The 12th annual meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) will take place between 18 and 21 December 2017 at the United Nations Office at Geneva (Palais des Nations, Avenue de la Paix 14, CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland. See the United Nations Office at Geneva).

The IGF is a global multistakeholder forum that promotes discussions and dialogue about public policy issues related to the Internet. It was convened in 2006 by the United Nations Secretary-General.

With the renewal of its mandate by the United Nations General Assembly in December 2015, the IGF has consolidated its position as a platform for bringing together members of various stakeholder groups as equals. While there is no negotiated outcome, the IGF informs and inspires those with policy-making powers in both the public and private sectors. Delegates hold discussions, exchange information and share good practices with each other at the annual meeting.

The IGF facilitates a common understanding as to how Internet opportunities can be maximized and addresses risks and challenges that arise. It is a forum which gives developing countries the same opportunity as wealthier nations to engage in the debate on Internet governance and facilitates their participation in existing institutions and arrangements. Ultimately, the involvement of all stakeholders, from developed as well as developing countries, is necessary for the future development of the Internet.

After consulting the wider Internet community and discussing the overarching theme of the 2017 IGF meeting, the IGF Multistakeholder Advisory Group decided to retain the title “Shape your digital future!”.

The latest information on the preparatory process for IGF 2017 is available on the IGF website: Internet Governance Forum


All participants are cordially invited to a reception hosted by the Government of Switzerland, the Canton and the City of Geneva. The reception will be held on the evening of Monday 18 December 2017 from 18:30, at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). WIPO is located a five-minute walk from the Palais des Nations.

Please wear your IGF badge to get access to WIPO.

World Intellectual Property Organization 34, Chemin des Colombettes CH-1211 Geneva 20

CERN – The birthplace of the World Wide Web

During the 12th annual meeting of the Internet Governance Forum in Geneva, CERN offers you a unique opportunity to visit their Laboratory, the birthplace of the World Wide Web, which made the Internet a reality to billions of people.

Guided tours are free and will be given in English. The guided tour lasts about 1:30 hour on the CERN site. Booking is mandatory. Seats are limited, and on first come, first served basis. This is a unique opportunity.

Please visit the Website of CERN for up-to-date information and the registration form: http://indico.cern.ch/e/igf


Palais des Nations

A practical site map and guide to the United Nations Office at Geneva can be downloaded here:

Practical Guide to UNOG (PDF, 5.2mb)

Facilities inside the Palais des Nations


Two UBS banks are located in the Palais des Nations:

(1) at Door 6, Building C: open from Monday to Friday 08:30 to 16:30;

(2) Door 41, Building E, open from 08:30 to 12:30 and from 13:30 to 16:30.

Post office

The post office is located at Door 6, Building C. Only UN stamps are accepted.

Opening hours: 08:30 to 17:00.

Cafés and restaurants

The restaurant on the 8th floor of the Assembly Building serves hot meals from 12:00 to 14:30, Monday to Friday.

The cafeteria, on the ground floor of the Assembly Building, is open Monday to Friday from 08:15 to 16:45. Lunch is served from 11:30 to 14:00.

The Press Bar on the ground floor of the Council Building is open Monday to Friday from 08:00 to 18:30.

The “Bar Serpent” in the Conference room area of the E-Building is open from 09:00 to 17:15.

The Delegate’s Lounge on the 3rd floor of the Assembly Building (Room VI) is open from 08:30 to 16:30.

The Bar de la Palette on the 6rd floor of the E-Building is open from 08:15 to 17:00.

Local Transport

Convenient and free public transport card during your stay in Geneva

Participants staying in a hotel, a youth hostel or a campsite in the Canton of Geneva are eligible for a “Geneva Transport Card” free of charge. With this card, public transport in Geneva is free for the full duration of your stay. This personal and non-transferable card will be given to you when you arrive at your accommodation. It permits unlimited travel on Geneva’s public transport network (UNIRESO: bus (TPG), train (CFF) and boat (Mouettes Genevoises)) for the full duration of your stay.

For additional information: Geneva Tourism.

Bus and tram

The Palais des Nations is served by several tram and bus lines:

The “Appia” stop is nearest to the Pregny Gate and is served by buses 8, 28, F, V and Z.

The “Place des Nations” stop is located 500 m from the Pregny Gate and is served by tram number 15 and buses 5, 8, 11, 14, 28, V, F, and Z.

From Geneva Cointrin airport: by bus in 10-15 minutes. Take bus 28 towards “Jardin Botanique” and stop at “Appia” (runs every 20-30 minutes during the day); or take bus 5 towards “Hôpital”, and stop at “Nations”.

From Geneva Cornavin train station: by bus or tram in 10-15 minutes. Take tram 15 towards “Nations” and stop at “Nations”; or take either bus 5 towards “Aéroport”, and stop at “Nations”, or bus 8 towards “OMS”, and stop at “Appia”.

