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Preparatory Commission of UNESCO

  • Corporate body
  • 1945-11-16 - 1946-12-06

The Conference of the Establishment of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation adopted on 16 November 1945 not only the UNESCO Constitution but also an Instrument establishing a Preparatory Educational, Scientific and Cultural Commission. During the year 1946, the commission held six sessions.
In the first plenary meeting of the Commission Ellen Wilkinson, Minister of Education of Great Britain, was elected as the President of the Commission and the post of the Executive Secretary was held from 1 March 1946 by Julian Huxley until he was elected first Director-General of UNESCO on 6 December 1946.
On 4 November, Greece became the twentieth country to ratify the Constitution of UNESCO and by this act the organisation come legally into being. The first session of the General Conference opened on 20 November in Paris and worked until 10 December. Upon the election of the Director General on 6 December, the mandate of the Preparatory Commission expired and the Commission was dissolved, but its staff continued to work as the Secretariat of UNESCO under its chief administrative officer, the Director General.


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  • Corporate body
  • 1999-06-30 -


  • Corporate body
  • 1966-01-01 -

The Expanded Programme of Technical Assistance (EPTA) and Special Fund (SF) were amalgamated effective 1 January 1966 to form the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The governance structure was changed so that UNDP’s new thirty-seven member Governing Council took up the duties of the former Special Fund Governing Council as well as the Technical Assistance Committee (TAC) of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). Governing Council members were elected in ECOSOC and reported to ECOSOC. The Consultative Board of the Special Fund and the Technical Assistance Board (TAB) were replaced by a new Inter-Agency Consultative Board (IACB) consisting of the Executive Directors (or their representatives) of the specialized agencies under the Chairmanship of the UNDP Administrator. Governments made requests directly through the Resident Representative, but IACB members advised the Council on these submissions, taking into account technical assistance being undertaken as part of their agency’s regular programme. The Consultative Board members could also be consulted on the selection of agencies for the execution of projects and the appointment of Resident Representatives. The UNDP at this stage was to act as a funder and consolidator of technical assistance for the UN system. However, its process of finance by yearly pledging conferences created a pattern of stop-and-go programming for early years (Browne, 2011, p.18).

Country programming and the United Nations Development Co-operation Cycle were introduced by the “1970 Consensus,” adopted by the Governing Council of UNDP and approved by the UN General Assembly at its Twenty-fifth session, taking effect on 1 January 1971. This change acknowledged that the government of a country has exclusive responsibility for its national development plan, and the country programme would be formulated by each government in co-operation, at the appropriate stage, with representatives of the United Nations system as led by the UNDP Resident Representative on site in the country. The country was responsible for taking into account other forms of bilateral or multilateral inputs. From the Resident Representative, the country programme would be submitted to the Administrator of the UNDP for review before submission to the Governing Council for approval. Within the context of this country programme, the Governing Council had ultimate authority to approve individual projects submitted by governments, but, in turn delegated the UNDP Administrator with this authority. UN specialized agencies were to be given first consideration as executing agents under this new framework. They were also to provide advice when requested to the UNDP Administrator on the implementation of all projects, whether executed by them or not. Executing agencies, be they UN agencies or government or non-governmental institutions or firms, were accountable to the UNDP Administrator for the implementation of the projects. Monitoring of projects was carried out by the Resident Representative and evaluation, upon consent of the Government, was carried out jointly with the Government, UNDP and the executing agency.

Up until the 1970 Consensus, the EPTA and SF continued to be maintained as two separate funds. In 1970, UNESCO implemented US$ 10,143,861 of EPTA projects and US$26,073,904 of SF projects (UNESCO, 1987). The Consensus introduced a new system of Indicative Planning Figures (IPFs) where each country was allotted a percentage of the total resources available as projected over a certain period of time. The Governing Council of UNDP set the IPFs based on the proposal of the Administrator and a Government’s comments thereon. In 1975, in the context of the New International Economic Order movement, the General Assembly resolution on New dimensions in technical cooperation made another modification which allowed for government execution of projects and national experts to work on national projects.

In a report to its Executive Board, UNESCO considered that the principle that UN agencies should be given first consideration as executing agents was “weakened during the 1980s as UNDP moved towards a greater utilization of ‘alternative modalities’: project execution by UNDP/OPS, lending institutions and governments” (UNESCO. Executive Board, 1990). Late in the 1980s, UNDP also began to build up expertise in different specialized fields and the organization began to resemble a microcosm of the rest of the UN system (Browne, 2011, p.44). For the 1990s, UNDP envisaged a diminishing Special Agency role in project execution and an expanding role in providing technical advice to UNDP and member countries. However, the funding arrangements for this support were not immediately clear and UNESCO noted that the provision of pre-project analysis did not guarantee that it would be named an executing agency in this system. UNESCO and UNDP signed an Executing Agency Agreement in 1990 which governed the relationship of the parties in the execution of projects. 1990 was also the year when the first Human Development Report was published, introducing the Human Development Index. With this flagship publication, UNDP can be seen to have embraced the human development approach as opposed to the economic school of development espoused by the World Bank and IMF (Browne, 2011). This was seen as part of a larger evolution from a purely operational organization to a development agency with research and policy activities underpinning its work (Browne, 57). Traces of the human development paradigm can be found in UNESCO’s earlier work on the balance between economic and social development.

