24-25 January 2024
UNESCO is delighted to extend an invitation for participation in the 15th International Forum of NGOs, held in collaboration with UNESCO, themed "Transforming Mentalities." The event is scheduled to take place at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris on January 24 and 25, 2024, accommodating both in-person and online attendance.
This forum endeavors to collect exemplary practices addressing persistent discriminations and inequalities within societies, fostering tangible recommendations for action across various levels. Aligned with UNESCO's Transforming MEN’talities initiative, dedicated to combatting harmful gender stereotypes and promoting positive social norms, the forum also draws inspiration from UNESCO's Roadmap against Racism and Discrimination, including its annual Global Forum.
Organized by the NGO-UNESCO Liaison Committee in partnership with UNESCO and following UNESCO's directives regarding NGO partnerships, this event primarily targets NGOs officially partnered with the organization. However, it warmly welcomes other NGOs, institutions, and representatives of Member States, with a special emphasis on encouraging the active involvement of youth representatives.
If your organization is in a position to participate, we kindly request you to register your representatives at indico.un.org/event/1009103/ by January 22, 2024. Upon registration, you will receive an automatic acknowledgment and further communications to the specified email address. Please be aware that, as customary, the organization must cover the travel and living expenses of its representatives.
Your presence in Paris and active engagement in this Forum are highly anticipated. We also encourage you to share this invitation with other organizations and partners who may find interest in joining this event.
Nick Newland - President of the NGO-UNESCO Liaison Committee
Gabriela Ramos - Assistant Director-General, Social and Human Sciences Sector, UNESCO
|15th International Forum of NGOs in Official Partnership with UNESCO
Day 1: Wednesday 24 January 2024 (All times are CET)
Entrance: 7, place de Fontenoy 75007 Paris
With Nick Newland, President of the International Conference of NGOs and of the NGO- UNESCO Liaison Committee, and Gabriela Ramos, Assistant Director-General for Social and Human Sciences, UNESCO
Session 1: Overview from UNESCO
UNESCO’s Secretariat will outline current perspectives on the global situation regarding the theme. This will include introducing key initiatives and programmes from UNESCO and the Social and Human Sciences sector.
by the Sectionfor Inclusions,Rights,andInterculturalDialogue
Session 2: Approaches to Change
Presenters from Argentina, Canada, France, Kenya, Netherlands and New Zealand will showcase the work of their organisations, with a focus on gender, sport, disability, early-years education and human rights. Followed by a Q&A session.
André de Jeu – Director, Association of Sports and Municipalities
Linda Kroeger – Co-Director for Policy and Communications, Womankind Worldwide Phylomène Zangio – Chair, New Brunswick Human Rights Commission, Canada Mercedes Mayol Lassalle – President, World Organization for Early Childhood Education Clotilde Granado – Representative, ATD Quart Monde
Moderated by Gilles Pétreault – World Organization for Early Childhood Education (OMEP)
Session 3: Building Change
This panel will focus on action-based programmes and initiatives with a particular emphasis on parenting, inclusion, and social innovation. Speakers from Belgium, Canada, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and Venezuela. Followed by a Q&A session.
Anne-Claire de Liedekerke – President, Make Mothers Matter
Owen Thomas – Managing Director, Future Men
Tracy Riddler – Senior First Nations Engagement Consultant, Canada
Kehkashan Basu M.S.M – Founder, Green Hope Foundation
Rosa Lopez de D’Amico – President, International Society for Comparative Physical Education & Sport
Moderated by Julien Pellaux – Director of the Division for Partnerships, Bureau of Strategic Planning, UNESCO
Session 4: Domestic and International Approaches – Member State Panel
Having established the challenges and identified NGO-led actions, representatives of Member States will address their work on transforming mentalities. Followed by a Q&A session.
Session 5: Practical Approaches to Internal Change
The Institute of Cultural Affairs International will introduce a prctical session on developing internal change to address conflict and build positive futures. Followed by a Q&A session.Catalina Quiroz, Cecilia O’Dwyer and David Bishop - Institute of Cultural Affairs International
|Closing of Day 1
Day 2: Thursday 25 January 2024
Session 6: Youth Panel – Building a More Positive Future
Youth Panel with representatives from the NGO-UNESCO Liaison Committee’s Youth Working Group. Followed by a Q&A session.
UahSandjeVivianePriscaKoffi– Regional Coordinator, International Young Catholic Students Eugenie Yang – Manager, Global Capacity Building, National Board for Certified Counselors Hani Nurlina – Youth Action Officer, Coordinating Committee for International Voluntary Service Rishika Mahanta - Young Olympic Ambassador
Moderated by Garance Sarlat – Social and Human Sciences Sector, UNESCO
Session 7: Approaches to Women’s Empowerment
Leaders of four major NGOs focused on the empowerment of women will discuss their efforts in a global context. Speakers from Associated Country Women of the World, BPW International, Soroptimist International and Zonta International. Followed by a Q&A session.
Magdie de Kock – World President, Associated Country Women of the World
Catherine Bosshart – International President, BPW International Maureen Maguire – Immediate Past President, Soroptimist International Ute Scholtz – President, Zonta International
Moderated by Caroline de Senneville – Director of Projects, Make Mothers Matter
Session 8a: Innovation for Change
Leaders and innovators to present their approaches to change, with a particular focus on disability and inclusion. Followed by a Q&A session.
Neil Kelso – Multi-disciplinary artist
Jospehine Goube – Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Sistech
Catherine Carty – UNESCO Chair, Munster Technological University
Goran Zelic – Puppetry Collaboratorium Initiator, Union Internationale de la Marionnette
Ramneek Ahluwalia - CEO, Higher Health
Moderated by Janani Ramanathan – Secretary General of the World Academy of Art & Science
Session 8b: Participatory workshop on designing local change
Following the introduction on Day 1, the Institute of Cultural Affairs International will facilitate a small break-out session (in French only) for those who would like to participate in a practical training session. Please note there are limited places, and this parallel session will run from 12.05 to 13.30.
Catalina Quiroz, Cecilia O’Dwyer and David Bishop - Institute of Cultural Affairs International
Session 9: Reflection on Transformative Action
Professor Keith Magee, Senior Fellow in Culture and Justice at University College London and Chair of the Guardian Foundation, will give a personal reflection on meaningful change and transformative action.
Session 10: Mobilising NGOs
Participants will reflect on key points of action and mobilisation. NGOs are invited to take the floor throughout this session to share comments and highlight further recommendations.
Led by the moderators of each session across the Forum, coordinated by Claire Boursier
from the NGO-UNESCO Liaison Committee.
Nick Newland – President of the International Conference of NGOs and of the NGO-UNESCO Liaison Committee
Angela Melo – Director of the Division for Research, Ethics and Inclusion, Social and Human Sciences Sector, UNESCO
Julien Pellaux – Director of the Division for Partnerships, Bureau of Strategic Planning, UNESCO
Thanks and Acknowledgements
We would like to thank all those involved in the preparation of this International Forum, and acknowledge the particular efforts of the Forum Steering Committee:
Janani Ramanathan (World Academy of Art & Science), Gilles Pétreault (OMEP),
Caroline de Senneville (Make Mothers Matter) and Claire Boursier (NGO-UNESCO Liaison Committee).