UNESCO holds its first Partners’ Forum


Come together to change the world.

UNESCO opened its doors for a unique opportunity for private sector, governmental and non-governmental partners to see what real change looks like and what could be in store for the future with their support. Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals will not come cheap, probably costing more than $1 trillion dollars. The Partners Forum, from 11 to 12 September at our headquarters in Paris, aimed to identify the challenges and showcase the solutions UNESCO is undertaking.

From across the spectrum of donors and partners, including governments, business and civil society, high-level figures shared their vision of UNESCO, its assets and the benefits of their partnerships with the organization during the plenary on the first day. They included:

Mr. Jean-Paul AGON, Chairman and CEO of L'Oréal,

Mr Jean-Louis CHAUSSADE, Director General of SUEZ,

Ms Cecilia SHARP, Deputy Director General, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and

Mr Mahmoud MOHIELDIN, First Vice-President of the World Bank's Development Programme to 2030, and many other personalities.

This event allowed existing and potential partners to learn more about concrete opportunities to support and work with UNESCO and see how UNESCO is making a difference in the world.

During these 2 days, there were 11 Thematic Forums, around the objectives of sustainable development with testimonies of current partners and examples of financing.

Dating for progress

Time is money. One feature of the two-day event was “Speed Dating to achieve the #Global Goals.” Teams at headquarters and from our field offices presented their various programs and projects in need of support in a capsule form. These included:

Education for Girls and Women programs,

Creative Economy,

Safeguarding endangered cultural heritage,

Programs for young people, and

Supporting communication campaigns, among others.

In the Miro room, which features Joan Miro’s murals, the Wall of the Sun and the Wall of the Moon, an exhibition highlighted achievements realized with partners, including recorded stories from people from around the world who see a brighter future because of UNESCO’s work in their communities.