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The General Conference of UNESCO Presentation to the Inter-regional Training Seminar for new Secretaries-General of National Commissions. 01 March 2007. The General Conference. UNESCO’s supreme policy making body Determines policies and main lines of work All Member States are members (192)

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The General Conference of UNESCOPresentation to the Inter-regional Training Seminar for new Secretaries-General of National Commissions

01 March 2007


The general conference
The General Conference

  • UNESCO’s supreme policy making body

  • Determines policies and main lines of work

  • All Member States are members (192)

  • Meets once every two years in ordinary session

  • Three weeks (used to be six)

  • Some 3,000 delegates, NGOs, IGOs, press…

  • $ 5 m budget

  • Celebration of diversity

D/SCG – Presentation Gen Conf


Diversity through national flags room i plenary hall
Diversity through national flags- Room I Plenary hall

D/SCG – Presentation Gen Conf


Structure
Structure

  • Plenary (all Member States)

  • Programme Commissions (all Member States)

  • Programme Support and External Relations Commission (all Member States) – often attended by NatComs

  • Administrative Commission (all Member States)

  • General Committee (President, Vice-Presidents, Chairpersons of Commissions and Committees)

  • Credentials Committee (9 members)

  • Legal Committee (24 members)

  • Nominations Committee (all Member States)

  • (Headquarters Committee)

D/SCG – Presentation Gen Conf


Main functions
Main functions

  • General policy debate

  • Consideration and adoption of UNESCO’s medium-term strategy (C/4) and programme and budget (C/5)

  • Consideration and adoption of draft resolutions (DRs)

  • Consideration and adoption of legal instruments

  • Various other items

  • Elections

D/SCG – Presentation Gen Conf


Draft resolutions
Draft resolutions

  • General provisions: Rule 79 of the Rules of Procedure; must relate to an agenda item

  • DRs related to the C/5 : Rules 80 and 81: must be submitted to the Director-General at last 45 days before the General Conference, and must relate to the proposed resolutions contained in 33C/5

  • DRs judged inadmissible may appeal to the Legal Committee

D/SCG – Presentation Gen Conf


Voting rights
Voting rights

  • Governed by Constitution Article IV, part C and Rule 83

  • Credentials must be in order (Rule 23)

  • If Member State is in arrears reasons given and/or payment plans can be approved by the Conference allowing voting

D/SCG – Presentation Gen Conf


Reform of governance
Reform of governance

  • Main functions of three organs laid down in the Constitution (articles III, IV, V and VI)

  • BUT reform efforts have been on UNESCO’s agenda since the first General Conference in 1946

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33 c res 92 on the three organs
33 C/Res. 92 on the “three organs”

  • Adopted after work of a working group established by previous session and chaired by its President

  • Lengthy and detailed provisions

  • Follow-up by President, Ex Bd and DG

  • Some provisions in course of implementation

  • Others require amendments to Rules of Procedure

  • Consolidated report to the 34th GC

D/SCG – Presentation Gen Conf


General policy debate
General policy debate

  • Heads of delegations speak

  • Usually 8 minutes

  • Visits of Heads of State/Gvt

  • Delegations usually Ministerial level

  • Main themes

  • Ex Bd Chairman introduces, DG responds

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Other items
Other items

  • General policy and programme questions (often around 20 items, many proposed by Member States)

  • required to reduce agenda

  • methods of work of the Organization

  • constitutional and legal questions

  • administrative and financial questions

D/SCG – Presentation Gen Conf


Elections
Elections

  • Executive Board

  • Governing bodies of intergovernmental programmes

  • Headquarters Committee

  • Legal Committee

  • [Director-General (November 2005-2009)]

  • [External auditor (2006-2011)]

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Information for delegates
Information for Delegates

  • Delegates’ Information Bureau

    • daily e-journal/“webzine”

    • Media updates

  • Guide

  • Compendium of “Basic texts” – CD-Rom

  • Website

  • Secretariat hot-line

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34th session
34th session

  • Dates:

  • Tuesday 16 October to Saturday 3 November 2007 (lunchtime)

    NB: 1 November normal working day

    Rugby World Cup : hotels full!

D/SCG – Presentation Gen Conf


Organizational constraints
Organizational constraints

  • 33 C/Res 92 :

    • more flexible

    • more interesting

    • more interactive

    • more lively sessions

    • more interdisciplinary

  • and….

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Organizational constraints 2
Organizational constraints /2

  • ……. less costly

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34th session1
34th session

  • Takes place in Paris

  • Draft agenda

    • issued first for Ex Bd (176 EX/34)

    • then circulated to Member States as 34 C/1 in July (90 days before opening)

    • Revised by Ex Bd in September

  • States may inscribe new items (until 100 days before)

  • Organization of the work

    • issued first for Ex Bd (176 EX/35)

    • then issued as 34 C/2

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34th session2
34th session

  • Will be opened by the President of the 33rd session (H.E. Amb. Musa Hasan, Oman) on 16 October 2007 am

  • Will elect its own President on 16 October 2005 pm

D/SCG – Presentation Gen Conf


Medium term strategy programme and budget
Medium term strategy, programme and budget

  • 34 C/4 (2008-2013)

  • 35 C/5 (2010-2011)

  • 34 C/5 (2008-2009)

  • 34 C/6 Comments by the ExBd on the C/5

  • 34C/11 Board comments on the C/4

  • 34 C/8 DRs on 34 C/5

D/SCG – Presentation Gen Conf


Medium strategy and programme and budget
Medium-strategy and programme and budget

  • Innovation:

  • Interdisciplinary meeting (Commission level) for 1 ½ days in Week One to discuss:

    • 34 C/4 (before drafting group);

    • 34 C/5 (intersectoral/interdisciplinary programme matters and DRs)

    • 35 C/5

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Agenda
Agenda

  • Annotated

  • Grouping of items

  • “Without debate/take note”

  • Draft resolutions recommended by Board transmitted to General Conference without corresponding document

D/SCG – Presentation Gen Conf


Documents
Documents

  • Enhanced use of INF and REP

  • More electronic distribution

  • Reduction of hard copies

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Ministerial round tables
Ministerial Round Tables

  • Two ( as 33 C)  :

  • - Education and economic development – preceding ED Commission

  • (19 – 20 October)

  • - S&T for development – following SC Commission (26 – 27 October)

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Exhibition
Exhibition

  • single theme

  • « Planet Earth »

  • opener for 2008 International Year of Planet Earth

D/SCG – Presentation Gen Conf


Youth forum
Youth Forum

  • Two-day Youth Forum to precede opening (Friday 12 and Saturday 13 October)

  • Integral part of General Conference

  • Lead: SHS

  • Specific theme (to be announced)

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Other activities
Other activities

  • Civil society Forum – 25 October

  • Participatory interactive sessions in context of Exhibition

  • Programme Commission activities

D/SCG – Presentation Gen Conf


Role of national commissions
Role of National Commissions

  • Advise Government on policy positions

  • Assist in composing delegations (specialists from different fields of competence; youth; parliamentarians, etc; if possible)

  • Alert Government on voting rights, credentials (payment arrears) well in advance

  • Propose requests for agenda items/DRs if any

  • Visibility at home on main issues and discussions

D/SCG – Presentation Gen Conf


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