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Leaders' Forum


The 37th session of the General Conference will feature a new edition of the Leaders’ Forum, on 6 November 2013. 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).

The Heads of State or Government who will be present at the Leaders’ Forum are the following: 

  • H.E. Ms Laura Chinchilla, President of the Republic of Costa Rica
  • H.E Mr Moncef Marzouki, President of the Republic of Tunisia
  • H.E. Mr Algirdas Butkevicius, Prime Minister of the Republic of Lithuania

There will also be special addresses during the Forum by:

  • H.E. Mr Mohammad Javad Zarif, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran
  • Ms Phumzile  Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women (video message)
  • Mr Abdulaziz Othman Altwaijri, Director-General of the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO)
  • Ms Marie Madeleine Mborantsuo, President of the Constitutional Court of Gabon

The sessions of the Leaders’ Forum will be moderated by H.E. Mr Shashi Tharoor, Minister of State for Human Resource Development of India and Mr Stephen Cole, Senior Presenter Al Jazeera English, Doha and London.

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.


FLOOR- mms://stream.unesco.org/live/room_1_floor.wmv

EN- mms://stream.unesco.org/live/room_1_en.wmv

FR- mms://stream.unesco.org/live/room_1_fr.wmv


Mr Hans d'Orville - Assistant Director-General for Strategic Planning

Ms Caroline Descombris - Coordinator

c.descombris(at)unesco.org; tel: +33145681624


 Information about the first session of the Leaders'Forum which took place during the 36th session of the General Conference in 2011.

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