The UN General Assembly changed the governance structure of UNDP in 1993 by changing the Governing Council to an Executive Board. The suggested conflict between UNDP’s role as a coordinating body and its emerging operational activities as a development agency was supposed to be alleviated with UNDP/OPS’s transformation into UNOPS in 1995. UNOPS is a separate entity which reports to the Executive Board of UNDP. The Resident Representatives system was also modified in 1997 so that the newly renamed UN Resident Coordinators had an added level of impartially, being charged with leading development activities of the UN system as a whole at the country-level. In 1996, UNDP introduced the TRAC (Target for resource assignments from core) financing mechanism as a more flexible system to replace the IPFs. UNDP and UNESCO signed a Memorandum of Understanding in 2008 providing a framework for cooperation and to facilitate collaboration.

UNESCO and UNDP’s cooperation takes place in the larger context of UN inter-agency coordination mechanisms. UNESCO participated at the level of the ECOSOC’s Administrative Committee on Coordination (ACC), as well as its standing bodies the Consultative Committee on Substantive Questions (Operational Activities), CCSQ/OPS, or the Consultative Committee on Administrative Questions (Financial and Budgetary Questions), CCAQ(FB). Created in 1946 as the main inter-secretariat coordinating body composed of the executive heads of the UN system, the ACC was renamed the United Nations System Chief Executives Board for Coordination in 2001. Within the governance structure of UNDP, inter-secretariat coordination formerly carried out by the Consultative Board of the Special Fund and the TAB was assumed by a new Inter-Agency Consultative Board consisting of the Executive Directors (or their representatives) of the specialized agencies under the Chairmanship of the UNDP Administrator. With the 1970 Consensus, the Inter-Agency Consultancy Board was no longer responsible for advising the Administrator on all programmes and projects before their submission to the Council. IACB, later the Inter-Agency Consultative Meetings (IACM) became rather an advisory body whose principal role was to develop maximum coherence and co-ordination in the operational activities of the United Nations system as a whole, and to increase the efficiency and capacity of the system. With the UN Reform movements beginning in the 1990s, the UN Development Group (UNDG) was introduced, uniting the 32 UN funds, programmes, agencies, departments, and offices that play a role in development. The Group is responsible for coordinating UN operational activities at the country level. The Administrator of UNDP chairs UNDG and UNESCO has a permanent seat on the UNDG Advisory Group which provides the Administrator with advice on “managing the operational dimensions of the UNDG and the Resident Coordinator system” (UNDG, undated).


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  • Corporate body
  • 1946 -

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) was founded by thirty-seven countries as a result of the United Nations Conference for the establishment of an educational and cultural organization (ECO/CONF). Its Constitution, signed on 16 November 1945, came into force on 4 November 1946 after ratification by twenty countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Egypt, France, Greece, India, Lebanon, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, United Kingdom and United States. The first session of the General Conference of UNESCO was held in Paris from 19 November to 10 December 1946 with the participation of representatives from 30 governments entitled to vote.

Member States :
The ashes of the Second World War are reflected in the composition of the founding Member States of UNESCO. Japan and the Federal Republic of Germany became members in 1951, Spain in 1953. Other major historical factors, as the Cold War, the decolonization process and the dissolution of the USSR, also left their trace on UNESCO. The USSR joined UNESCO in 1954 and was replaced by the Russian Federation in 1992. Nineteen African States became Members in 1960. Twelve Republics from the former Soviet Union joined UNESCO in the period 1991 to 1993. As a consequence of its entry into the United Nations, the People's Republic of China has been the only legitimate representative of China at UNESCO since 1971. The German Democratic Republic was a Member from 1972 to 1990, when it joined the Federal Republic of Germany. In 1984, the United States withheld its contributions and withdrew from the organization in protest, followed by the United Kingdom in 1985 and Singapore in 1986. Following a change of government in 1997, the UK rejoined. The United States rejoined in 2003, followed by Singapore on 8 October 2007.

Since 1999 considerable reforms were implemented by UNESCO to restructure and decentralize the Organization’s staff and activities. These included the reduction of the number of divisions, allowing a corresponding halving of the number of directors and negotiated staff departures. In addition, the Internal Oversight Service (IOS) was established in 2001 to improve organizational performance by including the lessons learned from programme evaluations into the overall reform process.

UNESCO Asian Regional Institute for School Building Research

  • Corporate body
  • 1962-1973

The Asian Regional Institute for School Building Research (ARISBR) was organized through the cooperation of UNESCO and the Government of Indonesia to assist in solving the school building problems in the Region. It was created in Bandung in late 1962 with the expectation to last for ten years. On 1 January 1965, the President of Indonesia announced that Indonesia is withdrawing from the United Nations and most of its agencies, one of which was UNESCO. This meant that ARISBR had to be located in another country and was temporarily moved to Bangkok, on 1 June 1965. It finally moved to Colombo, Sri Lanka and closed its door in 1973.

