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
10th anniversary of Switzerland's membership in the UN
2012 marks the 10th anniversary of Switzerland's membership of the United Nations; on this occasion, you will be able to:
- participate in the television show “Pardonnez-moi” by the Radio Télévision Suisse, presented by Mr. Darius Rochebin, which will be recorded in the magnificent Human Rights and Alliance of Civilizations Room, decorated by the famous artist Miquel Barcelò. This event is organized with the support of the Permanent Mission of Switzerland.
- visit the information stand presented by the Permanent Mission of Switzerland
- learn more on the beehives offered to the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG) by Switzerland on the occasion the 10th anniversary of Switzerland's membership in the United Nations, from the explanations provided by experts of the “Société genevoise d’apiculture”
- discover the exhibition of photographs « Traits d’union » ("Crossing Over"), presented by the group "Action pour la Genève Internationale et son Rayonnement (AGIR)"
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 ....
Important Practical Information
- All are welcome. A valid identification document (passport, ID card or driving licence) will be necessary to enter the premises (one ID document per family or group); visitors aged up to 13 years do not need an ID but have to be accompanied.
- Pets are not permitted to enter, except for guide dogs.
- It is strongly recommended to use public transport to reach the Place des Nations. The Transports public genevois (TPG) are offering a free shuttle service from Cornavin train station to the Place des Nations (every 20 minutes between 10:40 and 16:40; last departure from the Place des Nations at 18:00) - see map
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.
- Food and drinks will be available (hot and cold food, sandwiches and beverages).
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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