Durban Review Conference (archive)

This section provides information on practical aspects of your participation in the conference. For more general questions regarding your stay in Geneva, please click here. Please not that the section below is still being developped and continuously adapted to new incoming information. Therefore, there may also be changes to what is said below. The latest information brief for NGOs published by the Secretariat is available here.

Accommodation


Where can I find accommodation in Geneva?

Geneva hotels are generally very well kept. You should expect to pay about 100.- SFr per night in a standard hotel and more in a luxury hotel. A list of hotels provided by the Geneva Tourist Office is available here. You may also wish to visit their website www.genevetourisme.ch

If your budget is limited or you can not find any room in a hotel, you may wish to rely on the emergency accommodation plan put at your disposal by the Swiss authorities for the duration of the Durban Review Conference and administred by Mandat International. The emergency accommodation will involve sleeping in a civil protection shelter. If you are interested in this, please submit a reservation request on this sign-up form.

For other low-budget accommodation in Geneva please check the following websites: www.youthostel.ch, www.cenacle.ch, www.bnb.ch

Please note that Mandat International's Welcome Centre for Non-governmental Organizations and Delegations is already booked out for the duration of the conference (eg. from 20 to 25 April), yet some spaces are still available for the period preceeding the conference (eg. up to 19th of April).

How to get from the airport to the civil protection shelter / emergency accommodation for the Durban Review Conference?

info will follow as soon as available

Transportation


How to get from the airport to the town centre?


Bus n°5 or n°10 – the bus stop is located next to the parking on the departure level. One journey to the centre costs CHF 3.50 and lasts about 25 minutes. Please note that you have to buy the ticket before getting on the bus. Tickets can be purchased at the vending machines at bus stops.

Trains: Departures every 10 minutes, the journey takes 5 minutes. All trains stop at Geneva main station. Tickets cost CHF 3.50 and can be purchased at the vending machines in the train station or at the ticket counters.

If you just landed in Geneva, you may take a free bus or train ticket at the vending machine inside the airport, where you pick up your luggage (before going through customs!).

Taxi: About CHF 30.- to the centre.

How to get from the airport to the civil protection shelter / emergency accommodation for the Durban Review Conference?

info will follow as soon as available

How to get from the airport to the Palais des Nations / the UN?


Bus n°28 towards “Jardin Botanique”. Get off at either “Appia” for the Palais des Nations Pregny Gate (badges for the UN) or at “Nations” for a variety of other organisations. The journey takes 20 minutes.
Bus n°5 towards “Thônex-Vallard”. Get off at “Nations”. The journey takes 11 minutes.

The bus ticket costs CHF 3.50.

A taxi will cost you approximately CHF 25.- for a 10 minutes ride.

How to get around in Geneva by public transport? Where to find a map of the public transport network?


The public transport network (TPG) covers the whole town and allows you to move around fairly quickly. The network comprises buses, tramways and little yellow boats called “mouettes”. TPG tickets are also valid on trains as long as they run within the network, notably on trains between the airport and Geneva main station.
For a map of the network, click here.

Where can I buy a public transport ticket?

Tickets can be purchased at the vending machines at most bus and tramway stops, as well as at TPG selling points, at the train station and at the "Rond-point de Rive" stop. Be aware that a number of vending machines do not give change!

Tobacconists and TPG selling points also sell the so-called cart@bonus (CHF 20.-, 30.- or 50.-) which is a pre-paid card that allows you to buy tickets at vending machines without using cash.

Ticket controls take place regularly and controlled passengers without a valid ticket will have to pay a fine of CHF 80.- in addition to the price of a ticket.

Those who are staying in a hotel will be given a "Geneva Transport Card" (free travel on the Geneva network, valid throughout your stay) when they check in at the hotel.

If you just landed in Geneva, you may take a free bus or train ticket at the vending machine inside the airport, where you pick up your luggage (before going through customs!).

What are the public transport fares?

Adult fares:

• Ticket ‘Tout Genève’ for the centre (zone 10), valid 60 minutes: CHF 3.50
• Day pass for the centre (zone 10), valid from 9.00 am to 5.00 am next day: CHF 8.-
• Day pass for the centre (zone 10), valid from the time of purchase until the end of services: CHF 10.60
• 2-week ticket (zone 10): CHF 38.-
• Monthly ticket (zone 10): CHF 70.-

Click here for a map with fare zones.

