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United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural OrganisationUNESCO_table_caption_0
AbbreviationUNESCO_header_cell_0_0_0 UNESCOUNESCO_cell_0_0_1
FormationUNESCO_header_cell_0_1_0 16 November 1945; 75 years ago (1945-11-16)UNESCO_cell_0_1_1
TypeUNESCO_header_cell_0_2_0 United Nations specialised agencyUNESCO_cell_0_2_1
Legal statusUNESCO_header_cell_0_3_0 ActiveUNESCO_cell_0_3_1
HeadquartersUNESCO_header_cell_0_4_0 Paris, FranceUNESCO_cell_0_4_1
HeadUNESCO_header_cell_0_5_0 Director-General

Audrey AzoulayUNESCO_cell_0_5_1

Parent organizationUNESCO_header_cell_0_6_0 United Nations Economic and Social CouncilUNESCO_cell_0_6_1
WebsiteUNESCO_header_cell_0_7_0 UNESCO_cell_0_7_1

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO; French: Organisation des Nations unies pour l'éducation, la science et la culture) is a specialised agency of the United Nations (UN) aimed at promoting world peace and security through international cooperation in education, the sciences, and culture. UNESCO_sentence_0

It has 193 member states and 11 associate members, as well as partners in the nongovernmental, intergovernmental, and private sector. UNESCO_sentence_1

Headquartered in Paris, France, UNESCO has 53 regional field offices and 199 national commissions that facilitate its global mandate. UNESCO_sentence_2

UNESCO was founded in 1945 as the successor to the League of Nations' International Committee on Intellectual Cooperation. UNESCO_sentence_3

Its constitution establishes the agency's goals, governing structure, and operating framework. UNESCO_sentence_4

UNESCO's founding mission, which was shaped by the Second World War, is to advance peace, sustainable development and human rights by facilitating collaboration and dialogue among nations. UNESCO_sentence_5

It pursues this objective through five major program areas: education, natural sciences, social/human sciences, culture and communication/information. UNESCO_sentence_6

UNESCO sponsors projects that improve literacy, provide technical training and education, advance science, protect independent media and press freedom, preserve regional and cultural history, and promote cultural diversity. UNESCO_sentence_7

As a focal point for world culture and science, UNESCO's activities have broadened over the years to include assisting in the translating and disseminating of world literature, establishing international cooperation agreements to secure World Heritage Sites of cultural and natural importance, defending human rights, bridging the worldwide digital divide, and creating inclusive knowledge societies through information and communication. UNESCO_sentence_8

UNESCO has launched several initiatives and global movements, such as Education For All, to further advance its core objectives. UNESCO_sentence_9

UNESCO is governed by the General Conference, composed of member states and associate members, which meets biannually to set the agency's programmes and the budget. UNESCO_sentence_10

It also elects members of the Executive Board, which manages UNESCO's work, and appoints every four years Director-General, who serves as UNESCO's chief administrator. UNESCO_sentence_11

UNESCO is a member of the United Nations Development Group, a coalition of UN agencies and organisations aimed at fulfilling the Sustainable Development Goals. UNESCO_sentence_12

History UNESCO_section_0

Origins UNESCO_section_1

UNESCO and its mandate for international cooperation can be traced back to a League of Nations resolution on 21 September 1921, to elect a Commission to study feasibility. UNESCO_sentence_13

This new body, the International Committee on Intellectual Cooperation (ICIC) was created in 1922 and counted such figures as Henri Bergson, Albert Einstein, Marie Curie, Robert A. Millikan, and Gonzague de Reynold among its members (being thus a small commission of the League of Nations essentially centered on Western Europe). UNESCO_sentence_14

The International Institute for Intellectual Cooperation (IIIC) was then created in Paris on 9 August 1925, to act as the executing agency for the ICIC. UNESCO_sentence_15

However, the onset of World War II largely interrupted the work of these predecessor organizations. UNESCO_sentence_16

As for private initiatives, the International Bureau of Education (IBE) began to work as a non-governmental organization in the service of international educational development since December 1925 and joined UNESCO in 1969, after having established a joint commission in 1952. UNESCO_sentence_17

Creation UNESCO_section_2

After the signing of the Atlantic Charter and the Declaration of the United Nations, the Conference of Allied Ministers of Education (CAME) began meetings in London which continued from 16 November 1942 to 5 December 1945. UNESCO_sentence_18

On 30 October 1943, the necessity for an international organization was expressed in the Moscow Declaration, agreed upon by China, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the USSR. UNESCO_sentence_19

This was followed by the Dumbarton Oaks Conference proposals of 9 October 1944. UNESCO_sentence_20

Upon the proposal of CAME and in accordance with the recommendations of the United Nations Conference on International Organization (UNCIO), held in San Francisco in April–June 1945, a United Nations Conference for the establishment of an educational and cultural organization (ECO/CONF) was convened in London 1–16 November 1945 with 44 governments represented. UNESCO_sentence_21

The idea of UNESCO was largely developed by Rab Butler, the Minister of Education for the United Kingdom, who had a great deal of influence in its development. UNESCO_sentence_22

At the ECO/CONF, the Constitution of UNESCO was introduced and signed by 37 countries, and a Preparatory Commission was established. UNESCO_sentence_23

The Preparatory Commission operated between 16 November 1945, and 4 November 1946—the date when UNESCO's Constitution came into force with the deposit of the twentieth ratification by a member state. UNESCO_sentence_24

The first General Conference took place from 19 November to 10 December 1946, and elected Dr. Julian Huxley to Director-General. UNESCO_sentence_25

The Constitution was amended in November 1954 when the General Conference resolved that members of the Executive Board would be representatives of the governments of the States of which they are nationals and would not, as before, act in their personal capacity. UNESCO_sentence_26

This change in governance distinguished UNESCO from its predecessor, the ICIC, in how member states would work together in the organization's fields of competence. UNESCO_sentence_27

As member states worked together over time to realize UNESCO's mandate, political and historical factors have shaped the organization's operations in particular during the Cold War, the decolonization process, and the dissolution of the USSR. UNESCO_sentence_28

Development UNESCO_section_3

Among the major achievements of the organization is its work against racism, for example through influential statements on race starting with a declaration of anthropologists (among them was Claude Lévi-Strauss) and other scientists in 1950 and concluding with the 1978 Declaration on Race and Racial Prejudice. UNESCO_sentence_29

In 1956, the Republic of South Africa withdrew from UNESCO saying that some of the organization's publications amounted to "interference" in the country's "racial problems". UNESCO_sentence_30

South Africa rejoined the organization in 1994 under the leadership of Nelson Mandela. UNESCO_sentence_31

UNESCO's early work in the field of education included the pilot project on fundamental education in the Marbial Valley, Haiti, started in 1947. UNESCO_sentence_32

This project was followed by expert missions to other countries, including, for example, a mission to Afghanistan in 1949. UNESCO_sentence_33

In 1948, UNESCO recommended that Member States should make free primary education compulsory and universal. UNESCO_sentence_34

In 1990, the World Conference on Education for All, in Jomtien, Thailand, launched a global movement to provide basic education for all children, youths and adults. UNESCO_sentence_35

