21 June 2016
GENEVA - The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has been honored by the Canton of Geneva and awarded the "Vigne des Nations", a symbolic recognition given every year to an international organization that contributes to reinforce Geneva's international commitment.
The announcement was made at an event hosted in the municipality of Bernex by Luc Barthassat, State Counsellor of the Department of Environment, Transport and Agriculture of Geneva. Also present at the ceremony were Marijke Wijnroks, Chief of Staff of the Global Fund, and Cyril Hugenin, Mayor of Bernex.
During this event, the Republic and Canton of Geneva recognized the Global Fund for its engagement in the fight against AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and in building resilient and sustainable systems for health and for the organization's contribution to the larger family that is known as "Geneva International".
The recognition of the "Vigne des Nations 2016" also comes at a very significant time for the Global Fund, as it only a few days ago participated in the stone-setting ceremony for Geneva's new Health Campus, a building in Grand-Saconnex that will house several health organizations, including the Global Fund. The new offices to be rented by the Global Fund will deliver substantial savings to the organization through lower rental costs.
"The Global Fund is an integral part of Geneva International and we are proud that the organization is headquartered in our Canton," said Mr. Barthassat during the event.
Dr. Wijnroks said at the ceremony: "We warmly welcome this recognition by the Canton of Geneva and are extremely grateful to the Swiss authorities for their ongoing support of the Global Fund and our mission to end AIDS, TB and malaria as epidemics."
The State Council started honoring organizations with the "Vigne des Nations" recognition after the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the United Nations in 1995. Each year, the State Council assigns a parcel of its vineyards to Geneva International, and that is why it carries this name, which in French means "Vine of the Nations". The tradition is to honor an international organization in a symbolic way by symbolically offering a parcel of its vineyards. It also underscores the roots of Geneva as fertile agricultural land that fosters strong urban-rural linkages.