Hosting Meetings of the Forum

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Hosting Meetings of the Forum

Organizational and Local Arrangements

Responsibilities of Host Government
Preliminary Information

To Be Updated and revised as the Forum Standing Committee Takes Decisions on the Programme and Agenda for a session of the Forum
The IFCS Secretariat is the body that holds the accumulated practical experience of Forum meetings; it provides the link for information exchange, guidance and advice between the host government/local organizing committee and the Forum Standing Committee (FSC). The secretariat plays the key operational role in organizing Forum meetings. The Executive Secretary, or designated representative(s), shall be in ongoing and frequent contact with the host government/local organizing committee to provide advice and assistance.
After the programme and agenda for a session of the Forum are agreed by the FSC, the secretariat will issue a detailed workplan to the host government/local organizing committee. The workplan will cover the detailed daily logistics / requirements for the duration of the Forum meeting, and as such will constitute the reference working document for the local organizing committee.
The host government should report regularly to the FSC on all aspects of progress and should take into account FSC advice and recommendations.
Post Forum: working with the secretariat, the host government will provide (within 6 months) an information report on the whole process, to be used as guidance for the next Forum host. The report should specifically address 'the levels at which things worked well, or not' and include an actual-cost report.

Overview of Responsibilities of Host Country

Responsibilities Include:

Making Arrangements for and Covering the Costs of Items Listed

Meeting venue

Forum meetings usually open either on a Sunday afternoon or Monday morning and closse on the following Friday. Pre-meetings (Officers, Forum Standing Committee (FSC), Regional Groups, NGOs, etc) usually begin on the Saturday preceding the Sunday or Sunday morning. The number of participants is expected to be between 400 - 500 people.

Items to consider:

  • Proposed city (alternatives may be proposed)

  • Proposed dates (alternative dates may be proposed)

  • Proposed conference facilities, including brochures (alternatives may be proposed)

  • Proposed hotel accommodation, including brochures

  • Distance, in driving time, between the nearest international airport and the conference centre / hotel accommodations, and between the conference centre and the hotel accommodations

Conference facilities and related infrastructure to be available for a period immediately proceeding the Forum meeting (to be determined), throughout the duration of Forum meeting, and for a period immediately after the closure of the Forum meeting (to be determined) will including:

  • Rooms:

- conference meeting rooms (plenary (400 to 500 schoolroom/table seating), regional groups (5 rooms: schoolroom/table seating, ranging in size from approx. 40 to 125) & FSC meetings: table seating), small meeting rooms for ad hoc working groups & other meetings ranging in size from 30 to 50 (e.g. NGO groups) (24 hour access required for small meeting rooms)

- separate office space for President (24 hour access)

- separate office space for IFCS Secretariat (24 hour access)

- separate office space for local secretariat (24 hour access)

- delegates work room (24 hour access)

- interpreter/translators rest area/room

- press rooms (including separate office for ENB staff)

- prayer rooms

- medical first aid room

  • General areas

- registration area

- document distribution area

and other related areas

  • Morning and afternoon refreshment breaks for participants

  • Informatics equipment (President, IFCS Secretariat, delegates, interpreters and translators, local secretariat, press) including internet/web access

  • Telephone and fax lines (international) and equipment (President, IFCS Secretariat)

  • Photocopiers & paper

- High-speed (3 minimum)

- Medium size – IFCS secretariat room

- Medium size – delegates work room

  • Booths and equipment for simultaneous interpretation (6 official languages of the United Nations): plenary and regional meetings; optional – FSC meetings, special events/sessions.

  • Exhibit area including arrangements for booths and other equipment (host may charge exhibitors for booth/area)

  • Presentation equipment in plenary, regional meetings rooms and ad hoc meeting rooms (note: equipment may be shared – to be determined): data display shows including computers, slide projectors, overhead projectors, projection screens, white boards/flip charts

  • Security service as may be required to ensure the efficient functioning of the meeting without interference of any kind.


To the extent possible, the personnel should be English-speaking
Prior to the meeting and beyond:

  • Local Organizing Committee/Secretariat - including designation of primary contact person

During the meeting:

  • Coordinator(s) to trouble-shoot all problems (except computer problems) (language required: English) – 24 hour/day

  • Informatics coordinator/trouble-shooter(s) / repair personnel (language required: English) – 24 hour/day

  • Registration staff/information staff (languages required: English, French, Spanish. Languages requested: Arabic, Russian, Chinese)

  • Hostesses for meeting rooms (languages required: English, French, Spanish. Languages requested: Arabic, Russian, Chinese)

  • Word processors – general work (English, French, Spanish)

  • Assistants for IFCS Secretariat

  • Document control clerk

  • Document distribution staff

  • Photocopier operator(s) for high speed machines/ repair service 24 hour/day on call

[Arrangement should be made for back-up photocopying services.]

