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 organisations. 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

  • 41 international organizations, 44 in whole Switzerland
  • 178 states represented
  • About 750 Non-governmental organizations (NGO)
  • About 34,000 international civil servants, diplomats and representatives of the civil society 
  • More than 4,400 annual visits of heads of state and government, ministers and other dignitaries
  • More than 3,200 meetings annually with a total of 207,000 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 38 international institutions, organizations, bodies as well as a secretariat established under a treaty, approximately  750 NGOs and the permanent representations of 178 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 3,000 meetings annually, bringing together approximately 207,000 delegates from all around the world. Some 4,400 prominent figures, including heads of state and government, ministers and other dignitaries, travel to Geneva each year.

Annual expenditure of several billion francs 

The institutions that make up International Geneva have large budgets and the whole region's economy benefits greatly from that. In 2018 the international organisations' and institutions' expenditure amounted to CHF 6.3 billion.

Jobs within international cooperation

Jobs of international cooperation, RTS

International Geneva gathers a multitude of jobs contributing to peace, rights and well-being worldwide. A short-films serie produced by the "Radio Télévision Suisse" (RTS) illustrates them.

"Coopération internationale: un métier" 

Joint declaration by the host authorities of International Geneva

In 2019, to mark the 100th anniversary of multilateral work in Geneva, the Confederation and the Canton and City of Geneva have signed a joint declaration setting out a five-point joint action plan to strengthen Switzerland's role as a host state.


UN project aimed at promoting the importance and the impact of the work of international organisations based in Geneva


International Geneva Welcome Centre's mission is to facilitate the installation and the integration of "International Geneva players"

Genève internationale
République et Canton de Genève

The Republic and Canton of Geneva

City of Geneva
Ville de Genève

City of Geneva 

Foundation active in the promotion of Geneva and its international dimension

Fondation EDUKI
Fondation EDUKI

Foundation aimed at raising students and teachers awarness and education of international organisations' activities