Switzerland has hosted international organisations for more than 150 years. Today it accommodates 40 such organisations with more than 25,000 staff. Most of them are based in the Lake Geneva region, two in Bern and one in Basel.
International organizations in Switzerland
Every year, some 4,000 heads of state and government, ministers and high-ranking officials travel to Geneva to attend more than 3,500 meetings held there.
More than 175 UN member states are represented in Geneva, with approximately 4,000 staff.
In addition, nearly 400 non-governmental organisations are based in Geneva and more than 30 international sports federations are based in the canton of Vaud.
Joint declaration by the host authorities of International Geneva
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.
The authorities will jointly support the establishment and modernisation of the head offices of international organisations and NGOs. The three partners will speak with one voice and improve the exchange of information among themselves.
In the name of shared values and objectives, the three partners will support the work of the international organisations by promoting exchanges, cooperation and synergies between the various actors based in Geneva. Every effort will be made to facilitate transport in the region and to strengthen links with other actors (civil society, the private sector, universities).
In order to address the significant burden of Geneva's high cost of living for actors from less developed countries, the three partners will continue to support measures to facilitate the establishment in the city of permanent missions and NGOs that can contribute to the work of International Geneva.
Support for multilateralism requires better understanding of International Geneva's resources. To this end, joint promotional projects (exhibitions, media campaigns, etc.) will be developed in Switzerland and efforts to publicise the Swiss financial contribution to international organisations and NGOs active in cooperation will be stepped up.
Action in support of International Geneva must be long-term, anticipating international cooperation needs and providing appropriate responses.