Partnering with civil society advances the goals of the United Nations and helps support its work. The UN system relies on the expertise and active engagement of civil society and Non-Governmental organizations at all levels. UN Geneva nurtures and supports this engagement, which keeps growing in substance and in numbers.
Services for NGOs
NGOs in consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) can request annual and temporary accreditation at the UN Office at Geneva.
Each eligible NGO can request up to 7 annual grounds passes (through 31 December each year) for its representatives, as follows:
- Two passes are reserved for the President/Chief Executive Officer and Chief Administrative Officer (same persons in all duty stations). Once either of the two are designated and approved in a duty station, the NGO is considered accredited for that year in that duty station. Failure to nominate at least one of the two will prevent approval of any request for passes for other representatives;
- One pass for the Main representative;
- Up to four passes for Additional representatives.
Temporary grounds passes can be requested for a maximum duration of 3 months, renewable once (total of 6 months). Limitations to the number of temporary passes per NGO apply based on capacity or security constraints at the time of the request, and justifications as to the need for temporary passes are required.
With annual and temporary grounds passes, NGO representatives obtain access to the Palais des Nations. Registration / accreditation procedure may be required to attend specific meetings. It is advisable to check with the meeting organizer if registration is required. Registration to events: Indico.
For more information concerning accreditation / grounds passes, consult:
- Procedure for NGOs in consultative status with ECOSOC to request accreditation at UN Geneva.
- User guide for the online accreditation of NGO representatives in the iCSO database .
NGO representatives – grounds pass holders - are subject to relevant UN rules and regulations and must fully comply with the processes and directions set forth by UNOG Security and Safety Service and the NGO Liaison Unit. Sanctions may be taken in cases of misuse of the accreditation or grounds passes as well as any transgression of the rules.
- Login into the iCSO database and follow the links to Consultative status, Designations, Geneva.
- Pre-register the President/CEO and/or Chief Administrative Officer’s details.
- Pre-register other NGO representatives.
- Send a formal designation letter to the NGO Liaison Unit preferably by e-mail at email@example.com or by fax +41 (0) 22 917 0583 at least 3 working days before the desired date of entrance to the Palais des Nations:
- Template designation letters for annual grounds passes.
- Template designation letter for temporary grounds passes.
In accordance with ECOSOC resolution 1996/31, which governs the consultative arrangements between the United Nations and NGOs, accommodation may be provided for conferences or smaller meetings of NGOs with consultative status.
Premises may only be granted for activities that are in keeping with the United Nations purposes and objectives, as defined in the Charter, and are strictly non-commercial.
Meeting rooms may be requested by non-governmental organizations through UN Geneva by completing and submitting the following documents at least 6 weeks prior to the planned date of the meeting:
- Booking request form
- Terms and conditions
- A meeting agenda and concept note.
Rooms may be made available for the following purposes:
- Consultations with the Secretariat and/or Governments and/or other Non-Governmental Organizations on matters related to the concerns of the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC);
- Meetings, seminars and conferences related to the concerns of the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC) and involving the participation of one or more sections of the Secretariat;
- Meetings, seminars, conferences and consultations related to the procedures of consultative status.
Rooms cannot be made available for NGOs to:
- Conduct their own organizational business;
- Advance its own purpose.
The semi-private meeting area in the Centre for NGOs (up to 15 people around the table) can be reserved for private meetings that are in line with the United Nations purposes and objectives, as defined in the Charter, and are strictly non-commercial. The meeting area cannot be made available for NGOs to conduct their own organizational business or advance their own purposes and aims. An NGO organizing a meeting in the Centre is exclusively responsible for it.
Participants at meetings in the NGO Resources Centre should be in possession of access badges to the Palais des Nations.
The NGO Liaison Unit is the focal point for matters on relations between the United Nations and civil society. The main functions of the NGO Liaison are based on ECOSOC Resolution 1996/31 that sets out the arrangements for consultation with NGOs. These functions include:
- Providing information, assistance and guidance to representatives of NGOs on opportunities for engagement with the United Nations and on issues under consideration by appropriate United Nations bodies;
- Facilitating the participation of NGOs in meetings at the United Nations Office at Geneva, as set out in ECOSOC Resolution 1996/31, including authorizing and organizing appropriate accreditation;
- Arranging informal discussions and participating in events on issues of relevance to the engagement between the United Nations and NGOs;
- Assisting NGOs in their request for the ECOSOC Consultative Status;
- Assisting Permanent Missions with information on the relationship between the United Nations and NGOs;
- Maintaining liaison with the United Nations family in Geneva on civil society matters.
Space and Equipment
The Centre comprises of computers and public WIFI, a reading area with a documents reference library, and a meeting area for up to 15 persons.
Find the Centre for NGOs:
The Centre for NGOs at the Palais des Nations, located in Room E-2 is at the disposal of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs).
NGO Liaison Unit
Office of the Director-General
Rooms 141 to 145
Palais des Nations
1211 Geneva 10
Tel: + 41 (0)22 917 13 04; 917 21 78 - Monday to Friday: 9.00 to 11.00 am and 2.00 to 4.00 pm.
Fax: +41 (0)22 917 05 83
Open to the public Monday to Friday: 9.00 to 11.00 am and on fixed appointment.