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70th anniversary of the United Nations



UN Geneva staff forms UN70

2015 marks the global celebration of the 70th anniversary of the United Nations, which aims to honour the historic breadth of the Organization’s development, security and human rights work. The “UN70” celebration also aims to unite Member States, global civil society and the many individual women and men working in common cause to enable a strong UN to realize a better world.


A number of events are being organized in Geneva and around the world throughout the year to mark this important anniversary:

  • From 12 to 28 October 2015, the Permanent Mission of Cyprus will hold a special documentary exhibition in the Palais des Nations, highlighting the peacekeeping work in Cyprus since 1964.
  • From 19 to 30 October 2015, the Permanent Mission of the People’s Republic of China, in partnership with the Swiss Chinese Culture Promotion Society, will hold the exhibition ‘Art China’, featuring the richness of the Chinese culture, with paintings and calligraphy, chess games, interactive presentations on etiquette, cuisine, and traditional music.
  • From 24 October to 6 November, the Permanent Mission of Mexico will organize an exhibition of paintings by the Mexican artist Sergio Hernández.
  • On 24 October 2015, exactly 70 years since the Charter of the United Nations entered into force, the Geneva and Swiss public celebrated this important anniversary during an Open Day at the Palais des Nations and the surrounding Ariana Park. More than 19 000 visitors came on the grounds for this extraordinary event, which brought together UN agencies, funds and programmes, other international organizations, permanent missions and non-governmental organizations. A rich programme of activities was planned throughout the day, including stands, guided tours, lectures, movie screenings, concerts, dance performances and activities for children and adults.

    In particular, the Open Day was a unique opportunity to:
    • Attend the official inauguration at noon of Italian artist Michelangelo Pistoletto's “Rebirth” sculpture at noon, alongside representatives from the United Nations’ Member States and children from all over the world. The sculpture will be composed of 193 stones, each representing a UN Member States.  More information here
    • Visit more than 75 stands presented by permanent missions, specialized agencies and other partners, and discover their work and activities.
    • Have a look at the fascinating art and photo exhibitions and attend the variety of musical performances
    • Witness a 3D simulation of the Large Hadron Collider by CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research.
    • Enjoy the ballet performance “Glory” by Andonis Foniadakis, performed by the Grand Théâtre de Genève Ballet Company.
    • Discover the Strategic Heritage Plan, covering the renovation of key areas of the Palais des Nations in the coming years.
    • Get your copy of the cookbook ‘Recipes for Peace’, signed by Michel Møller, Director General of the United Nations Office at Geneva.
    • Take free guided tours of the Palais des Nations, the Library and the League of Nations Museum.

    And so much more! See the photos of this memorable event here!

    A detailed programme is now available and will be regularly updated at www.unog.ch/openday.

Stay tuned for more information!

Hide details for Past 2015 eventsPast 2015 events
  • On 21 September 2015, the Permanent Mission of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, in partnership with the Geneva Centre for the Advancement of Human Rights and Global Dialogue and the UNESCO Geneva Liaison Office, organized a concert : "Pianists for Peace". See more here.
  • On 26 June, at the Palais des Nations, the Staff Council is organizing a staff garden party to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the signing of the UN Charter (26 June 1945) and the staff who have worked at the UN since then. As this is all about celebrating the UN family, staff members are welcome to bring along their own family and retired colleagues.

  • 25 June 2015 at 15:00 pm, “Interns with a Mission 2015” organize a discussion between interns (from Permanent Missions, UN entities and NGOs in consultative status with ECOSOC) and the President of the Human Rights Council, the Director-General of UNOG, the Ambassadors of Sierra Leone, Ireland and Ecuador in room XIX of the Palais des Nations. 70 years since the signing of the United Nations Charter, the discussions will focus on whether the Charter has served its purpose. The event is followed by a reception kindly sponsored by the Permanent Missions of Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Switzerland and Denmark. More information here.
  • 22 June 2015, from 10:00 to 17:00: Joint event by the Office of the Director-General, WFUNA, UN-NGLS and CoNGO entitled "The United Nations and civil society - 70 years working together: how do we make a difference from Geneva?" to assess the relationship between the United Nations and the civil society and to examine how this partnership could be strengthened, with particular emphasis on how the work in Geneva could have an even more important impact on the situation in different parts of the world. More information here.

  • On 18 June 2015, a classical music concert organized by the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Poland with famous Polish pianist and conductor Marek Drewnowski will take place in the Assembly Hall, Palais des Nations, Geneva. The musical programme would include works of Frederic Chopin and Ignacy Jan Paderewski The concert is organized on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the UN as a tribute to the concert given by Polish pianist Arthur Rubeinstein at the San Francisco Opera on 26 June 1945 before the signatories of the UN Charter. More information here. Photo here.
  • On 13 June 2015, an exceptional humanitarian concert, featuring the world-renowned pianist Khatia Buniatishvili and the UN Orchestra, under the leadership of its Artistic Director Antoine Marguier, took place at the Victoria Hall in Geneva. All of the proceeds from the concert will go to the benefit of Syrian refugees in Jordan, in cooperation with the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR). More information here.
  • From 2 to 20 February 2015, the UN Information Service and the Geneva Association of Accredited Correspondents (ACANU) paid tribute to photographers accredited to the UN or working for the UN, and the work they have done over the years in covering UN activities. An exhibition entitled "The United Nations through their lens" was held in the Salle des Pas Perdus at the Palais des Nations. Photos here.
  • On 14 January 2015, the United Nations Office at Geneva co-hosted with the International School of Geneva a unique “Education for Peace” conference in the Assembly Hall of the Palais des Nations. The conference celebrated the 70th anniversary of the United Nations and the 90th anniversary of the International School of Geneva. More information here.

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