Information note for participants of parallel, side events and exhibition

GENERAL

The Sixth Ministerial Conference on Environment and Development in Asia and the Pacific is scheduled to be held at the Palace of Independence, in Astana, Kazakhstan, from 27 September to 2 October 2010. The Conference will comprise three segments: a senior officials segment from 27 September to 29 September 2010, a ministerial segment on 1 and 2 October 2010 and parallel/side events.

MEETING SCHEDULE

The tentative schedule for the Conference is as follows.

SENIOR OFFICIALS SEGMENT

The senior officials segment will be opened at 0900 hours on Monday, 27 September 2010, in Congress Hall No. 3, Level 1, Palace of Independence, where all subsequent meetings will be held.

MINISTERIAL SEGMENT

The inaugural meeting of the ministerial segment will be held in the early morning on Friday, 1 October 2010, in Congress Hall No. 3, Level 1, Palace of Independence, where all subsequent meetings will also be held.

Unless otherwise advised, all meetings during both the senior official and ministerial segments will be held from 0900 to 1200 hours and from 1400 to 1700 hours.

SIDE EVENTS

A number of associated side events are being planned during the Conference in the Palace of Independence, from 27 to 30 September 2010, to which all participants are invited to attend. More information about the side events will be posted on the website of the Conference www.mced6.org in due course.

PRE-REGISTRATION OF PARTICIPANTS

To facilitate smooth coordination in the issuance of meeting badges, participants are requested to pre-register by filling in the attached registration/immigration/hotel reservation Form (which is also available at www.mced6.org for downloading) and sending the completed form as early as possible, but no later than 27 August 2010, to the following address:

National Organizing Committee (NOC)
Fax:  (7-7172) 740 800,
Email:  reg@mced6.org

A registration counter will be set up at the entrance of the Palace of Independence on the following days during the hours indicated:


27 September 2010

12.00-15.00 hours

28-29 September 2010

08.30-15.00 hours

30 September 2010

09.00-12.00 hours


Participants attending the events are required to register and obtain meeting badges prior to the opening of the Conference on 27 September 2010, as well to obtain badges available in the official hotels of Conference. One member of an organisation can obtain badges for all members of his/her organization. During the periods indicated above, those participants who have submitted the registration/hotel reservation form can collect their badges at the registration counter or in the official hotels without filling in a registration form. For those participants who have not submitted the form, arrangements will be made for on-site registration, but they will need to fill in the registration forms.
For identification and security reasons, meeting badges should be worn visibly at all times during the meetings and at social functions.

Pre-registration data will also be used to facilitate the visa application process, where applicable, and hotel reservations.

IMMIGRATION REQUIREMENTS


All foreign participants, except those whose countries have bilateral agreements on visas with Kazakhstan, need to obtain a visa before entering the country. Passports must be valid for at least six months beyond the expiry date of the visa.  Holders of passports issued by the following countries are not required to obtain entry visas for Kazakhstan:

1

Armenia

7

Republic of Moldova

2

Azerbaijan

8

Russian Federation

3

Belarus

9

Tajikistan

4

Georgia

10

Turkey

5

Kyrgyzstan

11

Ukraine

6

Mongolia

12

Uzbekistan


Participants with a valid diplomatic or service passport from the following 13 countries may enter Kazakhstan without a visa:


1

Brazil

8

Pakistan

2

China

9

Philippines

3

Croatia

10

Republic of Korea

4

Cuba

11

Romania

5

Hungary

12

Slovakia

6

India

13

Turkmenistan

7

Iran (Islamic Republic of)




For citizens of the following countries, visas are issued upon receipt of an application without an invitation:

1

Australia

25

Luxemburg

2

Austria

26

Malaysia

3

Belgium

27

Malta

4

Brazil

28

Monaco

5

Bulgaria

29

Netherlands

6

Canada

30

New Zealand

7

Croatia

31

Norway

8

Cyprus

32

Oman

9

Czech Republic

33

Poland

10

Denmark

34

Portugal

11

Estonia

35

Qatar

12

Finland

36

Republic of Korea

13

France

37

Romania

14

Germany

38

Saudi Arabia

15

Greece

39

Singapore

16

Hungary

40

Slovenia

17

Iceland

41

Spain

18

Ireland

42

Slovakia

19

Israel

43

Sweden

20

Italy

44

Switzerland

21

Japan

45

United Arab Emirates

22

Latvia

46

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

23

Liechtenstein

47

United States of America

24

Lithuania








Participants from countries other than those listed above, as well as holders of a United Nations laissez-passer, are required to obtain appropriate entry visas.  Based on the information provided in the registration/immigration/hotel reservation form, each participant will receive a confirmation letter, in Kazakh, from the Ministry of Environmental Protection of Kazakhstan containing a unique reference number issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan. To obtain a visa for Kazakhstan, the participant should apply to a diplomatic/consular mission of Kazakhstan in their country of residence/employment by submitting a valid passport or international travel document, an invitation letter from either ESCAP or the Ministry of Environmental Protection, a copy of the confirmation letter signed by the Ministry of Environmental Protection containing the reference number issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a duly completed and signed visa application with one photo for each applicant. The passport or international travel document must be valid for at least six months beyond the expiry date of the visa.

If there is no diplomatic/consular mission of Kazakhstan in the participant’s country of residence/employment, the participant can apply for a visa on arrival at either Almaty International Airport or Astana International Airport. In order to obtain a visa on arrival, participants should indicate in the registration/immigration/hotel reservation form clearly the port of entry into Kazakhstan (for example, Almaty or Astana) and provide all relevant information indicated in paragraph 13.
Upon receiving all required information, the Ministry of Environmental Protection of Kazakhstan will issue to each eligible participant a “visa confirmation letter” in English which is endorsed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The participant shall show the letter to the staff at the check-in counter at the airport of departure, and present it to the immigration authorities of Kazakhstan on arrival at either Almaty or Astana International Airport along with a valid passport, an invitation letter from either ESCAP or the Ministry of Environmental Protection and one photo for each participant. All visas issued to participants in the Conference will be free of charge.


Although participants from countries mentioned in paragraphs 10 and 11 do not require a visa to enter Kazakhstan, they are required to fill in the relevant immigration information in the registration/­immigration/­hotel reservation form and follow the instructions as per paragraph 9.

A list of Kazakh diplomatic missions may be found on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at http://portal.mfa.kz/portal/page/portal/mfa/en/content/ministry/missions.


WEATHER

The average temperature in Astana in September and October normally varies from 0/+5 to +5/+10 °C at night, and from +10/+15 °C to +15/+20 °C in the daytime.  Cold, piercing winds and rain are frequent.  The temperature in the conference rooms is maintained at about 23º C.

TIME
Astana time is six hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+6).

HEALTH AND VACCINATION

Meeting rooms and offices in the Palace of Independence are smoke-free.  Smoking is permitted only in designated areas. Only a few hotels allow smoking in designated areas.
It is recommended that participants obtain information on the sanitary and epidemiological situation in the country at http://www.who.int/ith/en/index.html and obtain appropriate medical insurance in advance.

FOREIGN EXCHANGE AND BANKING FACILITIES

The currency in Kazakhstan is the Tenge.  Foreign currency and traveller’s cheques can be exchanged in banks and at exchange counters without restriction.  The current rate of exchange against the United States dollar is approximately KZT 145. A foreign exchange service will be available in the Palace of Independence during the Conference.
Major European and international credit cards, including Visa and MasterCard, are accepted in the larger hotels, department stores, restaurants and supermarkets.
ELECTRICITY SUPPLY

The power supply in Kazakhstan is 220 volts.  Continental plug adaptors should be used.
AIRLINE RESERVATIONS

A number of international airlines offer regular flights to and through Kazakhstan. Participants are advised to secure their return bookings prior to their departure for Astana. If this is not possible, they should make firm return bookings immediately upon arrival in Astana. A travel desk will be set up at the conference site to help participants with reconfirmation of flights and changes of schedule.

HOTEL ACCOMMODATION

The following have been designated official hotels for the Conference with special rates for participants:


Name and address

Daily room rates

Hotel description

Room Type

In US $

«Imperia G»****

63, Abay ave.,
Аstana, 010000
Tel.: +7 (7172) 405-501, Fax: +7 (7172) 405-502
e-mail: info@imperia-g.kz

Single standard

$101

Location:
Right bank, historic center of Astana, close proximity to major transportation hubs of city, business and administrative institutions 25 minute drive to the Palace of Independence and 45 minutes from the airport.
Inclusive of breakfast for one person for each type of room.
No additional cost for double occupancy
Check-in and check-out time is 1200 hours .
There is an additional charge of 50% for early check-in or late check-out.
A total of 29 rooms blocked.

