Information for participants

A. Venue of the meetings

1. The meetings of the conferences of the Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions will be held at the following venue:

Centre International de Conférences Genève (CICG)
17, rue de Varembé
CH-1211 Geneva 20
Switzerland
Tel.: + 41 (0) 22 791 91 11
Fax: + 41 (0) 22 791 90 64
Internet: www.cicg.ch

B. Registration

2. The names and contact information of your designated representatives (including postal addresses, telephone numbers, facsimile numbers and e-mail addresses, where available) should be communicated to the Secretariat of the three conventions using the registration form. Please send your registration forms (if you are a Party to at least one of the conventions, together with an official nomination letter from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or a note verbale from the Permanent Mission of your country to the United Nations Office at Geneva, no later than Wednesday, 23 January 2019) to the following address:

Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
Ms. Stéphanie Cadet
E-mail: stephanie.cadet@brsmeas.org

Postal address: c/o Palais des Nations, 8-14, avenue de la Paix, 1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland
Tel.: + 41 (0) 22 917 83 24
Office address: International Environment House 1 (IEH-1), 11–13, chemin des Anémones,
1219 Châtelaine, Geneva, Switzerland

3. On-site registration will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, 28 April 2019, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday, 29 April 2019, and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the remaining days of the meetings. Security checks will be carried out at the conference centre each time you enter the venue. Please note that owing to the high number of participants expected, we strongly recommend that you register on Sunday or as early as possible.

C. Security identification documentation and badges for meeting participants

4. Security identification badges are issued to participants upon arrival at the meetings and upon completion of the relevant registration procedure. Meeting participants may collect their security identification badges at the registration desks upon presentation of one of the following identification documents issued by a government recognized by the United Nations:

  • Valid national passport;
  • Valid picture identification card, in Latin alphabets;
  • Valid picture “residency” card, in Latin alphabets; or
  • Valid picture drivers licence, in Latin alphabets.

D. Schedule of the meetings

5. On Sunday, 28 April 2019, preparatory meetings, including regional and bureaux meetings, will be held. Information on the preparatory meetings will be announced in due time.

6. The meetings will open on Monday, 29 April 2019, at 10 a.m. Further information on the schedule of work is provided in document UNEP/CHW.14/INF/2 - UNEP/FAO/RC/COP.9/INF/2 - UNEP/SC/COP.9/INF/2.

7. Delegates wishing to attend only specific sessions of the meetings, should keep in mind that the order and timing of sessions may change, depending on decisions made by the bureaux of the conferences of the Parties and on the time required for discussion. Delegates are invited to take this into consideration when making their travel arrangements.

E. Credentials (for representatives of Parties to the conventions)

8. In accordance with rule 18 of the rules of procedure for the Conference of the Parties to the Basel Convention, rule 19 of the rules of procedure for the Conference of the Parties to the Rotterdam Convention and rule 19 of the rules of procedure for the Conference of the Parties to the Stockholm Convention, Parties must submit the credentials of the representatives, as well as the names of the alternate representatives and advisers, who will constitute the delegation for your State or regional economic integration organization to the meetings of those of the three conventions to which their State or regional economic integration organization is a Party.

For your convenience, a model form of credentials is available in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish:

Title
Arabic Chinese English French Russian Spanish
Model form of credentials

9. In accordance with the respective rules of procedure, credentials must be issued by the head of State or Government, by the Minister for Foreign Affairs or, in the case of a regional economic integration organization, by the competent authority of that organization. Information regarding any change in the composition of the delegation should be submitted using the same procedure. Moreover, credentials shall be submitted if possible no later than 24 hours after the opening of the meetings (therefore by 10 am on Tuesday, 30 April 2019).

10. The Secretariat invites Parties to hand over any original credentials at the meeting venue itself and to submit a copy of the credentials in advance of the meetings, preferably by 5 April 2019, as doing so will greatly facilitate the clearance process.

