Side Events - 41st Session of the General Conference - 17 November

Last update: November 16, 2021

Panel Discussion on the Revival of Cultural Life in Mosul

Wednesday 17 November 2021

11 am - 12:30 pm, Miro Hall

Within the framework of UNESCO’s flagship initiative Revive the Spirit of Mosul, you are cordially invited you to attend a Panel Discussion the Revival of Cultural Life in Mosul, which will take place on 17 November 2021.
The Panel will discuss the role of the community in Mosul in reviving the cultural life and the recovery of Mosul, with a particular focus on cinema, music and the cultural and creative industries.

Location: UNESCO Fontenoy, Miro Hall, near the photo exhibition “Revive the Spirit of Mosul” (Hall des pas perdus)

For more information please contact Ms. Iman Hashim (email:

UNESCO Marine World Heritage & the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission in the framework of the Ocean Decade

Wednesday 17 November 2021

1 - 3 pm

During a high-level side event on 17 November, during the 41st session of the General Conference, UNESCO will launch a roadmap that identifies the key scientific gaps as well as the obstacles (financial, capacity, technology) that impede the sustainable conservation of UNESCO marine World Heritage sites. The roadmap is a joint initiative from the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission and Culture Sector, in the framework of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030).

Please register here for the light lunch in the Mall (13:00 - 13:30) (participants to the side event only).
Follow the event (13:30 - 15:00):   
Questions can be asked here:

English and French interpretation will be available.

From drone wildlife tracking in Russia’s Natural System of Wrangel Island Reserve to the use of artificial intelligence at Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, UNESCO marine World Heritage sites are spearheading scientific innovation in ways that are rapidly transforming the future of ocean conservation. Yet despite their iconic status, many marine World Heritage sites lack scientific understanding of trends in ecosystem change and the impact of human activities, including climate change.

In response, UNESCO will launch a roadmap that identifies the key scientific gaps as well as the obstacles (financial, capacity, technology) that impede the sustainable conservation of UNESCO marine World Heritage sites. The roadmap will be launched on 17 November and aims to mobilize the international ocean science community, investors and philanthropy to address the key scientific gaps that impede the sustainable conservation of marine World Heritage sites.

The side event will equally highlight the recently launched global eDNA project to study vulnerability of species to climate change at marine World Heritage sites, a tangible example of transversal cooperation among UNESCO Programmes on ocean science and Marine World Heritage. Finally, the side event will feature a view from the field with a testimonial from the local management authority of the Aldabra Atoll World Heritage site (Seychelles).

A light lunch will be served to registered participants prior to the event in the Mall. English and French interpretation will be available.

The event and roadmap are made possible with the support of the governments of Flanders (Kingdom of Belgium), the Principality of Monaco, and the French Biodiversity Agency

It's about life! 50th anniversary of the Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme

Wednesday 17 November 

On Wednesday 17 November, UNESCO will celebrate the 50th Anniversary of its Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme with renowned primatologist Dr Jane Goodall, photographer Sebastião Salgado, artist and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Vik Muniz, indigenous peoples’ climate advocate Hindou Oumarou, youth representatives and partners from around the world.

UNESCO is also hosting an exhibition, It’s about Life, showcasing collective work by people from over 30 of Biosphere Reserves to mark the anniversary.

Established by UNESCO in 1971 as an intergovernmental scientific programme, MAB pioneered the idea of biodiversity conservation and sustainable development. Today, its World Network of 727 Biosphere Reserves in 131 countries, occupying more than 6% of the earth’s landmass.

At the forefront of the sustainable development movement, Biosphere reserves were established as ‘petri-dishes’ for finding the optimal balance between the needs of local people and those of their environments. They are a testimony to UNESCO’s innovation in creating sustainable livelihoods for local populations, safeguarding biodiversity, and promoting peace between communities in conflict over natural resources.

Highlights of the day: 

  • 2021 Sultan Qaboos Prize for Environmental Conservation award ceremony (12.30pm)
  • Intergenerational dialogue between youth spokespersons, biodiversity experts, indigenous representatives and artists (1.30 and 2.30pm)
  • Handover of drones to facilitate the protection of African Great Apes and their habitats (2.15pm)
  • Launch of a water quality monitoring tool for the Lake Chad Basin (6.30pm)

Provisional programme 

Times are indicative

This event is on the 7th floor in the restaurant.

