29.11.2019 - UNESCO Office in Brasilia

UNESCO’s 40th General Conference confirms the Organization’s historic turnaround and its repositioning on contemporary issues

The UNESCO General Conference brings together all 193 Member States of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization once every two years.

“We are entering a phase of renewal,” said Audrey Azoulay, the Director-General of UNESCO, summing up the fortieth session of the General Conference, which took place from 12 to 27 November. Noting that after more than 20 years of cuts and setbacks, the budget situation had returned to normal, she underlined that, “by accepting an increase in contributions, a rare event in the UN system today, Member States expressed their confidence in the direction given to UNESCO over the past two years, and especially its strategic transformation.”

As demonstrated by the attendance of so many political leaders, UNESCO is once again a venue for global conversation. Participants included:

14 Heads of State and Government
100 education and higher education ministers
122 culture ministers
United Nations Secretary-General, Mr António Guterres
The President of the United Nations General Assembly, Mr Tijjani Muhammad-Bande
The President of the host country, Mr Emmanuel Macron

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