United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
UNESCO General Conference to hold its 32nd session from September 29 to October 17

Paris, September 4 – UNESCO’s General Conference, the Organization’s supreme governing body which meets every two years, will hold its 32nd session from September 29 to October 17 at Headquarters in Paris. One of the high points of the event, on October 1, will be the return, after 19 years, of the United States of America to UNESCO as its 190th Member State.

More than 3,000 participants are expected to attend the General Conference, among them a large number of ministers and five heads of state: Carlo Azeglio Ciampi of Italy and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo of the Philippines on September 29, the President of Kyrgyzstan, Askar Akaev, on October 6, and the presidents of France and Peru - Jacques Chirac and Alejandro Toledo - on October 14.

The main item on the agenda of the General Conference will be the examination and adoption of UNESCO’s draft Programme and Budget for 2004-2005, and the preparation of the same for 2006-2007. Other major items on the agenda include:

  • A preliminary draft international convention for the safeguarding of the intangible cultural heritage;
  • a draft Declaration concerning the intentional destruction of cultural heritage;
  • a draft international Declaration on human genetic data;
  • a draft Recommendation on the promotion and use of multilingualism and universal access to cyberspace;
  • a draft Charter on the preservation of the digital heritage.

    The General Conference will also debate the desirability of drawing up an international standard-setting instrument on cultural diversity and study a proposal for UNESCO to prepare an international anti-doping convention in sport.

    During the General Conference, a roundtable of education ministers will be organized on the theme of “The Quality of Education” (Oct. 3-4) and another (Oct. 9-10), for communication and information ministers, “Towards Knowledge Societies”, held as part of the preparation of the World Summit on the Information Society which will take place in Geneva in December.

    The documents of the General Conference are available at:

    Security and identity controls will be strict.
    Badges with photographs will be issued to accredited journalists.
    Journalists are requested to contact the Press Service before September 20 for accreditation: Isabelle Le Fournis, tel. 01 45 68 17 48 - fax: 01 45 68 56 52
    email : i.le-fournis@unesco.org

    Click here to obtain the accreditation form

    File/document GCaccreditationE.pdf
    Source Media advisory No 2003 - 71
    Generic Field
    Editorial Contact: Isabelle Le Fournis, tel. 01 45 68 17 48 - fax: 01 45 68 56 52
    - Email i.le-fournis@unesco.org
    Publication Date 04 Sep 2003
    © UNESCO 1995-2007 - ID: 14366