Ten years later, the 2000 World Education Forum held in Dakar, Senegal, led member governments to commit to achieving basic education for all by 2015. UNESCO_sentence_36

UNESCO's early activities in culture included the Nubia Campaign, launched in 1960. UNESCO_sentence_37

The purpose of the campaign was to move the Great Temple of Abu Simbel to keep it from being swamped by the Nile after the construction of the Aswan Dam. UNESCO_sentence_38

During the 20-year campaign, 22 monuments and architectural complexes were relocated. UNESCO_sentence_39

This was the first and largest in a series of campaigns including Mohenjo-daro (Pakistan), Fes (Morocco), Kathmandu (Nepal), Borobudur (Indonesia) and the Acropolis (Greece). UNESCO_sentence_40

The organization's work on heritage led to the adoption, in 1972, of the Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage. UNESCO_sentence_41

The World Heritage Committee was established in 1976 and the first sites inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1978. UNESCO_sentence_42

Since then important legal instruments on cultural heritage and diversity have been adopted by UNESCO member states in 2003 (Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage) and 2005 (Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions). UNESCO_sentence_43

An intergovernmental meeting of UNESCO in Paris in December 1951 led to the creation of the European Council for Nuclear Research, which was responsible for establishing the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) later on, in 1954. UNESCO_sentence_44

Arid Zone programming, 1948–1966, is another example of an early major UNESCO project in the field of natural sciences. UNESCO_sentence_45

In 1968, UNESCO organized the first intergovernmental conference aimed at reconciling the environment and development, a problem that continues to be addressed in the field of sustainable development. UNESCO_sentence_46

The main outcome of the 1968 conference was the creation of UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere Programme. UNESCO_sentence_47

In the field of communication, the "free flow of ideas by word and image" has been in UNESCO's constitution from its beginnings, following the experience of the Second World War when control of information was a factor in indoctrinating populations for aggression. UNESCO_sentence_48

In the years immediately following World War II, efforts were concentrated on reconstruction and on the identification of needs for means of mass communication around the world. UNESCO_sentence_49

UNESCO started organizing training and education for journalists in the 1950s. UNESCO_sentence_50

In response to calls for a "New World Information and Communication Order" in the late 1970s, UNESCO established the International Commission for the Study of Communication Problems, which produced the 1980 MacBride report (named after the chair of the commission, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate Seán MacBride). UNESCO_sentence_51

The same year, UNESCO created the International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC), a multilateral forum designed to promote media development in developing countries. UNESCO_sentence_52

In 1991, UNESCO's General Conference endorsed the Windhoek Declaration on media independence and pluralism, which led the UN General Assembly to declare the date of its adoption, 3 May, as World Press Freedom Day. UNESCO_sentence_53

Since 1997, UNESCO has awarded the UNESCO / Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize every 3 May. UNESCO_sentence_54

In the lead up to the World Summit on the Information Society in 2003 (Geneva) and 2005 (Tunis), UNESCO introduced the Information for All Programme. UNESCO_sentence_55

21st Century UNESCO_section_4

UNESCO admitted Palestine as a member in 2011. UNESCO_sentence_56

Laws passed in the United States after Palestine applied for UNESCO and WHO membership in April 1989 mean that the US cannot contribute financially to any UN organisation that accepts Palestine as a full member. UNESCO_sentence_57

As a result, the US withdrew its funding, which had accounted for about 22% of UNESCO's budget. UNESCO_sentence_58

Israel also reacted to Palestine's admittance to UNESCO by freezing Israeli payments to UNESCO and imposing sanctions on the Palestinian Authority, stating that Palestine's admittance would be detrimental "to potential peace talks". UNESCO_sentence_59

Two years after they stopped paying their dues to UNESCO, the US and Israel lost UNESCO voting rights in 2013 without losing the right to be elected; thus, the US was elected as a member of the Executive Board for the period 2016–19. UNESCO_sentence_60

In 2019, Israel left UNESCO after 69 years of membership, with Israel's ambassador to the UN Danny Danon writing: "UNESCO is the body that continually rewrites history, including by erasing the Jewish connection to Jerusalem... it is corrupted and manipulated by Israel's enemies... we are not going to be a member of an organisation that deliberately acts against us". UNESCO_sentence_61

Activities UNESCO_section_5

UNESCO implements its activities through the five program areas: education, natural sciences, social and human sciences, culture, and communication and information. UNESCO_sentence_62


  • Education: UNESCO supports research in comparative education; and provide expertise and fosters partnerships to strengthen national educational leadership and the capacity of countries to offer quality education for all. This includes theUNESCO_item_0_0
    • UNESCO Chairs, an international network of 644 UNESCO Chairs, involving over 770 institutions in 126 countriesUNESCO_item_0_1
    • Environmental Conservation OrganisationUNESCO_item_0_2
    • Convention against Discrimination in Education adopted in 1960UNESCO_item_0_3
    • Organization of the International Conference on Adult Education (CONFINTEA) in an interval of 12 yearsUNESCO_item_0_4
    • Publication of the Education for All Global Monitoring ReportUNESCO_item_0_5
    • Publication of the Four Pillars of Learning seminal documentUNESCO_item_0_6
    • UNESCO ASPNet, an international network of 8,000 schools in 170 countriesUNESCO_item_0_7

UNESCO does not accredit institutions of higher learning. UNESCO_sentence_63


The has been designed to enable public access to information regarding Organization's activities, such as its aggregate budget for a biennium, as well as links to relevant programmatic and financial documents. UNESCO_sentence_64

These two distinct sets of information are published on the IATI registry, respectively based on the IATI Activity Standard and the IATI Organization Standard. UNESCO_sentence_65

There have been proposals to establish two new UNESCO lists. UNESCO_sentence_66

The first proposed list will focus on movable cultural heritage such as artifacts, paintings, and biofacts. UNESCO_sentence_67

The list may include cultural objects, such as the Jōmon Venus of Japan, the Mona Lisa of France, the Gebel el-Arak Knife of Egypt, The Ninth Wave of Russia, the Seated Woman of Çatalhöyük of Turkey, the David (Michelangelo) of Italy, the Mathura Herakles of India, the Manunggul Jar of the Philippines, the Crown of Baekje of South Korea, The Hay Wain of the United Kingdom and the Benin Bronzes of Nigeria. UNESCO_sentence_68

The second proposed list will focus on the world's living species, such as the komodo dragon of Indonesia, the panda of China, the bald eagle of North American countries, the aye-aye of Madagascar, the Asiatic lion of India, the kakapo of New Zealand, and the mountain tapir of Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. UNESCO_sentence_69

Media UNESCO_section_6

UNESCO and its specialized institutions issue a number of magazines. UNESCO_sentence_70

The UNESCO Courier magazine states its mission to "promote UNESCO's ideals, maintain a platform for the dialogue between cultures and provide a forum for international debate". UNESCO_sentence_71

Since March 2006 it is available online, with limited printed issues. UNESCO_sentence_72

Its articles express the opinions of the authors which are not necessarily the opinions of UNESCO. UNESCO_sentence_73

