International Geneva

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.

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 symbolises the significant international humanitarian commitment made by the Swiss Confederation and by Geneva itself.

International Geneva in numbers

  • 43 international institutions, organizations, bodies and secretariats in Switzerland, among 37 in Geneva
  • approximately 380 NGOs
  • 177 states represented in Geneva
  • 257 permanent missions, representations and delegations in Geneva
  • 22,500 members of organizations with headquarters agreement in Switzerland, among 21,500 in Geneva
  • 1,100 members of organizations with tax agreement in Switzerland, among 920 in Geneva
  • 1,400 members of international bodies, among 815 in Geneva
  • 2'700 members of non-gouvernemental organizations in Geneva
  • 4,000 members of permanent missions, representations and delegations in Geneva
  • 2,800 meetings annually with a total of 219,000 delegates from around the world

Centre 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 multilateral diplomacy

New York – home to the UN's headquarters – and Geneva are the two most important centres of global governance. Geneva forms the most active centre of multilateral diplomacy worldwide, with more than 2,700 meetings taking place there annually, bringing together around 200,000 delegates from five continents.

More than 170 states are represented in Geneva by a mission/permanent representation to the United Nations Office and the other international organisations in Geneva, the World Trade Organisation and/or the Conference on Disarmament.


Source: Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the United Nations Office (UNOG)

International Geneva

Presentation by FDFA (2:04 min.)
Presentation by Geneva Tourism
(2:43 min.)
Presentation by RTS (4:04 min.)
FIPOI OI  à Genève
International organisations in Geneva