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
Stands and demonstrations
Exhibitions and Guided Tours
For the younger ones
Painting, make-up, story-telling, reading corner, TV corner, gymnastics, puppet theatre, quiz, video games, Arabic calligraphy
and other fun and educational activities will be offered throughout the day, within the Palais des Nations and in the Ariana Park.
... and more ....
- Sports activities, organized by the UNOG Staff sports clubs
- Guided tours of conference rooms, by UNOG
- Presentation of beehives, organized by the “Société genevoise d’apiculture” and the Permanent Mission of Switzerland
- Souvenir pictures of the UN 2012 Open Day, organized by UNOG
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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