There was a hiatus in publishing between 2012 and 2017. UNESCO_sentence_74

In 1950, UNESCO initiated the quarterly review Impact of Science on Society (also known as Impact) to discuss the influence of science on society. UNESCO_sentence_75

The journal ceased publication in 1992. UNESCO_sentence_76

UNESCO also published Museum International Quarterly from the year 1948. UNESCO_sentence_77

Official UNESCO NGOs UNESCO_section_7

UNESCO has official relations with 322 international non-governmental organizations (NGOs). UNESCO_sentence_78

Most of these are what UNESCO calls "operational"; a select few are "formal". UNESCO_sentence_79

The highest form of affiliation to UNESCO is "formal associate", and the 22 NGOs with formal associate (ASC) relations occupying offices at UNESCO are: UNESCO_sentence_80


AbbrUNESCO_header_cell_1_0_0 OrganizationUNESCO_header_cell_1_0_1
IBUNESCO_cell_1_1_0 International BaccalaureateUNESCO_cell_1_1_1
CCIVSUNESCO_cell_1_2_0 Co-ordinating Committee for International Voluntary ServiceUNESCO_cell_1_2_1
CIPSHUNESCO_cell_1_3_0 International Council for Philosophy and Humanistic Studies (Conseil International de Philosophie et des Sciences Humaines; publishes Diogenes)UNESCO_cell_1_3_1
EIUNESCO_cell_1_4_0 Education InternationalUNESCO_cell_1_4_1
IAUUNESCO_cell_1_5_0 International Association of UniversitiesUNESCO_cell_1_5_1
IFTCUNESCO_cell_1_6_0 International Council for Film, Television and Audiovisual CommunicationUNESCO_cell_1_6_1
ICOMUNESCO_cell_1_7_0 International Council of MuseumsUNESCO_cell_1_7_1
ICSSPEUNESCO_cell_1_8_0 International Council of Sport Science and Physical EducationUNESCO_cell_1_8_1
ICAUNESCO_cell_1_9_0 International Council on ArchivesUNESCO_cell_1_9_1
ICOMOSUNESCO_cell_1_10_0 International Council on Monuments and SitesUNESCO_cell_1_10_1
IFJUNESCO_cell_1_11_0 International Federation of JournalistsUNESCO_cell_1_11_1
IFLAUNESCO_cell_1_12_0 International Federation of Library Associations and InstitutionsUNESCO_cell_1_12_1
IFPAUNESCO_cell_1_13_0 International Federation of Poetry AssociationsUNESCO_cell_1_13_1
IMCUNESCO_cell_1_14_0 International Music CouncilUNESCO_cell_1_14_1
IPAUNESCO_cell_1_15_0 International Police AssociationUNESCO_cell_1_15_1
INSULAUNESCO_cell_1_16_0 International Scientific Council for Island DevelopmentUNESCO_cell_1_16_1
ISCUNESCO_cell_1_17_0 International Science Council (formerly ICSU and ISSC)UNESCO_cell_1_17_1
ITIUNESCO_cell_1_18_0 International Theatre InstituteUNESCO_cell_1_18_1
IUCNUNESCO_cell_1_19_0 International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural ResourcesUNESCO_cell_1_19_1
IUTAOUNESCO_cell_1_20_0 International Union of Technical Associations and OrganizationsUNESCO_cell_1_20_1
UIAUNESCO_cell_1_21_0 Union of International AssociationsUNESCO_cell_1_21_1
WANUNESCO_cell_1_22_0 World Association of NewspapersUNESCO_cell_1_22_1
WFEOUNESCO_cell_1_23_0 World Federation of Engineering OrganizationsUNESCO_cell_1_23_1
WFUCAUNESCO_cell_1_24_0 World Federation of UNESCO Clubs, Centres and AssociationsUNESCO_cell_1_24_1

Institutes and centres UNESCO_section_8

The institutes are specialized departments of the organization that support UNESCO's programme, providing specialized support for cluster and national offices. UNESCO_sentence_81


AbbrUNESCO_header_cell_2_0_0 NameUNESCO_header_cell_2_0_1 LocationUNESCO_header_cell_2_0_2
IBEUNESCO_cell_2_1_0 International Bureau of EducationUNESCO_cell_2_1_1 GenevaUNESCO_cell_2_1_2
UILUNESCO_cell_2_2_0 UNESCO Institute for Lifelong LearningUNESCO_cell_2_2_1 HamburgUNESCO_cell_2_2_2
IIEPUNESCO_cell_2_3_0 UNESCO International Institute for Educational PlanningUNESCO_cell_2_3_1 Paris (headquarters) and Buenos Aires and Dakar (regional offices)UNESCO_cell_2_3_2
IITEUNESCO_cell_2_4_0 UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in EducationUNESCO_cell_2_4_1 MoscowUNESCO_cell_2_4_2
IICBAUNESCO_cell_2_5_0 UNESCO International Institute for Capacity Building in AfricaUNESCO_cell_2_5_1 Addis AbabaUNESCO_cell_2_5_2
IESALCUNESCO_cell_2_6_0 UNESCO International Institute for Higher Education in Latin America and the CaribbeanUNESCO_cell_2_6_1 CaracasUNESCO_cell_2_6_2
MGIEPUNESCO_cell_2_7_0 Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable DevelopmentUNESCO_cell_2_7_1 New DelhiUNESCO_cell_2_7_2
UNESCO-UNEVOCUNESCO_cell_2_8_0 UNESCO-UNEVOC International Centre for Technical and Vocational Education and TrainingUNESCO_cell_2_8_1 BonnUNESCO_cell_2_8_2
UNESCO-IHEUNESCO_cell_2_9_0 UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water EducationUNESCO_cell_2_9_1 DelftUNESCO_cell_2_9_2
ICTPUNESCO_cell_2_10_0 International Centre for Theoretical PhysicsUNESCO_cell_2_10_1 TriesteUNESCO_cell_2_10_2
UISUNESCO_cell_2_11_0 UNESCO Institute for StatisticsUNESCO_cell_2_11_1 MontrealUNESCO_cell_2_11_2

Prizes UNESCO_section_9

UNESCO awards 22 prizes in education, science, culture and peace: UNESCO_sentence_82


Inactive prizes UNESCO_section_10


International Days observed at UNESCO UNESCO_section_11

International Days observed at UNESCO is provided in the table given below: UNESCO_sentence_83


