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UNESCO General Conference: Education and development focus

The 34th session of the UNESCO General Conference, which every two years brings together the member states of UNESCO, opened on 16 October in Paris and featured two Ministerial Round Tables, one on education and one on science. At the round table on education, which was held 19-20 October, education ministers from more then 80 countries shared their views on how education influences economic development and alleviates poverty. Specific themes examined were the right to education and the right to development; the contribution of education to economic growth; education and sustainable development; partnerships for education and economic development. The Ministerial Round on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development (26-27 October) was organised for science ministers in response to the recommendations of the science and technology ministers of the G-77 (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, September 2006), and to those of the ministers of science and technology of the countries of southeast Europe (Ljubljana, Slovenia, also September 2006).

The General Conference is a convention of the organisation's 192 member states, with each state having one vote. At its bi-annual meetings, UNESCO general policies and programme lines are defined. The GC will continue until November 3, 2007.