26.10.2011 - UNESCOPRESS

World leaders discuss ways of building a culture of peace

© UNESCO/Thierry Rambaud - Leaders’ Forum (36th session of the UNESCO General Conference)

Seven Heads of State and Government are participating in the Leaders’ Forum being held at UNESCO Headquarters today and tomorrow (26-27 october). The event is one of the highlights of the 36th session of the UNESCO General Conference, which opened yesterday.

Discussions at the Forum are focused on “How does UNESCO contribute to building a culture of peace and to sustainable development”. It provides an opportunity to explore bold and innovative ideas and ways of promoting peace and prosperity in a globalized world, through UNESCO’s fields of competence. These ideas will feed into the current session of General Conference as it considers UNESCO’s programme and priorities for the next two years.

The Forum was opened by the President of the General Conference,  Katalina Bogyay, the Chairperson of the Executive Board Eleonora Mitrofanova and UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova.

Keynote addresses were made on the opening day by  Pal Schmitt, President of the Republic of Hungary,  Ali Bongo Ondimba, President of the Republic of Gabon,  Alassane Ouattara, President of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, Tillman Thomas, Prime Minister of Grenada,  Pascal Irenée Koupaki, Prime Minister of the Republic of Benin. Raila Odinga, Prime Minister of Kenya,  and Boris Tadic, President of the Republic of Serbia. A special address was also made by Mehriban Aliyeva, First Lady of the Republic of Azerbaijan and Margarita Cedeño De Fernandez, First Lady of the Dominican Republic. 

On Thursday 27 October, the Forum will be addressed by Johnson Toribiong, President of the Republic of Palau with a special address from Kris Peeters, Minister-President of the Government of Flanders (Belgium),

The Forum is moderated by BBC presenter Zeinab Badawi, and Al Jazeera presenter Stephen Cole.

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