Beirut, Lebanon, 20 - 24 March 2000

Information Note


Conference Arrangements

1. The Twenty-fifth FAO Regional Conference for the Near East will be held at the Conference Hall of Le Meridien Commodore Hotel at Al-Hamra area in Beirut, Lebanon, from 20 to 24 March 2000. The Conference will start with a three-day meeting for Senior Officers to be designated by Member Nations of the Region (20 to 22 March) followed by a Ministerial Meeting on 23 and 24 March. The Opening Session of the Senior Officers Meeting will take place at 8:00 hours on Monday, 20 March. The Inaugural Ceremony of the Ministerial Meeting will take place at 9:00 hours on Thursday, 23 March.

2. The normal working hours of the Conference will be 9:00 to 12:00 hours and 15:00 to 18:00 hours, unless otherwise decided by the Conference.

3. An "Order of the Day" will be issued daily, giving detailed information of the Conference business, the timetable of meetings, items to be discussed and other information of general interest.

4. The Provisional Annotated Agenda (Doc. NERC/00/1) has been circulated with the invitation letter.

5. FAO will provide the Secretary of the Conference, assisted by a number of FAO staff whose names and functions will be included in a list to be issued on the first day of the Conference.

Working Languages

6. Simultaneous interpretation will be provided in Arabic and English. The documentation will be issued in Arabic and in English.

Press Liaison and Information

7. For the duration of the Conference, an FAO Information Officer, assisted by a Press Officer from the Government of Lebanon, will provide contacts with the press and be responsible for matters concerning information to the public.

8. Journalists will be provided accreditation upon presenting two passport-size photographs and a letter of assignment from their editor or employer to the accreditation desk at the Conference venue.


9. The working documents will be sent to all governments and organizations invited, before the holding of the Conference. Documents drafted during the Conference will be available at the documents distribution desk, outside the Conference hall. The desk will also deliver mail and messages and deal with general inquiries.

Draft Recommendations and Amendments

10. Delegates who wish to submit draft recommendations or other documents requiring a decision by the Conference are requested to hand their texts in Arabic or English to the Conference Secretary, if possible in three typewritten copies. Delegates wishing to circulate other written material related to the Agenda of the Conference are requested to deliver 30 copies in Arabic and 30 copies in English to the Secretariat for distribution.

Advance Communications of Text of Speeches and Statements

11. When prepared speeches or statements are to be made, it would help the Secretariat and ensure accuracy in interpretation if three typed copies of the texts were handed to the Secretariat of the Conference in advance.


12. All correspondence concerning the Regional Conference should be addressed to the Conference Secretary at the following address:

Mr. Ghassan Hamdallah
Secretary of the Twenty-fifth FAO Regional Conference for the Near East
FAO Regional Office for the Near East
PO Box 2223,Cairo, Egypt
Fax: (202) 749-5981 - 337-3419
Tel.: (202) 331-6000
E-mail address:

and copied to the government Liaison Officer at the address below.

Mr. George Mansour
Liaison Officer of the Twenty-fifth FAO Regional Conference for the Near East
Ministry of Agriculture
Beirut, Lebanon
Fax: (9615) 455-619
Tel.: (9615) 455-608
E-mail address:
Mobile Phone: (9613) 930- 337

During the Conference the addresses of the Conference Secretary are:

Mr. Ghassan Hamdallah OR c/o Mr. Amor Ben Romdhane
Conference Secretary FAO Representative in Lebanon
Twenty-fifth FAO Regional Conference P.O. Box 40010 Baabda, Beirut
for the Near East Fax: (9615) 468-173
Le Meridien- Commodore Hotel Tel.: (9615) 922 128
P.O. Box 11-3456 Beirut, Lebanon E-mail address:
Fax: (9611) 345-806/7 Mobile Phone: (9613) 382- 675
Tel.: (9611) 350-400  

13. Postal, telephone, telex and facsimile services will be provided at the Conference premises as well as a travel and tourist information desk.

Formalities for Entry into Lebanon

14. Travellers to Lebanon requiring an entry visa are advised to obtain one from a diplomatic mission or Lebanese Consulate prior to the date of travel. In the event that no diplomatic mission or consulate exists in a particular country, travellers should inform the Liaison Officer and the Conference Secretary, at the addresses indicated in paragraph 12 above, providing full name as in the travel document, date and place of birth, nationality, passport number, date and place of issue, validity, port of entry and expected duration of stay in Lebanon, in order to ensure that a visa will be granted on arrival.

15. A "Security Clearance' is needed for the personnel of the United Nations entering Lebanon. The name, nationality and period of stay of the travelling UN staff member should be forwarded to the FAO Representation in Lebanon, at least, two weeks in advance.

16. Travellers arriving in Lebanon coming from infected areas would require a valid international certificate of vaccination against Cholera and Yellow Fever.

