International organizations based in Geneva: results of the 2020 survey | 29 October 2020

International organizations based in Geneva: results of the 2020 survey
Cantonal Statistical Office - 29 October 2020


As of March 2020, 27'344 people are working in the 37 international organizations (IOs) based in the canton of Geneva. This figure covers IOs benefiting from a headquarters agreement, an agreement of fiscal nature, or an agreement on privileges and immunities. Taking into account the 4 196 persons employed in the permanent missions accredited to the UN or other IOs as well as consulates, the international public sector employs 31'540 people.

During the year 2019, the expenses incurred by IOs amount to 6.392 billion francs. It represents an increase of 1.5% compared to 2018. More than half of the expense (3.488 billion francs) are made in Switzerland.

In 2019, the number of meetings organized by IOs during the year (3 489) is 7.8% higher than in 2018. The number of delegates and experts attending (182'003) decreased by 12.1%, after having already declined by 6.3% the previous year.

Furthermore, according to the International Geneva Welcome Centre (CAGI), 431 international non-governmental organizations (INGOs) working in close collaboration with IOs are present in Geneva in 2020. Among them, 206 have at least one job. They account for 3 112 jobs, an increase of 4.6% compared to 2019. Nearly half of them work in humanitarian action and law, human rights or migration.

Figures from the 2020 survey on the conference activity and IOs expenses concern 2019. They do not include the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and the measures taken to contain its spread. This impact will be taken into account in the 2021 survey.

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