Single business

$119

Half-de-luxe

$138

Single Luxe

$ 181

Double Luxe

$ 223

King Hotel Astana****

7, Ualikhanov Street Astana, 010000
Tel./fax +7 7172 705705, 705200,705225
e-mail: info@kinghotel.kz
http://www.kinghotel.kz

Comfort King Single

$82

Location:
Right bank, a 15-minute drive from the Palace of Independence and 30 minutes from the airport.
Inclusive of breakfast.
Check-in and check-out time is 1200 hours.
There is an additional charge of 50% for early check-in or late check-out.
A total of 350 rooms blocked.

Presige single

$92

Prestige double

$123

Single Luxe

$138

Grand Park Esil****

8, Beibitshilik, 
Astana 010000
Tel./fax +7 7172 591901, 328818

Moderate

$91

Location:
Right bank, located in the very heart of the capital of Kazakhstan a 25-minute drive from the Palace of Independence and 40 minutes from the airport.
Inclusive of breakfast.
Check-in and check-out time is 1200 hours.
There is an additional charge of 50% for early check-in or late check-out.
A total of 50 rooms blocked.

Standard

124

Standard plus

149

Deluxe

381

Tengri Hotel****

1А Vavilov Street
Astana, 010000
Tel./fax +7 7172 413841/38, 8701 494 8152
e-mail: reservation@tengrihotel.kz
www.tengrihotel.kz

Single standard

86

Location:
The right bank, 3 microregion, crossroads of Manasa and Maylina streets, 10-minute drive from the Palace of Independence, 20 minutes from the airport.
Inclusive of breakfast. 
Check in and check-out time is 1200 hours
60% charged for early check-in and late check-out. 
Total number of rooms 37 blocked

Double standard

110

Luxe

141


To facilitate hotel reservations and ensure that preferred rooms are provided, it is strongly recommended that participants complete and send the attached registration/hotel reservation form to NOC, as indicated in paragraph 7, no later than 27 August 2010, after which, the rooms in these official hotels will be released and may not be available even at the market rates due to high demand.

All rooms will be reserved by NOC on a first-come, first-served basis and in accordance with the information provided in the registration/hotel reservation form. In the event that no accommodation is available at any of the hotels, NOC will make every effort to provide suitable alternative accommodation.
NOC will confirm the reservation via return email or fax. In the event of any subsequent change, it is each participant’s responsibility to notify SET at least 48 hours in advance. Rooms not occupied in accordance with the latest advice will be held for 24 hours at the participant’s expense and then released.

PAYMENT OF HOTEL ACCOUNTS

Before departing from Astana, participants are expected to settle directly with the respective hotels all accounts, including room charges and other expenses, such as for local and long-distance telephone calls, Internet use, business centre use, laundry, room service and hotel transportation services, as well as mini-bar items and restaurant and bar services. Participants are also responsible for any charges incurred with respect to rooms remaining vacant owing to their late arrival or rescheduled departure for which inadequate prior notice is given.

RECEPTION ON ARRIVAL

To assist participants attending the Conference, a special “help desk” will be set up in the Arrival Hall at the airports in both Astana and Almaty.
Pool transportation for participants from the airport to the official hotels and back to the airport will be provided.

LOCAL TRANSPORTATION

Shuttle bus services will be provided to participants staying in the official hotels.
Participants not staying in any of the designated hotels will be responsible for arranging their own transportation to and from the airport as well as between their respective hotels and the Palace of Independence.

PUBLIC TRANSPORT

Astana International Airport is 16 km from the city centre.  Taxis can be hired for KZT 2500—3500 ($17-23).

MEETING DOCUMENTS

All information and documents of Parallel and Side events will be made available in the English and Russian at http://www.mced6.org

INQUIRIES

Participants desiring further information or assistance may contact the following:
National Organising Committee
Fax:  (7-7172) 740 800,
Email:  reg@mced6.org