DateUNESCO_header_cell_3_0_0 NameUNESCO_header_cell_3_0_1
14 JanuaryUNESCO_cell_3_1_0 World Logic DayUNESCO_cell_3_1_1
27 JanuaryUNESCO_cell_3_2_0 International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the HolocaustUNESCO_cell_3_2_1
13 FebruaryUNESCO_cell_3_3_0 World Radio DayUNESCO_cell_3_3_1
21 FebruaryUNESCO_cell_3_4_0 International Mother Language DayUNESCO_cell_3_4_1
8 MarchUNESCO_cell_3_5_0 International Women's DayUNESCO_cell_3_5_1
20 MarchUNESCO_cell_3_6_0 International Francophonie DayUNESCO_cell_3_6_1
21 MarchUNESCO_cell_3_7_0 International Day of NowruzUNESCO_cell_3_7_1
21 MarchUNESCO_cell_3_8_0 World Poetry DayUNESCO_cell_3_8_1
21 MarchUNESCO_cell_3_9_0 International Day for the Elimination of Racial DiscriminationUNESCO_cell_3_9_1
22 MarchUNESCO_cell_3_10_0 World Day for WaterUNESCO_cell_3_10_1
23 AprilUNESCO_cell_3_11_0 World Book and Copyright DayUNESCO_cell_3_11_1
30 AprilUNESCO_cell_3_12_0 International Jazz DayUNESCO_cell_3_12_1
3 MayUNESCO_cell_3_13_0 World Press Freedom DayUNESCO_cell_3_13_1
21 MayUNESCO_cell_3_14_0 World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and DevelopmentUNESCO_cell_3_14_1
22 MayUNESCO_cell_3_15_0 International Day for Biological DiversityUNESCO_cell_3_15_1
25 MayUNESCO_cell_3_16_0 Africa Day / Africa WeekUNESCO_cell_3_16_1
5 JuneUNESCO_cell_3_17_0 World Environment DayUNESCO_cell_3_17_1
8 JuneUNESCO_cell_3_18_0 World Oceans DayUNESCO_cell_3_18_1
17 JuneUNESCO_cell_3_19_0 World Day to Combat Desertification and DroughtUNESCO_cell_3_19_1
9 AugustUNESCO_cell_3_20_0 International Day of the World's Indigenous PeopleUNESCO_cell_3_20_1
12 AugustUNESCO_cell_3_21_0 International Youth DayUNESCO_cell_3_21_1
23 AugustUNESCO_cell_3_22_0 International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its AbolitionUNESCO_cell_3_22_1
8 SeptemberUNESCO_cell_3_23_0 International Literacy DayUNESCO_cell_3_23_1
15 SeptemberUNESCO_cell_3_24_0 International Day of DemocracyUNESCO_cell_3_24_1
21 SeptemberUNESCO_cell_3_25_0 International Day of PeaceUNESCO_cell_3_25_1
28 SeptemberUNESCO_cell_3_26_0 International Day for the Universal Access to InformationUNESCO_cell_3_26_1
2 OctoberUNESCO_cell_3_27_0 International Day of Non-ViolenceUNESCO_cell_3_27_1
5 OctoberUNESCO_cell_3_28_0 World Teachers' DayUNESCO_cell_3_28_1
2nd Wednesday in OctoberUNESCO_cell_3_29_0 International Day for Disaster ReductionUNESCO_cell_3_29_1
17 OctoberUNESCO_cell_3_30_0 International Day for the Eradication of PovertyUNESCO_cell_3_30_1
20 OctoberUNESCO_cell_3_31_0 World Statistics DayUNESCO_cell_3_31_1
27 OctoberUNESCO_cell_3_32_0 World Day for Audiovisual HeritageUNESCO_cell_3_32_1
2 NovemberUNESCO_cell_3_33_0 International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against JournalistsUNESCO_cell_3_33_1
10 NovemberUNESCO_cell_3_34_0 World Science Day for Peace and DevelopmentUNESCO_cell_3_34_1
3rd Thursday in NovemberUNESCO_cell_3_35_0 World Philosophy DayUNESCO_cell_3_35_1
16 NovemberUNESCO_cell_3_36_0 International Day for ToleranceUNESCO_cell_3_36_1
19 NovemberUNESCO_cell_3_37_0 International Men's DayUNESCO_cell_3_37_1
25 NovemberUNESCO_cell_3_38_0 International Day for the Elimination of Violence against WomenUNESCO_cell_3_38_1
29 NovemberUNESCO_cell_3_39_0 International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian PeopleUNESCO_cell_3_39_1
1 DecemberUNESCO_cell_3_40_0 World AIDS DayUNESCO_cell_3_40_1
10 DecemberUNESCO_cell_3_41_0 Human Rights DayUNESCO_cell_3_41_1
18 DecemberUNESCO_cell_3_42_0 International Migrants DayUNESCO_cell_3_42_1

Member states UNESCO_section_12

Main article: Member states of UNESCO UNESCO_sentence_84

As of January 2019, UNESCO has 193 member states and 11 associate members. UNESCO_sentence_85

Some members are not independent states and some members have additional National Organizing Committees from some of their dependent territories. UNESCO_sentence_86

UNESCO state parties are the United Nations member states (except Liechtenstein, United States and Israel), as well as Cook Islands, Niue and Palestine. UNESCO_sentence_87

The United States and Israel left UNESCO on 31 December 2018. UNESCO_sentence_88

Governing bodies UNESCO_section_13

Director-General UNESCO_section_14

There has been no elected UNESCO Director-General from Southeast Asia, South Asia, Central and North Asia, Middle East, North Africa, East Africa, Central Africa, South Africa, Australia-Oceania, and South America since inception. UNESCO_sentence_89

The Directors-General of UNESCO came from West Europe (5), Central America (1), North America (2), West Africa (1), East Asia (1), and East Europe (1). UNESCO_sentence_90

Out of the 11 Directors-General since inception, women have held the position only twice. UNESCO_sentence_91

Qatar, the Philippines, and Iran are proposing for a Director-General bid by 2021 or 2025. UNESCO_sentence_92

There have never been a Middle Eastern or Southeast Asian UNESCO Director-General since inception. UNESCO_sentence_93

The ASEAN bloc and some Pacific and Latin American nations support the possible bid of the Philippines, which is culturally Asian, Oceanic, and Latin. UNESCO_sentence_94

Qatar and Iran, on the other hand, have fragmented support in the Middle East. UNESCO_sentence_95

Egypt, Israel, and Madagascar are also vying for the position but have yet to express a direct or indirect proposal. UNESCO_sentence_96

Both Qatar and Egypt lost in the 2017 bid against France. UNESCO_sentence_97

The list of the Directors-General of UNESCO since its establishment in 1946 is as follows: UNESCO_sentence_98


NameUNESCO_header_cell_4_0_0 CountryUNESCO_header_cell_4_0_1 TermUNESCO_header_cell_4_0_2
Audrey AzoulayUNESCO_cell_4_1_0 FranceUNESCO_cell_4_1_1 2017–presentUNESCO_cell_4_1_2
Irina BokovaUNESCO_cell_4_2_0 BulgariaUNESCO_cell_4_2_1 2009–2017UNESCO_cell_4_2_2
Koïchiro MatsuuraUNESCO_cell_4_3_0 JapanUNESCO_cell_4_3_1 1999–2009UNESCO_cell_4_3_2
Federico Mayor ZaragozaUNESCO_cell_4_4_0 SpainUNESCO_cell_4_4_1 1987–99UNESCO_cell_4_4_2
Amadou-Mahtar M'BowUNESCO_cell_4_5_0 SenegalUNESCO_cell_4_5_1 1974–87UNESCO_cell_4_5_2
René MaheuUNESCO_cell_4_6_0 FranceUNESCO_cell_4_6_1 1961–74; acting 1961UNESCO_cell_4_6_2
Vittorino VeroneseUNESCO_cell_4_7_0 ItalyUNESCO_cell_4_7_1 1958–61UNESCO_cell_4_7_2
Luther EvansUNESCO_cell_4_8_0 United StatesUNESCO_cell_4_8_1 1953–58UNESCO_cell_4_8_2
John Wilkinson TaylorUNESCO_cell_4_9_0 United StatesUNESCO_cell_4_9_1 acting 1952–53UNESCO_cell_4_9_2
Jaime Torres BodetUNESCO_cell_4_10_0 MexicoUNESCO_cell_4_10_1 1948–52UNESCO_cell_4_10_2
Julian HuxleyUNESCO_cell_4_11_0 United KingdomUNESCO_cell_4_11_1 1946–48UNESCO_cell_4_11_2

