Geneva is the second most populous city in Switzerland (after Zurich) and is the most populous city of Romandy, the French-speaking part of Switzerland. Situated where the Rhone exits Lake Geneva, it is the capital of the Republic and Canton of Geneva. The municipality (ville de Genève) has a population (as of June 2012) of 192,385, and the canton (République et Canton de Genève, which includes the city) has 468,194 residents. In 2007, the urban area, or agglomération franco-valdo-genevoise (Great Geneva or Grand Genève in French) had 1,240,000 inhabitants in 189 municipalities in both Switzerland and France. The economic area "Great Geneva-Bern area" has 2,9 million inhabitants.
Geneva is a global city, a financial centre, and worldwide centre for diplomacy and the most important UN international co-operation centre with New York thanks to the presence of numerous international organizations, including the headquarters of many of the agencies of the United Nations and the Red Cross. It is also the place where the Geneva Conventions were signed, which chiefly concern the treatment of wartime non-combatants and prisoners of war.
Geneva was ranked as the world's thirteenth most important financial centre for competitiveness by the Global Financial Centres Index, ahead of Frankfurt, and third in Europe after London and Zürich. and a 2009 survey by Mercer found Geneva to have the third-highest quality of life of any city in the world (behind Vienna and Zurich; it is narrowly outranked by Zurich). The city has been referred to as the world's most compact metropolis and the "Peace Capital." In 2009 and 2011, Geneva was ranked as, respectively, the fourth and fifth most expensive city in the world