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Political Affairs and Partnerships Section



As the Secretary-General’s representative and in support of his efforts, the Director-General maintains relations with Member States, regional organizations and other intergovernmental organizations, as well as research and academic institutions.

The Director-General also liaises with United Nations agencies, funds and programmes in Geneva and facilitates inter-agency cooperation.

The Director-General’s political, external and inter-agency activities are in line with the Secretary-General’s strategies and reform efforts as well as his vision for a United Nations actively engaged in facilitating partnerships among all stakeholders in the international system. This includes active collaboration with civil society, the private sector, think tanks, academia and other stakeholders.

In discharging these functions, the Director-General is supported by a core political, external and inter-agency affairs team that undertakes in-depth analysis and advises on regional and international political issues.

As the Secretary-General of the Conference on Disarmament and the Personal Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General to the Conference, the Director-General oversees the work of the Conference and provides the Secretary-General with advice on the Conference on Disarmament. In these functions, the Director-General is supported by the Geneva-based Conference on Disarmament Secretariat.

You can find updates on the work of the Political Affairs and Partnerships Section on Twitter @UNOGPolitical and follow the Director-General @UNOG_DG.


For more information please choose from the sections below.

Show details for Multilateral Diplomacy and Policy MakingMultilateral Diplomacy and Policy Making

Hide details for PeacebuildingPeacebuilding

There are a multitude of actors in Geneva working on issues related to peacebuilding. UNOG’s work is not limited to hosting peace negotiations and supporting mediation processes, as it also offers a platform for exchange of the wide-ranging technical expertise in International Geneva on development, humanitarian relief, human rights and other areas related to peacebuilding. To strengthen the synergies between UN entities and other actors in International Geneva working on issues related to peace, UNOG partners with the Geneva Peacebuilding Platform and others on a regular basis.

One example of the fruits of UNOG’s collaboration for peacebuilding is the establishment of the Technical Working Group on the confluence of urban safety and peacebuilding practice in 2014 in partnership with the Geneva Peacebuilding Platform and UNHABITAT. This working group is collecting evidence and best practices across the academic and practitioner communities on urban safety and on peacebuilding.

UNOG is also active in promoting exchange and debate on peace, establishing the annual Geneva Peace Talks in 2013. This event is organized in collaboration with Interpeace and the Geneva Peacebuilding Platform and supported by the Permanent Mission of Switzerland as well as the Canton and City of Geneva. It is held annually at the Palais des Nations and includes talks from individuals who have contributed to the promotion of peace in diverse contexts. Click here for information on past and upcoming Geneva Peace Talks, including those held in other cities around the world.

Another highlight of International Geneva’s peacebuilding calendar is Geneva Peace Week, which is being held in November every year since its launch in 2014. The Geneva Peace Week groups together events on peace in order to facilitate interaction between traditional and non-traditional actors. Past editions included expert meetings and public discussions on a wide range of topics related to peace. Due to the success of previous editions, a new website has been established in 2016 where you can find the latest information on Geneva Peace Week.

Show details for International DaysInternational Days

Show details for Cooperation with Regional OrganizationsCooperation with Regional Organizations

Hide details for Cooperation with Research and Academic InstitutionsCooperation with Research and Academic Institutions

Decisions of the United Nations rely on the quality and analysis of the data examined. In line with the Secretary-General’s reform efforts, the Director-General contributes to facilitating partnerships between the research and academic community and the United Nations family.

In cooperation with partners, including the United Nations University, the United Nations Institute for Training and Research, the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research, the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development and the University for Peace, the Director-General also acts as a facilitator between research and policy entities within the United Nations system. These efforts contribute towards ensuring that policy and decision-making is based on detailed analysis and takes into account the broadest possible range of perspectives.

Geneva, in particular, and Switzerland as a whole are home to a wide range of research and academic institutions with particular analytical expertise in areas of relevance to the work of the United Nations. The Office of the Director-General maintains dialogues with these Geneva and Swiss-based entities to stimulate research and debate, which may serve policy planners within the Organizations as well as its partners.

Through joint seminars and other events, as well as publications that encourage exchange across institutional and thematic boundaries, UNOG contributes to distilling and disseminating ideas that may help towards realizing the aims of the United Nations. For example, in December 2014, UNOG collaborated with partners in academia and Member States for the first Global Think Tank Summit in Geneva, bringing together more than 100 heads of and researchers with leading Think Tanks and UN entities, as well as professors and graduate students.

To further intensify engagement with academia, a two-day roundtable around the theme of “Strengthening the UN’s Research Uptake” was held at the Palais des Nations in April 2016 in collaboration with the United Nations University and the Graduate Institute, Geneva.

UNOG and the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) are also organizing a series of open lectures on a regular basis at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, entitled “The Geneva Lecture Series”. The ninth lecture, delivered by the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet, on the topic "A Civil peace by civil society - Tunisian experiences for the future of the region" took place on 21 April 2016.