Forum on Business and Human Rights first annual meeting – 3 and 5 December 2012

Practical information for participants

For the latest information on the Forum, please check the main page

Logistics note for participants for additional information

Contact details
How to contact the Secretariat of the Forum on Business and Human Rights:

For general information about participation in United Nations meetings, the Civil Society Section of the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights can be contacted at:
Tel: +41 22 917 96 56

Meeting information
The first annual Forum on Business and Human Rights will take place on 3 and 5 December in Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.

Simultaneous translation in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish will be provided in opening and closing sessions, as well as some thematic sessions.

Meetings will be held from 10.00 to 18.00, including official and unofficial events which will be held during lunch sessions from 13.00 to 15.00 both days. Some events may take place during morning sessions from 08.00 to 10.00.

Please refer to the programme (to be posted on the Forum web page by mid October 2012) for information about content, time and location of sessions.

Please note that due to a number of requests, some side events linked to the Forum on Business and Human Rights will be held on 3 December. Participants who are registered for the Forum, will also be accredited 3-5 December.

How can I stay up to date after I have registered for the Forum?
In order to always stay up to date regarding the latest news about the Forum, we would like to ask you to kindly create a Google+ profile of your person or your organization to interact with other participants of the Forum. Please send an email to with copy to, in order to receive all necessary information on how to join the discussion on Google+.

Please be advised that it is the responsibility of participants to obtain a visa to enter Switzerland if applicable. You will need a passport that is valid for no less than six months following your departure from Switzerland.

Please consult the respective Swiss Consulate regarding Swiss visa application deadlines and documentation required. If a visa attestation letter is required, organizations in consultative status with ECOSOC are requested to address a letter to the United Nations Office at Geneva NGO Liaison Officer (email:, fax: +41 22 917 05 83). Other participants may address a letter to the Secretariat ( ).

Accreditation and Registration for the Forum
All information is posted on this page:

We advise you to arrive well in advance of the opening of the Forum on 4 December (10.00) to the Palais des Nations-Prégny Gate in order to proceed to the accreditation office:

Palais des Nations - Security entrance
Pregny Gate, 8 - 14 Avenue de la Paix
1211 Geneva 10
Open Monday to Friday from 08.00 to 17.00.

Due to the high number of registrations, participants are advised to collect their badges as early as possible. On Tuesday 4 December Security at the main entrance to Palais des Nations (at Prégny Gate) will be open from 07.30 on an exceptional basis. Security is open all other days from 08.00 to 17.00. Permanent Missions may collect badges on behalf of other participants. If doing so, it is required to present copies of registration forms, accreditation letter and IDs of the participants whose badges are being picked up.

Participants wishing to attend morning sessions on 4 December, are strongly advised to collect their badges on 3 December. Those attending events on 3 December, are advised to go to Security in advance as early as possible from 10.00.

Please refer to the logistics note for participants for additional information.

Organizations in consultative status with ECOSOC, please ensure that you bring a personal identification (ID) and a copy of your letter requesting accreditation that was sent to the Secretariat of the Forum on Business and Human Rights.

For organizations not in consultative status with ECOSOC, please ensure that you bring a personal identification (ID), a copy of your letter requesting accreditation, and a copy of the questionnaire sent to the Secretariat of the Forum on Business and Human Rights.

We advise participants to provide Security with their duly completed Conference Registration Form – which you can find on the Forum’s website at the address above – in order to speed up the registration process.

How to participate in the discussions at the Forum
Sessions will be introduced by pre-determined panels as per the programme of work. Other participants will have an opportunity to give oral interventions and participate in the discussion based on a sign-up sheet that will be present in the room at the start of and during each session. The number of speakers on the list will be subject to the scheduled time for the open discussions.

Participants will also be asked to register their attendance at the parallel breakout sessions at participants’ sheets that will be present in the meeting rooms.

Public space at the Forum for participants
Participating organizations are encouraged to share information about experiences, tools and initiatives for advancing the business and human rights agenda and implementation of the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

A public space or "marketplace" will be made available to participants in the hallways outside the main meeting rooms for this purpose. Participants wishing to participate in this public space may register to be provided with a table/stand, where they can present information and materials to participants during the two days of the Forum. Please contact the Secretariat for registration and allocation of space by no later than 1 November 2012: Please provide details on how the stand will be used. As the number of available tables/stands is limited, participants are encouraged to contact the Secretariat for registration as soon as possible. Allocation will primarily be on a first-come, first-served basis, but the Secretariat may also seek to ensure balanced multistakeholder presence if necessary.

