First Lady of Azerbaijan, President of Heydar Aliyev Foundation, UNESCO and ISESCO Goodwill Ambassador Mehriban Aliyeva participated in the 36th meeting of UNESCO's General Conference in Paris, AzerTAj state news agency reported.
Mrs. Aliyeva was welcomed by UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova.
Delegations from 193 member states, heads of state and government, as well as observers for non-member states, intergovernmental organizations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are attending the session.
President of the 36th session Katalina Bogyay of Hungary opened the event and spoke of issues on the agenda. She noted the General Conference will decide on UNESCO's proposed program and budget for the 2012-2013 biennium. The agenda also features discussions on sustainable development, culture of peace and non-violence, with a special emphasis on gender equality, Africa, youth, Education for All (EFA).
Speaking in the session, Chairperson of the UNESCO Executive Board Eleonora Mitrofanova drew the participants' attention to poverty reduction, illiteracy problems. She updated the attendees on UNESCO`s activities towards gender equality provisions.
UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova, in her opening address to the Conference, stressed the need to reinforce cooperation in the face of the challenges confronting the world today. She pointed out that the stakes of peace and sustainable development today, lie precisely in education, the sciences, culture, and knowledge sharing. All of this call for more and better UNESCO.
Leaders` Forum on the theme "How does UNESCO contribute to building a culture of peace and to sustainable development?" is also held as part of the session. Attending the event President of Hungary Pal Schmitt, President of the Republic of Gabon
Ali Bongo Ondimba, President of the Republic of Cote d'Ivoire Alassane Ouattara, Prime Minister of Grenada Tillman Thomas and Pascal Irene Koupaki of Benin underlined the importance of the Forum.
First Lady of Azerbaijan addressed the Leaders' Forum.
The General Conference will begin work on the Organization's next Medium-Term Strategy for 2014-2019. It will see discussions on Palestine, as well.
Another highlight of the session will be a special plenary meeting on 2 November devoted to the celebration of the 10th anniversary of the adoption of UNESCO's Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity.