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Hosting UN conferences


The UN Resolution 40/243 decided that United Nations bodies may hold sessions away from their established headquarters when a Government issuing an invitation has agreed to defray the actual additional costs directly or indirectly involved.

Furthermore, organization and hosting of UNCCD Conference of the Parties and its subsidiary bodies meetings is required to follow guidelines provided by the United Nations (ST/AI/342). 

In line with Chapter II Art A, OP7 of the same administrative instruction, the UNCCD secretariat will conclude an agreement with the respective host Government in the form of a treaty (for example, a Host Country Agreement) which should include: 

  • Applicable standard clauses outlined in ST/AI/342
  • Estimates of direct incremental costs directly calculated on chapters of expenditures as set in the ST/AI/342 ( of staff, interpreters, DSA for the country, shipment, communications, etc) to be paid by the host Government and 
  • Estimates of indirect incremental costs (for example, facilities, local staff, equipment and supplies) involved in holding the meeting in the host country instead of at the headquarters, to be also provided by the host Government

The Host Country Agreement puts in place the required legal infrastructure to organize the conference in the host country and provides the basis for most organizational and planning issues. A successful conference requires a high level of cooperation and professionalism in a multilateral environment from all participants: national governments, international and non-governmental organizations and the United Nations system.

Countries that consider offering to host either open-ended meetings such as COP meetings or small meetings (i.e ad hoc technical expert meetings and workshops) may refer to the relevant documents provided through the links below in order to understand the basic requirements in hosting meetings.

Please note however, that the information provided therein is only listed as advanced non-binding information as any final decision could only be drawn on the basis of an in-situ assessment of facilities and direct consultations on the Host Country Agreement:

  • UNGA resolution 40/243 on Pattern of Conferences
  • ST/AI/342, Guidelines for the preparation of host government agreements, Administrative Instruction, United Nations Secretariat, 8 May 1987 (EnglishFrench)
  • Sample UNCCD Host Country Agreement prepared in accordance with UN Guidelines
  • Sample of Annexes to the Host Country Agreement:
    • Annex I – Conference, meeting rooms and other areas
    • Annex II A – Office space and equipment: TBD upon venue identification
    • Annex II B – Technical specifications: TBD upon venue identification
    • Annex III – Locally recruited staff 
    • Annex IV – to be provided upon express interest and indicative venue identification.
    • Annex V – Security measures: TBD by UNDSS upon an indicative venue identification

Governments interested in hosting future UNCCD conferences may send a formal letter to the UNCCD Executive Secretary. (Sample letter of expression of interest)

The Secretariat is planning to prepare a handbook for hosting meetings and conferences of the UNCCD in order to provide detailed information on the organizational, managerial and logistics requirements for countries that may consider offering to host meetings.

Previous COP hosts may be checked here.