Which are the taxi fares applied in Geneva?


The base rate during daytime amounts to approximately CHF 7.- and the meter rate is around CHF 3.- per kilometre.
• New Cab, phone: +41 (0)22 320 20 20
• Coopérative Taxi, phone: +41 (0)22 320 22 02
• Taxi-phone, phone: +41 (0)22 331 41 33

Accreditation and registration for the Durban Review Conference


What do "accreditation" and "registration" mean? What is the difference between them?

Accreditation refers to the rights of an organisation to participate in the conference. Registration is a sort of signing-up of the individual representatives of an organisation that has previously been accredited. This entails that any participant is required to register before the conference - simply having your organisation accredited is not sufficient.

How to get accreditaion for your organisation for the Durban Review Conference?

The deadline for accreditation is now passed. If your organisation has ECOSOC consultative status, it is accredited automatically. If it does not, your organisation may unfortunately not participate.

Yet there is one option still open to you: You may want to contact an organisation that has ECOSOC status or an NGO that has been accredited to the Durban review conference. Sometimes organisations will agree to register you in their name.

- To find out which organisations have ECOSOC consultative status, check the database of the United Nations.

- To find out which organisations that do not have ECOSOC status but that were accredited to the Durban process, check the OHCHR Extranet (Username: hrc durban and Password: ohchr123), click on "Accreditation" at the left, then on "NGO list".

How to register a participant of your organisation to the Durban Review Conference?

First of all, your organisation needs to have obtained accreditation to the Durban process. Then, all participants are required to register in advance of conference. Registration for the third substantive session of the Preparatory Committee (15 – 17 April 2009) automatically implies registration to the Durban Review Conference and vice versa.

Registration should be done by sending a letter listing the names of the representatives to the Secretariat to NGODurbanRevConf (at) ohchr.org or Fax: + 41 (0)22 928 90 50. The subject line should be REGISTRATION and the name of your NGO.

The registration letter must comply with the following requirements:
• It should be submitted on the official letterhead of the organization;
• It should clearly state the name of the organization that wishes to attend, e.g. "Name of NGO, in consultative status with ECOSOC / accredited to take part in the 2001 WCAR / newly accredited by the Preparatory Committee, wishes to send the following members to attend the (insert Preparatory Committee and/or Durban Review Conference;
• The letter should be signed by the President or the Main Representative of the organization;
• The letter should also indicate the full name/s (first name and family name) of the person/s who will represent the organization at the Preparatory Committee and/or the Durban Review Conference: Names of persons must appear exactly as they appear in the ID document; Family Name(s) must be capitalized.

How to proceed - once you are in Geneva - to pick up your badge?

Upon arrival, participants should proceed to the Registration Tent of the Palais des Nations to complete the formalities to receive their badge. Participants are advised to ensure they have a valid identification document with them. They should also bring a copy of their letter requesting registration.

At the tent, the participants will be requested to fill out a form which will than be handed to the registration staff (desks 7 & 8 for NGOs) that will take the participant’s photograph and hand them their badge. The participants will insert the following information on the form:

  • name of the participant;
  • passport number;
  • expiry date of their passport;
  • date of birth.
How did the accreditation process work, and which were the criteria for accreditation?
How to get a badge to access the plenary room (Assembly Hall) and to room XX?

Seats in the plenary and in room XX are limited, and therefore NGO participants need to obtain every day a special access badge to the plenary, in addtion to their own photo badge. The special access badge is not a photo badge and does not have the name of a person on it, which allows an NGO to pass the badge on to different members of their organisation, such as to allow various members of the organisation to access the plenary, one at a time.

A limited number of secondary daily badges for NGOs are distributed every day. For the plenary room, this is namely 60 badges for the floor, 144 for the 5th floor gallery, and 192 for the 6th floor gallery. For room XX, 71 badges on the ground floor and 44 badges on the public gallery will be available for NGOs. There will be only one secondary badge per organisation and per day.