General Conference UNESCO_section_15

This is the list of the sessions of the UNESCO General Conference held since 1946: UNESCO_sentence_99


SessionUNESCO_header_cell_5_0_0 LocationUNESCO_header_cell_5_0_1 YearUNESCO_header_cell_5_0_2 Chaired byUNESCO_header_cell_5_0_3 fromUNESCO_header_cell_5_0_4
40thUNESCO_cell_5_1_0 ParisUNESCO_cell_5_1_1 2019UNESCO_cell_5_1_2 UNESCO_cell_5_1_3 TurkeyUNESCO_cell_5_1_4
39thUNESCO_cell_5_2_0 ParisUNESCO_cell_5_2_1 2017UNESCO_cell_5_2_2 Zohour AlaouiUNESCO_cell_5_2_3 MoroccoUNESCO_cell_5_2_4
38thUNESCO_cell_5_3_0 ParisUNESCO_cell_5_3_1 2015UNESCO_cell_5_3_2 Stanley Mutumba SimataaUNESCO_cell_5_3_3 NamibiaUNESCO_cell_5_3_4
37thUNESCO_cell_5_4_0 ParisUNESCO_cell_5_4_1 2013UNESCO_cell_5_4_2 Hao PingUNESCO_cell_5_4_3 ChinaUNESCO_cell_5_4_4
36thUNESCO_cell_5_5_0 ParisUNESCO_cell_5_5_1 2011UNESCO_cell_5_5_2 Katalin BogyayUNESCO_cell_5_5_3 HungaryUNESCO_cell_5_5_4
35thUNESCO_cell_5_6_0 ParisUNESCO_cell_5_6_1 2009UNESCO_cell_5_6_2 Davidson HepburnUNESCO_cell_5_6_3 BahamasUNESCO_cell_5_6_4
34thUNESCO_cell_5_7_0 ParisUNESCO_cell_5_7_1 2007UNESCO_cell_5_7_2 George N. AnastassopoulosUNESCO_cell_5_7_3 GreeceUNESCO_cell_5_7_4
33rdUNESCO_cell_5_8_0 ParisUNESCO_cell_5_8_1 2005UNESCO_cell_5_8_2 Musa Bin Jaafar Bin HassanUNESCO_cell_5_8_3 OmanUNESCO_cell_5_8_4
32ndUNESCO_cell_5_9_0 ParisUNESCO_cell_5_9_1 2003UNESCO_cell_5_9_2 Michael OmolewaUNESCO_cell_5_9_3 NigeriaUNESCO_cell_5_9_4
31stUNESCO_cell_5_10_0 ParisUNESCO_cell_5_10_1 2001UNESCO_cell_5_10_2 Ahmad JalaliUNESCO_cell_5_10_3 IranUNESCO_cell_5_10_4
30thUNESCO_cell_5_11_0 ParisUNESCO_cell_5_11_1 1999UNESCO_cell_5_11_2 Jaroslava MoserováUNESCO_cell_5_11_3 Czech RepublicUNESCO_cell_5_11_4
29thUNESCO_cell_5_12_0 ParisUNESCO_cell_5_12_1 1997UNESCO_cell_5_12_2 Eduardo PortellaUNESCO_cell_5_12_3 BrazilUNESCO_cell_5_12_4
28thUNESCO_cell_5_13_0 ParisUNESCO_cell_5_13_1 1995UNESCO_cell_5_13_2 Torben KroghUNESCO_cell_5_13_3 DenmarkUNESCO_cell_5_13_4
27thUNESCO_cell_5_14_0 ParisUNESCO_cell_5_14_1 1993UNESCO_cell_5_14_2 Ahmed Saleh SayyadUNESCO_cell_5_14_3 YemenUNESCO_cell_5_14_4
26thUNESCO_cell_5_15_0 ParisUNESCO_cell_5_15_1 1991UNESCO_cell_5_15_2 Bethwell Allan OgotUNESCO_cell_5_15_3 KenyaUNESCO_cell_5_15_4
25thUNESCO_cell_5_16_0 ParisUNESCO_cell_5_16_1 1989UNESCO_cell_5_16_2 Anwar IbrahimUNESCO_cell_5_16_3 MalaysiaUNESCO_cell_5_16_4
24thUNESCO_cell_5_17_0 ParisUNESCO_cell_5_17_1 1987UNESCO_cell_5_17_2 Guillermo Putzeys AlvarezUNESCO_cell_5_17_3 GuatemalaUNESCO_cell_5_17_4
23rdUNESCO_cell_5_18_0 SofiaUNESCO_cell_5_18_1 1985UNESCO_cell_5_18_2 Nikolai TodorovUNESCO_cell_5_18_3 BulgariaUNESCO_cell_5_18_4
22ndUNESCO_cell_5_19_0 ParisUNESCO_cell_5_19_1 1983UNESCO_cell_5_19_2 Saïd TellUNESCO_cell_5_19_3 JordanUNESCO_cell_5_19_4
4th extraordinaryUNESCO_cell_5_20_0 ParisUNESCO_cell_5_20_1 1982UNESCO_cell_5_20_2 UNESCO_cell_5_20_3 UNESCO_cell_5_20_4
21stUNESCO_cell_5_21_0 BelgradeUNESCO_cell_5_21_1 1980UNESCO_cell_5_21_2 Ivo MarganUNESCO_cell_5_21_3 YugoslaviaUNESCO_cell_5_21_4
20thUNESCO_cell_5_22_0 ParisUNESCO_cell_5_22_1 1978UNESCO_cell_5_22_2 Napoléon LeBlancUNESCO_cell_5_22_3 CanadaUNESCO_cell_5_22_4
19thUNESCO_cell_5_23_0 NairobiUNESCO_cell_5_23_1 1976UNESCO_cell_5_23_2 Taaita ToweettUNESCO_cell_5_23_3 KenyaUNESCO_cell_5_23_4
18thUNESCO_cell_5_24_0 ParisUNESCO_cell_5_24_1 1974UNESCO_cell_5_24_2 Magda JóborúUNESCO_cell_5_24_3 HungaryUNESCO_cell_5_24_4
3rd extraordinaryUNESCO_cell_5_25_0 ParisUNESCO_cell_5_25_1 1973UNESCO_cell_5_25_2 UNESCO_cell_5_25_3 UNESCO_cell_5_25_4
17thUNESCO_cell_5_26_0 ParisUNESCO_cell_5_26_1 1972UNESCO_cell_5_26_2 Toru HaguiwaraUNESCO_cell_5_26_3 JapanUNESCO_cell_5_26_4
16thUNESCO_cell_5_27_0 ParisUNESCO_cell_5_27_1 1970UNESCO_cell_5_27_2 Atilio Dell'Oro MainiUNESCO_cell_5_27_3 ArgentinaUNESCO_cell_5_27_4
15thUNESCO_cell_5_28_0 ParisUNESCO_cell_5_28_1 1968UNESCO_cell_5_28_2 William Eteki MboumouaUNESCO_cell_5_28_3 CameroonUNESCO_cell_5_28_4
14thUNESCO_cell_5_29_0 ParisUNESCO_cell_5_29_1 1966UNESCO_cell_5_29_2 Bedrettin TuncelUNESCO_cell_5_29_3 TurkeyUNESCO_cell_5_29_4
13thUNESCO_cell_5_30_0 ParisUNESCO_cell_5_30_1 1964UNESCO_cell_5_30_2 Norair SisakianUNESCO_cell_5_30_3 Soviet UnionUNESCO_cell_5_30_4
12thUNESCO_cell_5_31_0 ParisUNESCO_cell_5_31_1 1962UNESCO_cell_5_31_2 Paulo de Berrêdo CarneiroUNESCO_cell_5_31_3 BrazilUNESCO_cell_5_31_4
11thUNESCO_cell_5_32_0 ParisUNESCO_cell_5_32_1 1960UNESCO_cell_5_32_2 Akale-Work Abte-WoldUNESCO_cell_5_32_3 EthiopiaUNESCO_cell_5_32_4
10thUNESCO_cell_5_33_0 ParisUNESCO_cell_5_33_1 1958UNESCO_cell_5_33_2 Jean BerthoinUNESCO_cell_5_33_3 FranceUNESCO_cell_5_33_4
9thUNESCO_cell_5_34_0 New DelhiUNESCO_cell_5_34_1 1956UNESCO_cell_5_34_2 Abul Kalam AzadUNESCO_cell_5_34_3 IndiaUNESCO_cell_5_34_4
8thUNESCO_cell_5_35_0 MontevideoUNESCO_cell_5_35_1 1954UNESCO_cell_5_35_2 Justino Zavala MunizUNESCO_cell_5_35_3 UruguayUNESCO_cell_5_35_4
2nd extraordinaryUNESCO_cell_5_36_0 ParisUNESCO_cell_5_36_1 1953UNESCO_cell_5_36_2 UNESCO_cell_5_36_3 UNESCO_cell_5_36_4
7thUNESCO_cell_5_37_0 ParisUNESCO_cell_5_37_1 1952UNESCO_cell_5_37_2 Sarvepalli RadhakrishnanUNESCO_cell_5_37_3 IndiaUNESCO_cell_5_37_4
6thUNESCO_cell_5_38_0 ParisUNESCO_cell_5_38_1 1951UNESCO_cell_5_38_2 Howland H. SargeantUNESCO_cell_5_38_3 United StatesUNESCO_cell_5_38_4
5thUNESCO_cell_5_39_0 FlorenceUNESCO_cell_5_39_1 1950UNESCO_cell_5_39_2 Stefano JaciniUNESCO_cell_5_39_3 ItalyUNESCO_cell_5_39_4
4thUNESCO_cell_5_40_0 ParisUNESCO_cell_5_40_1 1949UNESCO_cell_5_40_2 Edward Ronald WalkerUNESCO_cell_5_40_3 AustraliaUNESCO_cell_5_40_4
1st extraordinaryUNESCO_cell_5_41_0 ParisUNESCO_cell_5_41_1 1948UNESCO_cell_5_41_2 UNESCO_cell_5_41_3 UNESCO_cell_5_41_4
3rdUNESCO_cell_5_42_0 BeirutUNESCO_cell_5_42_1 1948UNESCO_cell_5_42_2 Hamid Bey FrangieUNESCO_cell_5_42_3 LebanonUNESCO_cell_5_42_4
2ndUNESCO_cell_5_43_0 Mexico CityUNESCO_cell_5_43_1 1947UNESCO_cell_5_43_2 Manuel Gual VidalUNESCO_cell_5_43_3 MexicoUNESCO_cell_5_43_4
1stUNESCO_cell_5_44_0 ParisUNESCO_cell_5_44_1 1946UNESCO_cell_5_44_2 Léon BlumUNESCO_cell_5_44_3 FranceUNESCO_cell_5_44_4

