The Executive Board comprises the 58 Member States and is one of UNESCO’s three leading bodies alongside the General Conference and the Secretariat. As a supervisory body, it prepares the General Conference, oversees the working programme and examines the planned budgets. It meets every six months for a period of approx. three weeks. The Executive Board also nominates the Director-General, who is elected by the General Conference for a mandate of four years.
On 20 November 2019, UNESCO’s 40th General Conference elected Germany onto the Executive Board for the period 2019 to 2023.
To correct an unequal geographic distribution of seats on the Executive Board, all UNESCO Member States are grouped into regional electoral groups. This system of regional groupings allocates each region a specific number of seats on the Executive Board.
The Federal Republic of Germany took over the presidency of electoral group I for 2020 on 18 December 2019. This group is comprised of Western European countries and Turkey and Canada.
In addition, in line with the rotation in the Council of the European Union, in the second half of 2020, Germany will take over the presidency of the European group in UNESCO, tasked with coordinating European Union member states within UNESCO.