The special access badge can be requested every morning form 8am onwards at the registration tent, on a first come, first served basis.

What to do if I did not manage to get a badge for the plenary (Assembly Hall)?

You may follow the debates held in the plenary through a live video transmission in room XVII. In addition to the plenary debates, there are many side events in the Palais des Nations which you may wish to follow. For details on this, please check the section "Events in the margin of the Durban Review Conference".

What to do if I am on the list of speakers and therefore need to access the plenary to make my statement?

NGOs on the list of speakers will be issued with secondary badges to gain access to the ground floor of the Assembly Hall. We still need to confirm with the Secretariat how NGO speakers can obtain such a badge.

Calendar, agenda and program of work of the Durban Review Conference


Where to find the agenda of the Review Conference?

On the official website of the conference. You may also find there the annotated agenda.

Where to find the programme of work?

On the official website of the conference.

Where to find a programme of side events taking place?

All side events will be held daily during the Review Conference, April 20 24, 2009, from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. at the Palais des Nations. The OHCHR has pubished a provisional list of side events.

Events in the margin of the Durban Review Conferece


Side events (official events)


What are side events?

These are events that are part of the conference, yet they take place at the margin of the plenary session. In order to facilitate the broadest participation of all stakeholders in the Durban Review Conference, a number of meeting rooms are made available for the organization of side events for participants accredited to the Conference. Side events focus on the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action. They should provide an opportunity to review progress made in the combat against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance and the actual implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action at the national, regional and international levels since 2001, as well as the sharing of best practices.

How to proceed to organise a side event?

Organizers should consult the Guidance Note on Side Events and complete the inscription form as soon as possible but no later than 14 April 2009. The inscription form and Guidance Note are posted on the Durban Review Conference web site.

Where to find a programme of side events taking place?

All side events will be held daily during the Review Conference, April 20 24, 2009, from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. at the Palais des Nations. The OHCHR has pubished a provisional list of side events.

Where to address queries regarding side events?

Queries on side events should be sent by email to: reviewconferenceevent (at) ohchr.org or by fax to: + 41 (0)22 928 9050

Cultural events


Briefings for NGOS


Which briefings for NGOs will be held during the Review Conference?

Daily briefings for NGOs will take place at the International Conference Centre Geneva between the 15 and 24 April 2009, form 8.30 am to 10 am. These briefings are organised by Geneva for Human Rights. For more information click here.

Briefings organised by the Conference Secretariat will be held on a daily basis between Tuesday 21 and Friday 24 April, from 9.30am to 10am, in room XVII of Palais des Nations.

A briefing for NGOs with Mr. Ibrahim Salama, OHCHR Coordinator for Durban Review Conference, will be held on Monday, 20 April 2009, in Room XVI at 6.30pm.

The High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms. Navanethem Pillay, will meet with the NGOs on Wednesday, 22 April 2009 from 2pm to 3pm, in Room XVII.

Which training activities will be held before the Review Conference?

A "Seminar on training and orientation for representatives of NGOs, Associations and Students for effective participation in the DRC to assess implemantation of the DDPA" will be organised from 15 to 17 of April 2009 at the Geneva International Conference Centre. This event is organised by the Association of World's Citizens and Nord-Sud XXI.

Caucusing


Is there a room available for NGO caucus meetings?

NGOs may reserve Room XII by filling out the requisite forms which will be available on the extranet with login "hrc durban" and password "ohchr123" (without quotation marks). Room booking requests may be faxed to: +41 (0) 22 917 0326. Room booking forms will also be available at the NGO Liaison Office, Palais des Nations, Room E 3062, 3rd Floor, Block E.


Events outside the Palais des Nations


Which NGO conferences and forums will take place outside the Palais des Nations before the Review Conference?

Where to find documents regarding the Durban Review Conference?


Documents can be found on the official website, on the extranet with login "hrc durban" and password "ohchr123" (without quotation marks) or at the documentation centre next to door 40. Below the links towards a few key documents:
Where to find the agenda of the Review Conference?

On the official website of the conference. You may also find there the annotated agenda.

Where to find the programme of work?

On the official website of the conference.

