Press Releases

    Note to Correspondents

    Note No. 5738
    23 July 2002


    NEW YORK, 22 July (UN Headquarters) -- The United Nations World Summit on Sustainable Develop- ment (WSSD) will be held from 26 August to 4 September 2002 at the Sandton Convention Centre (SCC), which is approximately 45 minutes from the Johannesburg International Airport by car, and 20 minutes from the centre of Johannesburg.

    The address is:

    Sandton Convention Centre
    Maude Street
    Sandton, Johannesburg
    South Africa

    P>The following information is provided to assist media planning to cover the Summit. Updates containing additional information will be issued in the forthcoming weeks.


    Media accreditation for the World Summit on Sustainable Development is available from the United Nations. An application form with instructions is available at

    Until 16 August, arrangements to receive accreditation should be made by contacting:

    Media Accreditation and Liaison Unit
    Department of Public Information
    Room S-250
    New York, NY 10017, U.S.A.
    Fax: (1-212) 963-4642
    Telephone: (1-212) 963-7164 / 5934

    From 19 August, media accreditation will be available on site at the Accreditation Centre near the Sandton Convention Centre.

    Media Centre

    The Media Centre is located on the Exhibition level of the Sandton Convention Centre. The media entrance is on Alice Lane, on the opposite side of the main entrance to the SCC building.

    During the Summit, media will have free access to the Media Centre. At certain times, access for media to some other parts of the building will be restricted because of space or security considerations. Coverage in restricted areas will be arranged on a "pool" basis and media will be escorted to restricted areas by United Nations staff, as needed.

    The Media Centre will provide the full range of media facilities normally available at any large United Nations conference. It will be organized and managed by staff of the United Nations Department of Public Information. The facilities will be available starting 23 August to all media accredited to cover the WSSD. The Media Centre will be open 24 hours daily. Specific facilities include:

    The Bullpen

    This area will provide several types of facilities for the print and electronic media to follow the conference, including facilities to record entire programmes or segments of the proceedings through audio and video drops. Media will be able to transmit reports by phone, fax, computers, plug and play high-speed Internet connections, ISDN, landlines, satellite and fibre.

    The Bullpen will house 500 work spaces, available free of charge on a strictly first-come, first-served basis. Each work space will have an analog telephone with prepaid international access available and a power point for laptops. Fifty work spaces will have computers that will be available on a first-come, first-served non-exclusive basis. Additional facilities will be available on a commercial basis subject to availability and prior arrangement. Work spaces in the Bullpen may not be reserved.

    There will be five large screens in the Bullpen area to allow journalists to follow meetings, press conferences, arrivals, etc, as well as an information display channel. Sixteen channels of sound will be available via infrared receivers. These will include seven sound channels for the plenary in the following languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish. There will also be video (PAL) and audio distribution plug-in boxes, where broadcasters can make live recordings of the pool feeds. For details see below under "Pool Feeds".

    Note: South African standard plug adapters and modem connectors will not be available for sale in the Media Centre. So please bring these with you. Journalists should also consider bringing mini-plug and telephone "Y" adapters for use with the IR receivers (for recording) and desktop telephones (for laptops or hybrids). Audio drops will be in XLR format and video will be BNC.

    Additional Workspace

    A limited amount of private workspace will be available for rental on a cost recovery basis in the centre. Additional working space will be available at the Sandton Library, 500 metres from the SCC. Support services will be available but limited at the Library.

    The South African Government has appointed the Johannesburg World Summit Company (JOWSCO) and Rushmans Limited, to assist with logistical matters for the Summit.

    Rental space may be requested by e-mail to Ms. Mandy Keegan at Requests for space must be received by 24 July.

    Additional Facilities

    Broadcast technical facilities supplied by the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) will be available in the Media Centre. See details under "TV Coverage".

    Telecommunications -- South Africa Telkom will provide telecommunications facilities.

    Additional Direct dial and International Direct Dial lines: These will be available on a commercial basis. Please note that international organizations must book their lines through their local PTT.

    Facsimile Machines -- facsimile machines will be available on a commercial basis.

    Post office and courier services will be available.

    Media Information

    The United Nations Department of Public Information will staff a Media Information Office to provide information to journalists on background and on the record.

    United Nations staff can facilitate interviews with Summit officials and experts before and during the Summit. Please contact the United Nations Department of Public Information at telephone: +1-212-963-9495 until 16 August, thereafter at telephone: +1-917-815-0011; or by e-mail to: Please note that during the Summit, television crews may need to be accompanied by a United Nations Liaison Officer for interview assignments.

    Pre-Summit Media Briefing

    A pre-Summit briefing will be held on Sunday, 25 August, in the early afternoon in the press conference room at the SCC Media Centre. All journalists accredited to cover the Summit are invited to attend. The briefing will cover logistics as well as substantive information about the Summit. It will be held in English with interpretation into French and Spanish.

    Press Conferences

    Daily press briefings by the Spokeswoman for the Summit will be held at 12 noon in the press conference room located at the Media Centre.

    This room will also be used for other press conferences. The list of press conferences will be announced daily in the Media Centre and in the daily Summit Journal, and will be posted at, the Summit coverage Web site.

    Visual Coverage in Plenary Hall

    Governments’ official photographers and official television crews will have an opportunity, on a rotating basis, to cover the speech of their head of State, head of Government or head of delegation, from set positions in the Plenary Hall. Owing to space limitations, they may not remain to cover other speeches. A limited number of still photographers, escorted by United Nations liaison staff, will also be allowed to take photographs from the Plenary Hall. These operations will be coordinated from the Media Liaison Office in the Media Centre.

