Founding Members

World Heritage | About UNESCO

Within the United Nations Organisation are some ten inter-governmental institutions dedicated to a particular area of economics, society and culture, making an effort to consider those problems that have universal effects, trying to come up with precise solutions.

UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, is one of these specialist institutions. It was created in Paris on 4 November 1946, after some twenty states had approved the constitution drawn up a year before in London at a conference organised on the initiative of the British and French governments, which was attended by representatives from 44 nations.

UNESCO, whose headquarters are in Paris, currently consists of 195 member states and it has three administrative bodies.

The General Conference, bringing together all the member states and meeting in general every two years, is the sovereign body of UNESCO. Applying the one-member-one-vote principle, the General Conference draws up the organisation’s plans and sets its budget.
The Executive Board, consisting of representatives from 58 member states elected by the General Conference, meets twice a year. This functions as a sort of Board of Directors with responsibility for seeing that the resolutions passed by the General Conference are implemented and for ensuring that the groundwork is laid for the Conference.
The Secretariat is managed by the Director General, who is elected every four years by the General Conference, and it is responsible for putting into practice all the commitments made by the member states.

UNESCO’s mission is to make a contribution to building peace, eliminating poverty, promoting sustainable development and intercultural dialogue through education, science, culture, communication and information.

The organisation concentrates, in particular, on two world priorities:

Gender equality

It also has a number of general aims:

Achieving quality education and life-long learning for everyone.
Mobilising science and political knowledge for sustainable development.
Facing up to emerging social and ethical challenges.
Promoting cultural diversity, intercultural dialogue and a culture of peace.
Building an inclusive knowledge society through information and communication.

Cesare Micheletti

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