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Press Release

Geneva, 24 April 2019 - One hundred years ago, the League of Nations was founded and soon afterwards Geneva became home to this first multilateral organization with the objective of maintaining world peace. The creation of the League of Nations in 1919 symbolized the birth of modern multilateral diplomacy which, over the past 100 years, has significantly developed from the League’s initial steps to today’s complex and comprehensive work of the United Nations.

To celebrate this anniversary, today the United Nations is marking the first International Day of Multilateralism and Diplomacy for Peace, which was established by the General Assembly resolution 73/127 in 2018. International Geneva will celebrate the Day with an event at 11 a.m. in the cinema room (Room XIV) of the Palais des Nations, where “The League at Work” - a documentary film produced in 1937 - will be screened, followed by a discussion about the evolution of multilateralism. This film has recently been digitized by the UN Audiovisual Library in New York.

“It is not enough to proclaim the virtue of multilateralism; we must prove its added value. Nor is it acceptable to dismiss the doubters; we must show that multilateralism can respond to global anxieties and deliver a fair globalization that lifts all,” says UN Secretary-General António Guterres on the occasion of the first observance of the International Day of Multilateralism and Diplomacy for Peace.

Today’s event at the Palais des Nations is the first of a series that UN Geneva will organize throughout 2019 and 2020 to celebrate 100 years of multilateralism, together with Member and Observer States, international organizations, and Geneva partners. The objective of these centenary activities is to highlight the evolution of multilateralism in various areas from the time of the conception of the League of Nations to the present day and the 2030 Agenda.

In New York today, the General Assembly will hold a high-level plenary meeting to commemorate and promote the International Day of Multilateralism and Diplomacy for Peace. The meeting will discuss the challenges to multilateralism and the way forward and renew the commitment to the original ideas of the UN Charter. UNTV will provide a live webcast of the high-level plenary meeting.

“Today and even more so tomorrow, multilateralism must be inclusive, integrated and interconnected; it must break down silos and connect across disciplines; involve actors from all backgrounds and at all levels - from grassroots to governments; from the private sector to civil society,” says Michael Møller, the Director-General of UN Geneva.

All information on the centenary activities in Geneva throughout 2019 and 2020 can be found at the new, dedicated website:; partners are invited to propose activities or contribute to the already planned programme. On the social media, #Multilateralism100 is used as the main hashtag.

For use of the information media; not an official record