the needs of international organisations, representations of their respective member states and of civil society has made Geneva – and hence also Switzerland – a recognised centre of expertise in the following areas:
- peace, security and disarmament
- humanitarian action and humanitarian law, human rights and migration
- labour, economics, trade, science and telecommunications
- the environment and sustainable development
Centre of global governance
New York, where the UN headquarters is situated, and Geneva are the world's main centres of multilateral diplomacy. Geneva is the most active centre of global governance, however, with over 3,400 meetings annually, bringing together approximately 182,000 delegates from all around the world. Some 4,700 prominent figures, including heads of state and government, ministers and other dignitaries, travel to Geneva each year.