Practical Information for Delegates

Participating in international conferences

Why participate in international conferences?

How to prepare for your participation in a conference (including visa issues, preparation, transportation and many more)

Requesting a visa for your travel to Switzerland

Golden rules for non-governmental representatives

Consultative status and other partnership agreements

For further information, see our FAQ on participating in an international conference.

Finding accommodation

Other low-cost accommodation:
Youth Hostel: Dormitories and double rooms between 19 and 48 Swiss francs per person.
City Hostel: Dormitories, double and single rooms between 32 and 65 Swiss francs per person.
Bed and Breakfast: Accommodation in a private household/family

Accommodation in hotels
Geneva hotels are generally very well kept. You should expect to pay about 100 Swiss francs 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 can also contact them by phone in order to inquire about availabilities in particular hotels.

For further information see our FAQ on accommodation.

Finding contacts

Geneva International - collection of websites: collection of websites of NGOs and international organisations by area of activity

Geneva Forum - NGO Database: search organisations by country and type of organisation

ECOSOC database - database of NGOs in consultative relations with the UN: find NGOs in ECOSOC consultative status by field of activity or name

Geneva authorities - alphabetical list of NGOs: browse an alphabetic list of some NGOs with a representation in Geneva

NGO Focal points: List of people and services NGOs can contact within international organisations

NGO-info.org - Information Platform for NGOs: share information and develop partnerships with other organisations from around the world (includes a project-pool)

Information leaflet on international organisations in Geneva: basic information on Geneva-based international organisations (including a map)

List of conference facilities: details about facilities available to organise your own event

Finding meeting facilities

Mandat International list of meeting rooms in Geneva.

List of meeting facilities provided by the NGO Service of the Canton of Geneva.

Finding libraries and other information resources

Mandat International list of libraries in Geneva.

UN library: comprehensive collection of UN documents (including the League of Nations archive), as well as work places with internet access. Located within the UN buildings / Palais des Nations.

Library of the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies: comprehensive collection of paper and electronic ressources in the field of international relations and development. Located near the UN buildings / Place des Nations.

For further information, see Mandat International's collection of guides and handbooks.

Creating an NGO or establishing a representation in Geneva

Legal forms an NGO can take in Switzerland: "association", "foundation" or simply establishing an office? Contact the NGO service of the Canton of Geneva (provide sample statutes of an association). Information is also available through the association APRES-GE.

Registration of an NGO with Geneva authorities: Registration is not a requirement under Swiss law. It can though be helpful in terms of facilitating relations with Geneva authorities, in particular with regards to taxation (or exemption from it) and the obtention of work permits or office space as well as visas.

Taxation of NGOs and their employees in Switzerland

Work permits in Geneva

Finding office space in Geneva

For further information see the Practical Guide for NGOs or contact the NGO Service of the Geneva authorities.

Information services for further help

NGO Welcome Desk
For any question you may have during sessions of the Human Rights Council, the Welcome Desk team is at your service next to the Serpentine Bar at Palais des Nations (Building E, door 40, downstairs). You may contact the Welcome Desk team anytime (including in between sessions) by E-mail at or by phone under +41 22 77 44 222. You may also pass by our office next to the UN following these directions.

Civil Society Section of the OHCHR
For any question in relation to the functioning of the Human Rights Council (including accreditation matters and oral or written statements), you may contact the Civil Society Unit of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights by E-mail at civilsocietyunit (AT) ohchr.org or by phone under +41 22 917 96 56.

NGO Liaison Unit of the United Nations Office in Geneva
For questions regarding ECOSOC consultative statues you may wish to consult the website of the NGO Branch of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs or contact the NGO Liaison Office of the UN in Geneva by E-mail at ungeneva.ngoliaison (AT) unog.ch or by phone under + 41 22 917 21 27

NGO Service of the Geneva authorities
For any questions with regard to establishing an NGO in Geneva (including legal forms, work permit or office space) you may wish to see the website of the NGO Service of the Geneva authorities or contact them by E-mail at ong (AT) cagi.ch or by phone under +41 22 546 14 00. If you wish to go to their office next to the UN, follow these directions.

Newsletters

Center for Civil and Political Right (CCPR): receive the latest human rights news, State reports, NGOs' reports and other issues related to the Human Rights Council.

CIVICUS: This weekly publication delivers the latest developments of civil society organisations around the world and other factors pertaining to their field.

Gmedia Center: This newsletter offers articles written by various members of the organisation on a wide range of issues, information about grants and fellowships, workshops and seminars, as well as updates on events taking place in Geneva.

International Service for Human Rights (ISHR): The ISHR publishes two monthly newsletters: one following events in the Human Rights world, the other on developments at the UN Human Rights Council in particular.

Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) - Civil Society Section. Choose from various topics concerning the Human Rights Council, its committees, procedures, treaty bodies and other ways of engagement.

UPR-Info: stay up-to-date on the Universal Periodic Review process and the organization's activities.