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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.

Hide details for Cultural activities, dance, music, story-telling, films and ceremoniesCultural 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”

First-time performances:

  • 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.

Hide details for Film screeningFilm screening

Films produced by the United Nations, other international organizations and Member States will be screened in two rooms (the exact timetable will be published at a later date).
Show details for Cinéma 1 (Room XI)Cinéma 1 (Room XI)
Show details for Cinéma 2 (Room XIX)Cinéma 2 (Room XIX)



Show details for 10th anniversary of Switzerland's membership in the UN10th anniversary of Switzerland's membership in the UN

Hide details for International Day of DemocracyInternational 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
Geneva.

Show details for Sustainable Energy for AllSustainable Energy for All

Show details for Stands and demonstrationsStands and demonstrations

Show details for Exhibitions and Guided ToursExhibitions and Guided Tours

Show details for For the younger onesFor the younger ones

Show details for ... and more ....... and more ....


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Show details for Important Practical InformationImportant Practical Information
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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.
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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
e-mail: openday2012@unog.ch

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