Tag Archives: Geneva

ICRC (Red Cross)

The International Committee of the Red Cross/Crescent/Diamond is one of the many international organizations located in Geneva.

They have an excellent museum. There are three main exhibits: Defending Human Dignity, Restoring Family Links, and Reducing Natural Risks.

1864 was the time of the original Geneva Convention. It was the founding document of international humanitarian law establishing the logo of the Red Cross as an easily recognizable emblem. The convention was designed to protect workers and the wounded during war tie. The Ottoman Empire asked for another emblem other than a cross as it gave offense to Muslim soldiers, thus the Red Crescent was born. In the 2000s the diamond was created for those that can’t identify with the cross or the crescent.

The Geneva Convention established priority for protection for wounded, civilians, Red Cross workers, hospital/medical centers, religious or cultural property, places that could cause a major disaster or cause a lasting effect on the people if hit (for example, a nuclear plant or dam), and natural resources.

In one section they had 6 million index cards to cover 2 million people during WWI. THe cards tell when they were taken captive, where they were held, and when/if they died.

There was one wall full of children’s photos in Rwanda. As children don’t always know their name or information they did photo tracing.20170620_151316822_iOS

 

United Nations

Geneva is one of two of the most important sites for the United Nations and home to many of its related organizations. Many of them aren’t available for public visits but some have visitor centers or actual tours available.

The UN had 51 states at its creation and currently had 193 nations. There are `95 flags flown though as two nations don’t have official status. These are The Holy See (The Vatican) and Palestine.20170619_134919795_iOS

There are 5 general parts to the UN including the General Assembly (one state, one vote) and the Security Council.

There are a large number of conference rooms. The Emirates Room was just renovated by the UAE. They wanted to combine technology and tradition. The tables are white as it is an important color in the UAE. The carpet is like the deserts of Abu Dhabi with gentle rolling sand. The “sky” changes color based on the time of the day.20170619_121350932_iOS

The Chamber of Human Rights was designed by an artist from Mallorca with the ceiling looking like the bottom of the sea. It was absolutely spectacular!

The official languages of the UN are English, French,  Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, and Russian. The nameplates for countries are in French or English.

The Palais Nacion (one of the conference rooms) held the conference of disarmament. The League of Nations was dissolved in 1946. The Palais Nacion was originally built for this.20170619_124934361_iOS

Out in front of the main entrance (not the tourist entrance) is a broken chair with one leg mission. Three French doctors wanted to convince the nations to ratify legislation  on land mines issues.

In the General Assembly Hall two big meetings occur per year. It holds 2,000 seats. It will also hold special events, for instance when Angelina Jolie comes as a representative for UNICEF.20170619_130908959_iOS

I bought some souvenirs which I rarely do but they had a wall of map oriented items and I couldn’t help myself… And I was looking for a new luggage tag.

On my way out I spotted a beautiful peacock wandering through the parking lot.20170619_133821727_iOS

 

Geneva, Switzerland

Geneve!

Such a beautiful city! It reminds me of my hometown with the lake and lots of activity everywhere.20170618_162806927_iOS

On the lake are two must see (and it’s hard not to) attractions.

#1 – Le Jet d’eau de Geneve, a large jet stream of water in the middle of the lake. It shoots up 140m at 200 km/h, pumping 500 liters/sec. It was created in 1886 as a way to release excess pressure at a hydraulic plant. Due to its popularity it was moved to the harbor. It is lit up for various holidays.

#2 Bains des Paqui, a public swimming hole on a small jetty out in the middle of the lake. It’s a 2 CHF entrance fee and you can then take a dip in the lake. They have a wade in area, a diving area, and a nice cafe WITH coconut ice cream in a coconut shell that reminded me of being in Thailand it was that good. There isn’t a ton of shade but its a nice place to cool off for the evening.

Geneva is home to a large number of international organizations as one of the other homes of the United Nations (with NY being the other). More on that in other posts.20170619_134933673_iOS.jpg

Fun fact – if you stay in a hotel in Geneva they will give you a free transportation card!

One afternoon I wandered around the old town. The University of Geneve has a beautiful park like campus with a Reformation Wall. John Calvin, the founder of the University, played a major part in the Reformation as did the city of Geneva. The wall is a memorial to this past.20170622_134617999_iOS

Nearby you can walk into the walled parts of the city where St. Pierre Cathedral is. It is a rather beautiful place inside and sits in a semi-secluded area. I sat on a bench out front for awhile, enjoying the shade and peace and quiet.20170622_135442783_iOS

As you walk back to the lake, the famous flower clock is landscaped into a small hill in the park areas in front of the lake.20170622_143442223_iOS