Meetings and congresses

Switzerland Convention & Incentive Bureau

International organisations

Swiss traditions of open-mindedness and neutrality have led hundreds of international organisations from the United Nations to world sports bodies to make a base here.

Share contents

Thanks for your rating
Switzerland’s long-standing commitment to diplomacy, international cooperation and humanitarian involvement reflects values important to multinational companies seeking new business locations. Foreign firms and their well-travelled employees appreciate Switzerland’s culture of tolerance, and find a cosmopolitan, receptive atmosphere that encourages innovative thinking.

Today, Geneva is home to more than 200 international organisations, including the European headquarters of the United Nations, various UN agencies and numerous NGOs, and is the world’s most active centre for multilateral diplomacy. The Red Cross movement, which originated in the city, is still based here, and the museum devoted to its work is one of many fascinating visitor sites that explore the city’s rich humanitarian tradition.

Many sports organisations have also chosen Switzerland as their home, from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in Lausanne to UEFA in Nyon and FIFA in Zürich.

Further informations on international organisations in Switzeralnd

All about the Business Destination Switzerland

  • Geneva has the largest concentration of UN personnel in the world: 8,500 staff in all, representing a unique blend of expertise from across the globe. Overall, the international community numbers close to 40,000.
  • Specialists from a wide range of fields from medicine and trade to IT and intellectual property are available to conference organisers for booking as speakers or sharing expertise.
  • Geneva hosts the global HQ for bodies including the World Trade Organization (WTO), World Health Organization (WHO), International Telecommunication Union (ITU), World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), International Organization for Standardization (ISO), International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), International Labour Organization (ILO), World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the Office of the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights (UNHCHR).
  • Many international non-governmental organisations also have their world headquarters in or near Geneva – such as WWF International (the central secretariat and global HQ of the World Wide Fund for Nature), and the Executive Office of the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
  • Geneva venues that can be booked for presentations and other private events include the museums of the International Telecommunication Union (ICT Discovery), and the museum of the Red Cross movement. Many Geneva institutions welcome visits by organised groups.
  • Other Swiss cities also host international bodies. For example, the Universal Postal Union (UPU) is headquartered in Bern. Established in 1874, it is the world’s second-oldest international organisation.
  • The canton of Vaud (Lake Geneva Region) has more headquarters of international sports federations and organisations than any other region in the world. These include the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) in Nyon, the International Cycling Union (UCI) in Aigle, and the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) and the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), both in Lausanne.
  • The House of International Sport (MSI) in Lausanne is the only venue in the world to group about 30 international sports federations and organisations under one roof, along with about 20 enterprises active in the field of sports. Organisations housed here include the international federations and associations for archery, baseball, bobsleigh, boxing, canoeing, fencing, golf, judo, squash and weightlifting. The arrangement allows international sporting leaders to tap into significant synergies and share skills and best practice.
  • The Olympic Museum in Lausanne, beautifully located on the shores of Lake Geneva and recently reopened after two years of renovation and expansion, offers another striking setting for private events. The new displays bring the history of the Olympic movement vividly to life; the restaurant offers breathtaking views over the lake and the Alps.
  • Select a different view for your results: