Press release on the 39th session of UNESCO’s General Conference

Wednesday, 01 November 2017 08:18

The 39th session of the General Conference of UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) opened in Paris on October 30. The Russian delegation is led by Education and Science Minister Olga Vasilyeva, who will take part in the General Policy Debate, a high-level ministerial meeting on the implementation of the SDG4-Education 2030 Agenda, as well as a meeting to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the UNITWIN/UNESCO Chairs Programme.

UNESCO’s General Conference is expected to endorse the nomination of Audrey Azoulay (France) for the post of Director-General of UNESCO and to elect the new members of the Executive Board and the leading bodies of several intergovernmental and international UNESCO programmes.

The General Conference will also discuss and approve UNESCO’s Draft Budget and Programme for 2018-2021, as well as a report on the organisation’s performance and on the implementation of its programme. It will also discuss administrative and financial matters.

Other issues on the agenda include the UNESCO Strategy for Action on Climate Change, the reinforcement of UNESCO’ Action for the protection of culture and the promotion of cultural pluralism in the event of armed conflict, strengthening UNESCO’s leadership in the implementation of the UN Plan of Action on Safety of Journalists as well as other issues. The session participants will also consider proposals by member states for the celebration of anniversaries in 2018-2019 with which UNESCO could be associated.

The General Conference will also consider draft resolutions proposed by Russia, including on the follow-up of the Sixth International Conference of Ministers and Senior Officials Responsible for Physical Education and Sport (MINEPS VI), which was held in Kazan in the summer of 2017, as well as the proposal for the proclamation by the United Nations of 2019 as an International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements.

The side events include the presentation of a report on World Trends in Freedom of Expression and Media Development, UNESCO’s Global Education Monitoring Report, as well as a report on the ethics of robotics. There will be a round table discussion on the challenges of heritage protection in conflict and the link between heritage protection and the fight against sectarian violence, cultural cleansing and violent extremism.

The 39th session of UNESCO’s General Conference will close on November 14.

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