UNESCO Bangkok Office

  • Corporate body
  • Since 1961

The UNESCO office in Bangkok was established in 1961 as the Asian Regional Office for Primary and Compulsory Education. The Office was later extended to cover all divisions of the education sector and the countries of the Pacific region.
Further growth included the incorporation of activities relating to the culture, communication, and social and human science sectors, which led to the eventual renaming of the office as the Principal Regional Office for Asia and Pacific (PROAP) in 1987.
At the beginning of 2002, the UNESCO office in Bangkok assumed two roles. As the Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education, it is the technical advisory body to all field offices and Member States of the region and the site of regional programmes in most areas covered by the Education Sector.
As the cluster office, the UNESCO office in Bangkok is also the principal coordinator of UNESCO activities, across sectors, in the Mekong region - directly in Thailand, Myanmar and Lao PDR and indirectly in support of UNESCO country offices in Viet Nam and Cambodia.
UNESCO Bangkok also houses regional advisory units in Culture and Social and Human Sciences and staff from the Communication and Information Sector and the Science Sector.
In 2007, Singapore joined UNESCO as the 193rd Member State and become a member of UNESCO Bangkok cluster office.

UNESCO Dakar Office

  • Corporate body
  • Since 1970

Established in 1970 to address educational planning issues in Africa South of the Sahara, BREDA, over years, extended its fields of action so much that it now covers not only other education sub-sectors but deals also with other areas of competence of the Organization: Science, Social
Sciences, Culture and Communication.

UNESCO Field Offices, Institutes and Centres

  • Corporate body
  • 1946-

The first General Conference decided in 1946 to establish four Science Co-operation Offices in China, India, Middle East and Latin America. These offices were set up in 1947 and the network of what were later to be called “regional offices” has been extended ever since to cover all regions in the world. After 40 years of existence, in 1986, there were 27 offices of UNESCO Representatives, 2 Regional Coordinators and 23 Regional and Sub-Regional Advisers. In 2009, about 700 staff members work in UNESCO's 58 field offices around the world.

In addition to regional offices, UNESCO has helped to set up or supported otherwise numerous Centres with an international or regional character, and also centres and institutes working on the national basis, in agreement with the host country or countries or the region.
From the very beginning, UNESCO’s presence in the Field was also assured by temporary missions sent out from Headquarters or Field offices. They consisted either of a team of experts and consultants or individuals, who travelled to Member States upon their invitation to study questions in UNESCO’s competence, to work on the execution of a development project and formulate recommendations to be addressed to the Governments in the name of UNESCO.

In 1961, the Executive Board decided to designate posts of UNESCO Chiefs of Mission to be counterparts to Resident Representatives of the Technical Assistance programmes and to co-ordinate and be responsible for all UNESCO projects in a country (60 EX/Dec.9.1). In 1976, these posts were changed into UNESCO Representatives: they were usually responsible for a group of countries or a subregion. In the budget for 1981-1983 posts of “Regional Co-ordinators” were established, who were to be high-level officials responsible for a whole region. The post was tied usually with the post of the Director of a Regional Office.

Since 1951, but especially during the 1970ies, the Regional Offices were developed in a multidisciplinary direction since posts of regional or sub-regional advisors were attached to them in field which were not originally in the competence of the Office in question.

Since 1970, when the General Conference adopted a resolution on it (16 C/Res.10), decentralization became a constant subject of debate. UNESCO's decentralization policy seeks to ensure that UNESCO designs and implements programs that, although global in scope, are adapted to the needs and specific circumstances of Member States. UNESCO's Decentralization Action Plan groups Member States for service by a global network of multi-disciplinary Cluster Offices, National Offices, Regional Bureaus and Liaison Offices. The Bureau of Field Coordination is responsible for ensuring the smooth implementation of this new field network and provides a clear, single line of management.

UNESCO Jakarta Office

  • Corporate body
  • Since 1951

The Office was established in 1951 as the UNESCO Field Office for Southeast Asian Science Co-operation (SEASCO). In 1967, it became the Regional Office for Science and 1967 Technology for Southeast Asia (ROSTSEA). In 1993, it was renamed the UNESCO Jakarta Office in keeping with the house-wide policy on office names.
In 2001, the UNESCO Office in Jakarta became Regional Science Bureau for Asia and the Pacific, and Office of the UNESCO Representative to Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines
In 2002, the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste (East Timor) signed the Instrument of Acceptance for Membership of UNESCO (31 October 2002).

UNESCO Liaison Office in Washington

  • Corporate body
  • May 1978 - March 1986

The UNESCO Liaison Office in Washington opened in May 1978 and closed down on March 31, 1986, in consequence to the withdrawal of the United States from UNESCO.

Between 1963 and 1965 there had already been a Liaison Office in Washington which mainly served to establish a co-operation programme between UNESCO and the World Bank. In 1965 this office had been transferred to the New York Liaison Office.

UNESCO Peace Games

  • Corporate body
  • 1994-1996

In 1993, the 27th session of the General Conference endorsed the idea that youth should contribute to ideals of peace on an international scale. Within this context, the UNESCO ‘Peace Games’ (‘Jeux de la Paix’ in French) were conceived, and based on an idea of an ‘Olympiades de l’Esprit’ (Olympiad of the Mind), wherein young people from around the world would compete through tests or activities centred around the theme of peace. The Games were approved by Director-General Federico Mayor in 1994 on the condition that an evaluation (test edition) take place to demonstrate the viability of the project. The soon-to-be-named Administrator of the Games, Suzanne Diop, would manage the project under the supervision of Arthur Gillette, Director of the Division of Youth and Sports Activities (SHS/YSA). After surveying the activities related to youth and peace among Permanent Delegations, it was decided that the test edition would take place in 1995, coinciding with the 10th Anniversary of the International Year of Youth, as well as the 50th Anniversary of UNESCO. This small-scale, trial edition took place in Romania in collaboration with the Romanian Ministry of Education and the National Commission, and saw some 5,000 youth participating from 30 UNESCO Associated Schools and Clubs throughout the country. Youth competed in the categories of spelling, choral singing and relay racing. Medals were awarded 7 June 1995 in Bucharest by Mr. Mayor. The Games received some financial and in-kind contributions from businesses in Romania and France, as well as from Non-Governmental Organizations.

