in: Philipp H. Pattberg / Fariborz Zelli (eds.), Encyclopedia of global environmental governance and politics, Cheltenham UK: Elgar, 275-280
Mega-conferences, occasionally also referred to as mega-summits, is an informal term used to refer to large United Nations (UN)-sponsored conferences that address the global environment and development. They are characterized by high level attendance by heads of governments and States; extensive coverage by international Media; and the participation of a host of stakeholders and Civil society representatives.
Mega-conferences as processes usually refer to more than the relatively short duration of (high level) meetings; pre- and post-conference processes are considered part of the mega-conference process. Mega-conferences as larger processes also include a host of side-events organized parallel to official (intergovernmental) meetings.