Where to find a programme of side events taking place?

All side events will be held daily during the Review Conference, April 20 24, 2009, from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. at the Palais des Nations. The OHCHR has pubished a provisional list of side events.

Where can I find the draft outcome document?

On the official website of the conference.

Where can I find the modalities for NGO oral statements?

The modalities are available at the list of speakers desk (Building E, 3rd floor) or on the extranet with login "hrc durban" and password "ohchr123" (without quotation marks).

Where can I get the registration form for NGO oral statements?

The registration form is  available at the list of speakers desk (Building E, 3rd floor) or on the extranet with login "hrc durban" and password "ohchr123" (without quotation marks).

Making declarations at the Review Conference


NB: Deadline for oral statements is Wed 22th April, 1pm!
How to make an oral statement?

Firstly, you need to sign up on the list of speakers (please refer to the next question to find out where to sign up). The list of speakers will open as soon as the agenda has been adopted by the plenary of the Conference (which is expected to take place during the morning meeting starting at 10 a.m.). The list of speakers will then remain open until Wednesday 22th April, at 1pm. You must imperatively sign up before this deadline, since no more inscriptions will be received afterwards. Since there will be many NGOs wanting to speak, joint statements are encouraged.

The inscriptions to the list of speakers need to be confirmed in person 24 hours preceding the relevant meeting at the list of speakers' desk.

Please note that 25 copies of the oral statement, for interpretation, are to be made available and handed to conference services at the beginning of the relevant meeting. Conference service staff can be approached in the left hand-side of Salle des Assemblées when facing the podium. Three photocopiers will be available outside Room XVII.

When your speaking slot is approaching, you should go into the plenary room a little before your turn is up, in order to be on time and not to miss your slot. Have a seat on one of the NGO speakers seat (located to the right hand-side of the podium if facing the podium) and when you are asked to speak by the Chair, press the button of the microphone. Remember to speak slowly so as to give interpreters the time to follow your speach and to translate it correctly. Be careful to respect the time limit of 3 minutes. And once you finished, remember to switch off the microphone by pressing on the button.

Where can I sign up for an oral statement? Where is the list of speakers desk located?

The list of speakers desk is the place where you need to sign-up for your statement. It is located in the building E on the 3rd floor. This means that when you enter the building through door 40, you need to take the escalators to go one floor up.

When during the conference may NGOs speak?

NGOs will be able to make oral statements under item 9 (Issues arising from the objectives of the Conference) towards the end of the afternoon on Wednesday 22th and Thursday 23 of April. If in the morning of these two days the list of speakers of state representatives is short, there may also be time for NGOs towards the end of the morning sessions (tbc).

There will also be 3 to 5 speakers of civil society organisation during the general segment at the beginning of the conference. These speakers have been chosen through consultations held by the Conference of NGOs in Consultative Status with the UN (CONGO).

Where can I find the modalities for NGO oral statements?

The modalities are available at the list of speakers desk (Building E, 3rd floor) or on the extranet with login "hrc durban" and password "ohchr123" (without quotation marks).

Where can I get the registration form for NGO oral statements?

The registration form is  available at the list of speakers desk (Building E, 3rd floor) or on the extranet with login "hrc durban" and password "ohchr123" (without quotation marks).

What to do if I am on the list of speakers and therefore need to access the plenary to make my statement?

NGOs on the list of speakers will be issued with secondary badges to gain access to the ground floor of the Assembly Hall. We still need to confirm with the Secretariat how NGO speakers can obtain such a badge.

How to make a written statement?

NGOs accredited to the Durban Review Conference may submit written statements to the Conference in accordance with rule 67 of the provisional rules of procedure which provides that such written statements will be distributed by the Secretariat to all delegations in the quantities and in the language in which the statements are made available by the NGOs concerned to the Secretariat of the Review Conference. A statement submitted on behalf of an NGO needs to be related to the work of the Review Conference and be on a subject in which this NGO has a special competence. All materials must be on the organization’s letterhead with logo and bear the stamp of the submitting organization. Materials containing abusive and offensive language will not be accepted for distribution.
NGOs are encouraged to send written statements in advance which may also be delivered in person during the five days of the Conference to: NGO Liaison Office at the Palais des Nations Room E 3062 where the Secretariat will receive and record written statements prior to their distribution. NGOs are requested to make copies of their statement only after their statement has been logged. The NGOs may send advance copies of written statements to: NGODurbanRevConf@ohchr.org with WRITTEN STATEMENT as the subject line. The written statements will be made available to the participants and will be placed on the Durban Review Conference Extranet.