In the Programme and Budget for 1996-1997, presented to the 28th Session of the General Conference in 1995, the Peace Games were included under the umbrella of the larger transdisciplinary project ‘Towards a culture of peace’, as they contributed to wider efforts of “peace-building ”. The Programme and Budget simply states that “Consideration will be given to the possibility of instituting a UNESCO Peace Games competition” (UNESCO. General Conference, 28th Session. 1995. 28 C/5, para. 05216). The Peace Games were discussed again at the 149th session of the Executive Board. The Board requested that the Director-General prepare a Feasibility Study to be submitted at the Board’s 150th Session.

Following on the first trial edition, an international trial edition of the Games was subsequently held with five countries participating: Benin, Costa Rica, Morocco, Romania and Togo. Approximately 20 youth from each country competed in the final which took place in Lomé, Togo, in September 1996.

Upon consideration of the feasibility study, the 150th session of the Executive Board called for a “scope that is less ambitious yet more consistent with the need for programme decentralization and concentration and with the Organization’s financial constraints” (UNESCO. Executive Board, 150th session. 150 EX/decision 8.1). The Board further invited the Director-General to take any “necessary steps to create a ‘UNESCO Peace Games’ label” that could be awarded to future ventures (UNESCO. Executive Board, 150th session. 150 EX/decision 8.1). However, after this point no further UNESCO Peace Games were awarded or held.

These UNESCO Peace Games are distinct from the UNESCO-IADC (Inter-American Defense College) PeaceGames which took place in the late 1990s and early 2000s, and aimed to include military organizations in wider, concrete peace-building efforts.

UNESCO Programme Office on Global Water Assessment (Italy)

  • Corporate body
  • 2007-

The UNESCO Programme Office on Global Water Assessment in Perugia, Italy, was established in 2007 following the signature of a Fund-in-Trust Agreement and a Memorandum of Understanding with Italy. From the establishment of World Water Assessment Programme(WWAP) in 2000, UNESCO hosted Secretariat of the Programme at headquarters in Paris. This function shifted to the newly created Programme Office which is considered part of the UNESCO Secretariat's Division of Water Sciences.

UNESCO Regional Office for Science and Technology for Latin America and the Caribbean (Uruguay)

  • Corporate body
  • Since 1949

The Office in Montevideo was created in 1949 as one of the first Field Offices of UNESCO, soon after the creation of the organization itself. Uruguay was one of the States ratifying the UNESCO convention in 1945.

The Second General Conference the UNESCO, taking place in Rio de Janeiro in 1947, instructs the General Director of UNESCO to organize an experts' meeting in order to advise the Organization on the best way to support the progress of science in Latin America. This meeting took place in Uruguay in 1948 and led to the creation of UNESCO's first center for scientific cooperation worldwide in 1949: the Regional Office of Science and Technology for Latin America and the Caribbean, with seat in Montevideo.

During the six decades of existence, the Office has seen its functions and challenges increased and today its activities comprise a great number of projects that involve governments, civil society organizations and the citizens of the 33 countries and 4 associate members of Latin America and the Caribbean.

UNESCO Regional School Building Center for Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Corporate body
  • 1963-1984

In 1961, UNESCO established an educational facilities section at Headquarters and three regional school building centres in Africa, Asia, and in Latin America and the Caribbean, in parallel to the educational policy and planning units. To strengthen the multidisciplinary approach of educational projects, in 1973 the Asian and African regional centres, as well as the policy and planning units, were integrated into the Regional Offices for Education. However, the Educational Building Centre for Latin America and the Caribbean (CONESCAL), established in Mexico in co-operation with the Organization of American States continued to function until 1984.

UNESCO Staff Associations

  • Corporate body
  • 1947-

The first Staff association of UNESCO (STA) was established in 1947. For the first 35 years of UNESCO existence, this organisation was the only association officially recognized by the Administration as representative of the UNESCO's staff.
In 1981 another staff association emerged: the ISAU (International Staff Association of UNESCO). Both associations, the STA and ISAU represent all different groups of UNESCO Staff members and have the same functions and activities.
In 1995/96 the STA changed its name from UNESCO Staff Association into UNESCO Staff Union (STU) in order to respond to a demand of FICSA (Federation of International Civil Servants' Associations). Despite the change of name, the organisation and activities of the associations stayed the same.

Over the years, there have been several attempts to divide the existing two staff associations in order to create associations who would be responsible for only the General or Professional Staff. But none of these attempts have been successful or would have been recognized as representative for UNESCO Staff.

In 1991, a new kind of association emerged: the AFUS (Association of former UNESCO Staff) who deals with all kind of questions concerning the former Staff members of UNESCO.

