Jean-Pierre Reymond

Arrived in Geneva: 2017

Organization and Role: Head, Office of Innovation Partnerships, Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the United Nations Office and to the other international organizations in Geneva

Hometown: Lausanne

Tell us who you are and what you do in Geneva.

I am a Swiss diplomat, currently Head of the Innovation Partnerships Office at the Permanent Mission of Switzerland in Geneva. After being posted in different locations across the globe, from Latina America to Syria, from Egypt to Belgium, I am now directing my work in Geneva towards innovative forms of partnerships on topics such as climate action, digital cooperation and Sustainable Development Goals implementation through sport.

How do you – or your organization – reflect the 2030 Agenda’s paradigms of innovation, integration and collaboration in your work?

The three paradigms of the 2030 Agenda are at the core of our daily work at the Swiss Mission. One clear example of this is the climate action initiative we have started in October 2020 called “2050Today”. Coordinated by the Permanent Mission of Switzerland and in cooperation with the United Nations, this initiative has three main objectives:

  1. Ensuring a swift reduction in CO2 emissions within International Geneva and beyond.
  1. Developing a community of institutions and individuals committed and determined to challenge the current climate crisis by sharing solutions, skills, best practices.
  1. “Walking the talk” and turning these commitments into concrete and actionable outcomes for policy implementation.

This initiative is supported and promoted by 60 member entities, half of them being Permanent Missions, and the other half coming from international organizations and civil society. The joint work carried out by these entities is a true example of collaboration, working together for one, common goal, but also of integration, being them diverse in terms of size, background, and expertise. Precisely this mix between cooperation and diversity always provides space for innovative ideas to flourish.  

What is on your mind right now?

We are now focused on moving ahead with the “2050Today” climate action initiative. We have successfully measured carbon footprints for our members in 2019, and we are currently working on retrieving and compiling the different data for the past year. In 2020, COVID-19 deeply affected our lives, the way we consume, the way we move, the way we produce. Despite all the negative impacts, the pandemic showed us that a more sustainable lifestyle is possible, not only in terms of individual and collective GHG emissions, but also on a much broader scale.

What do you find unique about the Geneva ecosystem of actors?

Geneva is unique for several reasons: amongst them, the diversity and great mix of actors, expertise and backgrounds definitely stands out. I am also convinced that the uniqueness of Geneva lies on how easy it is to create networks and contacts thanks to this diversity but also thanks to the geographical proximity that allows for walking distance meetups.  

What’s your favourite thing to do in and around Geneva?  

I find walking along the lake marvelous, at any time of the year! Every time I look at the lake, no matter in which season, I always discover new landscapes, new lights, new breath-taking perspectives.

What is one thing that most people do not know about you?

I studied Egyptology at University. Egyptian history allowed me to set-up in my mind a long-term perspective, which turned very useful in my life and in my daily work. The effects of climate change are in fact extremely lasting, and one must have a farsighted mindset when approaching them.