Geneva, the Capital of Peace
Do you know why Geneva is sometimes referred to as the Capital of Peace? Switzerland’s second-largest city, Geneva is home to many international organizations. The city is also the birthplace of the Geneva Conventions and the Red Cross.
Do you know why Geneva is sometimes referred to as the Capital of Peace? Switzerland’s second-largest city, Geneva is home to many international organizations. The city is also the birthplace of the Geneva Conventions and the Red Cross. Learn more about Switzerland’s and Geneva’s efforts to promote peace through dialogue as we celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Nestled between the Alps and the Jura Mountains, the French-speaking Swiss city of Geneva has a long tradition of hosting international organizations. For that reason, the city is called “International Geneva.” Since the founding of the Red Cross in 1863, International Geneva has considerably evolved and come to symbolize the Swiss government’s and Geneva’s own significant international humanitarian commitments. A significant development in the city’s international reach occurred at the end of World War I, when the League of Nations, the precursor to the United Nations, was founded and based in neutral Geneva in an attempt to prevent wars and foster international dialogue. U.S. President Woodrow Wilson was instrumental in the founding and philosophy of the League of Nations, and today the building that houses the headquarters of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights is named after him.
And a short walk from the Palais Wilson by the lake sits the Celestial Sphere Woodrow Wilson Memorial. This symbol of peace is located in the park of the Palace of Nations, home to the United Nations Human Rights Council. A Swiss initiative, the Human Rights Council began its work in 2006. The Council, together with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, aims to promote and strengthen the rights and fundamental freedoms of all individuals.
The “world’s smallest metropolis” is at the forefront of multilateral diplomacy and is the second most important center of global governance after New York City.
Geneva hosts the European headquarters of the United Nations and more than 40 international organizations. Over 170 states are represented in Geneva by diplomatic missions to the United Nations and the other international organizations such as the World Trade Organization and the Conference on Disarmament. With several hundred NGOs and an urban and intellectual fabric that brings the academic and economic worlds closer to international action, Geneva is the ideal place to discuss global change. By focusing on peace, rights, and well-being, the dedicated individuals in International Geneva work together to improve the living conditions of people throughout the world. Every day, International Geneva actors produce concrete solutions to global challenges that are directly implemented in the field all over the world. An astounding 8,000 meetings take place annually in the Capital of Peace, bringing together around 200,000 delegates from all corners of the world.