UNESCO Venice Office

  • Corporate body
  • Since 1973

Following the disastrous floods of 1966 in Venice and Florence and the Italian Government's invitation one year later for UNESCO to play an international action, the Liaison Office for the Safeguarding of Venice was established in 1973 on the occasion of the UNESCO International Campaign for the Safeguarding of Venice.
UNESCO Scientific Co-operation Bureau for Europe (SC/BSE) was established in 1972 as a separate unit attached to the office of the Assistant Director General for Sciences of UNESCO's Secretariat in Paris. In 1988, following the proposal of the Italian Government to host and support the activities of the Bureau for Scientific Co-operation, the Bureau was relocated to Venice, Italy and renamed as Regional Office for Science & Technology for Europe(ROSTE).
Thanks to the substantial financial and logistical support provided by the Italian National Research Council (CNR) on behalf of the Italian Government, UNESCO ROSTE started its activities in 1989.
Ten years later, within the frame of UNESCO's field strategy set out in the Decentralization Action Plan, UNESCO Bureau in Venice was renamed Regional Bureau for Science in Europe while maintaining its acronym ROSTE.
In 2002, UNESCO established a single office in Palazzo Zorzi with the mandate to achieve UNESCO’s and Member States’ goals in the fields of science and culture.
In order better to reflect the scope of action of the UNESCO Office in Venice and after consultation with the Italian Government, UNESCO Director General on 27 March 2006 decided that this Office will henceforth be named the “UNESCO Office in Venice - UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe” (BRESCE).


  • Corporate body
  • Since 1972

UNESCO-CEPES (the European Centre for Higher Education/Centre Européen pour l'Enseignement Supérieur) was established in September 1972 with a view to promoting co-operation in higher education among Member States of the Europe Region (the countries of Europe, North America, and Israel). The creation of such a centre was recommended at the Sixteenth Session of the General Conference of UNESCO which was held in the autumn of 1970. Specifically, in November of that year, the Government of Romania officially invited UNESCO to set up the Centre in Bucharest. The Director-General accepted the offer in principle, pending the outcome of negotiations relative to the legal basis and the conditions under which the Centre would be housed and would operate. These conditions were spelled out in an Accord de siège signed on 12 June 1972 and in an Annex to this Accord signed on 21 September 1972.

UNESCO. Category 2 Institutes/Centres

  • Corporate body

Category 2 Centres or Institutes, said to be under the auspices of UNESCO, are entities legally external to UNESCO that are associated with the Organization through various arrangements, as approved by the General Conference. Throughout its history UNESCO has established contractual and institutional relations in its field of competence with various such institutes and centres. However, it was in 1980 that the Twenty-first Session of the General Conference first adopted a set of principles and guidelines for the establishment of international and regional centres. The 1980 guidelines set down the nature and duration of UNESCO’s support and the procedure for formulating requests for such support.

In 2001, the Executive Board adopted the first strategy for UNESCO’s institutes and centres with the aim of achieving consistency with UNESCO’s overall decentralization strategy. At this time the terms Category 1 and Category 2 were introduced to make a distinction between those entities legally part of UNESCO and those external to the Organization. In general terms, Category 1 institutions apply UNESCO’s rules and regulations, are directed by a UNESCO staff member, and have programmes that are included in the Organization’s programme and budget. The governing bodies of most of these entities are either elected by the General Conference or appointed by the Director-General and report to the General Conference. Category 2 institutions, in contrast, do not apply UNESCO’s rules and regulations and are not led by UNESCO staff members, but UNESCO can be represented on their governing bodies. UNESCO can also provide technical and financial assistance to these centres or institutes which are established by a member state or by multilateral agreements. The Executive Board adopted a permanent framework for centres and institutes in 2005. This was followed by the introduction of a comprehensive strategy for centres and institutes, as approved by the General Conference in 2009. The 2009 strategy sets forth the actions to be taken by member states and the Secretariat when proposing and engaging with Category 2 Institutes and Centres.

Agreements to establish Category 2 institutions are for a maximum of six years and can be renewed after review and evaluation. The activities of Category 2 institutions are global, regional, sub-regional or inter-regional in scope and must contribute to UNESCO’s strategic programme objectives. These activities can include: exchange of information in a particular discipline; theoretical and experimental research and advanced training; joint publications; and facilitation of the participation of relevant national, sub-regional and regional institutions in UNESCO’s efforts. As set forth in the 2009 Strategy, UNESCO Secretariat sectors create focused strategies for engagement and interaction with Category 2 institutions in order to achieve this joint programme implementation. Category 2 Institutes and Centres are required to submit to UNESCO a biennial report on their activities. Overall, this modality of participation in the programme of the Organization is unique in the United Nations system.

The role of Category 2 Institutes and Centres was examined most recently in a 2011 Review of the Management Framework by the Internal Oversight Service. Among other results, the Category 2 Institutes and Centres were found to be, in principal, an effective model for partnership. However, it was noted that there were often delays after General Conference approval before the institutions were operational and that Secretariat sectors could also be delayed in preparing their sectoral strategies for engagement with the Institutes or Centres. As of June 2014, there are 81 International and Regional Institutes and Centres under the auspices of UNESCO.

UNESCO. Associate Experts Scheme

  • Corporate body
  • 1963-

At the level of the United Nations system, the Associate Experts Scheme was launched by an initial 1958 agreement between the United Nations (UN) and the Government of the Netherlands. In 1961, a resolution in the UN Economic and Social Council on volunteer technical personnel scheme invited specialized agencies to make use of voluntary personnel. After the 60th Session of the Executive Board encouraged the Director-General to pursue the idea, UNESCO’s first activities in line with this resolution began in 1963. In the scheme, requests come initially from potential host countries. Posts were originally intended for development or operational projects on site in the requesting country where an Associate Expert would add extra manpower to a project overseen by a senior technical expert (Alexander, p. 76). Member states wishing to fund the posts would thereby make a contribution to global development efforts in situ, while at the same time giving their young professionals their first technical experience after higher education. All costs were to be borne by the donor country. Candidates would be proposed by the funding state and approved by UNESCO and the host state. The associate experts upon recruitment were considered UNESCO personnel. In later years, associate experts could also be assigned to headquarters to work on regular programme activities. Member states join the Associate Expert Scheme through a formal exchange of letters and the signature of funds-in-trust agreements.