11. The bureaux of the conferences of the Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions, during their joint meeting held from 15 to 16 November 2018, agreed on the approach they will follow when preparing the reports on credentials for the meetings of the conferences of the Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions in 2019. The bureaux agreed that when examining credentials received, they would accept original credentials in good order as well as copies of credentials in good order with the understanding that the original will be submitted as soon as possible.

F. Guidelines for rules of conduct for meeting participants

12. The attention of meeting participants is drawn to the following guidelines for rules of conduct developed by the Secretariat and available on the meetings website:

  1. Guidelines on the use of cameras and audio/video recording devices by participants at meetings of the conferences of the Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions (BRS) and their subsidiary bodies;
  2. Guidelines for the participation of representatives of observers at meetings of the conferences of the Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions (BRS) and their subsidiary bodies;
  3. Guidelines on preventing and addressing all forms of harassment at meetings of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions.

G. Side events

13. Requests for side events should be sent, by duly completing the dedicated request form, no later than Thursday, 28 February 2019 to Ms. Andrea Lechner at the Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions at the following e-mail address: andrea.lechner@brsmeas.org.

14. Up to two side events can be held in parallel during lunch breaks and in the evenings following the plenary sessions. If more requests for side events are received than there are slots available, organizers of side events may be invited to organize joint events. A draft schedule of side events will be published on the meetings’ website prior to the meetings. For detailed information on side events, please consult the side events webpage.

H. Information fair

15. An information fair will be held from 2 to 4 May 2019 to promote and facilitate the exchange of information for the implementation of the conventions by providing an opportunity for partner institutions, non-governmental organizations, intergovernmental organizations, academia, private companies and the Basel and Stockholm conventions regional centres to exhibit their information products, projects and technologies that are available to support the implementation of the conventions. A maximum of 20 exhibition booths will be made available for interested partners to showcase their activities during the three days of the fair. Requests for booths should be sent no later than Thursday, 28 February 2019 to María Cristina Cardenas Fischer at the Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions at the following e-mail address: maria-cristina.cardenas@brsmeas.org.

For detailed information on the Information Fair, please consult the Information Fair webpage

I. Exhibitions and promotional material

16. Requests for exhibitions should be sent no later than Thursday, 28 February 2019 to Mr. Charles Avis at the Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, at the following e-mail address: charles.avis@brsmeas.org.

17. Promotional or exhibition materials may be sent directly to the conference centre from 25 April 2019 at the following address:

c/o. Ms. Marina Bartolomei
Project Manager
2019 BRS COPs
Centre International de Conférences Genève (CICG)
17, rue de Varembé
CH-1211 Geneva 20
Switzerland
Tel.: + 41 (0) 22 791 90 63
Fax: + 41 (0) 22 791 90 64
Email: m.bartolomei@cicg.ch

J. Promoting sustainability in the preparation and conduct of BRS meetings

18. Since 2012, the Secretariat has put in place practical measures to promote sustainability in the preparation and conduct of BRS meetings. This has included participation in the United Nations Climate Neutral Strategy and the achievement of climate neutrality since 2013. Under this framework, the Secretariat has taken steps to make the 2019 COPs climate neutral by offsetting any unavoidable greenhouse gas emissions, in particular from the travel of sponsored participants. Delegates who organize their own travel to and from the 2019 Conferences in Geneva are encouraged to offset their travel emissions online. Further information on how to offset travel emissions is available at: http://www.brsmeas.org/?tabid=7825.

19. In addition, with the aim of reducing plastic waste at the meetings of the conferences of the Parties, arrangements have been made with the venue and catering service to minimize the use of plastic in take-out containers, sandwich bags, cutlery and cups. Delegates are invited to bring reusable drinking containers (mugs, bottles) and use them at the cafeteria and water fountains located throughout the venue.

K. Paperless meeting

20. The meetings will be paperless and printed documents will not be available at the meetings. Pre-session documents will be made available on the meetings’ website and in-session documents (such as conference room papers) will be available electronically via wireless intranet or memory stick only.