How can my NGO contribute to the draft outcome document of the conference?

Accredited NGOs may contribute to the text of the draft outcome document by sending their proposals, comments, etc to the Durban Review Conference Secretariat at: ADUSecretariat@ohchr.org or Fax: +41 (0) 22 928 90 50. All such contributions will then be forwarded to the Chair of the ISWG who will take a decision as to their possible use in the drafting process.

Can I display or distribute printed material in the conference rooms or the corridors?

NGOs may place their documentation and other materials/updates/flyers on tables and notice boards that will be provided outside conference room XVII. NGO material displayed in the designated table and notice boards need to carry the stamp of the NGO accredited to the Conference. OHCHR-appointed focal point(s) will liaise with NGOs with regard to their materials. NGOs are not permitted to distribute documents, pamphlets or any other material in Salle des Assemblées, Conference Room XX or any other conference room.

Visa


What kind of identity document do I need to enter Switzerland?

To enter Switzerland foreign nationals must be in possession of a valid identity document recognised by the Swiss authorities. Citizens of most countries need a passport which is valid for at least 3 months past the duration of their stay in Switzerland. To find out which identity documents are recognized for citizens of a specific country, see the list by nationality of the Federal Office for Migration, or ask at your local Swiss Embassy or Consulate.

The conditions for entry to Swiss territory vary according to nationality. For citizens of certain countries, a visa is required (see also "What are the modalities to obtain a visa to enter Switzerland?").

What are the modalities to obtain a visa to enter Switzerland?

As soon as you consider going to Switzerland, ask at the Swiss representation in your country of residence if you need a visa. Visas can normally be obtained within a few days, yet it is recommended that you submit your request as early as possible, since in some countries, the procedure may take considerably longer.

Check the list of Swiss representations abroad. For a visa request, contact the Embassy or the Consulate (but not an Honorary Consulate) in your country of residence.

The Federal Office for Migration publishes a list per country detailing if citizens of a certain country need a visa to enter Switzerland.

If you need to submit a visa request, you will always need a valid identity document (see also “Which documents do I need to enter Switzerland?”), a valid return ticket, In addition, you need to provide an attestation of your inscription to the conference. To learn where to obtain such an attestation, please refer to the corresponding question below.

With regard to visa requests for participating in the Durban Review Conference, a simplified procedure is applied. THEREFORE, IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOU CLEARLY STATE YOU WISH TO OBTAIN A VISA IN ORDER TO PARTICIPATE IN THE DURBAN REVIEW CONFERENCE FORM 20 TO 24 APRIL 2009 when you get in contact with the Swiss representation.

Where can I obtain an attestation of my inscription to the Durban Review Conference?

Two distinct procedures apply depending on the status of your NGO:

  1. NGOs in ECOSOC consultatif status may request their attestation with the NGO Office of the UN: Tel: + 41 (0)22 917 1304, Fax: +41 (0)22 917 05 83, Email: ungeneva.ngoliaison (at) unog.ch
  2. NGOs without ECOSOC consultatif status but accredited to the Durban process may request their attestation at the conference secretariat: NGODurbanRevConf (at) ohchr.org

Please indicate the name and address of your organisation as well as the name(s) of the participant(s) for whom you need to request a visa. Do write "ATTESTATION" in the subject line of the Email or Fax.

What to do if I am having problems with my visa request?

In case you have questions or problems, please send an Email to the NGO Welcome Desk team at welcome (at) mandint.org or call us at +41 (0)22 919 05 21. We are in regular contact with the Swiss authorities in Geneva and may be able to give you advice on documents you need to provide. We may also forward your particular case to authorities in Geneva who can then contact the Swiss representation in your country of residence in order to attempt to solve your case.