17. Participants are advised to provide advance notice at least three weeks prior to arrival of the name of carrier, flight number, time of arrival and other related information to the Government Liaison Officer in Beirut, Lebanon, to ensure that they are properly met on arrival at Beirut international airport. Participants are advised to mark their luggage clearly in order to facilitate identification. For those participants travelling by car, they are kindly requested to advise of their date of arrival at the Lebanese borders to facilitate their entry.

18. The Lebanese authorities will make special arrangements for participants upon their arrival, assist them with formalities regarding immigration, visas, customs, collection of luggage and provide them with transport to their respective hotels. Similar arrangements will be made at the end of the Conference.

19. All participants to the Conference are advised to finalize, at an early date, return travel arrangements. Immediately upon arrival in Lebanon, participants are advised to contact the travel desk at the Conference premises for special internal visits for spouses and for the reconfirmation of their departure date and time.

Foreign Exchange and Banking,

Communication Facilities, and Travel/Tourist Office

20. The national unit of currency is the Lebanese Pound or Lira (LL). There are no restrictions on the import of cash or traveller's cheques in convertible currencies into Lebanon. The rate of exchange at the time this Information Note was prepared was US$1.00 = LL1,500. Adequate banking services will be available at the Conference site.

Medical Services and First Aid

21. Medical and first aid services will be available at the Conference premises. Medical services could also be provided by hotels.

Hotel Accommodation

22. Requests for hotel reservations should be made on the printed form appearing in Appendix-A, as soon as possible, by sending the original to the Conference Liaison Officer in Beirut and a copy to the Conference Secretary in Cairo (see paragraph 12 above), not later than 5 March 2000. It should be indicated that the Al-Hamra area in Beirut hosts a number of hotels (three and four stars) adjacent to the Conference venue, (Appendix- B).

23. It should be noted that the Hotel policy requires that each guest presents a Credit Card, upon arrival in order to secure a reprint. In case there is no credit card, then the guest is asked to deposit some advance cash.


24. All delegates and observers are requested to register, soon after arrival, at the Conference site, so that they can be provided with identification tags. The registration desk will be open on 19 March from 10:00  to 18:00 hours and on 20 March from 08:00 hours. The Conference secretariat will issue a Provisional List of Participants on the first day of the Conference. The secretariat should be notified of any corrections or additions to this list. Only registered participants will be issued special badges, which will permit them to enter the Conference meeting venues.


25. During the month of March the temperature varies from 15 to 25oC, with a possibility of rain. It is advisable to bring normal winter clothing.


26. The voltage in Beirut is 220 volts AC.


Appendix A


1. Name:________________________________________________________________
                    Family name                              Given name
2. Country/Organization:____________________________________________________
3. Title and Position:_______________________________________________________
4. Address (postal and cable):________________________________________________
5. Attending as: Delegate ______ Observer ______  Secretariat ______
6. Accompanied by spouse: Yes ___    No ___
Name of spouse: _________________________________________________________
7. Dates of anticipated stay in Lebanon : _________________  to  ___________________
8. Arrival information: Date:________________________ Hour:  ______________
Airline and flight No.:_______________ From (city):______________________________
9. Hotel accommodation desired: Single _______  Double _____________
10. Please indicate hotel names by order of preference A: ____________ B:____________


NOTE: Each participant is required to complete the above form in duplicate and send one copy to each of the addresses below as soon as possible, preferably one month before the Conference, even if complete flight information is unavailable. You may cable or fax flight information details at a later date.

(a)     Liaison Officer (FAO Conference)

Mr. George Mansour
Liaison Officer of the Twenty-fifth FAO Regional Conference for the Near East
Ministry of Agriculture
Beirut, Lebanon
Fax: (9615) 455-619
Tel.: (9615) 455-608

(b)     The Conference Secretary

Mr. Ghassan Hamdallah
FAO Regional Office for the Near East
PO Box 2223, Cairo, Egypt
Fax: (202) 749-5981 - 337-3419
Tel.: (202) 331-6000




Tariff Room Distance to Conference venue Hotel
US$70 (including Breakfast &Tax)

US$135 (including Breakfast & Tax)



Same place Le Meridien Commodore
(5 Stars)

P.O. Box: 11-3456 Beirut, Lebanon
Tel.: (9611) 350-400
Fax: (9611) 453-806/7

US$50 (including Breakfast and Tax)

US$60 (including Breakfast and Tax)



5 minutes (Car)

15 minutes (On foot)

(3 Stars)

P.O. Box: 11-9452 Beirut, Lebanon
Tel.: (9611) 353-001/602-060
Fax: (9611) 346-681

US$40 (including Breakfast and ServiceTax)

US$45 (including Breakfast and ServiceTax)



10 minutes (On foot) Marble Tower
(3 Stars A- Deluxe)

P.O. Box: 113/6452 Beirut, Lebanon
Tel.: (9611) 345-586
Fax: (9613) 208-880