International Organisations in Geneva
International Organisations present in Geneva
The website Geneva International offers a collection of links towards websites of the main international organisations, indicating whether they have a representation in Geneva. This is a thematic listing. A list of international organisations with a short description of their work can be found on Geneva International Cooperation. The Swiss Department of Foreign Affairs has also established a list of international organisations with headquarters in Switzerland, where you may also find details such as the name of the secretary general of the organisation, their number of member states or their headquarters agreement with Switzerland. All organisations listed there have their headquarters in Geneva, except the Universal Postal Union (Bern), the Bank for International Settlements (Basel) and the Intergovernmental Organization for International Carriage by Rail (Bern).
In the Guide on International Organisations and the book UN system engagement with NGOs, civil society, the private sector and other actors, you will find short presentations on the different international organisations and their work.
You will find more information on each international organisations by clicking on its name in Geneva International, which will take you directly to the organisation's home page. You may also consult the website Geneva International Cooperation.
The Geneva International website lists all international organisations, clasified based on the themes they are working on.
In our Practical guide about International Geneva, you will find a map of the different organisations in Geneva. The UN also has a localisation for the international organisations, and the website Geneva International Cooperation offers an interactive map of the organisations.
Each organisation has its own calendar of conferences which you can consult on their website. The International Agenda and the Geneva International Calender both facilitate your search on conferences taking place in Geneva. You can select particular themes or dates.
The conferences of the UN system are also available on the UN Calendar.
Working with an international organisation: NGO Liaison Offices
A number of Geneva-based international organisations have at least one person among their staff who deals with everything regarding relations between the organisation and NGOs. If your NGO is interested in cooperating with this organisation, the NGO liaison office is your first and best contact. Your interlocutor will know the internal functioning and needs of the organisation very well and is in a good position to answer your request or to redirect you to a competent person.
Depending on each international organisation, NGO liaison offices may also have different names, such as "NGO focal point", "Civil Society Unit" or "NGO Office".
United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG)
Mr. Ricardo Espinosa
Office of the Director-General
Palais des Nations
1211 Geneva 10
Tel: + 41 (0)22 917 21 27
Fax: +41 (0)22 917 05 83
More information on the NGO Unit in Geneva is available on their website.
UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs
One United Nations Plaza
New York, NY 10017
Tel: +1 212 963 8652
Fax: +1 212 963 9248
You may find information regarding the New York based NGO Branch on their website.
Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
Civil Society Section
1211 Geneva 10
Tel. +41 (0)22 917 96 56
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
The NGO Liaison Office of the UNOG supports NGOs participating in ECOSOC meetings and the meetings of its subsidiary organs. Therefore, for all questions related to ECOSOC consultative status, this liaison office is your interlocutor. In addition, they can help you with questions regarding meeting facilities at the Palais des Nations, as well as with questions regarding accreditation of NGOs to the UNOG (see also the chapter “Accreditation for UN conferences and other meetings in Geneva” below).
For more details consult the UNOG NGO liaison office's website.
The NGO Liaison Office of the OHCHR aims, in general terms, at facilitating NGO access to OHCR and interaction with it. Since the OHCHR functions also as the Secretariat of the Human Rights Council, questions regarding the functioning of the Council and its procedures should be addressed to this NGO Liaison Office.
On their website you can find detailed information and the right contact persons for the following topics:
- Accreditation for a session of the Human Rights Council: Note that accreditation is always needed, even if your NGO has obtained ECOSOC consultative status, since these are two different things (See also the questions “What does ECOSOC consultative status mean?” and “What does accreditation mean?”)
- Oral statements: Registration for oral statements will in general take place during the conference. On the website of the NGO liaison office of OHCHR, you can find the online oral statement request form, as well as detailed information on oral statements.
- Written statements: have to be sent to this NGO liaison office. See their website for the conditions for submission of written statements
- Agenda of meeting of the Human Rights Council
- Draft Program of Work of the Human Rights Council
- NGO parallel events to the sessions of the Human Rights Council: room booking, inscription on the bulletin of informal meetings and other organisational matters.
Finally, the NGO liaison office of the OHCHR organises orientation sessions for NGOs.
For further information, please see the website of the NGO liaison office of OHCHR regarding NGO participation within the Human Rights Council.