Mme France Marquet, SAF Representative to UNESCO, attended 42th UNESCO General Conference

UNESCO Headquaters, Paris - 12th November 2023

Madam France Marquet, Principal Trustee, Madanjeet Singh Foundation and South Asia Foundation Representative to UNESCO, attended 42nd Session of the General Conference begun from 7 to 22 November 2023.

The high-level segment of UNESCO's General Conference tooe place on Thursday, November 9, 2023 from 3pm to 6pm in Room I.

The high-level segment focused on how the commons should be thought of and protected in the context of the major disruptions the world is currently experiencing, with a particular emphasis on climate disruption and digital transformation.

  • 3pm-4pm: An inaugural lecture by Dipesh Chakrabarty on global public goods and how they need to be rethought in the face of the major disruptions the world is facing.
  •  4pm-6pm: A high-level session on partnerships bringing together heads of state/government, CEOs, heads of multilateral organizations, civil society leaders and other eminent people to show how UNESCO is leveraging partnerships to address climate disruption and digital transformation in a way that benefits people and the planet.

Mme France Marquet, Principal Trustee, MSF attended the General Conference


  • 15:00-15:05 – Welcome and Opening
  • Master of Ceremony : Ms Samira Ibrahim, Journalist at France Médias Monde   
  • 15:05-15:45 – Opening lecture   
  • Mr Dipesh Chakrabarty, Indian historian and author, University of Chicago   
  • 15:45-15:50 Artistic interlude: Yarima Blanco (Cuba), Transcultura Programme   
  • 15:50-16:00 – Address by Ms Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO

 “4:00pm PARTNERSHIPS SESSION Multistakeholder partnerships in support of the climate and biodiversity”

Programme and panelists

  • Moderated by Ms Annette Young, senior journalist at France 24, host and creator, “The 51 percent”   
  • Testimony of a young activist: Mr Antonio Diaz Aranda, Youth Climate Ambassador of Mexico for COP28, COP 27 and SB58, UNESCO Climate Action Steering Committee member   
  • Panel discussion with   
  • H.E. Mr Alain Berset, President of the Swiss Confederation   
  • H.E. Ms Noura Al-Kaabi, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of the United Arab Emirates   
  • Ms Jutta Urpilainen, Commissioner for International Partnerships, European Commission   
  • H.E. Mr Mamman Nuhu, Ambassador, Executive Secretary, Lake Chad Basin Commission   
  • Mr Lorenzo Bertelli, Prada Group   
  • H.R.H. Princess Abze Djigma, Chair of the H.R.H. Princess Abze Djigma Foundation, Traditional Leader and Leader of the MAMA-LIGHT Initiative   
  • Special Announcement: Presentation of the Futurekeepers campaign

“5:00pm PARTNERSHIP PANEL DISCUSSION Multistakeholder partnerships to address digital transformation”

Programme and panelists

  • Moderated by Ms Annette Young, senior journalist at France 24, host and creator, “The 51 percent”   
  • Testimony of a young activist: Ms Luísa Franco Machado, Digital Development Expert, UN Young Leader for the SDGs (Brazil)   
  • Panel discussion with   
  • H.E. Mr Edi Rama, Prime Minister of Albania   
  • Mr Antonio Zappulla, CEO, Thomson Reuters Foundation   
  • Mr Vilas Dhar, President and Trustee of the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation   
  • Ms Awa Bousso Dramé, Researcher and L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Young Talent, Founder/CEO of CoastGIS Research Institute   
  • Ms Mira Milosevic, Executive Director, Global Forum for Media Development (GFMD)   
  • Spotlight intervention: “AI for the Planet” initiative, presented by Mr Patrick Dupoux, Managing Director, Boston Consulting Group   
  • 18:00 – Conclusion of the Partnerships Session   
  • Artistic performance by Yarima Blanco y Son Latino   
  • 18:30 – Special Session: PROTECT BIODIVERSITY AND RECONCILING WITH THE LIVING: the example of the Amazon project   

“Protecting biodiversity, reconciling all forms of life”

The high-level segment continued with a special session presenting UNESCO's partnership with member states (Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru) and a major private sector partner (LVMH) for the protection of biodiversity in the Amazon. This session shared the results of the program and presented a concrete example of how key players and partners can join forces to regenerate ecosystems.

Source: UNESCO