On May 3 and 4, 2017, was held the seventh UNESCO NGO Forum. UNESCO’s partnership with non-governmental organizations representing civil society is a very valuable network of people-to-people cooperation in the areas of UNESCO’s competence for development, equality, international understanding and peace. The event, which took place in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, was dedicated to youth and their social impact, bringing together the record number of 2000 participants from 70 countries.
The forum was opened with a video message by Mrs. Irina Bokova, General Director of UNESCO, followed by greetings from the H.E. Dr. Ali Nasser Alghafis, Minister of Labor and Social Development of Saudi Arabia, Mr. Eric Falt, Assistant Director-General of UNESCO and Mr. Philippe Beaussant, Chairperson of the UNESCO-NGO Liaison Committee.
Among the speakers at the forum were prominent individuals like Mr. Jacques Attali, French economist, financier and philosopher, Mr. Jimmy Wales, Founder of Wikipedia, Mr. Justin Smith, CEO of Bloomberg Media Group, Mr. John Defterios, CNN journalist, Mr. Carl Lewis, athlete with nine gold and one silver medals from Olympics, Mr. Bader AlAsaker, MiSK Foundation Secretary General and others.
Mr. Lyubomir Duranchev, International Projects Expert represented Sozopol Foundation at the prestigious international forum.
Mr. Lyubomir Durankev participated actively in the panel discussions, introducing a number of participants with the contribution of the Sozopol Foundation to the inclusion of youth in the international cooperation for preservation and promotion of natural and cultural heritage.
Mr. Duranchev held talks with Mr. Philippe Beaussant, Chairperson of the UNESCO-NGO Liaison Committee, Mrs. Martine Levy, former Chairperson of the UNESCO-NGO Liaison Committee in 2015-2016, Mr. Diego Gradis, member of the Committee in 2013-2016, and with the current Committee members Mr. Shen Che, Mr. Richard Apeh and Ms. Victoria Lovelock. Future opportunities for cooperation between non-governmental organizations for the development and implementation of projects with a focus on youth and sustainable development were discussed.
A memorandum of cooperation between Sozopol Foundation and China Folklore Photographic Association (CFPA), a member of the UNESCO-NGO Liaison Committee, was signed during the forum.