Civil society at the Kazakhstan Ministerial Conference

On 12 March 2020, WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo was informed by the Government of Kazakhstan that, in connection with the current situation with COVID-19 and the WHO declaration of a pandemic, it would be appropriate for Members to revisit the decision to hold the 12th Ministerial Conference from 8-11 June in Nur-Sultan. As a result, the DG communicated to Members that “it is our considered view that holding MC12 as previously agreed from 8-11 June will not be feasible”.

In light of this development, DG Azevêdo and the chair of the General Council will consult with WTO Members, as soon as conditions permit, on how to proceed with revised arrangements for MC12.

Pending the outcome of these consultations, accreditation for MC12 is currently on hold.

The official NGO Centre at the 12th Ministerial Conference, to be held from 8 to 11 June, is located in the Hilton Astana at Sauran Street 46, Nur-Sultan. Its facilities are only available to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that are accredited to the Ministerial Conference.

Orientation briefing

An orientation briefing for NGOs will take place on Sunday 7 June at 16:00 in the NGO Centre, on the Ground Floor of the Hilton Astana.

Accreditation and badge collection

NGO registration opened on 20 January 2020. A detailed explanation of the accreditation procedure is available here.

Accredited NGOs can pick up their badges from the Accreditation Centre located in the Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC).

Times for collecting NGO badges:

  • 4 - 7 June: 14:00 to 17:00
  • 8 June: 8:00 to 15:00
  • 9 -10 June: 8:00 to 18:00

The following events will be open to NGOs:

  • All NGO briefings
  • Opening session — via video relay in the NGO working areas
  • Plenary session, speeches by ministers
  • Closing session — via video relay in the NGO working areas

NGO Centre

NGO-organised side events will be held in the NGO Centre in the Hilton. The Hilton offers briefing and meeting rooms, as well as working areas. All rooms will be equipped with WiFi. The NGO Centre is accessible for anyone with official Ministerial Conference accreditation. The WTO's External Relations Team will be located on the Ground Floor of the Hilton Astana.

The programme of non-WTO side events will be available here. It will be updated as more information is received. The programme includes events taking place at other venues near the Hilton Astana to the extent that the WTO is informed of these events.

NGO Centre opening hours:

  • 7 June: 15:00 to 18:00
  • 8 June: 8:00 to 15:00
  • 9 – 10 June: 8:00 to 23:00
  • 11 June: 8:00 to 20:00

Rooms and facilities

The NGO Centre consists of the following:

Type of room Location (Hilton Astana)

WTO offices

Ground Floor

NGO working area

Ground Floor (144 people)

Large meeting room

Ground Floor (224 people)

Medium-sized meeting room

Ground Floor (77 people)

Small meeting room

Ground Floor (36 people)

All rooms will be equipped with WiFi.

Booking a room

Accredited NGOs can send all their meeting requests to: with the subject line: NGO Centre booking request + name of organization. Please indicate whether the request is for a public or private meeting.

Please note the following:

  • In principle, meeting rooms are available for a maximum of 1.5 hours
  • Rooms will be allocated on a first-come first-served basis
  • The WTO Secretariat reserves the right to refuse booking requests

Meeting announcements and displaying material

Details on briefings and meetings will be available on the WTO website and will be displayed on an electronic notice board located outside the NGO working areas. 

Tables will be made available in the Centre outside the working areas for NGOs to display any publications or relevant information.

  • Programme (coming soon)

Briefing sessions

In principle, the WTO External Relations Team will brief accredited NGOs at the end of each day of the Ministerial Conference. An orientation briefing will take place in the NGO Centre on 7 June at 16:00. The briefing will cover key logistical and other important information for NGOs regarding the Ministerial Conference.

NGO briefings to the press

NGO briefings to the press will take place in the NGO Centre. NGOs wishing to brief the press will need to organise the briefings themselves. They will be announced in the Press Centre.

NGOs accredited to the Kazakhstan Ministerial Conference

The list of accredited NGOs will be provided once the accreditation is closed.



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