The United Nations Office at Geneva opened its doors on 7 October to the general public to inform them of its work and engage with them on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The Geneva Branch of the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs actively participated in the Open Day to showcase that the SDGs make it clear there cannot be development without peace and security. Efforts were made to emphasize the role of Geneva as the birthplace of many modern-day disarmament treaties
During the day, over 14,000 members of the public visited the Palais des Nations. Visitors were allowed to enter the Council Chamber where numerous disarmament treaties were negotiated through the Conference on Disarmament. Among them are the Chemical Weapons Convention in 1993 and the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty in 1996. Experts from both the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and the Preparatory Commission for Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization participated in the Open Day and demonstrated their inspection equipment.
In addition, staff from the United Nations Mine Action Service and the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining gave visitors a demining demonstration and explained the dangers that landmines and cluster munitions pose to people living in affected areas.
The Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva, Michael Møller, who is also Secretary-General of the Conference on Disarmament, visited the exhibitions and thanked the staff for participating in the Open Day.
The Open Day was a great success and succeeded in showcasing the importance of disarmament within the United Nations, and in Geneva in particular. The active engagement and great interest from the general public at all ages who visited the disarmament exhibition demonstrated the value added and importance of the disarmament community coming together.
Photos from the event