Welcome to the world

The Lake Geneva region plays host to the largest concentration of international organisations and NGOs in the world. 

Not only is Lausanne the capital of Vaud, it is also the capital of the Olympic and sporting world. Since 1915, it has been the home of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and 23 international sporting federations and 20 international organisations linked to sport, such as the Court of Arbitration for Sport, are also based here.

In 2006, moreover, Lausanne opened the House of International Sport (MSI), a campus of three buildings covering 4,300 sq.m dedicated to international sport. Located close to the IOC, it accommodates twenty or so sporting federations and organisations as well as a dozen companies operating in the sports sector.  

Still with sport, Vaud also plays host to the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) in Nyon and the International Cycling Union (UCI) in Aigle.

The conservationist organisations WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) and IUCN (The World Conservation Union) similarly have their head offices in Gland in the canton of Vaud. 

Just 40 minutes or 65km away is Geneva, home to 23 major international organisations, including the second centre for the United Nations (UN) after New York, the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the World Health Organisation (WHO), the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) and also CERN, the biggest European research centre, where the world wide web was invented. 

The presence of these international organisations has helped to foster a large number of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in Geneva and in the canton of Vaud, working in fields such as human rights, disaster relief, the environment and education.

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