International organizations

Where the world speaks with one voice

  Situated in the center of Europe and characterized by its traditional openness and neutrality, Switzerland is an ideal location for international organizations and for hosting politically sensitive meetings and conferences.  Bern, the federal capital, is home to numerous embassies as well as institutions such as the Universal Postal Union (UPU).

The heart of international cooperation

Geneva is the world’s most active, multilateral diplomatic center, with more than 3,300 conferences per year bringing together approximately 221,000 delegates from five continents.  The city hosts two-thirds of the institutions of the United Nations, and has the largest concentration of UN personnel, with 9,500 employees.  The UN’s principal fields of activity can be found here:  health, labor, intellectual property, human rights, humanitarian aid,
relief for natural disasters, economy, trade, development, disarmament, science and technology, as well as research and education.  Geneva is also home to the headquarters of hundreds of international organizations, most notably the World Trade Organization (WTO), as well as hundreds of NGOs.  The Geneva Welcome Centre (CAGI) provides practical assistance to newly-arrived employees of these international organizations living in the Geneva region.

Key figures on international organizations

  • 400 non-governmental organizations
  • 1 out of every 10 jobs is created by the international organizations, NGOs, permanent missions and consulates located in the canton of Geneva
  • 56 organizations and international sports federations located in the canton of Vaud
Sources: Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, International Geneva, Canton of Vaud

A unique convergence of international sports organizations

The Greater Geneva Bern area is home to more international sports federations and institutions than any other region in the world. Organizations such as the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) and the European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR), can be found in the region.  The Maison du Sport International (MSI)
was inaugurated in Lausanne in 2006, and it is the world’s only center which hosts numerous international sports organizations under one roof.  The center is home to approximately 30 international sports associations and approximately 20 companies active in the sports industry.  The dynamic setting allows the leaders of these organizations to take advantage of synergies and to share best practices in their field.

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