U.N. Headquarters, New York, 30 August - 1st September 2000
Organised by the Inter-Parliamentary Union
in cooperation with the United Nations


The following practical information is provided for delegations attending the Conference.

Should delegates require further clarification about specific matters before their arrival in New York, they may direct their questions to the IPU Liaison Office in New York either by phone (+1-212 557-5880), by fax (+1-212 557 3954) or by e-mail (ny-office@mail.ipu.org).


Registration for the Conference will take place at the counter located inside the visitorsí entrance in the main UN building. Delegates should enter through the main gate on First Avenue, between 45th and 46th Street, and walk across the esplanade in front of the building towards the specially marked entrance.

It is possible for one delegate or representative of the Permanent Mission to register all delegates from the same national parliamentary delegation. Whether registration is done on behalf of the delegation or individually, the person signing off must present valid personal identification (i.e. national passport).

In addition to assisting with registration, IPU staff will be present at the desk to answer any questions from delegates. Upon registration, each delegate will receive a conference badge required to enter the UN building and a conference kit containing all official documents of the Conference.

The registration desk will be open as follows:

  • Tuesday, 29 August: 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.
  • Wednesday, 30 August: 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.
  • Thursday, 31 August: 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.

The identification badges will be issued by the United Nations on the basis of a list of registered delegates established by the IPU Secretariat. The badges which will not carry a photograph will be valid only for the duration of the conference (30 August through 1 September).

The IPU Liaison Office should be notified as soon as possible of any last-minute change in the composition of delegations since late requests or application for replacement of lost passes will take time to process.

Arrival at the General Assembly Hall

Presiding Officers are requested to arrive as from 2 p.m. on 30 August at the delegates' entrance of the General Assembly Hall. Protocol officers will accompany each Presiding Officer to the Delegates' Lounge immediately adjacent to the General Assembly Hall. Refreshments will be served.

The President of the IPU Council and the Secretary General of the IPU will greet the Presiding Officers in the Delegates' Lounge.

At 2.50 p.m., the Presiding Officers will be escorted into the main Hall for the inaugural ceremony. By this time, all other members of delegations planning to attend the inaugural ceremony should be at their seats in the main Hall while awaiting the arrival of their heads of delegation.

For the duration of the Conference, the use of the delegatesí entrance is restricted to Presiding Officers. All other delegates must enter the Hall through the visitorsí entrance, accessible either by elevator (1st floor) or by walking up the stairs to the right of the entrance.

Should Presiding Officers/Heads of Delegations not use an official vehicle to enter the UN premises, a special access permit for the vehicle and its driver must be obtained in advance through the IPU Liaison Office. Non-official vehicles are not allowed to park inside the UN compound.

Plenary Sittings

The Inaugural Ceremony will start at 3 p.m. It will be presided over by the President of the IPU Council who will address the participants. The United Nations Secretary-General, Mr. Kofi Annan, will also deliver a speech at the ceremony.

Immediately after the Inaugural Ceremony, the Conference will proceed to adopt its agenda and rules of procedure prior to commencing the debate. The first sitting of the Conference will conclude at 6 p.m. The following two sittings will take place on 31 August from 10 am. to 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. In view of the very large number of participants, it has become necessary to prolong the sittings. Rather than adding a night sitting on 31 August as originally envisaged, the last sitting of the Conference will now start at 9 a.m. on 1 September and go on without interruption until the closure of the Conference at 6 p.m. that day.

The 3rd floor gallery of the General Assembly Hall has been reserved for delegates and other accompanying persons who cannot be accommodated in the six seats reserved for each delegation on the main floor. Delegates may choose their seat in this area as they wish.

Delegates wishing to deliver messages to other delegates or accompanying persons can do so through the Conference Officers present in the Hall at all times.

Presidents will be invited to take the floor according to the established Speakers List and will be escorted to and from the rostrum.

It is recalled that Presiding Officers from unicameral parliaments are entitled to 5 minutesí speaking time. When both Presiding Officers from a bicameral parliament are present, each is entitled to 4 minutes. Speakers may wish to take this time limit into consideration when preparing their speech as speaking time will be strictly enforced by the President of the Conference.

Interpretation during the conference will be offered in the six UN languages: English, French, Spanish, Chinese, Russian, and Arabic. A Presiding Officer wishing to deliver his or her statement in a non-UN language should provide his or her own interpreter. The interpreter should contact the Conference Officer inside the General Assembly Hall 30 minutes before the beginning of the sitting in order to receive appropriate instructions.

