UNESCO, The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization gathers 195 member states and 9 associate members. Prominent as the ‘‘intellectual agency of the UN’’ and founded in 1945, UNESCO today has its Headquarters in Paris open to public with the flamboyant event calendar. However, the beauty and diversity of UNESCO is also portrayed worldwide, outside of its Parisian premises.
UNESCO was founded under the flag of establishing humanity’s moral and intellectual solidarity after two unthinkably devastating World Wars. In today’s globalized and technologically advanced world UNESCO builds moral and intellectual solidarity throughout these activities:
‘‘Mobilizing for education: so that every child, boy or girl, has access to quality education as a fundamental human right and as a prerequisite for human development.
Building intercultural understanding: through protection of heritage and support for cultural diversity. UNESCO created the idea of World Heritage to protect sites of outstanding universal value.
Pursuing scientific cooperation: such as early warning systems for tsunamis or trans-boundary water management agreements, to strengthen ties between nations and societies.
Protecting freedom of expression: an essential condition for democracy, development and human dignity.’’
UNESCO’s governing bodies are The General Conference, The Secretariat and The Executive Board. The General Conference is organized every two years so that the scope of work, budget and project priorities are defined on a global level. During The General Conference each Member State has one vote regardless of the budget contributing to UNESCO and the conference is held in The Official Languages of The UN: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish.
The Executive Board has 58 countries with a four-year term of office. The main priorities of the Executive Board are defining the agenda for the General Conference, determining acceptance into UNESCO of new states that are not members of The UN.
DID YOU KNOW?
1) UNESCO and L’Oreal partner in the programme For Women in Science which empowers remarkable promising female scientists around the world.
2) Currently there are 48 UNESCO_Goodwill_Ambassadors and 1 UNESCO Honorary Ambassador spreading the ideals of UNESCO in the constantly changing world.
3) The Memory of The World project lists rare ‘‘one of a kind’’ heritage that should be preserved against collective amnesia and climate change.
4) If you want to feel inspired to travel and discover the multitude of sights, tastes and movements on our planet, you should browse The List of Intangible Cultural Heritage as well as World Heritage List with 981 breathtaking properties, i.e. locations of natural and cultural heritage.
MUNs and UNESCO are strongly intertwined as during UNESCO simulations the topics on sustainable development, protecting the World Heritage in danger, and enhancing intercultural understanding among countries are discussed. At our MUN University Calendar you can follow what UNESCO topics occur at MUNs around the world. Interestingly enough, whereas MUNs almost always summon Security Council Committee, and to lesser extend General Assembly, UNESCO is significantly less represented. In our series of texts we will analyze reasons for that. Generally speaking, it might be that UNESCO topics are perceived as less challenging and stimulating for international discussions as the adrenaline-driven crisis topics. Also, it might be the case with human nature to resort more often to solving problems and conflict resolution than to preventing negative issues through education and cultural understanding.''