Geneva’s history merges with the universal pursuit of knowledge, freedom and human rights. Cultural and political revolutions have shaped Geneva, which has so often been placed at the forefront.

A crossroads city whose importance was noted by Julius Caesar, Geneva has hosted markets, businesses and merchants since ancient times. It has always been a place of refuge and integration, a humanist hub, an inspiration for designers as well as an educational city that has given the world many thinkers, researchers, diplomats and humanists.

In Geneva, the American Civil War ended with the signing of the Alabama peace treaty. Henry Dunant created the International Committee of the Red Cross here, allowing Geneva to host the very first efforts to create a responsible and united international community. The World Wide Web that revolutionized the Internet was also born in Geneva.

After World War II, the United Nations has established its European headquarters as successor to the League of Nations in Geneva, as have many other global agencies. Non-governmental organizations accredited by the United Nations are also involved in the daily life of this city that has nevertheless remained on a human scale.

As the most active multilateral diplomacy center in the world, Geneva is one of the most important international cities. Its high concentration of international organizations, its openness and the diversity of its people are a central factor in its identity and its influence.

With some 20,000 new people moving to Geneva each year and 48% of inhabitants who are foreign nationals, it is indeed one of the most cosmopolitan and multicultural cities.

As the city has developed around its harbour, between lake and mountains, Geneva offers a quite exceptional setting and quality of life. Compared to its size, its parks make it one of the greenest cities in the world. Its arts and culture offerings - museums and performing arts - are the fruits of a rich local history composed of art, industry, and commerce, highlighted by the international reputation of the city. Both of these elements are actively involved in the social bond that unites its inhabitants.

Sami Kanaan, Mayor of Geneva



Keys facts

  1. 20,000 new inhabitants from all over the world settle each year in the city.

  2. 50% of the resident population is of foreign nationality, bringing together more than 190 different nationalities.

  3. A six-point municipal diversity policy, designed to enhance the plurality of identities as the basis for living together and quality of life in Geneva.