Un hommage à l’humanité

I am the representative for Geneva, “the city of peace”.
Forget all the other buildings in this area because I am the real deal.
With my enormous construction I serve as the United Nations European Headquarters.

I am the second largest building in Europe after Versailles and the worlds biggest conference centre for multilateral diplomacy. It is in my chambers that peace is being discussed. Those facts make me very proud and popular. These days more than 100.000 people come to visit me each year to take guided tours, watch my treasures or read books and do research in my huge library.

As you know by now, I am the true proud of Geneva because I am a tribute to its peaceful, humanitarian history. I, at my turn, am very thankful towards people like John Calvin, for his work on the Reformation and to Jean-Jacques Rousseau, for his “Social Contract” and of course not to forget Henri Dunant, founder of the Red Cross Movement and the Geneva Conventions. They and many others created a peaceful social environment and influenced people to start having debates about society and rights. All these people are of influence to the fact that I am standing here today. O before I forget, be sure to go and watch Calvin’s chair in St Pierre’s Cathedral. That old church would surely be pleased with your visit.

Don’t forget to take a look at my treasures before you go. Many people and nations offered me presents to show their respect. For example the Russians gave me The Great Centaur by Ernst Neizvestny in 1997 and at my 50th birthday, in 1995, the Germans gave me The Spreading of the Seeds and the Gathering of Ashes by Esther Shalev-Gerz and Jochen Gerz. It was a very nice present from those friendly Germans. They have become such an excellent nation since the end of world war II. I hold no negative thoughts about them any more. I did, however, feel ashamed for a long time because of the fact that my founding fathers, of the League of Nations, failed to keep the peace and could not stop world war II from happening. Luckily the United Nations where formed immediately after the war in 1945. They continued to watch over us. I have seen a better world from that point on although recently I worry more than usual about peace on our planet. I just hope we can all take an example from the people in my palace who use diplomacy and talking as a first solution to conflicts and I hope everyone in the world takes a look at Geneva as an example of peace and hope.


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