Background and history

Through a Christian commitment shared with its members, CCIG searches for solutions to the political and socio-economic problems of our time while paying particular attention to the dignity of every human being and for the common good of all.

A center at the very heart of International Geneva

Working with international organisations which deal with the most crucial issues affecting the future of mankind, CCIG helps Non-Governmental Organisations to become more efficient in their daily work and in their advocacy efforts. CCIG can contribute to the capacity building of NGOs so they can benefit fully from the tools that the UN System puts at the disposal of local actors to improve the lives of the most vulnerable groups of society.

Background and history

In 1950 the “International Information Center” was created by the initiative of seven lay persons, the majority being members of International Catholic Organizations (ICOs). The Geneva Center thus was in service to ICOs and, in exchange, the Conference of International Catholic Organizations financially contributed essential funds. This funding had over time diminished. As the Center had to find other financial sources and to diversify its activities, it appeared necessary to elaborate new statutes for the establishment of an association under the Swiss law. These statutes were submitted in 1992 under the title “INTERNATIONAL CATHOLIC CENTER OF GENEVA” (CCIG). At the same time, a protocol had been drafted with the ICO Conference to establish cooperative links between the two entities. The progressive weakening of the ICOs was partially compensated by the Center, which had expanded its target audience to include individuals and congregations engaged in development aid, education, social work and human rights. Thus CCIG could continue its task first and foremost by providing services to NGOs. Today, CCIG’s expertise is based on over 60 years of experience with International Organizations in Geneva. CCIG has indeed provided its diverse services and adapted to demands while bridging the gap between international institutions and civil society organizations.

Why Geneva

Geneva’s association with peace and global discussion goes without saying; much of Geneva’s history and culture springs from its role as an international headquarters for multilateral organizations; a mission which started in the aftermath of World War I and the creation of the now defunct League of Nations. Acting as an international platform, regularly chosen as the meeting place for sensitive negotiations, Geneva accommodates many different organizations with three main focuses: humanitarian aid, multilateral trade, and human rights. In addition of hosting the headquarters of the UN High Commissioner for refugees, the International Labor Organization or the World Health Organization, Geneva is the seat of the UN Human Rights Council. This Swiss city, located on the shores of Lake Geneva, therefore plays a crucial role in the maintenance of peace and security, but also meteorology, intellectual property, nuclear energy, health, telecommunications and labor. Diplomats and international staff in Geneva total over 30,000 persons, not including the approximately 2,400 employees of non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Geneva and New York, the two headquarters of the United Nations, are the two most important centers of international discussion and cooperation in the world.