Executive Board UNESCO_section_16


TermUNESCO_header_cell_6_0_0 Group I

(9 seats)UNESCO_header_cell_6_0_1

Group II

(7 seats)UNESCO_header_cell_6_0_2

Group III

(10 seats)UNESCO_header_cell_6_0_3

Group IV

(12 seats)UNESCO_header_cell_6_0_4

Group V(a)

(13 seats)UNESCO_header_cell_6_0_5

Group V(b)

(7 seats)UNESCO_header_cell_6_0_6

2019–2023UNESCO_cell_6_1_0 France  Germany

 Italy  Netherlands  Spain   SwitzerlandUNESCO_cell_6_1_1


 Poland  Russia  SerbiaUNESCO_cell_6_1_2


 Brazil  Dominican Republic  UruguayUNESCO_cell_6_1_3


 Kyrgyzstan  Philippines  Pakistan  South Korea  ThailandUNESCO_cell_6_1_4


 Congo  Guinea  Ghana  Kenya  Namibia  Senegal  TogoUNESCO_cell_6_1_5

Saudi Arabia

 UAE  TunisiaUNESCO_cell_6_1_6

2017–19UNESCO_cell_6_2_0 France




 United KingdomUNESCO_cell_6_2_1














 South Korea

 Sri Lanka



 Ivory Coast





 South AfricaUNESCO_cell_6_2_5





2014–17UNESCO_cell_6_3_0 Germany








 Dominican Republic

 El Salvador

 Saint Kitts and Nevis

 Trinidad and TobagoUNESCO_cell_6_3_3

















2012–15UNESCO_cell_6_4_0 Austria





 United Kingdom

 United StatesUNESCO_cell_6_4_1

Czech Republic


 North Macedonia  RussiaUNESCO_cell_6_4_2








 Papua New Guinea

 South Korea












 United Arab EmiratesUNESCO_cell_6_4_6

Offices and headquarters UNESCO_section_17

UNESCO headquarters are located at Place de Fontenoy in Paris, France. UNESCO_sentence_100

UNESCO's field offices across the globe are categorized into four primary office types based upon their function and geographic coverage: cluster offices, national offices, regional bureaus and liaison offices. UNESCO_sentence_101

Field offices by region UNESCO_section_18

The following list of all UNESCO Field Offices is organized geographically by UNESCO Region and identifies the members states and associate members of UNESCO which are served by each office. UNESCO_sentence_102

Africa UNESCO_section_19


Arab States UNESCO_section_20


Asia and Pacific UNESCO_section_21

See also: UNESCO Asia Pacific Heritage Awards UNESCO_sentence_103


Europe and North America UNESCO_section_22


Latin America and the Caribbean UNESCO_section_23


Partner Organisations UNESCO_section_24


Controversies UNESCO_section_25

New World Information and Communication Order UNESCO_section_26

UNESCO has been the centre of controversy in the past, particularly in its relationships with the United States, the United Kingdom, Singapore and the former Soviet Union. UNESCO_sentence_104