12.30 to 1pm – Opening ceremony, 30th anniversary of the Sultan Qaboos Prize for Environmental Conservation

  • Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO
  • Dr Adeshola Olatunde Adepoju, Chair of the MAB International Coordinating Council, Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria
  • Dr Madiha bint Ahmed bin Nasser al Shibaniyah, Minister of Education, Oman 
  • Winners of the 2021 Sultan Qaboos Prize for Environmental Conservation

Prize ceremony, photo call

UNESCO Sultan Qaboos Prize for Environmental Conservation 

Prize-giving ceremony on 17 November 2021  

1pm –Welcoming address by Dr Jane Goodall, Spokesperson of the 50th anniversary of the Man and the Biosphere Programme;
Presentation by Vik Muniz, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador

1.30 – 2.15pm – Passing the baton: Intergenerational dialogue 1 

  • Dr Jane Goodall, DBE, Jane Goodall Institute and MAB 50th anniversary Spokesperson via live video link
  • Sebastiao Salgado, Photographer
  • Anthony Johnston, Mistawasis Nêhiyawak First Nation, Canada
  • Mauro Colagreco, three Michelin Star chef

2.15-2.30pm – Monitoring for the future: protecting Great Apes and their habitats

  • Sabrina Krief, Professor at the French National Museum of Natural History (MNHN) and Director of the Sebitoli Chimpanzee Project

Presentation of a joint initiative to monitor great apes and their habitats in African biosphere reserves using drones, thus reducing human impacts and preventing the risk of transmitting zoonotic diseases. Handing the drones to Permanent Delegates of the Member States involved.

2.30-3pm – Passing the baton: Intergenerational dialogue 2 

  • Vik Muniz, Artist and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador
  • Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, Founder and President of the Association for Indigenous Women and Peoples of Chad (AFPAT)
  • Michel Baudouin, Directeur ERAIFT (Regional Post-Graduate Training School on Integrated Management of Tropical Forests and Lands)

6.30-8.30pm – Biosphere and Heritage of Lake Chad (BIOPALT) project

Presentation of BIOPALT project results and launch of the Lake Chad Basin Water Quality Monitoring Porta followed by a reception hosted by UNESCO and the Nigerian Permanent Delegation 


Live streaming will be available on Youtube

Open source pictures will be available to the media on UNESCO’s website.

Access: Journalists must request accreditation here to gain entry to UNESCO during its General Conference. The media entrance is: 125 avenue de Suffren.

Access to the room will be restricted for health reasons. 

More information:


Leading voices against racism


17 NOVEMBER 2021 FROM 1 P.M. TO 3 P.M., ROOM I

With the objective to address the “Global Call against Racism” from December 2020, UNESCO’s Social and Human Sciences Sector will organize a high-level event focusing on the crucial role of global leaders in spearheading advocacy efforts to combat racism. This initiative builds on one of the key recommendations put forward by the “UNESCO Global Forum against Racism and Discrimination”, organized in March 2021, which kicked off UNESCO’s series of anti-racism efforts. 

The panel will be moderated by Gabriela Ramos, Assistant Director-General for Social and Human Sciences. Designed to be an interactive and dynamic exchange, the discussion will bring a wide array of perspectives among speakers. Member States will be invited to participate in the question and answer segment.


  • H.E. Mr Juan José Bremer, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Permanent Delegate of Mexico to UNESCO
  • José Francisco Calí Tzay, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
  • Epsy Campbell Barr, Vice President of Costa Rica
  • Martin Luther King III, Global human rights activist
  • Achille Mbembe, Scholar and Philosopher
  • Nadia Murad, Nobel Peace Prize laureate*


The event can also be followed by ZOOM on the following link:  

Simultaneous interpretation in English and French will be available for this event. 

For additional information, kindly contact: Laura Bensoussan (SHS/IRD),

Wisdom and Laughter: The Odyssey of Amadou Hampâté Bâ

17-24 November 2021

An exhibition commemorating the 30th anniversary of the passing of Amadou Hampâté Bâ will feature the writer's texts, photos, videos and speeches among many of other archives safeguarded and digitalized by the Hampâté Bâ Foundation with the support of UNESCO. The exhibition will include both physical materials as well as a virtual component, which will walk viewers in an interactive format through the collection of archives of the renowned African writer who worked all his life to defend oral traditions and traditional knowledge in West Africa.

Organized by the Hampâté Bâ Foundation in collaboration with UNESCO, the exhibition will be displayed as part of the exhibition The UNESCO Adventure, commemorating the 75 years of the Organization.