UNESCO. Bureau of Strategic Planning

  • Corporate body
  • 2000-10-01 -

In 2000, as part of a larger organizational charge, the Bureau of Strategic Planning (BSP) was created. BSP inherited most of its responsibilities from the former Bureau of Studies, Programming and Evaluation (BPE). At this time, the responsibility for internal evaluation of programme implementation was moved to the new Office of Internal Oversight (IOS) which centralized all internal oversight functions. BSP’s role shifted to monitoring programme implementation as aligned with its primary role in the preparation of UNESCO’s programme and reports on the activities of the Organization submitted to the General Conference and Executive Board. BSP was also responsible for ensuring that the priorities set by the Governing Bodies were taken into account at all stages of programme elaboration and implementation. In 2000, the priorities were women, youth and the least developed countries.

Unlike its immediate predecessor BPE which had a relatively fixed internal structure, the structure of BSP was more fluid in response to the priorities identified by Member States. In 2003, beyond the Office of the Director, BSP was composed of the following units: the Division of Programme Planning, Implementation and Reporting (BSP/PMR), the Section for Women and Gender Equality (BSP/WGE), the Section for Youth (BSP/YTH) and the Focal Point for Knowledge Management, Networking and SISTER (BSP/KNS). SISTER, or the System of Information on Strategies, Tasks and the Evaluation of Results, is one of the Organization’s IT-based management tools. It can be consulted by Member States and encompasses the programming, management, monitoring and reporting of the Programme and Budget (C/5) and associated operational Workplans for regular programme activities and extrabudgetary projects (UNESCO. Bureau of Strategic Planning, undated). In 2004, the Culture of Peace Coordination Unit was created in BSP. The Division for Youth was moved to the Sector for Social and Human Sciences in 2006. The former Office for Foresight was moved into BSP in 2008, creating a Section for Foresight. In 2010, the Section for Central Analysis and Planning was moved from the Bureau of the Budget to BSP, but the Division for Gender Equality was moved to the Office of the Director-General.

In 2011, responsibility for coordination of cooperation with extra-budgetary funding sources was transferred to BSP and the Division of Cooperation with Extrabudgetary Funding Sources (CFS) was moved to the Bureau. At this time, BSP was also said to be responsible as focal point for priority projects: the global strategy for support to the least developed countries; the coordination of UNESCO’s contribution to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio +20); contributions to policy discussions by the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC); the servicing of the General Conference’s Leaders Forum and of various high-level panels and senior expert groups established by the Director-General, as well as the implementation of the UNESCO policy for Category 2 institutes and centres. Beyond the Office of the Assistant Director-General, BSP had the following units as of 2011: the Administrative Unit; the Unit for Intersectoral Platform on a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence; the Team for Knowledge and Programme Management Issues and Support; Team for UN Reform; the Division for Programme and Budget; the Division of Cooperation with Extra-budgetary Funding Sources; and the Section for Foresight.

In 2014, the Section for Foresight and the Unit for the Intersectoral Platform on a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence were dissolved, with responsibility for their activities moved to the new Division of Social Transformations and Intercultural Dialogue in the Social and Human Sciences Sector.

At the beginning of 2016, BSP was reorganized into five sections under the Office of the Director: the Section for Strategic Planning, Monitoring and Reporting; the Section for Budget and Risk Management; the Section for Mobilizing Government Partner Resources; the Section for Mobilizing Resources from Multilateral and Private Partners; and, the Section for Cooperation with UN System.

BSP was led by Hans D’Orville from its creation in 2000 to 2014. Ana Luiza Thompson-Flores led BSP from January to September 2015. Qian Tang, Assistant Director-General for Education, has been the Officer-in-Charge for BSP since that time.

UNESCO. Bureau of Studies, Programming and Evaluation

  • Corporate body
  • 1990-02-28 - 2000-09-30

The Office of Planning, Budgeting and Evaluation (PBE) was created in 1988, bringing together the former Bureau of Studies and Programming, Central Evaluation Unit and Bureau of the Budget. This change was made in the lead-up to the third Medium-Term Plan in order to strengthen capacity for studies, analyses, programming and evaluation. PBE was renamed the following year the Bureau of Studies, Programming and Evaluation (BPE). In 1990, the Bureau of the Budget was moved and BPE had then two units: the Division of Studies and Programming and the Central Programme Evaluation Unit. The Division was responsible for preparing the Medium-Term Plan and biennial programmes, as well as the Director-General's reports on the activities of the Organization to the Executive Board and to the General Conference, as well as carrying out studies concerning developments in the Organization's various fields of competence. The Unit was responsible for the system of evaluation of the Organization’s activities, ensuring that the findings of the evaluation fed back into medium-term planning, programming and programme execution. In 1992, BPE inherited the Division of Statistics and became responsible for supporting the Ad hoc Forum of Reflection as established by Resolution 15, at the 26th Session of the General Conference (1991). The activities for the Ad hoc Forum ended after the submission of the Forum’s report at the 27th Session of the General Conference in 1993. In 1997, the Division of Statistics began its transformation into the UNESCO Institute for Statistics, but the Division of Statistics continued to exist in BPE until 30 June 1999.

