The 40th session of the UNESCO General Conference opened in Paris

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The 40th session of the UNESCO General Conference opened in Paris on November 12. The Russian delegation is led by Minister of Science and Higher Education Mikhail Kotyukov. He will speak during the general political discussion and take part in a high-level meeting on inclusion and mobility in higher education.

The Global Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education and the Recommendation on Open Educational Resources will be adopted during the General Conference. The member states will analyse the viability of developing regulations governing the ethical aspects of artificial intelligence and the “open science” project. There will be discussions on the UNESCO Strategy for Youth and Adult Literacy (2020-2025) and the Framework for Education for Sustainable Development beyond 2019.

Those in the session will approve the member states’ proposals on commemorative dates in 2020-2021 and review initiatives to establish a number of World and International Days. Decisions are expected on declaring an annual Global Media and Information Literacy Week and declaring 2022 the International Year of Basic Sciences for Development.

The General Conference’s agenda includes increasing the effectiveness of the 1970 Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property, the UNESCO Director-General’s report on performance following the World Summit on Information Society, and the Strategic Outcome Document of the International Year of Indigenous Languages (2019).

General Conference participants will approve the draft programme and draft budget for UNESCO for 2020-2021 and review the organisation’s mid-term strategy for 2022-2029 and a number of administrative, financial, personnel, statutory and legal issues.

The elections to be held during the session will be used to elect new UNESCO governing bodies and intergovernmental and international programmes. Russia is a candidate for re-election to the UNESCO Executive Board, the International Co-ordinating Council of the Man and the Biosphere Programme, the Intergovernmental Council of the International Hydrological Programme, the Intergovernmental Council for the Management of Social Transformations (MOST) Programme and the Intergovernmental Bioethics Committee, as well as election to the Board of Governors of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics.

A forum for the ministers of culture will be held on the sidelines of the session.

The 40th session of the UNESCO General Conference runs through November 27.