If required, public transport tickets can be purchased at all tram and bus stations in Geneva.

Further information such as itineraries, timetables, and fares is available on the site of Transports Publics Genevois.


Taxis cannot enter the UN compound – participants must walk from the Pregny Gate.

A taxi stand is located on Route de Pregny, some 25 m from the Pregny Gate, direction Place des Nations. Taxis are usually available round the clock.


Registration is now CLOSED!

Once you have received your UN registration confirmation, please print this or have it ready on your smartphone and take it with you to the Pregny Gate entrance at UNOG. All participants who require an entry badge need to present themselves, together with a valid passport or national ID-card, and the registration confirmation at the Pregny Gate in order to receive a photo badge.

Pass and Identification Unit UNOG Security and Safety Section
Pregny Gate
8 – 14 avenue de la Paix
1211 Geneva 10

Badges can be obtained from Friday, 15 December 2017, until Thursday, 21 December 2017. Pregny Gate is open from 8.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m from Friday through Thursday (including Saturday and Sunday).

IMPORTANT: The badge is needed for entry at both Palais des Nations and CICG, where the Zero Day will take place.

In order to avoid queues and delays on the morning of the opening day (18 December 2017) all participants are advised to obtain their badges as early as possible. If you cannot obtain a badge ahead of the Opening Day, participants are advised to be at Pregny Gate at least one hour before the start of the sessions.

Please note that Governments with Permanent Missions to the UN can collect badges for all members of their delegations, including those coming from outside Geneva. This will help reduce delays on the morning of 18 December.

Only holders of valid UNOG Staff or Geneva Mission badges will be granted access through the Nations Gate (flag gate).




  • Area of the canton: 282 km²
  • Altitude: 373m above sea level
  • Time zone: Geneva is in the Central European zone (GMT+1).


The average temperature in Geneva in winter is 10°C and in summer 23°C.

The climate in Geneva in December is cold and mostly cloudy, with daytime temperatures averaging 2°C (daytime temperatures may vary between -1°C and 10°C).

Electrical appliances

Mains electricity in Switzerland is 230 V/50 Hz. Type J and Type C plugs can be used (see Type J and Type C)


Based on their nationality, participants attending the IGF may require a visa to enter the Swiss territory. The list of nationalities subject to visas can be found by consulting the overview of ID and visa provisions according to nationality.

The nearest Swiss Embassy or Consulate responsible for the participant’s place of residence can be found here: Swiss Online Visa application.

Applicants need to schedule an appointment well in advance (at least 1 month before departure) with the competent representation and to present themselves in person for an interview and for the registration of their biometric data.

The visa examination process is only initiated once the application is registered based on a complete file which should include the confirmation of registration for the Forum. Important: The confirmation of registration will be treated as if it were an invitation letter for the purposes of the visa application. An incomplete file may lead to a refusal or to delays in the issuance of the visa.

In general, the visa procedure takes at least 15 days once the request is considered as admissibleThe visas will be granted free of charge for IGF participants.

For further general information about visas please consult the website of the Swiss State Secretariat for Migration (SEM).


By Air

Geneva International Airport’s key figures:

  • more than 40 European and international airlines
  • some 130 direct flight destinations
  • a ‘French sector’ for arrivals from and departures to France without entering Switzerland
  • a railway station with connections to the centre of Geneva, Switzerland and Europe
  • more than 80 shops and a wide selection of restaurants
  • long-stay parking
  • two duty-free shops (arrival and departure)

Free Ticket from Geneva International Airport

Arrivals to Geneva International Airport are eligible for a free ticket on Geneva Public Transport. The machine for free tickets is located in the luggage reclaim hall and a free ticket is printed simply by pressing the button.

The free ticket entitles you to take an airport train (train from the airport to the centre), bus, or tram. The ticket is valid for 80 minutes.

Geneva Airport

Information: +41 22 717 71 05
Flight information: 0900 57 15 00

By Train

The Swiss rail network extends to every corner of Switzerland, and France’s high-speed TGV trains travel from Paris to Geneva main station in just three hours.

For further information and timetables, see the website of the Swiss Railways.

TGV connection from and to Paris can be accessed here: TGV Lyria

The Swiss Travel Pass gives you unlimited use of all public transport in Switzerland for 3, 4, 8 or 15 consecutive days plus entry to over 480 museums and exhibitions. 

For additional information regarding transportation in and around Geneva, please visite the website of Geneva Tourism.


Participants are requested to make their own hotel reservations. Hotels in Geneva can be found and booked at Geneva Tourism or on any other hotel-booking website.

Participants are advised to book hotel accommodation well in advance of the meeting. Hotels in Geneva may be fully booked, given the large number of conferences or other events at this time of the year. 

The Geneva Welcome Center provides support in booking accommodation, as well as financial aid to reduce the costs. The participants need to fulfil a number of requirements to be able to get financial aid. The forms to file a request can be found here.


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