Geneva Engage: Fostering effective links between Geneva and the world

Active links between International Geneva and communities worldwide that are affected by the policies discussed and negotiated in Geneva, such as climate change, human rights, development, and migration. Geneva Engage is an initiative of the Geneva Internet Platform, supported by the Republic and the State of Geneva, and DiploFoundation.

Every year, the Geneva Engage Awards are awarded to actors in recognition of their effectiveness in their social media outreach and engagement. The three categories of the Geneva Engage Awards are:

  • International Organisations
  • Non-Governmental and Non-Profit Organisations
  • Permanent Missions to the UN in Geneva

Since 2020, a new Geneva Engage award has been given for innovative and effective approaches to conducting remote meetings. This new award aims to encourage new developments for the effective interplay between traditional and online meetings

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6th Geneva Engage Awards

The 6th Geneva Engage Awards were held on 18 February 2021.

Winners of the 6th Geneva Engage Awards

Permanent Representations category

 

  • 1st place: Delegation of the EU to the UN and other international organisations in Geneva
  • 2nd place: Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the UN Office in Geneva (UNOG)
  • 3rd place: Permanent Mission of France to the UN in Geneva (UNOG)

 

NGOs and Associations category

 

  • 1st place: The New Humanitarian (TNH)
  • 2nd place World Council of Churches (Oikoumene)
  • 3rd place: UN Watch

 

International Organisations category

 

  • 1st place: UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
  • 2nd place: UN Office at Geneva (UNOG)
  • 3rd place: International Air Transport Association (IATA)

 

Online Participation Award

Winner: International Telecommunication Union (ITU)

5th Geneva Engage Awards

The 5th Geneva Engage Awards ceremony was held in January 2020. The three recipients of the award were:

 

  • Permanent Mission of Norway to the UN Office in Geneva (Category: Permanent Representations)
  • Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (Category: International Organisations)
  • The New Humanitarian (Category: Non-Governmental Organisations and Associations)

 

In 2020, a new Geneva Engage award was given for innovative and effective approaches to conducting remote meetings. The new award aims to encourage new developments for the effective interplay between traditional and online meetings. The Internet Governance Forum (IGF) was the recipient of this award.

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4th Geneva Engage Awards

The 4th Geneva Engage Awards ceremony was held in February 2019. The three recipients of the award were:

 

  • Permanent Mission of Sweden to the UN (Category: Permanent Representations)
  • International Air Transport Association (Category: International Organisations)
  • Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisations (Category: Non-Governmental Organisations and Associations)

 

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3rd Geneva Engage Awards

The 3rd Geneva Engage Awards ceremony was held in December 2017. The three recipients of the awards were:

 

  • Delegation of the EU to the UN (Category: Permanent Representations)
  • UN Office at Geneva (Category: International Organisations)
  • World Wide Fund for Nature (Category: Non-Governmental Organisations

 

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3nd Geneva Engage Awards

The 2nd Geneva Engage Awards ceremony took place in February 2017. The three recipients of the awards were:

 

  • Permanent Mission of the USA to the UN Office and Other International Organisations in Geneva (Category: Permanent Representations)
  • World Health Organisation (Category: International Organisations)
  • World Economic Forum (Category: Non-Governmental Organisations)</li

 

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1st Geneva Engage Awards

The 1st Geneva Engage Awards were held as part of the Geneva Awards Conference in January 2016. The winners of the awards were:

 

  • World Health Organization (Category: International Organisations category)
  • World Wildlife Fund and Child Rights Connect (Category: Non-Governmental Organisations)
  • Permanent Mission of France to the UN and Other International Organisations in Geneva (Category: Permanent Missions)

The selection for the awards was based on DiploFoundation's analysis of the innovative and effective use of social media by Geneva-based organisations.

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Geneva Engage Conference

‘Innovative e-participation can increase the visibility and inclusiveness of the important work done across International Geneva, raising awareness about its direct impact on people everywhere and enabling us to listen to the voices outside of Geneva.’

This was how Director-General of the UN Office at Geneva Michael Moller summed up the aims of the Geneva Engage Conference during his keynote address.

Participants at the conference, which took place on 27/28 January 2016, looked for ways to foster effective links between International Geneva and communities worldwide that are affected by digital, climate change, migration, human rights, trade, and other policies discussed and negotiated in Geneva.

Permanent Representative of Switzerland to the UN in Geneva Alexandre Fasel stressed that ‘E-tools need to be adjusted to a wide range of scenarios. They can support the work of a select and focused group, for example twelve negotiators around the same table. They can also support creating a highly inclusive environment, for example reaching out to the more than three billion mobile users worldwide and helping them to voice their views.’

Delegate for International Geneva of the Republic and State of Geneva Olivier Coutau asked the  participants: ‘How do we make sure that the farmer growing rice in Matara (Sri Lanka), the combatant in Kunduz (Afghanistan), the teacher in Juba (South Sudan) and the factory director in Zenica (Bosnia and Herzegovina) are all aware of the decisions taken in Geneva?’ He concluded that ‘e-participation can help to make international Geneva more accountable, more impactful, more relevant and, at the end of the day, more sustainable.’

Director of DiploFoundation Jovan Kurbalija suggested that ‘Lac Leman can become the European Bay Area’. He explained: ‘With a unique blend of scientific, business, and policy institutions concentrated in a small space, Geneva can become a magnetic pool for the creative industry, think-tanks, and policy actors worldwide. The use of e-tools, including e-participation, can reinforce the local and physical relevance of Geneva, very much like what happened in the San Francisco Bay Area.’

During the first day, more than 100 participants conducted a real-life experiment in e-participation by having both presenters and participants both online and in situ. A particularly lively session was on the way how e-participation tools can help persons with disabilities. With close to a billion people with some form of disability, their inclusion in global policy is one of the important challenges of global policy. During the second day, the conference focused on ways to widen and broaden participation. It was also attended by the first ‘robot e-diplomat’.

The Geneva Engage Conference was organised by DiploFoundation and the Geneva Internet Platform (GIP) in co-operation and with the support of the Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the UN in Geneva, the Canton of Geneva, and with the support of ICANN.

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