Information for Participants

Download the Information for Participants brochure in English.

Venue of the meeting

The eleventh meeting of the Open-ended Working Group of the Basel Convention (OEWG-11) will be held from 3 to 6 September 2018, at the following venue:

Geneva International Conference Centre (CICG)
17, rue de Varembé
CH-1211 Geneva 20
Tel.: + 41 (0) 22 791 91 11
Fax: + 41 (0) 22 791 90 64

On-site registration and security identification documentation

On-site registration for participants will be opened from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, 2 September 2018, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday, 3 September 2018 and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the remaining days of the meeting.

Security identification badges are issued to participants upon arrival at the meeting and upon completion of the relevant registration procedure.

Meeting participants may collect their security identification badges at the registration desks upon presentation of an identification document 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 driver’s licence, in Latin alphabets).

For those not previously admitted as observers, security identification badges are only issued after the Secretariat has received the necessary application form and supporting documents for the admissions procedure.

Schedule of the meeting

Preparatory meetings, including regional and bureaux meetings, will be held on Sunday, 2 September 2018. Information on the preparatory meetings will be announced on the Basel Convention website.

The meeting will be opened at 10 a.m. on Monday, 3 September 2018. Further information on the schedule of work will be made available on the Basel Convention website.

Pursuant to paragraph 9 of decision BC-13/17, on Monday, 3 September 2018, and Thursday, 6 September 2018, simultaneous interpretation into Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish will be provided in plenary sessions. Thanks to the generous financial support provided by the Government of Switzerland, one additional day of plenary sessions with interpretation will be provided on Tuesday, 4 September 2018. On Wednesday, 5 September, technical meetings, including contact group meetings, will be held in English only. The provisional agenda and other pre-session documents will be made available on the Basel Convention website at:

Guidelines for rules of conduct for meeting participants

The attention of meeting participants is drawn to two new guidelines for rules of conduct developed by the Secretariat:

Side events

Requests for side events should be sent using the side event request form no later than 31 July 2018 to Ms. Susan Wingfield, Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions at the following e-mail address:

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 meeting website prior to the meeting.

Display of publications and promotional material

Publications and promotional materials may be sent directly to the conference centre from Monday, 27 August 2018 at the following address:

c/o. Ms. Marina Bartolomei
Project Manager
Centre International de Conférences Genève (CICG)
17, rue de Varembé
CH-1211 Geneva 20
Tel.: + 41 (0) 22 791 90 63
Fax: + 41 (0) 22 791 90 64

Paperless meeting

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

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.

To facilitate the paperless nature of the meeting, participants are requested to ensure the following:

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


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

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.

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


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.


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.

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

Local transportation and security

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.

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.

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).

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


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

Participants are kindly requested to bring their own power adaptors.


Swiss franc (CHF). Average exchange rates: 1 United States dollar ≈ 0.98 CHF; 1 euro ≈ 1.16 CHF.


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.