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On the occasion of the International Day of Sign Languages, the Division of Administration (UN Geneva), the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) and the Swiss Federation of the Deaf (SGB-FSS) are organizing several events on Friday September 22. These events will take place in person at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. They are open to the public; to access the Palais, visitors must register via Indico.


Logo: International day of sign languages 2023


Sign Language Pop-up Cafe (Complimentary refreshments!)

The day will start with a sign language pop-up cafe hosted by the Association S5. Participants will learn more about sign languages over complimentary tea, coffee, and croissants. We also invite you to interact with a newly designed touch-screen experience to explore different sign languages across countries.

We will inaugurate the event with an official opening segment by Michelle Keating, Officer in Charge at UN Geneva, and Tatjana Binggeli, Managing Director of the Swiss Federation of the Deaf (SGB-FSS).


  • H.E. Mr. Darius STANIULIS, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Lithuania
  • H.E. Mr. Jeff ROACH, Deputy Permanent Representative and Deputy Head of Mission at the Australian Permanent Mission to the United Nations

Location: Building E, 1st Floor, Bar Serpent Area
Time: 9:30-12:00 am

Initiation to Sign Language

The day will unfold with a special initiation class offered by Association S5, aimed at raising awareness about the deaf community and introducing attendees to sign language. To join this session, please register via Indico.

Location: Building H, Ground Floor, Auditorium H-200, by Door H60
Time: 1:00-2:00 pm


Sponsors Sign language 2023


Did you know?

Sign language is a visual form of communication that uses hand gestures, body language, and facial expressions to convey meaning. Similar to spoken languages, and unlike general assumption, sign languages are not universal and vary from country to country. In fact, there are over 300 different sign languages in use around the world. Despite these variations sign languages share some common features: space is commonly used to convey information about distance and direction. Additionally, sign languages typically have their own grammar and syntax, which can be quite different from spoken languages. 

The United Nations recognizes the importance of sign language and has made efforts to promote its use internationally. The UN General Assembly has proclaimed September 23 as the International Day of Sign Languages to help raise awareness about sign language and the rights of deaf people. On this day, events are held worldwide to celebrate sign language and highlight its importance in promoting communication and inclusion.