21. Making a meeting paperless considerably reduces the cost and carbon footprint of the meeting. A paperless meeting also makes it easier for participants to locate documents and allows for faster preparation and distribution of conference room papers.

22. To facilitate the paperless nature of the meetings, participants are requested to ensure the following:

  1. Each participant should bring a laptop computer containing basic applications, including Microsoft Office Word, Excel and PowerPoint, Adobe Acrobat Reader and updated antivirus software.
  2. Laptops should be pre-checked for viruses and confirmed as virus-free prior to arrival at the meetings. Virus free laptops are crucial to the success of a paperless meeting.
  3. Participants should bring a memory stick that has been pre-checked for viruses for the purpose of transferring documents.
  4. Laptops should be configured for a standard wireless (Wi-Fi) connection. If in doubt, please check with your local information technology expert.
  5. Participants should bring an appropriate adaptor to enable laptops to be connected to Swiss power sockets.
  6. When completing the registration form of the meetings, participants should include a current e-mail address, so that they can be sent correspondence relating to the meetings.

L. Visa

23. It is the responsibility of each participant to apply for the required visa. Visas must be obtained prior to arrival.

24. Please note that a Schengen visa is required even for transiting through Schengen zone European Countries. The time needed for a request for visa to be processed may vary from case to case. It is therefore strongly recommended that visa applications be made with sufficient time in advance, so that a Schengen visa can be issued.

25. More information is available on the Swiss Department of Foreign Affairs at the following links:

M. Insurance

26. The United Nations does not cover life or medical insurance for participants. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the participants or of their Governments to obtain adequate insurance prior to travel to Switzerland.

N. Accommodation

27. It is the responsibility of participants to make their own arrangements for accommodation. The Secretariat encourages all Parties to make such arrangements at the earliest possible opportunity.

28. An updated list of hotels offering preferential rates to the United Nations is available.

O. Local transportation and security

29. Once in Geneva, reaching the conference centre is simple. The international airport (Geneva Cointrin) is about 5 kilometres from the conference centre, a journey of approximately 10 minutes by taxi. The main railway station (Geneva Cornavin) is 2 kilometres from the conference centre and the two are linked by public transport (tramway and bus) and by taxi.

30. Public transport in Geneva is fast, frequent, safe and clean. Bus number 10 links the airport with downtown Geneva, with connections approximately every eight minutes, and train services are also available. The Unireso ticket, offered by the Geneva airport authority, allows the free use of public transport in the city for a period of 80 minutes. Unireso tickets can be obtained from the machine in the baggage collection area on the arrivals level of the airport.

31. The conference centre can be reached from the main railway station by taking bus number 5 (alight at either the Vermont stop or the Varembé stop), bus number 8 (alight at the International Telecommunications Union stop) or tram number 13 or 15 in the direction of Nations (alight at Sismondi).

32. Taxis are easily available and safe, but comparatively expensive. If you need a taxi, call 022 320 22 02 or 022 331 41 33.

33. Although Geneva is a comparatively safe place and violent crime is rare, the incidence of pickpocketing and theft has increased considerably over the last few years. Participants are advised to pay particular attention at the airport, around the Cornavin railway station and in the Paquis district of the city, and to not leave their luggage unattended at any time.

Electricity

34. Participants are kindly requested to bring their own power adaptors.

Voltage: 230 volts
Frequency: 50 Hz
Plug/socket: C (CEE 7/16) , J

C (CEE 7/16)- photo Wikimedia Commons plug J - photo Wikimedia Commons

Currency

35. Swiss franc (CHF). Average exchange rates: 1 US dollar~ 0,99 CHF. 1 Euro ~ 1,15 CHF.

Restaurants

36. The CICG bar and restaurant are located on the ground and first-floor levels. Other cafes, restaurants and shops are within walking distance of the CICG.