    Arrangements for Coverage of Bilateral Meetings

    Photo opportunities will be available for bilateral meetings between heads of State and Government and other high officials that are open for coverage. Media representatives covering these meetings will be asked to assemble at the Media Liaison Office in the Media Centre, from which point a United Nations Liaison Officer will escort them to the location. A schedule of bilateral meetings will be issued daily.

    Television Coverage

    The South African Government has appointed the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) as Official Broadcast Partner with the United Nations.

    As host broadcaster for the United Nations Summit, the SABC will provide broadcast and production services and facilities in the Broadcast Village located inside the Media Centre. The Broadcast Village will be open from 23 August to 6 September.

    The SABC will:

    -- Support the United Nations TV and radio services by providing, under United Nations direction, pool feeds of United Nations meetings such as the plenary, the roundtable discussions by world leaders, press conferences and other events;

    -- Provide commercial broadcast facilities and production services.

    Booking Broadcast Services and Production Facilities

    Satellite and TV and Radio facilities: Lucia Fourie, email: ISDN lines, IDD phones and lines (SA address): Hans Lombard, ISDN lines, IDD phones and lines (international address): Elias Msiza,

    For further information please consult the attached document from SABC.

    Pool Feeds

    Four free pool feeds will be available in the Media Centre. These will include coverage of:

    -- Plenary
    -- Other United Nations meetings and events
    -- Press conferences
    -- Single main programme (composite general events channel)

    Audio feeds from these channels will be available at plug in points in the Media Centre, free of charge. For the plenary, audio feeds to the plug-ins will be in floor plus five languages. On the other pool feeds, two audio channels will be available. Recordings in other languages can be made if booked in advance.

    Pool feeds into the rental space booths will be available free of charge, but there may be some associated cabling costs. Additional details are available upon request.

    All video material will be provided in PAL format (Beta SP standard, DVC Pro on advance request).

    Pool feeds will be available in recorded format afterwards, at a handling charge.

    Opening Day

    For the opening day of the Summit (26 August) and the opening day of the heads of State/Government segment (2 September), access to the Plenary Hall will be restricted due to special security measures and space limitations.

    A limited number of tickets for seats in the press gallery will be issued to media representatives who wish to be present in the Plenary Hall. These tickets will be available from the Media Liaison Office in the Media Centre.

    All visual media coverage of the arrival of heads of State and Government and of the opening of the Plenary will be done by selected media pools. Crews will be escorted by United Nations Media Liaison staff. Pool coverage of arrivals will be fed on a United Nations programme channel for viewing and recording in the Media Centre. Members of the pools should gather at the Media Liaison office, in the Media Centre, an hour before the event to be escorted by a Media Liaison Officer to the VIP arrival area and the Plenary Hall.

    United Nations Meetings Coverage and Copies of Statements for Press

    The United Nations will provide summaries in English and French of all open meetings of the Summit, including the heads of State and Government round table discussions. These will be available in the Media Centre from the Documents counter. They will also be made available electronically on the Summit coverage Web site: Copies of the statements made by heads of State, heads of Government and heads of delegation, will also be provided as these are made available by delegations.

    Live Web Coverage

    The United Nations will provide live visual and audio Web coverage of the Summit, including the statements by heads of State and Government. In addition, the daily schedule of events, daily news highlights, radio news, photographs, documents, statements, summaries of press conferences, press releases and other information will be posted "as live" throughout the Summit. The Summit coverage Web site is:

    South African Government Web site

    The Web site maintained by JOWSCO, the South African organizing company, will be updated on a regular basis, and will include information regarding the Civil Society Forum and other parallel events.

    Please see

    Media Facilities at Other Venues

    Civil Society Global Forum -- NASREC

    The Civil Society Global Forum is located at NASREC Expo Centre, approximately 25 kilometres from the Sandton Convention Centre. This parallel event, organized by and for non-governmental organizations, will be held from 19 August to 4 September. Details about this event are available from

    Media facilities are available at the Global Forum. For details please contact: for space requirements and for technical facilities.

    Ubuntu Village

    The Ubuntu Village, organized by the South African Government, will be a service and recreational hub for participants in the World Summit. It is located at the Wanderers Complex, approx. 5 kilometres from the Sandton Convention Centre. It will be open from 17 August to 7 September.

    Media facilities will be available at the Ubuntu Village. Please contact for space requirements and for technical facilities.

    The WaterDome

    The WaterDome is an exhibition and discussion forum focusing on water-related issues. Media facilities will be available at the WaterDome, which will be open from 28 August to 3 September, at the Dome in Northgate, Johannesburg. More information is available from the Web site:

    For other parallel events please check the South African Government Web site at:


    The South African Government has appointed Global Destination Management Company (DMC) to manage accommodation and travel for the WSSD and the other events being held in Johannesburg.

    Bookings are via the DMC Web site:; Telephone: 27-11-4634300, fax: 27-11-4637878.

    It is advisable to book your accommodation immediately.


    There will be transport available from the Johannesburg International Airport and between the WSSD and other venues. Details are available from the South African Government Web site:

    For further information please contact the United Nations Department of Public Information at telephone: +1-212-963-9495 until 16 August, thereafter at telephone: +1-917-815-0011; or by e-mail to:

    * *** *