The NGO-UNESCO Liaison Committee, in partnership with UNESCO, is organising the International Conference of NGOs 2020, held virtually from 16-18 December on the theme, “Envisioning a better and sustainable future: a new paradigm for civil society”.

This conference brings over 100 NGOs in official partnership with UNESCO together with UNESCO officials and experts to review collective work over the past two years and consider the primary lines of cooperation for 2021-2022.

This year will be especially significant, as NGOs will have the opportunity to share feedback and suggestions on the preliminary proposals for the UNESCO draft Medium-Term Strategy for 2022-2029 and the Programme and Budget for 2022-2025.

IFLA has been in cooperation with UNESCO since 1947, and we remain committed to aligning our work with the strategic objectives and global priorities of UNESCO’s Medium-Term Strategy. We look forward to exploring how we can help our members and volunteers engage with UNESCO through its many components, including with its field offices and Member States.

Leave No One Behind

If there is one overarching lesson to be learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is that societies around the world are grappling with both new and pre-existing inequalities.

During this conference, UNESCO has expressed their commitment to addressing both existing and new educational, scientific, cultural, social, and digital divides that COVID-19 has widened. They will work to “leave no one behind” – eradicating poverty, bridging divides, and reducing inequalities in their areas of competency.

We know that libraries leave no one behind. Library and information professionals can help address educational, scientific, cultural, social, and digital divides in our societies. IFLA is committed to aligning our work with UNESCO’s to help maximise our impact and bridge these divides.

You can learn more about the International Conference of NGOs and watch a live stream of proceedings on the official conference website.