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<tr> <td colspan="2" style="text-align:center;">Image:Flag of UNESCO.svg
UNESCO flag</td> </tr> <tr> <th>Acronyms:</th> <td>UNESCO</td> </tr> <tr> <th>Head:</th> <td>Director General of UNESCO
Koïchiro Matsuura
Image:Flag of Japan (bordered).svg Japan</td>
</tr> <tr> <th>Status:</th> <td>Active</td> </tr> <tr> <th>Established:</th> <td>1945</td> </tr> <tr> <th>Website:</th> <td>www.unesco.org</td> </tr> <tr> <th>Wikimedia
:</th> <td>Image:Commons-logo.svgUNESCO</td> </tr>
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
Org type: Specialized Agency
Portal: Image:Un-flag-square.png United Nations Portal

fr:Modèle:Infobox ONU UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) is a specialized agency of the United Nations established in 1945. Its stated purpose is to contribute to peace and security by promoting international collaboration through education, science, and culture in order to further universal respect for justice, the rule of law, and the human rights and fundamental freedoms proclaimed in the UN Charter.[1]

In total, 191 nations belong to UNESCO. The organization is based in Paris, with over 50 field offices and several institutes and offices throughout the world. Most of the field offices are "cluster" offices covering three or more countries; there are also national and regional offices. UNESCO pursues its action through five major programmes: education, natural sciences, social and human sciences, culture, and communication and information. Projects sponsored by UNESCO include literacy, technical, and teacher-training programmes; international science programmes; the promotion of independent media and freedom of the press; regional and cultural history projects, the promotion of cultural diversity; international cooperation agreements to secure the world cultural and natural heritage and to preserve human rights; and attempts to bridge the world-wide digital divide.


[edit] Structure

Three bodies are responsible for policy-making, governance, and day-to-day administration at UNESCO:

  • The General Conference
  • The Executive Board
  • The Secretariat

The General Conference is a gathering of the organization's member states and associate members, at which each state has one vote. Meeting every two years, it sets general policies and defines programme lines for the organization.

The Executive Board's 58 members are elected by the General Conference for staggered four-year terms. The Executive Board prepares the sessions of the General Conference and ensures that its instructions are carried out. It also discharges other specific mandates assigned to it by the General Conference.

The Secretariat consists of the Director-General and his staff and is responsible for the day-to-day running of the organization. The Director-General, who serves as the public face of UNESCO, is elected for a (renewable) four-year term by the General Conference. The staff currently numbers some 2100, of whom some two-thirds are based in Paris, with the remaining third spread around the world in UNESCO's 58 field offices. The Secretariat is divided into various administrative offices and five programme sectors that reflect the organization's major areas of focus.

[edit] Controversy and reform

UNESCO has been at the centre of controversy, particularly in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Singapore. During the 1970s and 1980s, UNESCO's support for a "New World Information Order" and its MacBride report calling for democratization of the media and a more egalitarian access to information was condemned in these countries as attempts to destroy the freedom of the press. UNESCO was perceived by some as a platform for communist and Third World countries to attack the West. 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 the change in government in 1997, the UK rejoined; the United States rejoined in 2003. During this period, considerable reforms had been implemented in the organization.


These included the following measures: the number of divisions in UNESCO was cut in half, allowing a corresponding halving of the number of Directors — from 200 to under 100, out of a total staff of approximately 2,000 worldwide. At the same time, the number of field units was cut from a peak of 79 in 1999 to 52 today. Parallel management structures, including 35 Cabinet-level special advisor positions, were abolished. Between 1999 and 2003, 209 negotiated staff departures and buy-outs took place, causing the inherited $10 million staff cost deficit to disappear. The staff pyramid, which was the most top-heavy in the UN system, was cut back as the number of high-level posts was halved and the “inflation” of posts was reversed through the down-grading many positions. Open competitive recruitment, results-based appraisal of staff, training of all managers and field rotation were instituted, as well as SISTER and SAP systems for transparency in results-based programming and budgeting. In addition, the Internal Oversight Service (IOS) was established in 2001 to improve organizational performance by including the lessons learned from program evaluations into the overall reform process. In reality though, IOS's main tasks involve auditing rather than programme oversight; it regularly carries out audits of UNESCO offices that essentially look into administrative and procedural compliance, but do not assess the relevance and usefulness of the activities and projects that are carried out.

Programming coherence and relevance remains a challenge at UNESCO. One of the main reasons for this is that activities and projects can be identified and supervised by various services within the organization (divisions and sections based at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, UNESCO regional and cluster field offices and international insitutes) with insufficient coordination between them.

[edit] Activities

[edit] Prizes, awards and medals

UNESCO awards several prizes in science, culture and peace, such as:

[edit] Directors General

  1. Julian Huxley, Image:Flag of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom (1946–1948)
  2. Jaime Torres Bodet, Image:Flag of Mexico.svg Mexico (1948–1952)
  3. John Wilkinson Taylor, Image:Flag of the United States.svg United States (acting 1952–1953)
  4. Luther Evans, Image:Flag of the United States.svg United States (1953–1958)
  5. Vittorino Veronese, Image:Flag of Italy.svg Italy (1958–1961)
  6. René Maheu, Image:Flag of France.svg France (1961–1974; acting 1962)
  7. Amadou-Mahtar M'Bow, Image:Flag of Senegal.svg Senegal (1974–1987)
  8. Federico Mayor Zaragoza, Image:Flag of Spain.svg Spain (1987–1999)
  9. Koïchiro Matsuura, Image:Flag of Japan (bordered).svg Japan (1999–present)

[edit] External links

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