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ABOUT GENEVA

The United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG) is the representative office of the United Nations in Geneva. With more than 1,600 staff, we are the biggest United Nations duty station outside of headquarters in New York and provide critical support to the Organization’s efforts. We service over 8,000 meetings every year, making UNOG one of the busiest intergovernmental conference centres in the world and a focal point for multilateral diplomacy. Together, we strive to strengthen our contribution towards realizing the vision of the United Nations for a more stable, secure and prosperous world for all. 

Geneva (French: Genève) is the second-most populous city in Switzerland (after Zürich) and is the most populous city of Romandie (the French-speaking part of Switzerland). Situated where the Rhône River exits Lake Geneva (French Lac Léman), it is the capital of the Republic and Canton of Geneva. The city proper had a population of 186,825 in June 2008, and the metropolitan area had 769,000 residents according to a 2005 census. The Geneva metropolitan area extends partly over Switzerland (517,000 inhabitants) and partly over France (251,000 inhabitants).

Geneva is a worldwide center for diplomacy and international cooperation, and is widely regarded as a global city, mainly because of the presence of numerous international organizations, including the headquarters of many of the agencies of the United Nations and the Red Cross. It is also the place where the Geneva Conventions were signed, which chiefly concern the treatment of wartime non-combatants and prisoners of war.

Geneva has been described as the world's sixth most important financial centre by the Global Financial Centres Index, ahead of Tokyo, Chicago, Frankfurt and Sydney, and a 2007 survey by Mercer Consulting found Geneva to have the second-highest quality of life in the world (narrowly outranked by Zürich). The city has been called "the world's smallest metropolis" and the "Peace Capital".

Geneva's Top Ten Things to See and Do

  1. The Lake – Stroll the promenades around the lake and soak up the atmosphere. Take a dip at Bains de Paquis or just relax in one of the lakeside parks or cafes. For a unique perspective on the city, take a one or two hour boat cruise around the lake.
  2. The Old Town – Stop into Saint Peter’s Cathedral and then just wander the maze of cobblestone streets and discover Geneva’s secrets for yourself. For more a more historical perspective, head to the Art and History Museum or the Maison Tavel – the oldest house in the city. Make sure to leave some time to check out wonderful antique boutiques located throughout the old town..
  3. The United Nations Building and Red Cross Museum – Take a tour of the European Headquarters of the United Nations followed up by a visit to the Red Cross Museum across the street. Be sure to take note of the many sculptures as you wander the grounds in between including the “Broken Chair” monument to land mine victims at Place des Nations.
  4. Carouge – Hop across the L’Arve River to the Bohemian burg of Carouge modeled after Nice, France and filled with quaint boutiques where you can actually observe the artisans at work in their studios. Relax in one of Carouge’s artsy cafes or hang around until after dark to party in one the neighborhood’s famous jazz clubs.
  5. Bastions Park and Place Neuve – Enjoy the park and be sure to pay reverence to Reformation Wall on the east side along the old city wall. Test your skill at the life size chessboards or relax at the pavilion café before heading out the gates to Place Neuve, home to Geneva’s oldest and most beautiful performance and exhibition halls.
  6. Window Shopping on Rue de Rive and Rue du Rhone – Gawk at the fashions and jewelry lining Geneva’s most extravagant streets, but try not to look at the price tags. Repose at one of the cafés at Place du Molard or Place de la Fusterie for some first class people watching.
  7. Paquis and Les Grottes – Explore Geneva’s most international districts located just north and east of Gare Cornavin. Try one of the area’s many ethnic restaurants and don’t forget the shopping. The Schtrumpfs Building located at 23-29 Rue Louis-Favre in Les Grottes is a fantastical architectural icon that defies description.
  8. Plainpalais Flea Market – Mingle with the locals at Geneva’s largest outdoor flea market open Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays from 08:00 to 17:00 rain or shine. Antiques, records, vintage clothing and other curios await savvy bargain hunters.
  9. The Saleve – Ride the gondola up Geneva’s backyard mountain and enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding Alps and the city below. Of course if you’re feeling fit, you can hike up along one of the Saleve’s many marked trails.
  10. Get Out – Take a bike or boat ride to any of Lake Geneva’s other lakeside paradises or hop on an excursion bus at Gare Routiere to visit one of Switzerland’s famous mountain towns

Directory of Permanent Missions to the United Nations Office in Geneva

Please click here to access the directory.

Entertainment in Geneva

Information will be provided in delegates’ welcome packages when they arrive in Geneva.