Geneva-Based International Organizations


On the subject of “International Geneva”, the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs has this to say :

Switzerland has been hosting international organizations for over 100 years. Since the pioneer organizations were set up in Berne in the 19th century (the International Telecommunication Union in 1868, the Intergovernmental Organization for International Carriage by Rail in 1873, the Universal Postal Union in 1874), Geneva has seen the arrival of various organizations established following the First World War (the League of Nations and the International Labour Organization in 1919), plus all those which were founded after 1945, most of them under the aegis of the United Nations. The number of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) has also grown since the 19th century. Examples of the oldest include the International Committee of the Red Cross (1863), and the European Broadcasting Union (1950).

Switzerland is host to 33 international organizations which have signed headquarters (26) or fiscal agreements (7) with the Swiss Federal Council. 23 international organizations with headquarters agreements are based in Geneva, including for example the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG), the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) and the World Trade Organization (WTO). Among these 23 organizations, 8 are United Nations agencies, for example: the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the World Meteorolgical Organization (WMO) and others. Seven international organizations that have signed a fiscal agreement are located in Geneva or in the Geneva area; for example, the International Air Transport Association (IATA, Geneva), the Airports Council International (ACI, Geneva) and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA, European Office, Lausanne).

About 250 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have their seat in Geneva. These include the World Council of Churches, the Lutheran World Federation and many others.

165 foreign States (166 including Switzerland) are represented in Geneva by a permanent mission or representation (to the United Nations Office at Geneva and to other international organizations, to the World Trade Organization and/or the Conference on Disarmament).

Here is a – well, less than inclusive – list of international organizations based in Geneva :

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