The inaugural meeting of UNESCO’s High Level Forum on Museums was held in Shenzhen, China from 10 to 12 November 2016.  As advisory body to UNESCO Director General and in the context of the 2015 UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Protection and Promotion of Museums and Collections, their Diversity and their Role in Society, the Forum addressed the important role of museums in society, and focused on promoting museum development and diversity. This event was co-organized with the National Commission of People’s Republic of China to UNESCO, Shenzhen Municipality, Zhi Zhen Art Museum and the State Administration for Cultural Heritage (SACH) of China.

The Forum was a major opportunity to bring more than 50 world class museum directors and thinkers, policy makers and stakeholders together to discuss critical issues for the future of museums. The Shenzhen Declaration was adopted at the end of the Forum, and underscores the social, cultural, educational and economic roles of museums in contemporary societies, and their contribution in educating citizens across the globe for more a peaceful world and in achieving sustainable development goals. The Forum’s major topics included new museum sector trends and public policies, the protection of cultural property and collections, the ethical and technological standards for museums, how better to engage and benefit communities. The implementation of the 2015 Recommendation and reinforcement of international cooperation in the field of museums was highlighted.  Going forward, the High Level Forum on Museums recommended the publication of a Global Museum Report under the coordination of UNESCO.