UNOG Open Day 2012
Saturday 15 September 2012 - 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Palais des Nations and Ariana Park
Some 9,000 visitors flocked to the Palais des Nations under bright blue skies for an Open Day organized by the United Nations Office at Geneva on 15 September 2012 to mark the tenth anniversary of Switzerland’s accession to the United Nations.
Brazilian drums gave a decisively festive beat in the Assembly Hall and children ran in solemn hallways more accustomed to quiet conversations among men in dark suits, while curious visitors learned about solar power and refugee registration in the Ariana Park. When the doors opened at 11 a.m. in the morning, hundreds of families from Geneva or surrounding areas as well as tourists passing through the city were already queuing on the Place des Nations to enter the ground of the United Nations.
The programme focused on democracy (15 September being the International Day of Democracy) and sustainable energy (2012 is the International Year of Sustainable Energy for all). Visitors could participate in dozens of activities, including concerts, dances and other cultural performances organized with the help of member states, film screenings, debates on democracy, exhibitions, quizzes and sports as well as many games for young children.
Over 100 United Nations staff, easily identifiable thanks to their white and blue t-shirts, volunteered their time to make the Day a success, and visitors unanimously praised their helpfulness and courtesy.
Pictures and interviews with enthusiastic visitors are available on the Facebook page created for the event: Open Day Facebook
See below the programme for the day.
Cultural activities, dance, music, story-telling, films and ceremonies
On the occasion of this Open Day, the United Nations offers a true cultural festival!
Dance shows, concerts, a Japanese tea ceremony and a fashion show will be performed on four different stages within the Palais des Nations. These events are organized with the support of the Permanent Missions of Brazil, Burundi, China, Honduras, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Mongolia and Romania, as well as the UN Music Club.
Visitors can also listen to “Story Telling” organized by the “International Organization of La Francophonie”
- The Permanent Mission of Italy, with the support of Bayer, BCC Barlassina and Elior, present: “A Stradivarius for the United Nations”, an exceptional concert played on an original 1726 Antonio Stradivari violin.
- The Permanent Mission of Mexico will offer a piano recital by the world-known pianist Jorge Viladoms Weber.
10th anniversary of Switzerland's membership in the UN
International Day of Democracy
15 September is the International Day of Democracy. Within this framework, several events will take place during this Open Day under the theme: “Jean-Jacques Rousseau, l’esprit des Lumières et la démocratie” ("Jean-Jacques Rousseau, the spirit of enlightenment and democracy"):
- "Rousseau et la souveraineté populaire" ("Rousseau and people's sovereignty") by Professor Bernard Baertschi, Master of Teaching and Research at the University of Geneva
- "L'influence des Lumières sur la naissance de la démocratie aux États-Unis" (Influence of the Age of Enlightenment on the birth of democracy in the United States) by Professor Oreste Foppiani, Associate Professor of International History and Politics and International Relations, Webster University Geneva, and a Fellow of the School of Political Sciences of the University of Pavia
- "Les défis de la démocratie aujourd'hui" (Democracy Challenges Today) by Professor Alexandre Lambert, Academic Director and Professor, School for International Training in Geneva.
A conference on Democracy and international relations will also be organized by
researchers of the Graduate Institute for International and Development Studies of
Sustainable Energy for All
2012 is the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All. During the Open Day, you will be able to:
- Discover a pioneering solar panel developed by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), which will soon be installed at Geneva Airport, as well as a fountain powered by solar energy, also developed by CERN.
- Participate in the inauguration of the solar power supply station for electric vehicles at the United Nations Office at Geneva.
- See electric cars or with solar photovoltaic roofs, ride an electric bicycle – activities organized by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and its partners.
Stands and demonstrations
Exhibitions and Guided Tours
- "Building for Peace" – organized by the United Nations Office at Geneva
- "Greening the UN" – organized by the United Nations Office at Geneva
- "Children and migration" – organized by the Permanent Mission of Mexico
- Exceptional exhibition of ancient, rare books on the themes of peace, democracy and international relations, organized by the Library of the United Nations Office at Geneva
- "From the League of Nations to the United Nations" – permanent exhibition of the League of Nations Museum
- "The City speaks" organized by the British Council and the Permanent Mission of the United Kingdom
- Paintings by Evy Pineda – organized by the Permanent Mission of Honduras
- Guided Tours of the UNOG Library, international research centre and instrument for People's Understanding since 1927. The tours include the temporary exhibition in the League of Nations Museum "Philanthropy and International Organizations since the League of Nations".
- Guided Tours of the League of Nations Museum, to showcase the history of International Geneva through unique archives documents. The tours include the permanent exhibition "From the League of Nations to the United Nations" and the temporary exhibition "Philanthropy and International Organizations since the League of Nations".
- It will also be possible to freely visit the UNOG Library and the League of Nations Museum during the whole day.
For the younger ones
... and more ....
Important Practical Information
Click here to have a glimpse of the cultural events organized on the previous Open Day at the UN, which took place on 5 June 2010, on the occasion of the World Environment Day.
For more information, please contact:
United Nations Information Service
Palais des Nations, CH-1211 Geneva 10
Tel.: +41 22 917 2336 - Fax: +41 22 917 0030
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