During the 1970s and 1980s, UNESCO's support for a "New World Information and Communication Order" and its MacBride report calling for democratization of the media and more egalitarian access to information was condemned in these countries as attempts to curb freedom of the press. UNESCO_sentence_105

UNESCO was perceived as a platform for communists and Third World dictators to attack the West, in contrast to accusations made by the USSR in the late 1940s and early 1950s. UNESCO_sentence_106

In 1984, the United States withheld its contributions and withdrew from the organization in protest, followed by the United Kingdom in 1985. UNESCO_sentence_107

Singapore withdrew also at the end of 1985, citing rising membership fees. UNESCO_sentence_108

Following a change of government in 1997, the UK rejoined. UNESCO_sentence_109

The United States rejoined in 2003, followed by Singapore on 8 October 2007. UNESCO_sentence_110

Israel UNESCO_section_27

Israel was admitted to UNESCO in 1949, one year after its creation. UNESCO_sentence_111

Israel has maintained its membership since 1949. UNESCO_sentence_112

In 2010, Israel designated the Cave of the Patriarchs, Hebron and Rachel's Tomb, Bethlehem as National Heritage Sites and announced restoration work, prompting criticism from the Obama administration and protests from Palestinians. UNESCO_sentence_113

In October 2010, UNESCO's Executive Board voted to declare the sites as "al-Haram al-Ibrahimi/Tomb of the Patriarchs" and "Bilal bin Rabah Mosque/Rachel's Tomb" and stated that they were "an integral part of the occupied Palestinian Territories" and any unilateral Israeli action was a violation of international law. UNESCO_sentence_114

UNESCO described the sites as significant to "people of the Muslim, Christian and Jewish traditions", and accused Israel of highlighting only the Jewish character of the sites. UNESCO_sentence_115

Israel in turn accused UNESCO of "detach[ing] the Nation of Israel from its heritage", and accused it of being politically motivated. UNESCO_sentence_116

The Rabbi of the Western Wall said that Rachel's tomb had not previously been declared a holy Muslim site. UNESCO_sentence_117

Israel partially suspended ties with UNESCO. UNESCO_sentence_118

Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon declared that the resolution was a "part of Palestinian escalation". UNESCO_sentence_119

Zevulun Orlev, chairman of the Knesset Education and Culture Committee, referred to the resolutions as an attempt to undermine the mission of UNESCO as a scientific and cultural organization that promotes cooperation throughout the world. UNESCO_sentence_120

On 28 June 2011, UNESCO's World Heritage Committee, at Jordan's insistence, censured Israel's decision to demolish and rebuild the Mughrabi Gate Bridge in Jerusalem for safety reasons. UNESCO_sentence_121

Israel stated that Jordan had signed an agreement with Israel stipulating that the existing bridge must be dismantled for safety reasons; Jordan disputed the agreement, saying that it was only signed under U.S. pressure. UNESCO_sentence_122

Israel was also unable to address the UNESCO committee over objections from Egypt. UNESCO_sentence_123

In January 2014, days before it was scheduled to open, UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova, "indefinitely postponed" and effectively cancelled an exhibit created by the Simon Wiesenthal Center entitled "The People, The Book, The Land: The 3,500-year relationship between the Jewish people and the Land of Israel". UNESCO_sentence_124

The event was scheduled to run from 21 January through 30 January in Paris. UNESCO_sentence_125

Bokova cancelled the event after representatives of Arab states at UNESCO argued that its display would "harm the peace process". UNESCO_sentence_126

The author of the exhibition, Professor Robert Wistrich of the Hebrew University's Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Anti-Semitism, called the cancellation an "appalling act", and characterized Bokova's decision as "an arbitrary act of total cynicism and, really, contempt for the Jewish people and its history". UNESCO_sentence_127

UNESCO amended the decision to cancel the exhibit within the year, and it quickly achieved popularity and was viewed as a great success. UNESCO_sentence_128

On January 1, 2019, Israel formally left UNESCO in pursuance of the US withdrawal over the perceived continuous anti-Israel bias. UNESCO_sentence_129

Occupied Palestine Resolution UNESCO_section_28

Main article: Occupied Palestine Resolution UNESCO_sentence_130

On 13 October 2016, UNESCO passed a resolution on East Jerusalem that condemned Israel for "aggressions" by Israeli police and soldiers and "illegal measures" against the freedom of worship and Muslims' access to their holy sites, while also recognizing Israel as the occupying power. UNESCO_sentence_131

Palestinian leaders welcomed the decision. UNESCO_sentence_132

While the text acknowledged the "importance of the Old City of Jerusalem and its walls for the three monotheistic religions", it referred to the sacred hilltop compound in Jerusalem's Old City only by its Muslim name "Al-Haram al-Sharif", Arabic for Noble Sanctuary. UNESCO_sentence_133

In response, Israel denounced the UNESCO resolution for its omission of the words "Temple Mount" or "Har HaBayit", stating that it denies Jewish ties to the key holy site. UNESCO_sentence_134

After receiving criticism from numerous Israeli politicians and diplomats, including Benjamin Netanyahu and Ayelet Shaked, Israel froze all ties with the organization. UNESCO_sentence_135

The resolution was condemned by Ban Ki-moon and the Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, who said that Judaism, Islam and Christianity have clear historical connections to Jerusalem and "to deny, conceal or erase any of the Jewish, Christian or Muslim traditions undermines the integrity of the site. UNESCO_sentence_136

"Al-Aqsa Mosque [or] Al-Haram al-Sharif" is also Temple Mount, whose Western Wall is the holiest place in Judaism.". UNESCO_sentence_137

It was also rejected by the Czech Parliament which said the resolution reflects a "hateful anti-Israel sentiment", and hundreds of Italian Jews demonstrated in Rome over Italy's abstention. UNESCO_sentence_138

On 26 October, UNESCO approved a reviewed version of the resolution, which also criticized Israel for its continuous "refusal to let the body's experts access Jerusalem's holy sites to determine their conservation status". UNESCO_sentence_139

Despite containing some softening of language following Israeli protests over a previous version, Israel continued to denounce the text. UNESCO_sentence_140

The resolution refers to the site Jews and Christians refer to as the Temple Mount, or Har HaBayit in Hebrew, only by its Arab name — a significant semantic decision also adopted by UNESCO's executive board, triggering condemnation from Israel and its allies. UNESCO_sentence_141

U.S. UNESCO_sentence_142

Ambassador Crystal Nix Hines stated: "This item should have been defeated. UNESCO_sentence_143

These politicized and one-sided resolutions are damaging the credibility of UNESCO." UNESCO_sentence_144

In October 2017, the United States and Israel announced they would withdraw from the organization, citing in-part anti-Israel bias. UNESCO_sentence_145

Palestine UNESCO_section_29

Palestinian youth magazine controversy UNESCO_section_30

In February 2011, an article was published in a Palestinian youth magazine in which a teenage girl described one of her four role-models as Adolf Hitler. UNESCO_sentence_146

