Building peace in the minds of men and women


UNESCO Week of Sound aims to raise awareness of all the stakeholders on the importance of the quality of our sound environment. In France, a series of events celebrating sound is organized for one week during each month of January. The 17th edition will be officially launched at UNESCO headquarters, Paris, France, on Monday 20 January 2020.

Sound is an essential element in our daily lives, it makes it possible to describe, tell, illustrate and explain the world and its evolutions.

UNESCO, on the basis of resolution 39 C / 59 of the General Conference reinforced by decision 207 EX / 46 of the Executive Board adopted at its 207 session, joins in the promotion and popularization of UNESCO Week of Sound.


On the occasion of International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust, UNESCO will organize a series of events to mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi German concentration and extermination camp Auschwitz-Birkenau.
Events will include an academic conference and a commemoration ceremony on 22 January 2020. Two exhibitions will be displayed at UNESCO Headquarters from 22-30 January 2020.

The mandate of the International Commission on the Futures of Education is to collectively reflect on how education might need to be re-thought in a world of increasing complexity, uncertainty, and precarity.

The commission will present analysis and recommendations in the form of a report which will serve as an agenda for policy dialogue and action at multiple levels. Looking at the year 2050 and beyond, the report will suggest visions and strategies for both education policy and education practice to adopt.

The Commission is to take into consideration recent geopolitical shifts, accelerated environmental degradation and climate change, changing patterns of human mobility, and the exponential pace of scientific and technological innovation. At the same time, the report should envisage and analyse the multiple possible futures of technological, social, economic, and environmental disruption and how education might both affect and be affected by these futures.

The Commission will include in its report a consideration of the longstanding UNESCO commitment to an integrated and humanistic approach to education and knowledge as public goods. The Commission is invited to challenge and re-evaluate the foundational principles laid out in previous UNESCO global reports about education.

In sum, the Commission will focus on rethinking the role of education, learning and knowledge in light of the tremendous challenges and opportunities of predicted, possible, and preferred futures.

Detailed agenda to be confirmed.

The event will present different aspects of the history of tapestry in Azerbaijan, and will focus mainly on the historical and cultural heritage of the carpets belonging to the group of carpets produced by the Sheki School in Azerbaijan. During the opening, a documentary video will tell the story of the exhibition project and of the city of Sheki.
This carpet exhibition will also reflect the motifs of the famous Chaki Khans Palace, built in the 18th century, which represents the masterpiece of Qajar-style architecture.

The traditional art of Azerbaijani carpet weaving in the Republic of Azerbaijan was inscribed in 2010 on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity and the Historic Centre of Sheki with the Khan Palace was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List at the 43rd session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee held in Baku.

The Exhibition will be open to the general public until 4 February 2020, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., upon presentation of an ID card.

The Intergovernmental Committee of the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions will meet in Paris at UNESCO HQ from 11 to 14 February 2020 in Room II.

During its 13th session, the Committee will establish its work plan for 2020-2021, including policy monitoring and capacity-building activities, as well as activities to implement the International Fund for Cultural Diversity (IFCD). The Committee will approve the financing of new projects by the IFCD in the context of its 10th call for applications. It will also examine the conclusions of the 2nd edition of the Civil Society Forum and potential synergies with the 1980 Recommendation concerning the Status of the Artist.
Several important side events will take place during this session, notably:
• Two “Create | 2030 Debates”, which will highlight the links between the Committee's work and the Goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. These debates will focus on the impact of the digital environment on access to creative content and on the outcomes of the first projects funded by the IFCD
• Screening of the film that won the Cultural Diversity Award under the patronage of UNESCO at the 2019 Asia Pacific Screen Awards.
To attend the Committee, please register at

This year, the celebration of the Day at UNESCO Headquarters will gather experts from different sectors and backgrounds including key scientific partners, talented women scientists rewarded through the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Programme, representatives of UNESCO scientific networks and Chairs. The invited speakers and participants will discuss and examine the issue of gender gap in science, also drawing on the conclusions of the Conference “A Global Approach to the Gender Gap in Mathematical, Computing, and Natural Sciences: How to Measure It, How to Reduce It?”, held in November 2019 at the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP).

The event is organized in partnership with the International Council of Science, and will be held in English and French. It will be open to UNESCO Permanent Delegations and staff members, scientists and partners from the private sector based in Paris.

