World Refugee Day 2003: Switzerland

World Refugee Day, 20 June 2003

© © UNHCR/S.Hopper
The classical music concert at UNHCR's headquarters raised 200,000 Swiss francs for refugee youth in Africa. © UNHCR/S.Hopper

UNHCR opened the doors to its headquarters in Geneva for a classical music concert that raised 200,000 Swiss francs for educational projects in Sierra Leone's Largo camp and Tanzania's Kasulu camp.

More than 500 people were treated to performances by two philharmonic orchestras and renowned Swiss mezzo-soprano Brigitte Balleys, as well as a live webcam/Internet link with Swiss aid workers in Largo camp.

© UNHCR/S.Hopper
UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Adel Imam (with interpreter) at the UNHCR concert.

The event was graced by UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Adel Imam, and unfolded against the backdrop of an art exhibition by Cambodian artist Kosal. A painting by Kosal was chosen as the frontispiece for publicity materials for this year's World Refugee Day.

Other celebrations included a June 18 Concert for Peace and Reconciliation, featuring refugee bands from Burundi, Rwanda and Congo Brazzaville, held during a day of special events celebrating Geneva's new Stade de la Praille.

Across Switzerland and Liechtenstein, more than 50 public buildings as well as Geneva's celebrated fountain, the Jet d'Eau, were lit up in UN blue.