Geneva is known to be the home of many international development organizations, including the United Nations. Above, the flags of the 193 UN member states are on display at the Palais des Nations. Photo by: Jean-Marc Ferré / UN Photo / CC BY-NC-ND

As Geneva rebrands itself as a green, international hub, nongovernmental organizations are showing themselves to be more important to the region than just hangers-on to the United Nations community. Though in many ways the U.N., which employs more than 9,500 people, does dominate life in the area, aid implementers and NGOs are equally important to the way Geneva functions.

And although there are those who talk about moving operations to more economical places (some have taken the plunge, such as the Secretariat of the U.N. Green Climate Fund which has been awarded to South Korea), the advantages of working in Geneva continue to outweigh the costs — and the local government keeps a close watch on that balance.

About the author

  • Aliyah Esmail

    Aliyah Esmail is a freelance journalist and communications professional with a fascination for the economic and political realities facing nongovernmental organizations. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Carlton University in journalism and film studies and is now working on a postgraduate certificate from the Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute in Global Health. She has worked for the government of Canada as well as a number of international organizations.