General issues: Intergovernmental organization, Geneva headquarters 1969-Present
Country name on general issues: Nations Unies
Currency: 1 Franc = 100 Centimes
Population: not applicable
Political history United Nations – Geneva
The United Nations was established in 1945 as an intergovernmental organization that promotes international cooperation in three major domains: peacekeeping & security, social & economic development and human rights. In 1945, the United Nations counted 51 founding members. Today membership includes 193 countries – the process of decolonization in the 1960’s and 1970’s being one of the factors that led to the increase.
The United Nations has headquarters in New York, Geneva, Vienna and Nairobi. New York is the main seat and, as such, hosts the General Assembly and the Security Council. The Geneva office was established in 1946 as the United Nations European Office. The name was changed to United Nations Office at Geneva in 1966. The Geneva office serves as a conference center and meeting place. Furthermore a number of specific activities is conducted mainly from Geneva. These include activities related to Europe, disarmament, economic and social development, humanitarian questions and human rights. The Geneva office is located in the Palais des NationsPalace of Nations, built for the predecessor of the United Nations, the League of Nations. Several United Nations agencies and institutes also have their seat in Switzerland, most of these in Geneva.
For more about the United Nations as an organization and its activities, please refer to the profile of the United Nations – New York.
Postal history United Nations – Geneva
The Geneva office of the United Nations was, initially, serviced by the Swiss postal services. Official stamps were issued by the Swiss postal service for use at the office between 1950 and 1963 and valid for use until 1969. In 1969, the United Nations started its own stamp issuing policy for the Geneva office. The issues have themes pertaining to the activities of the United Nations and are designed and printed by renowned designers and printers from around the world. The language used on the stamps is generally French. The Swiss postal service continues to issue official stamps for a number of United Nations agencies and institutes that have their seat in Switzerland. Please refer to the country profile of Switzerland for an overview.