Tackling some of the greatest challenges of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development -- from improving health to combatting climate change -- will rely on harnessing all talent. That means getting more women working in these fields. Diversity in research expands the pool of talented researchers, bringing in fresh perspectives, talent and creativity. This Day is a reminder that women and girls play a critical role in science and technology communities and that their participation should be strengthened.


The 26th session of the International Advisory Committee for Biosphere Reserves (IACBR) will be held from 17 to 20 February 2020 at UNESCO Headquarters.

The International Advisory Committee for Biosphere Reserves, composed of 12 members, is the primary scientific and technical Committee body advising the International Co-ordinating Council (ICC) of the MAB Programme and its World Network of Biosphere Reserves (WNBR) and the Director-General of UNESCO on matters pertaining to the WNBR: scientific and technical matters concerning the nomination of new sites and, changes and periodic reviews of sites already included in the WNBR, as well as the development, operation and monitoring of the WNBR which they constitute in accordance with the Seville Strategy and the Statutory Framework for the WNBR.

The 2020 International Mother Language Day edition will be devoted to building peaceful, inclusive and sustainable societies through the promotion of “cross border and shared languages”.

Recognition of and respect for linguistic and cultural diversity contribute to strengthening the unity and cohesion of societies. These are foundations for more lasting peace both within and between societies, and led to UNESCO’s decision to celebrate International Mother Language Day.
On the occasion of International Mother Language Day 2020 celebration, UNESCO HQ will organise a ceremony around "cross border and shared languages and invites all of its Member States and partners to celebrate these values in as many languages as possible, for languages are forces for sustainable development and lasting peace.

Mobile Learning Week (MLW) is the United Nations’ flagship event on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in education, and has been organized by UNESCO and its partners for eight years consecutively.

The 2020 edition of MLW will be held from 2 to 6 March 2020 in Paris under the theme Artificial Intelligence and Inclusion. It is designed to steer the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) towards the direction of inclusion and equity in education – core values underpinning the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and digital opportunities for all.

This will be the first celebration of the World Engineering Day, following its adoption by the General Conference of UNESCO.
World Engineering Day will be celebrated on 4 March of each year.

UNESCO in close collaboration with its partner the World Federation of Engineering Organizations (WFEO) is planning to host the inaugural celebration of the World Engineering Day at UNESCO Headquarters on 4 March 2020.

UNESCO and its engineering partners are planning to hold a conference on the importance of engineering in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with several sessions, panel discussions, keynote lectures, presentations and workshops for young people interested by engineering.

Moreover, this event will be an opportunity to present the second UNESCO Engineering Report to the engineering community for a soft launch.

To celebrate International Women’s Day, UNESCO invites you to its high-level conference: “The Private Sector Takes Action: Gender Equality and the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence”. The event will take place on Saturday 7 March 2020, from 9:30 to 4:30pm.

The conference comes as a follow-up to UNESCO’s publication in March 2019 of I’d Blush if I Could: closing gender divides in digital skills through education. This report features recommendations on actions to overcome global gender gaps in digital skills, with a special examination of the impact of gender prejudice coded into some of the most prevalent artificial intelligence applications.

The recommendations concerning AI’s gender biases are urgent in light of the explosive growth of digital voice assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri. Almost all voice assistants are given female names and voices, and express a ‘personality’ that is engineered to be uniformly subservient. The gendered submissiveness and servility expressed by so many of these ‘female’ digital assistants illustrate the gender biases coded into AI products. As I’d Blush if I Could explains, these biases are rooted in stark gender imbalances in digital skills education and in the gender imbalances of the technical teams developing frontier technologies.

The outcome of this conference will feed into UNESCO’s efforts to develop a global normative instrument on the ethics of artificial intelligence, in line with its mandate unanimously decided upon by Member States at the 40th session of its General Conference in November 2019.

The event will be followed by the inaugural meeting of The Exponent Roundtable (TBC), a Google initiative operating under the patronage of UNESCO, which consists of a small group of people inside and outside of Google that are working with the private sector to advance gender equality efforts globally.

To know more about this Conference and to register your participation, please click here.

Since 1998 the L’Oréal-UNESCO Awards For Women in Science (FWIS) recognize outstanding achievements of eminent women scientists. Each year, five Laureates - one per each of the following regions: Africa & the Arab States, Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, and North America - are awarded for their role and contribution to the advancement of science, in alternating years in Life Science and Physical Sciences.
The 2020 edition of the Awards will designate five outstanding scientific researchers in Life Science. The Awards will be presented during the Ceremony to the five women selected by an international jury for their outstanding contribution to scientific advancement.