On 14 October 2015, UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova, took part in the Women’s Forum held in Deauville, France, in a plenary session held under the theme “Is ‘less is more’ the solution to addressing vital needs?”. The session was moderated by Julia Marton-Lefèvre, Chair, Advisory Board to the Sustainable Biomass Partnership, and speakers included Isabelle Autissier, President, World Wildlife Fund (France), Antoine Frérot, Chairman and CEO of Veolia, and Navi Radjou, Innovation leader and strategist.
The Forum brought together more than 1300 participants and 600 organizations from 70 countries to give new perspectives to key issues in our present and our future and to create a powerful, global network in order to strengthen the influence of women throughout the world.
In her intervention, the Director-General explained UNESCO’s soft-power approach to inclusive and sustainable growth in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.
“This Deauville Forum comes at a critical juncture. In New York, at the United Nations Summit on Sustainable Development, world leaders agreed on a new vision for sustainable development, for the next 15 years,” declared the Director-General. “This agenda bears witness to a fundamental shift in the global approach to sustainable development. This includes full recognition of the power of quality education, of cultural diversity for development… it seeks to harness the full power of scientific research and innovation for the protection of the ocean and for water management… It focuses on human capabilities and human rights, to build stronger and more resilient societies, to reinforce the capacities of people to tackle their own challenges.”
“We see the power of ideas to shape a new agenda – to set new goals, to catalyse new energy to overcome challenges. These are the priorities of UNESCO’s work. This is the ‘soft power’ of UNESCO and it has never been so relevant,” continued Irina Bokova.
Founded in 2005, the Women's Forum for the Economy and Society has been the world's leading platform featuring women's views and voices on major social and economic issues.
Women’s Forum meetings gather remarkable women and men from politics, business, civil society and academia, for the purpose of showcasing stories of workable solutions in different countries and contexts.