Participants who register for the use of a table/stand at the public space will be responsible for the table/stand during the meeting hours, and will be required to sign an agreement form to that effect. All information presented by participants should be guided by the Forum’s principles of constructive and respectful dialogue.

Distribution of material elsewhere in the Palais des Nations is not permitted, including in the cafeteria and Serpentine Bar, and other public spaces.

Materials containing abusive or offensive language or images are not permitted on United Nations premises.

Material for display should clearly indicate the logo and full name of the concerned organization.

Side Events
Subject to availability of rooms (please see below), participants may organize side events to further contribute to discussions relating to the theme of the Forum on Business and Human Rights, particularly with a view to sharing information on trends and challenges, as well as good practice, in the implementation of the Guiding Principles, including at country and regional level.

Side-events organized by participants are public meetings, unless otherwise indicated by the organizers; as such, they are subject to the following guidelines:

They may be attended by all other Forum participants and NGOs, Permanent Mission Representatives, UN Staff and other persons with access to Palais des Nations. 

Relevant materials from Forum participants may be made available inside the side-event meeting room, with the agreement of the organizer of the side event. It is the responsibility of the organizing participants to remove any remaining documentation at the end of the meeting. Interpretation for side events is not provided by the United Nations. Participating organizations may bring their own interpreters, if they so wish, and in order to do so, should inform the Secretariat ahead of time, as they will also need to be accredited to enter the premises. Visual recording by accredited participants is permitted during side events with the approval of the event organizers, and upon written notification to the Secretariat, subject to the following guidelines: The Chair of the meeting should inform the participants at the start of the meeting that it is being recorded; and Photography (still and/or video) should not interfere with the sight-lines of other participants or disrupt the proceedings of the meeting. Tripods should be erected at the sides or the back of the room.

Availability of rooms for side events is very limited. Please contact the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG, for room requests. Subject to availability, upon room booking with UNOG, please contact the Secretariat ( with detailed information about the planned side event (purpose, programmes, speakers, sponsors, etc.) by no later than 1 November 2012.

Use of the United Nations emblem
Use of the United Nations emblem on non-official documents and publications, including material by civil society or business organizations is expressly prohibited.

The United Nations flag may not be displayed in meeting rooms where non-United Nations participants organize events, except with the authorization of the Secretary-General, requested through the Secretariat.

Arrangements for participants
All travel related-expenses, accommodation, medical insurance and other arrangements are the responsibility of the participants.

IT Arrangements
Free Wi-fi access is available in the meeting rooms and generally throughout public areas of the Palais des Nations. Computer terminals are available near the Serpentine Bar.

Access to UN premises and the plenary room
The Palais des Nations is accessible to accredited participants from 08.00. Participants must comply with the requests and instructions of United Nations officials and security staff relating to access and use of United Nations facilities and premises.

Participants must display their badge visibly at all times when entering and exiting, and while present on United Nations premises.

Participants may be subjected to security scrutiny. Access to the United Nations premises with large luggage is not permitted.

For information regarding access to Palais des Nations for persons with disabilities, please refer to the map.

The Secretariat may limit the number of accredited participants per delegation having access to the plenary room when demand for attendance is particularly high.

Smoking is not permitted in the Palais des Nations. Eating and drinking are not permitted in the meeting rooms. Use of visual recording equipment is not permitted in the Palais des Nations, except in side-events (see above).

The meeting is open to the media.  Representatives of the media wishing to cover the event will need to be accredited for the coverage of the meeting. All media accreditation requests should be sent to, or by telephone: +41 22 9174359 or +41 22 9172336; fax: +41 22 9170030 
Participating organizations are not permitted to hold press conferences on United Nations premises. Press briefings, and dissemination of press releases and media advisories by participating organizations may be arranged only through the Association of Correspondents Accredited to the United Nations (ACANU),

“The Mandat International Welcome Centre for Non-Governmental Organisations and Delegations” welcomes non-governmental meeting participants and offers moderate prices. For additional information, send an email to: or visit the website:

For hotels in the vicinity of the UN visit: and for other suggestions, please see this link: Hotels