Greycells - Association of former international civil servants for development is a non-profit association governed by the Greycells Statutes and by Articles 60 et seq. of the Swiss Civil Code. It was formally established on 17 January 2008.

Greycells is a channel through which retired international civil servants willing to contribute to the global development effort can make their experience and expertise available, on a volunteer basis.

Greycells  has two main aims:

  • help with integration into the Geneva environment through assistance to non-resident delegations, to permanent missions, to international organizations, to NGOs or others requiring advice and/or practical help;
  • participate in the efforts of the international community in support of developing and least developed countries through identification and implementation of specific projects, and help with fund-raising.

The United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) granted the Special Consultative Status to Greycells on August 2017

Greycells cooperates with: 

  • Intergovernmental organizations
  • Swiss authorities
  • Missions to international organizations
  • Developing countries and economies in transition
  • Bilateral and multilateral development agencies
  • Non-governmental organizations
  • Private sector
  • Foundations
  • Universities and training institutions

The activities that Greycells has been involved with include:  

  • Organization of a short courses for diplomats, NGO’s, universities
  • Development of practical guides for diplomats, NGO’s students and researchers
  • Series of Greycell’s “Dialogues” between generations, internationals and Swiss nationals
  • Organization of a cycle of lectures on international organizations for students at a university in Geneva;
  • Cooperation in various ways with local authorities in Geneva in their interface with the international community;
  • Interaction and assistance to permanent missions in Geneva to facilitate their installation and work with the international organizations.

Greycells deals with the areas of work of international organisations. To that end, it mobilizes expertise in the relevant fields to provide: 

  • Mentoring, coaching and training
  • Briefing and support to delegations participating in international meetings or negotiations
  • Assistance to country representatives in preparing their contributions and position papers
  • Analyses in the field of development and assessment of technical cooperation needs
  • Assistance in policy and strategy formulation as well as in the preparation of programmes and project proposals