Information for participants for the face-to-face segment of the meetings

Venue of the meetings

The sixteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Basel Convention, the eleventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Rotterdam Convention and the eleventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Stockholm Convention will be held back to back from 1 to 12 May 2023, at the following venue:

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


On-site registration will open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, 30 April 2023, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday, 1 May 2023, 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.

Security identification documentation and badges for meeting participants

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:

  1. Valid national passport issued by a government recognized by the United Nations:;
  2. Valid national ID cards issued by a Schengen State;
  3. Valid travel document recognized by the UN.  

Schedule of the meetings

On Sunday, 30 April 2023, preparatory meetings, including regional groups and bureaux meetings, will be held. Information on the preparatory meetings will be announced on the meetings’ website at:

The meetings will be opened on Monday, 1 May 2023, at 10 a.m. Further information on the schedule of work for the meetings is provided in document UNEP/CHW.16/INF/2 - UNEP/FAO/RC/COP.11/INF/2 - UNEP/POPS/COP.11/INF/2.

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.

Financial support for the participation of developing-country Parties and Parties that are countries with economies in transition

Financial support for the participation of representatives of developing-country Parties and Parties that are countries with economies in transition in the meetings of the conferences of the Parties has been provided thanks to the generous financial support provided by the Governments of China, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Japan, France, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland.

Credentials (for representatives of Parties to the conventions)

Parties are invited to transmit credentials for their registered representatives. 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.

A model form of credentials is available in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish on the meetings’ website.

Arabic Chinese English French Russian Spanish
Model form of credentials

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, 2 May 2023).

The Secretariat invites Parties to submit any electronic copy of credentials in advance of the meetings preferably by Friday, 7 April 2023, as doing so will greatly facilitate the clearance process. The Secretariat also invites Parties to hand over the original credentials of their representatives at the meeting venue itself, at the time of the opening of the meetings.

The bureaux of the conferences of the Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions 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 2023. 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. Please also note that, pursuant to the tentative schedule for the meetings, each Bureau would present to the respective Conference of the Parties its report on the examination of credentials on Friday afternoon 5 May 2023 and possibly on Thursday afternoon 11 May 2023.

Guidelines for rules of conduct for meeting participants

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

Side events

Requests for side events should be sent, by duly completing the dedicated request form, no later than 1 March 2023 to the 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 meetings’ website prior to the meetings. For detailed information on side events, including the request form, please consult the meetings’ website. Further information on side events is available at:

Theme and PCB Fair

The theme of the meetings is: “Accelerating action: Targets for the sound management of chemicals and waste”. A PCB Fair to raise attention on the urgency to accelerate action to meet the upcoming deadlines related to the elimination of the use of PCB in equipment by 2025 and the environmentally sound waste management of liquids containing PCB and equipment contaminated with PCB by 2028 will be held from 3 to 5 May 2023. Expressions of interest to participate in the Fair and book an exhibition booth should be sent no later than 1 March 2023 to Ms. Jo Ann Edma at the Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions at the following e-mail address:

For detailed information on the PCB Fair, as well as on exhibition booths, please consult the Fair webpage.

Promoting sustainability in the preparation and conduct of BRS meetings

Since 2012, the Secretariat has put in place measures to promote environmental sustainability in the preparation and conduct of BRS meetings. In line with the United Nations Climate Neutral Strategy, the Secretariat has been working to improve its environmental performance and has been climate neutral since 2012.

Under this framework, the Secretariat has taken steps to make the 2023 meetings of the 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 Geneva are encouraged to offset their travel emissions online. Further information on how to offset travel emissions is available at:

In addition, the Geneva International Conference Centre has adopted several other measures to reduce its environmental footprint by reducing its energy and water consumption, and waste production. The use of plastic in take-out containers, sandwich bags, cutlery and cups will be minimized and replaced by alternative packaging using Polyactic Acid and other biodegradable/compostable materials. Participants and delegates are strongly encouraged to bring reusable drinking containers (mugs, bottles) and use them at the cafeteria and water fountains located throughout the venue.

Further information on the Secretariat’s efforts for greening the meetings of the conferences of the Parties and how delegates can support these endeavours is available at

Paperless meeting

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.

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 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. 

COVID-19 rules for entry into Switzerland

Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic situation in Switzerland as well as globally, we would like to highlight the following information for travelling to Switzerland.

Travel restrictions put in place to address the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic are subject to change. We recommend to the participants designated to attend the meetings to consult the following websites to verify which requirements apply to their entry to Switzerland:

  1. (Entry restrictions from the Federal Office of Public Health’s website):
  2. (Travelcheck).

More information on the COVID-19 situation in Switzerland is available at: (Federal Office of Public Health’s website).

Travellers are furthermore invited to familiarize themselves with the requirements for re-entry into their country of origin.

In case of transit through another country, it is the traveller’s responsibility to check the other countries’ immigration regulations in light of the current health crisis. The following website provides information on the crossing of the borders of other Schengen States: The Secretariat is not in a position to bear the costs of quarantine in Switzerland nor in the travellers’ home countries upon return, nor the costs of testing, nor is able to arrange for vaccination of participants.

COVID-19 measures at the meeting venue

Due to the current continuing COVID-19 pandemic, a suite of precautionary and hygiene measures will be put in place at the meeting venue to ensure a safe and healthy environment, in accordance with the requirements of the United Nations and the Government of Switzerland.

As at 1 February 2023, the following arrangements apply:

  • All participants in the meetings of the conferences of the Parties will be strongly recommended to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and follow hand hygiene measures by the use of hand sanitizers at the venue;
  • No negative COVID-19 test will be required for entry into the venue. Participants wishing to test for COVID will be able to find test centers in Geneva on the following page: ;
  • Participants will not be required to wear a mask on the meeting premises but may do so if they wish;
  • The venue will be disinfected at regular intervals and hand sanitizers will be placed throughout the venue;
  • Participants with flu-like symptoms will be invited to do a COVID-19 test. If the test is positive, the participant will be asked not to come to the venue and inform the Secretariat accordingly. In accordance with the guidelines issued by the United Nations Office at Geneva, the participant will be able to return to the venue after 5 days after having tested positive for COVID- 19.

The Secretariat will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation on a regular basis prior to and throughout the meetings. Any significant change in the COVID-19 local conditions and requirements will be communicated to all meeting participants, and if necessary, adjustments to the COVID-19 arrangements would be put in place. Please kindly check the conventions’ website for any updates on the COVID-19 arrangements for 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:;;

Medical and travel insurance

The United Nations does not cover life or medical insurance for participants. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the participant or that of your Government to ensure adequate insurance coverage prior to travelling to Switzerland. We recommend including COVID-19 related insurance to help cover your expenses in case you will be required to quarantine and/or receive medical treatment. The Secretariat would not be in position to bear the costs of quarantine in Switzerland nor in the travellers’ home countries upon return, nor the costs of testing, nor be able to arrange for vaccination of participants.


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

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

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. Travellers staying in a hotel in Geneva can receive a « Geneva Transport Card » from the establishment. This card allows free use of public transport in Geneva (zone 10) during their stay.

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


Swiss franc (CHF). Average exchange rates: 1 United States dollar ≈ 0.92 CHF; 1 euro ≈ 1.0 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.