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14.02.2020 - Article

With 193 Member States, UNESCO has ambitious goals and a range of missions that is unparalleled within the United Nations system. It relies on good organization, close cooperation and a spirit of trust from its Partners.

Member States’ Permanent Delegations

Permanent Delegations to UNESCO play a vital role in communicating the interests of each country as well as promoting UNESCO’s work within their own countries.

UNESCO National Commissions

Member States are obliged to ensure cooperation between their national institutions and UNESCO in the fields of education, science and culture. To this end, they can create National Commissions, which generally play an important role in their countries as experts, coordinators and multipliers.

There are currently 199 National Commissions, which form a global network. Participants share experiences at the informal meetings of National Commissions’ coordination groups, which take place on the margins of Executive Board and General Conference Meetings.

Logo of the German UNESCO Commission
Logo of the German UNESCO Commission© German UNESCO Commission

The German Commission for UNESCO was set up on 12 May 1950, before the Federal Republic of Germany joined UNESCO (11 July 1951). On 3 October 1990, it became the legal successor to the GDR’s UNESCO Commission.

The German Commission is funded by the Federal Foreign Office as an intermediary of foreign cultural and education policy. It is legally defined as a registered association and is the national liaison for all UNESCO matters. It advises the Federal Government and coordinates the implementation of UNESCO programmes in Germany. It encourages cooperation between expert organizations and UNESCO, and keeps the public informed. It relies on the support of over 100 members and a range of networks of experts and institutions. Its main partners include 250 UNESCO Associated Schools, 16 UNESCO biosphere reserves, 11 UNESCO Chairs, 42 UNESCO World Heritage Sites and five German National Committees (IOC, MAB, IHP, IGCP and MoW) for intergovernmental UNESCO science programmes in the fields of hydrology, oceanography, earth sciences and the understanding of human-environment interactions.

The German Commission has been tasked with implementing the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014) as well as UNESCO’s Convention for the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. The German Commission also edits the German version of the Education for All Global Monitoring Report. In addition, it organises Germany’s contribution to the preparation process for global UNESCO conferences on education and was also mandated to organise the 2009 Bonn global conference on Education and Sustainable Development by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research in partnership with UNESCO.

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