» UNESCO General Conference - Paris, 6 to 23 October
23.09.2009 -

UNESCO General Conference - Paris, 6 to 23 October

The 35th session of UNESCO’s General Conference will be held from 6 to 23 October in Paris. During the session, the General Conference is expected to endorse the nomination of Irina Bokova (Bulgaria) as the new Director-General of the Organization, replacing Koïchiro Matsuura of Japan whose second term in office is coming to an end. Chosen by UNESCO’s 58-member Executive Board, Ms Bokova is slated to become the first woman to head the Organization.

The General Conference, UNESCO’s supreme ruling body, is presently headed by Ambassador Georges N. Anastassopoulos (Greece). It is composed of representatives of the Organization’s 193 Member States, usually of ministerial rank. Several Heads of State or Government pay official visits to UNESCO during each session of the General Conference.

The Conference determines the policies and main lines of work of UNESCO, particularly through the examination and adoption of its biennial Programme and Budget. It also adopts international standard-setting instruments in the fields of competence of the Organization. The General Conference elects some members of the Executive Board of the Organization every two years and, every four years, in keeping with the Executive Board’s proposal, it names the Director-General of UNESCO.

Other than the naming of a new Director-General (afternoon of 15 October) and the adoption of the 2010-2011 Programme and Budget, the agenda of the 35th session features a Ministerial Forum on strategies to overcome the economic crisis and on the future of UNESCO as a multilateral organization, on 8 October. A ministerial roundtable on education will take place on 9 October and on the morning of 10 October, whose three sessions will focus respectively on the acquisition of knowledge, values and skills required by society today and tomorrow. Another ministerial roundtable will examine UNESCO’s contribution to responsible ocean governance, on the afternoon of 12 October and morning of 13 October. A Youth Forum, 1 to 3 October, and a Partners Forum, on 5 October, will precede the General Conference. An exhibition on culture and development will be held during the session.

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