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CAUT Bulletin Archives

January 1998

What is UNESCO?

UNESCO is one of the specialized agencies of the United Nations.

  • Full Title - United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization;
  • Foundation - London in November 1945, and came into existence one year later when 20 states ratified the constitution;
  • Objective - To contribute to peace and security in the world by promoting collaboration among nations through education, science, culture and communication;
  • Functions - Prospective studies on the future of education, science and culture; the advancement, transfer and sharing of knowledge; standard-setting action through the preparation and adoption of international instruments and statutory recommendations; provision of expertise to member states through technical cooperation; and, exchange of specialized information
  • Membership - Member states, currently 186. The only major country that is not a member is the United States which holds observer status
  • Governing Body - General Conference of UNESCO. The general conference meets every two years, and is composed of the delegates of the member states. Business is conducted between conferences by the Executive to which Canada was elected this year
  • Budget - $544,367,150 us
  • Director-General - Federico Mayor of Spain
  • Headquarters - Place de Fontenoy, Paris, France
  • Web Site -