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unesco's 37th general conference

The 37th Session of the General Conference of UNESCO took place from 5-20 November 2013 in Paris.

As a member of the ICJW team at UNESCO,  Lilianne Picard  had the privilege to attend the opening of the 37th session of the General Conference, chaired by the new president Hao Ping (China), which mobilized more than 3000 participants from UNESCO member states and nine associate members .

The General Conference is UNESCO’s main governing body It meets every two years in order to determine UNESCO’s policies and main lines of work and to set the budget.

The opening session was very impressive with many delegates in traditional costumes .There were numerous speeches and concerts.

The General Conference has re- elected Director General Irina Bokova for a second four-year term of office, with a clear mandate to continue the changes initiated under her leadership. It has confirmed that Africa and gender equality will continue as the Organization’s top global priorities and defined peace and sustainable development as the objectives that will guide all the Organization’s activities.

S pecial attention has been given to the NGOs, according to the New Directives adopted two years ago and put into place in December 2012 by the International Conference of NGOs

More than 100 NGOs registered to participate to the General Conference and were given a special NGO corner to use as a meeting and information center.

Mr Patrick Gallaud president of the International Conference of NGOs and of the NGO-UNESCO Committee made an intervention insisting on the strengthened cooperation between NGOs and UNESCO. He explained that NGOs are organizing 4 forums and International Days whose themes are inscribed in a strategic program: education quality, the role of women against poverty, access to safe drinking water and the role of youth in the protection of the material and immaterial heritage. 

ICJW is of course involved in the preparation of the forums and international days.