United Nations Office at Geneva

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Acronym: UNOG

Address: Palais des Nations, 1211 Geneva, Switzerland

Website: https://www.ungeneva.org/en/organizations/united-nations-office-geneva

Stakeholder group: International and regional organisation

Housed at the Palais des Nations, the UN Office at Geneva (UNOG) serves as the representative office of the Secretary-General at Geneva. A focal point for multilateral diplomacy, UNOG serviced around 5,300 meetings in 2021, making it one of the busiest conference centres in the world. With more than 1,300 staff, UNOG is the most prominent duty station of the UN Secretariat outside of headquarters in New York.

Digital activities

UNOG hosts several meetings and processes related to disarmament, human rights, e-commerce and development.

In addition to these meetings, UNOG also hosts several thematic cultural activities and organises the Ciné ONU project, which uses films to shine a light on the UN’s work on gender equality, human rights, humanitarian aid, health, peace and reconciliation, and many other issues.

Digital policy issues

Sustainable development

Led by UNOG, the SDG Lab is a multistakeholder initiative contributing to implementing the 2030 Agenda and 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs). The lab enables and fosters cross-sectoral collaboration of 255 organisations (the UN System, intergovernmental organisations, member states, civil society, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), foundations, and actors in the academic and private sectors) focused on accelerating sustainable development. It also facilitates dialogue on how to create opportunities and confront challenges associated with the SDGs, including through the use of technology. In addition, it develops and shares resources on the best approaches towards achieving the SDGs (including tips on collaborating and innovative ways of working).

Other examples of initiatives launched or supported by UNOG in the area of sustainable development include SDG Acceleration Actions, an initiative dedicated to mobilising Geneva-based actors working to make SDGs a reality, and Building Bridges Week, dedicated to creating an international movement for sustainable finance.

In addition, the International Geneva Perception Change project – managed by a team of the Office of UNOG’s Director-General – has among its four areas of work the promotion of the SDGs. SDG Mapping, for instance, showcases who does what in Geneva towards global goals. The other three areas are related to making information accessible, changing the narratives, and promoting the work of Geneva-based organisations.

Capacity development

The UN Library and Archives Geneva serves as a space for knowledge and learning. It facilitates knowledge exchanges, encourages innovation and collaboration, and acts as a centre for research on multilateralism.

The library provides access to a diverse set of resources (books, articles, UN documents, etc.), including digital-related topics such as economy, trade, human rights, and peace and security. It also facilitates access to numerous databases (maintained by various UN entities), such as the UN Digital Library and the UNIDIR Cyber Policy Portal.

The library coordinated the UN Knowledge and Learning Commons, together with the Centre for Learning and Multilingualism. The Commons hosts activities and learning experiences on various subjects, including some with a digital dimension, such as technology and innovation, information literacy, hybrid meetings, digital accessibility, and multilingualism.

The library also coordinates activities related to the digitisation and digital preservation of UNOG’s institutional memory. Between 2017 and 2022, with the support of a generous grant from a private Genevan foundation, the United Nations Library Geneva, Institutional Memory Section (IMS), launched a massive five-year project to digitise the entire League of Nations Archives, estimated to contain some 15 million pages of content.

Digital Mediation Toolkit 1.0, intended for mediators, as- sesses opportunities and risks associated with the use of digital technologies in the mediation context and provides concrete examples and advice from experts and practitioners. The digital technologies and tools currently used by mediators include social media, geographic information systems (GIS), and data analytics.

Cyber Hygiene and Digital Risk Management E-Learning Platform for Mediators is developed to raise awareness of the digital risks that mediation practitioners encounter and build the capacity needed to mitigate and manage them.

A massive five-year project called the Total Digital Access to the League of Nations Archives Project (LONTAD), has the aim to digitise the entire League of Nations Archives of approximately 15 million pages of content.

Conecta is a digital platform dedicated to connecting people with projects across the UN system. SDG Mapping is a platform showcasing the work of Geneva-based organisations in the field of SDGs.

Several online reference services are available for users of the UNOG library, for example, ask a librarian, databases and e-journals, and catalogues and online requests.

The UN Archives system provides access to, among other resources, a digitalised archive of the League of Nations. The SDG Acceleration Actions online database is a tool to help inspire and mobilise actions around the world to promote the implementation of the SDGs, as well as build resilience and bring an inclusive recovery in the context of new realities post-Covid, so that the global economy, the planet, and the people we serve can emerge stronger together from the crisis.

The CyberMediation initiative was launched by the UN Department of Political Affairs, DiploFoundation, the Geneva Internet Platform, the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue, Swisspeace, and researchers from Harvard University to address the potential and challenges of digital tools in peace mediation.

Future of meetings

UNOG provides a key international dialogue and diplomacy platform. The Division of Conference Management (DCM) facilitates these discussions and conferences by providing high-quality services (logistically and substantively) for UN agencies, international organisations, and highly sensitive political negotiations.

You can find all the information about meetings and events in UNOG’s meeting and events calendar.

Social media channels

Facebook @UN.Geneva

Flickr @UN Geneva

Instagram @ungeneva

Linkedin @ungeneva

Twitter @UNGeneva

YouTube @UN Geneva