Facts and figures about International Geneva

Geneva is a global hub for international cooperation, which is why it is often referred to as "International Geneva". © Swiss Image/Stephan Engle

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.

International Geneva in numbers

  • 42 international organizations in the Lake Geneva Region (45 in total in Switzerland)
  • 181 states
  • About 750 Non-governmental organizations (NGO)
  • About 32,000 international civil servants, diplomats and representatives of the civil society 
  • More than 4,000 annual visits of heads of state and government, ministers and other dignitaries
  • More than 5,000 conferences per year organised in face-to-face, teleconference or hybrid mode and attended by approximately 523,000 delegates from 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 181 member states, including Switzerland.

Core values

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
  • health
  • 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 5,000 meetings annually held in face-to-face, teleconference or hybrid mode with the participation of approximately 523,000 delegates from the five continents.  Some 4,000 prominent figures, including heads of state and government, ministers and other dignitaries, travel to Geneva each year.


The State of Geneva offers an information platform for International Geneva stakeholders.
UN project aimed at promoting the importance and the impact of the work of international organisations based in Geneva
City of Geneva
Ville de Genève

City of Geneva 

The Foundation promotes Geneva and its international dimension
A foundation aimed at raising awareness among students and teachers on the activities of international organizations