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.
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).
Cinéma 1 (Room XI)
Cinéma 2 (Room XIX)
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
Stands and demonstrations
will help you discover their countries and the specific aspects of their cultures.
United Nations funds, programmes and agencies
will help you learn about their activities through interactive and fun events.
Thus you will be able to discover life in a refugee camp thanks to the exhibition of tents and emergency equipment
, as well as the use of improved stoves
; organized by the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
UNITAR (United Nations Institute for Training and Research), with the participation of UNOSAT (UNITAR's Operational Satellite Applications Programme), will demonstrate the use of "Unmanned Aerial Vehicles"
(UAVs), which will take and transmit aerial pictures of the Palais des Nations and the Ariana Park.
Exhibitions and Guided Tours
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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