Follow us on: 

Member States reaffirm importance of UNESCO at 70th anniversary session of General Conference

Print Email


unesco mouParis, 19 November 2015 — The 38th session of the UNESCO General Conference closed on 18 November, reaffirming the Organization's role in the fight against violent extremism and in taking forward the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The General Conference is the governing body of the Organization.

These priorities were highlighted by the unprecedented number of Heads of State and Government at UNESCO for the session. Marking UNESCO's 70th anniversary, the Leaders' Forum (16-17 November) saw a resounding reaffirmation of solidarity with France after the terrorist attacks on 13 November and the importance of UNESCO's mandate.

In closing the session, General Conference President Stanley Mutumba Simataa declared: "Despite the extremely difficult context of our host country, our deliberations concluded with the participation of the highest level of representation of Member States. I believe that this is a strong signal that, together, we refuse to give in to the pressures, threats and destabilization attempts of extremism."

In her closing address, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova thanked Member States for their commitment to the Organization, saying this "is especially meaningful after the devastating terrorist attacks that Paris suffered on 13 November. This criminal act of violence affects us all. It attacks that which we hold most dear: freedom, human rights, the dignity of every woman and man, our sense of belonging to a single humanity."

unesco mou_70

French President François Hollande chose UNESCO as the venue for his first address to the international community after 13 November: "What better place to affirm the need to hold fast than here, at UNESCO, an institution which was born of the will to unite the whole of humanity through education and culture and which found a welcoming home in Paris."

In this regard, the General Conference adopted a Strategy for Reinforcing UNESCO's Action for the Protection of Culture and the Promotion of Cultural Pluralism in the Event of Armed Conflict, to integrate protecting cultural heritage and diversity into humanitarian interventions in conflict and emergency situations.

An important debate on education to counter violent extremism took place in the framework of the General Conference, organized by UNESCO and the United States, following the recent resolution on education as a tool to prevent violent extremism. Throughout the session, Member States emphasized the role of schools in countering extremism and promoting values of freedom, tolerance and non-discrimination.

The core role of education in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is the focus of the Education 2030 Framework for Action, endorsed during the General Conference by more than 180 States.

In addition, the UNESCO-Japan Prize on Education for Sustainable Development was awarded for the first time during this session.

Access to knowledge and information was reinforced by the General Conference in a Resolution on Internet Universality. The General Conference also issued a Recommendation on the Preservation and Access to Documentary Heritage, including Digital Heritage, and proclaimed 28 September as the International Day for the Universal Access to Information.

Ahead of the International Conference on Climate Change (COP21), the General Conference tasked the Organization to prepare a Declaration on Ethical Principles for Climate Change: Adaptation and Mitigation.

Launched on World Science Day, during the General Conference, the UNESCO Science Report: towards 2030 shows that all countries now see research and innovation as key to fostering sustainable economic growth and furthering their development.

Concern for sustainable development also inspired Member States to create the UNESCO Global Geoparks label, underlining the importance of outstanding geological sites and landscapes.

Ethical principles guided Member States to revise the 1978 International Charter for Physical Education, Physical Activity and Sport, to reinforce the protection of sport from doping, violence, manipulation and corruption.

Strengthening the Organization's universality, the General Conference welcomed Montserrat as UNESCO's 10th Associate Member.


Viet Nam was elected as member of the UNESCO's Executive Board, reaffirming the country's commitment to and active support of the Organization. Viet Nam is also currently a member of the World Heritage Committee. During the Conference, the creation of two UNESCO Category-2 Institutes in Physics and Mathematics under the Viet Nam Academy of Science and Technology was approved. The Vietnamese delegation actively encouraged all Member States to strengthen the potential of UNESCO sites for promoting and exploring opportunities for low carbon development.

Viet Nam will hold a high-level celebration for the 70th anniversary of the creation of UNESCO at the Thang-Long Citadel, on 23 November 2015.




1 December 2017

Michel Sidibé
Executive Director of UNAIDS
Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations

This World AIDS Day, we are highlighting the importance of the right to health and the challenges that people living with and affected by HIV face in fulfilling that right.


Community spaces design contest for an exciting hanoi

Ha Noi, October 17/10/2017 - Aiming at improving the living environment and bringing culture and art to the community towards a better urban future, United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) successfully developed the project “Promote participatory, community-based and youth-led approach in safe, greening public spaces in Hoan Kiem district toward a pro-poor, inclusive and sustainable urban development” (hereinafter called Public Spaces project) under the Block by Block program with Mojang, the makers of the videogame Minecraft.


Deadline for round 1: From 17/10/2017 to 04/11/2017 Extended to 9 November 2017


Harsh punishment for child offenders doesn’t prevent further criminality

The age at which a child, can be held criminally liable is a controversial issue around the world. Within Viet Nam, this issue is currently being grappled with in the Penal Code amendments. Some argue that a "get tough on crime" approach is necessary to punish children to prevent further criminality.

However, international research shows that because of their developmental stages, labelling and treating children as criminals at an early age can have serious negative impacts on their development and successful rehabilitation.


New Year Greetings from the United Nations Resident Coordinator a.i. in Viet Nam


On the occasion of New Year 2017, on behalf of the United Nations family in Viet Nam I wish to reiterate our appreciation and express our warmest wishes to our partners and friends throughout the country. We wish our partners and their families in Viet Nam peace, prosperity, good health and happiness in the coming year.

As we enter the second year of the Sustainable Development Goals era, we look forward to continuing our close cooperation for the sake of Viet Nam’s future development; one which is inclusive, equitable and sustainable, with no one left behind.

Youssouf Abdel-Jelil
United Nations Resident Coordinator a.i. in Viet Nam


UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message for World AIDS Day, observed on 1 December


Thirty-five years since the emergence of AIDS, the international community can look back with some pride.  But we must also look ahead with resolve and commitment to reach our goal of ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030.

There has been real progress in tackling the disease. More people than ever are on treatment.  Since 2010, the number of children infected through mother to child transmission has dropped by half. Fewer people die of AIDS related causes each year.  And people living with HIV are living longer lives.

The number of people with access to life-saving medicines has doubled over the past five years, now topping 18 million. With the right investments, the world can get on the fast-track to achieve our target of 30 million people on treatment by 2030.  Access to HIV medicines to prevent mother to child transmission is now available to more than 75 per cent of those in need.

RSS Email Subscription

Enter your email address: