Chocolates, Watches, Fondue, and Jet d’Eau: My 2023 IALL Journey in Geneva, Switzerland

By: Jeremy F. Flores, Senior Executive Assistant
Office of the General Counsel and Legal Services
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Philippines
IALL bursary recipient 2023

2023 IALL Regular Bursary Recipients with Vanessa
Blackmore; Jeremy Flores, 1st  left.

Being selected as one of the regular bursary recipients of the International Association of Law Libraries (IALL) provided me the opportunity to attend the 41st Annual Course entitled “Like Clockwork?: Multilateralism and International Law in Geneva “ held on 08 to 12 October 2023 in Geneva, Switzerland. The conference made me richer not only in terms of knowledge and learnings but also with engaging exchange of real-life professional experiences with IALL colleagues.

With this, allow me to share my 2023 IALL experience metaphorically through the Swiss things I enjoyed and valued. Beyond these things are memorable experiences from the IALL people I met, connected with, and established collegial relationships and friendships. This blog recounts the highlights and learnings of my very first IALL conference attended.


Switzerland boasts of its sweet treats, most especially chocolates. Every corner of Geneva streets has chocolatiers which sell loads of superb chocolates from affordable to luxury brands. As a tourist, I got to savor this taste of heaven on earth as chocolates were served as a welcome treat in a hotel, and of course, a staple part of IALL meals and cocktails.
The sweetness of Swiss chocolates radiates to its people as I come to have known the very important people who are instrumental in this journey – the IALL officers and Local Planning Committee. In addition, I am lucky to have encountered the sweetest IALL colleagues in the planet.


Being the premier destination for iconic timepieces that lasts a lifetime, I got to pass by the famous and most prestigious Rolex and Patek Philippe stores and bought watches from Swatch and a local store near Hotel Auteuil Manotel, the last two of which were manned by Filipinas I happened to chit chat with
IALL 2023’s theme not only encapsulates relevant discussions on various topics in the fields of international law that have developed in conjunction with the work of multilateral organizations based in Geneva such as the World Trade Organization (WTO), United Nations (UN), International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), and World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), but also describes how the conference went very smoothly, easily and exactly as planned, signifying what the word clockwork really meant.

Inside United Nations Head Quarters and a view of the International Committee of the Red Cross


Sometimes called the Swiss national dish, fondue is hot cheese melted to the consistency of a sauce into which a bread is dipped which symbolizes Swiss unity and national identity.
The mix of presented topics and researches with pre-conference sessions on Digitization – Learning from the Total Digital Access to the League of Nations Archives Project (LONTAD) and Digital Humanities – Innovations and New Insights melted together with visits and guided tours to the United Nations Geneva Library & Archives in the Palais des Nations, International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum, International Court of Arbitration for Sport, the Olympic Museum and Olympic Studies Center providing the participants with a holistic experience of law and culture in Geneva.

Moreover, the dine-arounds offered an interesting and closer encounter with IALL colleagues where there is proactive sharing of ideas and perspectives on laws, library practices, current events, and anything under the sun. The annual dinner which served sumptuous meals to participants culminated the conference in high spirit.

IALL colleagues at Mosaique, Rue du Mole 31, Geneve

Jet d’Eau

Jet d’Eau with a ray of rainbow

Just as how the Jet d’Eau emerges as a true icon of Geneva, I consider the 2023 IALL conference the apex of my librarianship journey. As gigantic as this water fountain is, this conference left an indelible memory in my life where I collected and will treasure learning experiences professionally. For one, the training enhanced my knowledge and expertise as a legal information professional and establish professional networks which will offer opportunities for sharing of legal resources and possible collaboration in research, studies, and projects.
The visits and guided tours provided additional learnings, best practices, and effective approaches in managing library collections, archives, records, and museums which I can implement in the BSP and will share with the PGLL members.
On the other hand, I also got to witness the launching of IALL’s new logo and forthcoming 2024 conference in Norway, proving that the Association continues to reinvent and thrives to maintain quality and excellence in promoting the law library profession and access to legal information.

Ivan Pictet Auditorium, Geneva Graduate Institute

And most of all, it brings overflowing joy and pride to be chosen as one of the regular bursary recipients, represent the Philippines specifically the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), and be recognized as president of the Philippine Group of Law Librarians (PGLL), Inc., alongside other leaders from professional organizations worldwide.
More than these chocolates, watches and fondue is a feeling tantamount to Jet d’Eau, an unforgettable experience with colleagues and friends around the world. Thank you IALL for giving me an opportunity of a lifetime.

This Blog contains entries by members of the International Association of Law Libraries on issues germane to the Association’s areas of focus. Views expressed in an individual entry only represent the views of the author, and not those of the International Association of Law Libraries or the author’s employer.