Building peace in the minds of men and women

39th Session of the General Conference

General Policy Debate: Leaders’ Forum and national statements




  • The Director-General and the Executive Board propose preserving a two-fold structure: Leaders’ Forum and National Statements. The morning of Tuesday, 31 October will begin with the opening of the General Policy Debate in the form of the Leaders’ Forum, with the participation of invited Heads of State and/or Government. The Forum will continue on the afternoon of 31 October and the morning of Wednesday 1 November. There will then ensue, from Wednesday 1 November, afternoon, until Monday, 6 November morning, the National Statements of the General Policy Debate, followed by the Director-General’s reply to the debate in the morning of Monday, 6 November. The proposed themes for the Forum and suggestions for its organization, taking into account the experience of the previous editions, are contained in Annex III hereto.

  • For the consecutive national statements strand of the General Policy Debate, the procedure followed since 2003 (165 EX/Decision 7.1) for drawing up the list of speakers will also be followed at the 39th session. Immediately after the 201st session of the Board, Member States are invited to submit to the Secretariat, within a time limit of one month, several dates for the statement by their head of delegation in the general policy debate, indicating their preferences and specifying name and title of same. On that basis, a provisional list of speakers will be drawn up, taking the wishes expressed and the speakers’ protocol rank into account. Speaking time will be six minutes, and a visual and sound system will gauge speaking time; the President of the General Conference will be empowered to interrupt any speaker exceeding the time limit.

  • Delegations shall be asked to provide the official statements (short or extended versions, according to their wish) in advance to the Secretariat of the General Conference. Each Member State is requested to submit an electronic copy of the head of delegation’s statement, if possible in English and French (working languages of the Secretariat) as well as in the original language if this was one of the four other working languages of the General Conference. These texts will be posted every day online on the General Conference’s website. Costs related to any necessary translation of this text would be borne by the concerned Member State, as is the case in the United Nations General Assembly.

  • The discussions of the Leaders’ Forum and the National Statements will be part of the official Proceedings of the Conference. The Director-General will therefore take the debates into account – together with the national statements – in her reply to the General Policy Debate.