In December 2011, UNESCO, which partly funded the magazine, condemned the material and subsequently withdrew support. UNESCO_sentence_147

Islamic University of Gaza controversy UNESCO_section_31

In 2012, UNESCO decided to establish a chair at the Islamic University of Gaza in the field of astronomy, astrophysics, and space sciences, fueling controversy and criticism. UNESCO_sentence_148

Israel bombed the school in 2008 stating that they develop and store weapons there, which Israel restated in criticizing UNESCO's move. UNESCO_sentence_149

The head, Kamalain Shaath, defended UNESCO, stating that "the Islamic University is a purely academic university that is interested only in education and its development". UNESCO_sentence_150

Israeli ambassador to UNESCO Nimrod Barkan planned to submit a letter of protest with information about the university's ties to Hamas, especially angry that this was the first Palestinian university that UNESCO chose to cooperate with. UNESCO_sentence_151

The Jewish organization B'nai B'rith criticized the move as well. UNESCO_sentence_152

Che Guevara UNESCO_section_32

In 2013, UNESCO announced that the collection "The Life and Works of Ernesto Che Guevara" became part of the Memory of the World Register. UNESCO_sentence_153

US Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen condemned this decision, saying that the organization acts against its own ideals: UNESCO_sentence_154

UN Watch also condemned this selection by UNESCO. UNESCO_sentence_155

Listing Nanjing Massacre documents UNESCO_section_33

In 2015, Japan threatened to halt funding for UNESCO over the organization's decision to include documents relating to the 1937 Nanjing massacre in the latest listing for its "Memory of the World" program. UNESCO_sentence_156

In October 2016, Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida confirmed that Japan's 2016 annual funding of ¥4.4 billion had been suspended although denied any direct link with the Nanjing document controversy. UNESCO_sentence_157

US withdrawals UNESCO_section_34

The United States withdrew from UNESCO in 1984, citing the "highly politicized" nature of the organisation, its ostensible "hostility toward the basic institutions of a free society, especially a free market and a free press", as well as its "unrestrained budgetary expansion", and poor management under then Director General Amadou-Mahter M'Bow of Senegal. UNESCO_sentence_158

On 19 September 1989, former U.S. UNESCO_sentence_159

Congressman Jim Leach stated before a Congressional subcommittee: UNESCO_sentence_160

Leach concluded that the record showed Israel bashing, a call for a new world information order, money management, and arms control policy to be the impetus behind the withdrawal; he asserted that before departing from UNESCO, a withdrawal from the IAEA had been pushed on him. UNESCO_sentence_161

On 1 October 2003, the U.S. rejoined UNESCO. UNESCO_sentence_162

On 12 October 2017, the United States notified UNESCO that it will again withdraw from the organization on 31 December 2018 and will seek to establish a permanent observer mission beginning in 2019. UNESCO_sentence_163

The Department of State cited "mounting arrears at UNESCO, the need for fundamental reform in the organization, and continuing anti-Israel bias at UNESCO". UNESCO_sentence_164

Israel praised the withdrawal decision as "brave" and "moral". UNESCO_sentence_165

The United States has not paid over $600 million in dues since it stopped paying its $80 million annual UNESCO dues when Palestine became a full member in 2011. UNESCO_sentence_166

Israel and the US were among the 14 votes against the membership out of 194 member countries. UNESCO_sentence_167

Turkish–Kurdish conflict UNESCO_section_35

On May 25, 2016, the noted Turkish poet and human rights activist Zülfü Livaneli resigned as Turkey's only UNESCO goodwill ambassador. UNESCO_sentence_168

He highlighted human rights situation in Turkey and destruction of historical Sur district of Diyarbakir, the largest city in Kurdish-majority southeast Turkey, during fighting between the Turkish army and Kurdish militants as the main reasons for his resignation. UNESCO_sentence_169

Livaneli said: "To pontificate on peace while remaining silent against such violations is a contradiction of the fundamental ideals of UNESCO." UNESCO_sentence_170

Atatürk UNESCO_section_36

In 1981, UNESCO passed a motion approving of Turkey's Atatürk Centennial, claiming that he was an "exceptional reformer in all the fields coming within UNESCO's competence". UNESCO_sentence_171

Campaigns against illicit art trading UNESCO_section_37

UNESCO has drawn criticism for aspects of its 2020 celebration of the 50th anniversary of the 1970 convention against the illicit trade of cultural property. UNESCO_sentence_172

In 2020 UNESCO stated that the size of the illicit trade in cultural property amounted to 10 billion dollars a year. UNESCO_sentence_173

The figure has been described as "bogus", and "false data", and UNESCO has been accused of exaggerating the scale of the problem. UNESCO_sentence_174

A report that same year by the Rand Organisation suggested the actual market is "not likely to be larger than a few hundred million dollars each year". UNESCO_sentence_175

An expert cited by UNESCO as attributing the 10 billion figure denied it and said he had "no idea" where the figure came from. UNESCO_sentence_176

Art dealers were particularly critical of the UNESCO figure because it amounted to 15% of the total world art market. UNESCO_sentence_177

In November 2020 part of a UNESCO advertising campaign intended to highlight international trafficking in looted artefacts had to be withdrawn after it falsely presented a series of museum-held artworks with known provenances as recently looted objects held in private collections. UNESCO_sentence_178

The adverts claimed that a head of Buddha in the Metropolitan Museum's collection since 1930 had been looted from Kabul Museum in 2001 and then smuggled into the US art market; that a funerary monument from Palmyra that the MET had acquired in 1901 had been recently looted from the Palmyra Museum by Islamic State Militants and then smuggled into the European antiquities market; and that an Ivory Coast mask with a provenance that indicates it was in the US by 1954 was looted during armed clashes in 2010–2011. UNESCO_sentence_179

After complaints from the MET, the adverts were withdrawn. UNESCO_sentence_180

Products and services UNESCO_section_38


  • UNESDOC – Contains over 146,000 UNESCO documents in full text published since 1945 as well as metadata from the collections of the UNESCO Library and documentation centres in field offices and institutes.UNESCO_item_10_136

Information processing tools UNESCO_section_39

UNESCO develops, maintains and disseminates, free of charge, two interrelated software packages for database management (CDS/ISIS [not to be confused with UK police software package ISIS]) and data mining/statistical analysis (IDAMS). UNESCO_sentence_181


  • CDS/ISIS – a generalised information storage and retrieval system. The Windows version may run on a single computer or in a local area network. The JavaISIS client/server components allow remote database management over the Internet and are available for Windows, Linux and Macintosh. Furthermore, GenISIS allows the user to produce HTML Web forms for CDS/ISIS database searching. The ISIS_DLL provides an API for developing CDS/ISIS based applications.UNESCO_item_11_137
  • OpenIDAMS – a software package for processing and analysing numerical data developed, maintained and disseminated by UNESCO. The original package was proprietary but UNESCO has initiated a project to provide it as open-source.UNESCO_item_11_138
  • IDIS – a tool for direct data exchange between CDS/ISIS and IDAMSUNESCO_item_11_139

See also UNESCO_section_40


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UNESCO.