The 37th session of the General Conference will feature a new edition of the Leaders’ Forum. This forward-looking policy dialogue involves Heads of State and/or Government as well as representatives of Member States at ministerial level. The Leaders’ Forum is intended to address issues of strategic, global and interdisciplinary interest with a view to providing general orientations for the work of the Organization. This will be of particular importance at a time when the General Conference will decide about a new Medium-Term Strategy, which for the first time will stretch over a period of 8 years, from 2014 to 2021.
The theme of this edition, “UNESCO mobilizing for and contributing to the post-2015 agenda through education, the sciences, culture and communication and information,” responds to the intense debate launched by the United Nations to define the post-2015 development agenda, building on the experience with the Millennium Development Goals adopted in 2000.
The new global development agenda will, from 2015 onwards, provide governments, civil society, the private sector and other stakeholders with a framework for time-bound and measurable action based on a shared vision.
As a meeting of decision-makers from all continents, the UNESCO Leaders’ Forum offers a unique opportunity to formulate key messages for the global negotiations currently under way in New York and for sharpening UNESCO’s own programme actions in the fields of education, the sciences, culture and communication and information. Special attention will be paid to the global priorities of the Organization, Africa and Gender Equality, as well as to the needs of youth, Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS).
A number of Heads of State and/or Government have been invited to deliver keynote addresses to launch this high-level policy debate on Wednesday, 6 November 2013. With a view to obtaining open, lively and fruitful exchanges, the discussions will be moderated by an internationally renowned media personality so as to foster interactivity among the participants.
The Leaders’ Forum is a high-visibility event within the General Conference. The contributions of Heads of State and/or Government and ministers to the reflection of UNESCO will be disseminated, during the Conference, by arranging dedicated live or taped television programmes with international radio, television and online stations and services and, later, by preparing a report synthesizing the main lines of the deliberations and conclusions, as summarized by the moderator.