  • Drivers / Messengers + vehicle (if required based on meeting venue)

  • Simultaneous Interpreters (6 official languages of the UN, plus local language if desired) – plenary sessions, regional group meetings, FSC meetings; coverage for special events/session to be arranged on a case-by-case basis; standards set by the Association of International Conference Interpreters (AIIC) and the UN are to be followed

  • Translators (6 official languages of the UN, plus local language if desired) & word processors; UN standards are to be followed

  • Hospitality Arrival Desk at local airport – optional

  • Medical staff (multilingual) for first aid assistance at meeting site


  • The host country to provide written information on transportation from arrival points (airports, train stations etc) to hotels and conference facilities (approx. 6 months prior to Forum session)

  • The host country is not required to organize or cover the cost of transportation for participants upon arrival or departure, but may wish to do so, as local conditions permit

  • The host country is normally requested to cover the cost of transportation for participants for any events organized by the host country during the Forum meeting

  • The host country is required to provide, but not necessarily cover the cost of, daily transportation between hotels and conference centre, should these not be within walking distance

Other possible / optional costs

  • Social events, for example:

- reception after opening ceremony


- optional: tour of local area of interest, etc. outside normal working hours

Technical Criteria
Conference Facilities

Preference should be given to conference and hotel facilities that are located within a short walking distance of each other.

  • Location of conference facility (e.g., downtown, resort hotel, airport hotel, etc) and its distance from an international airport

  • Size of the conference facility –

- meeting rooms: availability and size

[plenary and regional meeting rooms must be large enough to accommodate booths / equipment for simultaneous interpretation]

- small meeting rooms available 24 hrs/day

- other rooms / areas: registration, informal meeting areas, coffee breaks, exhibition area etc

- working rooms work space for President, IFCS Secretariat, local secretariat and delegates (available 24 hrs/day)

- facilities for translation services into IFCS working languages

  • Facilities for accessing internet/web in meeting rooms and work rooms

  • Stability of utility services (e.g., electricity, air conditioning) and back-up arrangements

Hotel Facilities

  • Availability and choice of hotels to accommodate delegates (400 - 500 people), and services offered, such as business centres with international fax facilities and internet access

  • Proximity to conference centre, including transport arrangements if necessary

  • Hotel personnel's ability and willingness to communicate with guests effectively and in a timely manner - in English or French (so the secretariat can help out if necessary) i.e.: to take reservations and issue confirmations within 5 days; deposit arrangements, cancellation policy

  • Hotel's ability and willingness to provide periodic listing of status of reservations to Secretariat.

Interpretation & Translation

The working languages of the Forum are Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish. Simultaneous interpretation is to be provided in the six languages for all plenary sessions, in the appropriate languages for regional group meetings and FSC meetings (desirable). Provision should be made for the possible need to extend the time period of plenary sessions.

These services are key to a successful Forum meeting. Written confirmation giving details of the contracted interpretation and translation services should be provided by the host government to the FSC in adequate time (approx. six months) prior to the Forum meeting.
Standards set by the Association of International Conference Interpreters (AIIC) and the UN should be followed.

Requirements for President, IFCS Secretariat, delegates, translators, presentations (plenary, regional groups etc) will be specified by the IFCS Secretariat.

Services to Participants

The host country will be expected to arrange for the provision of the following services

  • Transportation between airport and hotels upon participants' arrival and departure

  • Catering arrangements on-site or in the immediate vicinity for delegates during working hours

  • Money changing facilities on-site

  • Travel services desk on-site for assisting with personal tours, return travel etc


Some participants may require a visa for entry into the host country.

The host should communicate information on

  • countries whose nationals require a visa

  • procedure for obtaining a visa

to the secretariat one year prior to the date of the Forum meeting so that the information may be included with the invitation to attend the Forum meeting.
In order to issue a visa, the government of the host country usually requires participants to obtain a letter of invitation from the local (i.e., country) host of the meeting. The host government bears the full responsibility to assist participants requesting a visa, and must, therefore, be in a position to supply such a letter (language of letter) directly to the participant, usually within the 4 to 6 weeks preceding the Forum meeting, and to follow up with officials of its government in the local country as necessary.
In addition, the host country will be requested to facilitate visa issuance by issuing a communiqué on the matter to their government representatives in certain countries, usually 2 - 3 months prior to the Forum meeting.

  • The host government should make arrangements for the temporary importation, tax-free and duty-free, of all equipment, including technical equipment accompanying participants and representatives of information media, and will waive import duties and taxes on supplies, equipment and services necessary for the Meeting. The Government should issue without delay any import or export permits necessary for this purpose.

  • Opening session – organization of welcoming speakers – host government officials

  • Media/Press coverage

  • Host FSC planning meeting at venue prior to Forum session

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