PBE was led by Assistant Director-General Sylvain Lourié from 1988 to 1990. Albert Sasson was Director of BPE from 1990 to 1993, then promoted to Assistant Director-General heading BPE from 1993-1996. Françoise Rivière led BPE from 1996-2000. She was its Director from 1996-1998, then was promoted to Assistant Director-General in 1999. Late that year, in November 1999, Ms. Rivière was appointed head of the Executive Office of the Office of the Director-General. She continued to supervise the work of BPE in this capacity. In 2000, in the context of larger organizational change, BPE was renamed the Bureau of Strategic Planning (BSP) and its mandate was adjusted slightly. BSP continued BPE’s planning and programming role, with resposibility for monitoring the programme’s implementation. Evaluation activities were entrusted to the new Office of Internal Oversight (IOS). BSP also has responsibility for coordinating the priorities set by the General Conference and Executive Board, such as, at the time of its creation, work with youth, women and least-developed countries.

UNESCO. Communication and Information Sector

  • Corporate body
  • Under diverse names and in different administrative set-ups since 1946

The Communication and Information Sector (CI) was established in its present form in 1990.

UNESCO. Culture Sector

  • Corporate body
  • 1981-1985, 1990-

Prior to 1948, there were separate sections or divisions within UNESCO for the fields of libraries, museums, arts and letters. In 1948, these units were grouped under the newly created Department of Cultural Activities (CUA). The Department was renamed the Department of Culture in 1965 when the units at headquarters were being reorganized into Sectors creating the Social Sciences, Human Sciences and Culture Sector (SHC). Within SHC, the Department of Culture split in 1972 into the Department of Studies, Development and Dissemination of Culture (CLT) and the Department of Cultural Heritage (CLP). CLT’s name was shortened to the Department of Studies and Development in Culture in c. 1974. In 1975, both CLT and CLP were dissolved in advance of a larger reorganization of the sectors in 1976. At this time, the Culture and Communication Sector (CC) was created. The CC Sector was split apart by programme again so that there was an independent Culture Sector (CLT) from 1981 to 1985, until the programmes merged again to reform CC from 1986 to 1989. The Culture Sector (CLT) has since existed as an independent sector from 1990.

Over its history, CLT and its predecessors back to CUA have had the following directors and assistant director-generals: J. Thomas (1950-1954?); [Acting] P, Kirpal (1956?-1957); R. Salat (1957-1960); [Deputy] S. Asabuki (1962?); L. Gomes Machado (1962-1967); A. Seydou (1968?-1972); for CLT, A. Seydou (1972-1973?); for CLP, G. Bolla (1972-1974); for SHC, M. Elmandjra (1966?-1969); for SHC, R.H. Hoggart (1970-1974); M. Makagiansar (1976-1985); H. Lopes (1986?-1993); L. Arizpe (1994-1998); H. Crespo-Toral ([Deputy 1998-1999], 1999); M. Bouchenaki, ([Acting Interim 2000], 2001-2004); F. Rivière (2007-2010); and, F. Bandarin (2010-present).

UNESCO. Department for Advancement of Education

  • Corporate body
  • 1967-1972

As part of a larger reorganization of the Secretariat, the Department for Advancement of Education (EDV) was created within the Education Sector in 1967, as approved in the 14 C/5 Programme and Budget. The Department was responsible for the study and general advancement of primary, secondary and higher education, with particular attention to the promotion of international co-operation through intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, through international conferences at ministerial level, and through selected studies on the status of education throughout the world. Special emphasis was to be given to the promotion of the right to education which included activities on the implementation of the Convention and Recommendation against Discrimination in Education, the access of girls and women to education, and the development of a programme in special education for handicapped children. Responsibility for educational programmes for refugees (UNRWA) and for training abroad, including administration of fellowship programme, was added the subsequent biennium. EDV oversaw cooperation with the International Bureau for Education (IBE) and the Institute for Lifelong Learning in Hamburg from 1969 to 1970. The IBE was administratively considered part of the Department from 1971 to 1972. Regional Offices in Santiago, Bangkok, and Dakar reported through the Department until 1971. The Department had responsibility for International Education Year and hosted the secretariat for the International Commission for Educational Development. EDV was dissolved when the sector was reorganized for the 1973-1974 biennium. The Department of Planning and Financing of Education inherited responsibility for activities on the right to education, international conferences on the ministerial level and development of educational policies. The Division of Training abroad moved to Department of Higher Education and Training of Educational Personnel.

The Department had the following units over time: Office of the Director (1967-1972), Division of Higher Education (1967-1968), Division of Studies and Information (1967-1968), Division of Equality of Access to Education (1967-1972), Division of Training Abroad (1968-1972), Special Unit – International Education Year (1969-1970), Division of Comparative Education (1969-1970), Division of Regional Programmes (1969-1971), Division of Study of Educational Policies (1971-1972), International Commission for Educational Development (1971-1972).

The Department was led by the following directors over time: L. Fernig (1967-1969), (Interim) S. Tanguiane (1970-1971), J. Knapp (1971-1972).

