Our Patrons


Kofi Annan - High Patron of the Advancing Development Goals Contests.

Expressing his support and will to make a contribution to the initiative, the ex-UN Secretary General has agreed to act as the High Patron of the Geneva Challenge. A Noble Peace prize winner together with the UN, Mr. Annan currently chairs the Kofi Annan Foundation, the African Progress Panel and the independent group of global leaders: the Elders. He is also an honorary member, board member or patron of a number of organizations including the UN Foundation Board. He personally presented the prizes to the winners of the 2014 and 2017 version of the contest.

The Advancing Development Goals Contest is a worthy and important initiative and will encourage and inspire young students to be key agents for development and peace. I wish it every success.

Kofi Annan - Importance of ADG contest

Kofi Annan - Most interesting feature of the Geneva Challenge

Kofi Annan - Incentives for participation of graduate students

Kofi Annan - Migration and Developmenet




Jenö C.A. Staehelin - Founder, donor and Head of the Jury of the Advancing Development Goals contests.

The Geneva Challenge owes its initiative and patronage to the generous vision of ambassador Stahelin, who believes in the participation of talented young minds in framing and implementing an international development agenda. Ambassador Staehelin built an impressive carreer in the Swiss Department of Foreign Affairs, having served as the former Permanent Representative of Switzerland to the UN in New York. Among other acheivements as activities, he is also a former President of the Executive Board of UNICEF and an honorary member of the International Committee of the Red Cross.