11 October 2015

The Palais des Nations, home of the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG), will open its doors to the public on Saturday, 24 October 2015, to mark the 70th anniversary of the United Nations.

Under the theme “Strong UN. Better world”, the Open Day will be among key events being held worldwide that day to celebrate the historic anniversary of the international organization created after the Second World War, which today has 193 Member States.

UNOG Director General Michael Møller looks forward to welcoming thousands of people at the Palais des Nations to celebrate the United Nations’ lasting achievements. “As the main operational hub of the multilateral system, Geneva hosts many UN agencies that work on peace, rights and well-being. We invite the public to discover their activities and more on 24 October,” he said.

From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., visitors will be able to walk through some of the splendid spaces of the Palais des Nations, which is at the heart of global diplomacy and hosts some 10,000 meetings a year. In addition to seeing the impressive Assembly Hall and the Human Rights and Alliance of Civilizations Room, visitors will be able to learn about the work and activities of more than 80 permanent missions and UN and international organizations based in Geneva.

A highlight of the day will be the inauguration, at twelve noon in Ariana Park, of a new work of art by renowned Italian artist Michelangelo Pistoletto. The sculpture, Rebirth, based on the infinity symbol, is composed of 193 stones representing the United Nations’ current Member States. The public is welcome to attend the inauguration, alongside representatives of Member States with a presence in Geneva, the artist and other dignitaries and guests.

There will be a wide range of activities throughout the day: free guided tours, photo and art exhibitions, concerts, dance performances, including a ballet by the Grand Théâtre de Genève, sports activities, games and activities for young and old – the day will have something for everyone. The full programme for Open Day is available here:

The Open Day is being held with the kind support of the Swiss Confederation, the Republic and Canton of Geneva, the City of Geneva and the Fondation pour Genève, as well as members of the UN family in Geneva.

A free shuttle will circulate between Gare Cornavin and Place des Nations every 20 minutes from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Some highlights of the Open Day include:

· More than 80 stands and several photo and art exhibitions
· The inauguration of a new sculpture in Ariana Park by renowned Italian artist Michelangelo Pistoletto
· Ballet, dance performances and classical and jazz music concerts
· Free guided tours of the Palais des Nations and the Library
· 3D simulation of the Large Hadron Collider, the largest particle accelerator in the world at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research
· Learn more about life in a refugee camp at the UN Refugee Agency’s tent and witness demonstrations of flying drones
· Children’s corner, offering drawing contests, puppet shows, dance activities, games and quizzes

Marit Fosse & Albina Goossens