UNESCO. Division for Human Settlements and the Socio-Cultural Environment

  • Corporate body
  • 1975-11-01 - 1985-07-26

The Draft Budget for 1975-1976 (18 C/5) introduced UNESCO’s role in examining the definition of quality of life, or the “real inner landscapes of man, those conditions of his life (socio-cultural, ideological, spiritual) within which he feels that his life is, or is not, worth living” (UNESCO, 18 C/5, para. 3367). The Programme on ‘Man and his Environment’ was to be a counter-part to environmental programmes introduced to address the “outer landscapes.” The aim in the medium-term would be to address the environment in its widest sense at UNESCO as part of inter-sectoral programme. However, since activities on the physical environment were well developed in the Natural Sciences Sector, the idea in 1975 was to begin with an inter-departmental programme in the Sector for Social Sciences, Humanities and Culture. Thus a small coordinating unit, Man in his environment - human settlements, was created within the new Division of Human Rights and Peace. The unit was to coordinate joint activities of the Departments of Social Sciences, Cultural Activities and Cultural Heritage. It was also responsible for: liaising with other organizations interested in the same ends; ensuring the participation of UNESCO in the preparation of the 1976 United Nations Conference-Exposition on Human Settlements; encouraging the activities of Member States to carry out projects of their own, individually or jointly, consonant with the objectives of the programme; and providing the secretariat for the inter-sectoral committee addressing the interconnections between the programme and the Man and the Biosphere programme, as well as other ecological activities of the Natural Sciences Sector, and relevant activities in education and communication.

From 1975 to 1976, the Secretariat as a whole was reorganized, and the Sector for Social Sciences, Humanities and Culture was dissolved and in its place a Sector for Social Sciences and their Applications and a Sector for Culture and Communication were created. The coordinating unit became the Division for Human Settlements and the Socio-Cultural Environment (SS/ENV). The original idea of a coordinating role remained with regard to collaboration with the physical environment programmes. However, the cultural aspect of the Man and his Environment programme shifted away from collaboration with tangible heritage programming and towards activities for raising public awareness of the problems of the rural and urban world, as well as to training activities for engineers, urban planners, and architects. Beyond coordination within UNESCO, the Division worked with UNEP, the International Union of Architects, as well as the UN body that became UN-Habitat in 1977. The Medium-Term Plan for 1977-1982 confirmed ‘Man and his Environment’ as one of ten world problems which UNESCO would seek to address through its work.

The Second Medium-Term Plan, approved at the 4th Extraordinary Session of the General Conference in 1982, identified “The Human Environment and Terrestrial and Marine Resources” as a Major Programme for UNESCO for 1984-1989. This Major Programme emphasized the inter-sectoral approach in the environmental programming. There were some changes to the structure of the Organization during this time, beginning in 1984 with the sector’s name change to the Sector of Social and Human Sciences. The Division for Human Settlements and the Socio-Cultural Environment (SHS/ENV) was dissolved in 1985. Some of its former activities were transferred at this time to the Division of Study and Planning of Development (DEV/EPD) in the newly created Bureau of Studies, Action and Coordination for Development. The 1986-1987 Programme and Budget moved other responsibilities under the Major Programme to the Division of Economic and Social Sciences. In the 1988-1989 Programme and Budget, responsibility was reassigned to the newly created Division of Population and Human Settlements (SHS/POP). The Third Medium-Term Plan, 1990-1995, addressed environmental programming and the “inner landscapes” in multiple Major Programmes. Following a restructuring of the Secretariat in 1990, responsibilities for the activities of the former Major Programme were redistributed between SHS/POP, a new Division for Education for Quality of Life (ED/QAL) and the Bureau for Co-ordination of Environment Programmes (SC/ENV). Socio-cultural environmental activities were also woven into activities for the World Decade for Cultural Development.

A new Division for Population, Human Settlements and Development Studies (SHS/PHD) was created in 1993 and existed until 1994 when the Social and Human Sciences Sector as a whole was reorganized. PHD’s activities were then partly inherited by the Human Habitat Unit (SHS/SRP/HH) in the new Division of Social Science, Research and Policy. That year a transdisciplinary project on “environmental and population education and information for development” was also launched. In the Approved Budget and Programme for 1996 and 1997, the transdisciplinary project existed as a separate unit (EPD) reporting directly to the Office of the Director-General. The following biennium the Project was renamed Educating for a Sustainable Future (environment, population, development). The Human Habitat Unit was also renamed the Cities and Human Habitat Unit in 1998. In the Approved Programme and Budget for 2000-2001, EPD was moved to the Education Sector and became the Division for Educating for a Sustainable Future (ED/EPD). However, this move was soon revised in July 2000 when the Secretariat as a whole was restructured. Social science activities on the human environment from this point have fallen under the umbrella of sustainable development programming and capacity-building for social science research in general.

Programme Specialist Georges Fradier was head of the Man in his environment - human settlements coordinating unit from 1975 to 1976. Salvino Busuttil was appointed Director of the Division for Human Settlements and the Socio-Cultural Environment in 1977 and served in this capacity until the Division was dissolved in 1986. As acting Director of the Population Division, Raul Urzua continued as Director of the new Division of Population and Human Settlements when the two units merged in 1988 and served as Director of the Division and from 1989 as Coordinator of Population Programmes until 1993. Wolfgang Tochtermann was Director of the Division for Population, Human Settlements and Development Studies from 1993 until it was dissolved in 1994.

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