Other Meetings

Bilateral meetings may be held in all public areas around the General Assembly Hall, such as the Delegates Lounge and the Indonesian Lounge. No reservation is required for the use of these areas.

Delegations wishing to organize group meetings may do so in Conference Room 2, located on the lower level of the main UN building. A written request for use of the room should be received by the IPU Liaison Office in New York no later than 25 August. The request should indicate the preferred time and the approximate length of the meeting. The meeting room will be allocated on a 'first come, first served' basis.

No interpretation is foreseen for these meetings.

Conference Documents

All official documents will be distributed upon registration. They are: the Provisional Agenda, the Rules of Procedure, the Draft Declaration and the Provisional List of Participants. The first three documents will be available in the six official languages. All other documents will be reproduced in English and French only. A copy of this information note will also be included in the conference kit.

The conferenceís Daily Journal will be placed on the delegatesí desks inside the General Assembly Hall at the beginning of each day.

Delegates wishing to distribute non-official documents during the conference may leave them on the documentation tables located in the left-hand side corridor inside the General Assembly Hall. Individual delegations are responsible for providing copies of any non-official documents.

Twenty-five advance copies of official statements should be made available before the start of each sitting to the Conference Officer in the General Assembly Hall for interpreters. Additional copies of the speeches should be deposited on the documents counter inside the General Assembly Hall for the benefit of interested delegations. Moreover, delegations are kindly requested to make available a further 100 copies for distribution to the media at the Press Documentation Distribution Center.

The IPU is planning to produce a publication of the event containing all the speeches. Delegations are therefore kindly requested to deposit a copy of their speech in the Conference Secretariat Room E (lower level) if at all possible in one of the two official languages of the IPU: English and French.

Official Receptions

There will be two official receptions given on the occasion of the conference:

  • Reception for delegations hosted by the President of the IPU Council, Dr. Najma A. Heptulla, at 6.30 p.m. on 30 August.

  • UN Secretary-Generalís reception for Presiding Officers and Permanent Representatives at 6.30 p.m. on 31 August.

Both receptions will last approximately two hours and will take place in the Delegatesí Dining-Room on the 4th floor of the main UN building, which can be reached by the main elevators.

Group Photo

A group photo of Presiding Officers is scheduled to take place in the Trusteeship Council chamber at 9.30 a.m., 31 August. The Trusteeship Council is located in the main UN building just steps away from the General Assembly Hall.

Protocol officers will meet Presiding Officers at the entrance of the Trusteeship Council chamber beginning at 8:30 a.m. and no later than 9.00 a.m. when the actual organization of the photo and seating of the Presiding Officers will start. This can take up to 30 minutes and taking the photo itself will last approximately 5 minutes. Only Presiding Officers will be admitted into the Trusteeship Council.

Each Presiding Officer will receive a commemorative group photo within a few weeks of the end of the conference. No private cameras will be allowed in the chamber.


The UN media accreditation office located at the FF Building, 305 East 45th Street, will issue the necessary passes to allow journalists access to the UN building. The office is open between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Due to the large volume of applications, travelling journalists should approach the accreditation center soon after arrival in New York in order to allow for a possible delay in the issuance of UN passes. Accreditation requests should be sent on the attached form to Ms. Sonia Lecca, Chief, UN Accreditation in New York (tel. +1 212 963 71 64 or 963 69 43, fax +1 212 963 46 42).

All visiting journalists can listen to the conference from the specially reserved rows in 4th floor gallery of the General Assembly Hall. A number of booths located just above the podium will be open to photographers.

The entire conference will be televised live via the UN TV so as to facilitate coverage by national parliamentary channels as well as other interested broadcasting media. The UN in-house television system within the UN building will also broadcast the meeting. A videotape of the conference will also be produced.

For further information about coverage of the conference, prior to 26 August, please contact the IPU Press Officer, Ms. Luisa Ballin at tel. +41 22 919 41 16/27/61, fax +41 22 919 41 60, e-mail lb@mail.ipu.org or cbl@mail.ipu.org, or rp@mail.ipu.org. Additional information is also available on the IPU website.


Security at UN Headquarters is the responsibility of the UN which applies its own regulations in this respect. A security advisory Note prepared by the United Nations is available for the information of delegates.