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Office of the Provost

Opportunities at the United Nations

Pace is an affiliated NGO with the United Nations Economic and Social Council, one of the most important venues within which the UN fosters debate and international cooperation. As a member NGO, we can offer temporary passes to United Nations conferences, workshops, panels, and other events to our faculty and a limited number of their students. Faculty might also have the opportunity to submit working papers at UN conferences, as well as other opportunities for professional development.

If you would like to learn more about UN events, you can subscribe to a list we have set up, which will send updates about UN conferences, workshops, speakers, etc. to your inbox. To subscribe to this list, please contact our Administrative Coordinator, Liza Bell (lbell@pace.edu).

Please note that during the COVID-19 Pandemic, access to UN premises will not be granted to NGOs in consultative status with ECOSOC, even with valid UN Grounds passes that were issued earlier this year. There are still opportunities to attend conferences and other events via videoconference.



Registering for a UN Event

You can search through conference opportunities on the site. You must have an account to access this website. You can set up an account with Pace affiliation using the instructions below.

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Applying for a temporary UN grounds pass

We have up to nine passes available temporary grounds passes on a given date for most events, and up to twenty for conferences, both at the UN’s New York headquarters, as well as their locations in Geneva and Vienna. Passes are not guaranteed for a particular date, since they are subject to availability and UN approval; and you will need as much lead time as possible to obtain passes, particularly for standing UN events. Note: most UN conferences require participants to register 6-8 weeks in advance of the session. Please complete the application if you are interested in a particular UN event taking place in any of the three locations and return it to Liza Bell along with the completed and signed faculty contract.

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UN Pass Faculty Contract

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Pace University’s status at the UN?
Pace University is accredited by the Economic and Social Council as an officially-recognized Non-Governmental Organization (NGO). This gives Pace the ability to provide grounds passes (ID cards) for entry onto the UN complexes in New York, Geneva and Vienna to attend and observe events, conferences and meetings that are open to NGOs or meet with delegates and UN officials.

This status may, in certain very limited circumstances give Pace students, faculty and staff the opportunity to speak in certain meetings (under circumscribed rules, see below). You obviously have no vote in decisions at the UN (as Pace is not a government).

This status is entirely at the discretion of the UN ECOSOC NGO Branch, which can revoke it if we do not abide by the rules.

A detailed description of the rules is available on the UN website.


How do I get my Grounds Pass/UN ID?
Once you have been approved to receive Pace accreditation for a UN ID card (known as a “grounds pass”), you will need to be in touch with Liza Bell (lbell@pace.edu) to make sure all your paperwork is filed with the UN. You will need to register with and fill out forms on the UN’s Indico system. You will then need to print out a copy of the registration ticket that it provides, as well as a letter of introduction from Pace University’s president. You will take both these documents to the UN Pass Office (320 E 45th St, New York, NY 10017), along with a government-issued ID (passport or drivers’ license). Note that there is often a line and so it is good to go to the Pass Office early, with plenty of time to spare before your meeting.


What is the process like for getting through Security?
You will need to enter through the NGO entrance on First Avenue and 45th Street. There may be a line and you should follow UN Security’s instructions as to where to go or stand in line. You will need your grounds pass visible when you approach the entrance (on a lanyard or clipped to your lapel) and at all times when you are on UN grounds. You should also carry with you a passport or driver’s license as UN Security will sometimes request government ID (in addition to the ground’s pass). You will go through airport-style security, so it is best to leave metal items at home. Your bags will be x-rayed and you will go through a metal detector. An officer may request to search you or your belongings at their discretion. You cannot bring bags larger than a carryon (in fact they often frown on anything larger than a briefcase, laptop bag or small backpack). If you have prohibited items with you, they may refuse you entry, or make you check them in with Security (they will give you a claim check).


What should I wear?
Dress code at the UN is business attire.

A suit, with a dress shirt/blouse is often a good choice. Generally a tie is the norm with a dress shirt. A jacket or cardigan is expected if you wear slacks, a skirt or dress. Skirts and dresses should be below the knee. Dress shoes are expected. UN buildings are usually very large and so you may have to walk a long way from the entrance to your meeting room – as a result, flats rather than heels may be advisable.

You may wear formal national or cultural dress if you of the nationality/culture where it is the norm. Do not wear someone else’s national or cultural dress.

There is norm against wearing national symbols (like flag lapel pins or ties depicting national symbols). This seems to be eroding of late, but it is best to uphold the international nature of the space. UN symbols or pins are welcome; those associated with a specific cause may also be fine, if they are appropriate.

To get a better idea of what people wear, watch a few minutes of footage of meetings going on at the UN on UN Web TV.


How do I know what is going on during the day?
You can learn about the day’s activities by checking the Daily Journal. Many meetings may also have specific newsletters, listserves or event listings.


How should I interact with diplomats?
Politely. The UN has high expectations of respect and formality in interacting with diplomats and UN staff. There is a high regard for hierarchy and so the expectation of formality increases with rank (for example, people with ambassadorial are treated with considerable respect). You will notice that diplomats and civil society representatives may be quite informal with each other, especially if they know each other well or have worked together for a long time. However, when meeting someone for the first time, it is advisable to start out formally until the specific expectations are clear. Use people’s titles if they are an Ambassador, Chair or President of a meeting, high-ranking UN official or have a doctorate.

Do not approach diplomats’ desks or seats during a meeting and try to stay out of the line of sight of the TV cameras, particularly when a diplomat is speaking. Do not put anything on their desks once a meeting has begun.


Where should I sit in a meeting?
In formal meetings there is usually a public gallery or space at back or the side of the room where people who are not diplomats can sit. Never sit in a seat that has a placard or display indicating that it belongs to a government or international organization, even after a meeting has concluded. Governments are particularly picky about this.

When you are at a side event, even though the rules are more informal, it is considered good form to leave the seats that are at the front of the room or that have desks and microphones for governments.

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