Warning: fopen(hajlogz/2023-03-24.txt): failed to open stream: No space left on device in /home/admin/web/owiki.org/public_html/gdi.php on line 42

Warning: fwrite() expects parameter 1 to be resource, bool given in /home/admin/web/owiki.org/public_html/gdi.php on line 43

Warning: fclose() expects parameter 1 to be resource, bool given in /home/admin/web/owiki.org/public_html/gdi.php on line 44

Notice: fwrite(): write of 329 bytes failed with errno=28 No space left on device in /home/admin/web/owiki.org/public_html/gdi.php on line 138


The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation is a specialised agency of the United Nations aimed at contributing "to the building of peace, the eradication of poverty, sustainable development and intercultural dialogue through education, the sciences, culture, communication and information. It is the successor of the League of Nations' International Committee on Intellectual Cooperation.
UNESCO has 193 member states and 11 associate members. Based in Paris, France, most of its field offices are "cluster" offices that cover three or more countries; national and regional offices also exist.
UNESCO seeks to build a culture of peace and inclusive knowledge societies through information and communication. To that end, it pursues its objectives through five major program areas: education, natural sciences, social/human sciences, culture and communication/information. It sponsors projects related to literacy, technical training, education, the advancement of science, promoting independent media and freedom of the press, preserving regional and cultural history, and promoting cultural diversity. UNESCO assists in translating and disseminating world literature, establishing international cooperation agreements to secure "World Heritage Sites" of cultural and natural importance, preserving human rights, and bridging the worldwide digital divide. It also launched and leads the Education For All movement and lifelong learning.
UNESCO is a member of the United Nations Development Group, a coalition of UN agencies and organisations aimed at fulfilling the Sustainable Development Goals.


UNESCO and its mandate for international cooperation can be traced back to a League of Nations resolution on 21 September 1921, to elect a Commission to study feasibility. This new body, the International Committee on Intellectual Cooperation was created in 1922. On 18 December 1925, the International Bureau of Education began work as a non-governmental organization in the service of international educational development. However, the onset of World War II largely interrupted the work of these predecessor organizations.
After the signing of the Atlantic Charter and the Declaration of the United Nations, the Conference of Allied Ministers of Education began meetings in London which continued from 16 November 1942 to 5 December 1945. On 30 October 1943, the necessity for an international organization was expressed in the Moscow Declaration, agreed upon by China, the United Kingdom, the United States and the USSR. This was followed by the Dumbarton Oaks Conference proposals of 9 October 1944. Upon the proposal of CAME and in accordance with the recommendations of the United Nations Conference on International Organization, held in San Francisco in April–June 1945, a United Nations Conference for the establishment of an educational and cultural organization was convened in London 1–16 November 1945 with 44 governments represented. The idea of UNESCO was largely developed by Rab Butler, the Minister of Education for the United Kingdom, who had a great deal of influence in its development. At the ECO/CONF, the Constitution of UNESCO was introduced and signed by 37 countries, and a Preparatory Commission was established. The Preparatory Commission operated between 16 November 1945, and 4 November 1946—the date when UNESCO's Constitution came into force with the deposit of the twentieth ratification by a member state.
The first General Conference took place from 19 November to 10 December 1946, and elected Dr. Julian Huxley to Director-General. The Constitution was amended in November 1954 when the General Conference resolved that members of the Executive Board would be representatives of the governments of the States of which they are nationals and would not, as before, act in their personal capacity. This change in governance distinguished UNESCO from its predecessor, the ICIC, in how member states would work together in the organization's fields of competence. As member states worked together over time to realize UNESCO's mandate, political and historical factors have shaped the organization's operations in particular during the Cold War, the decolonization process, and the dissolution of the USSR.
Among the major achievements of the organization is its work against racism, for example through influential statements on race starting with a declaration of anthropologists and other scientists in 1950 and concluding with the 1978 Declaration on Race and Racial Prejudice.
In 1956, the Republic of South Africa withdrew from UNESCO saying that some of the organization's publications amounted to "interference" in the country's "racial problems". South Africa rejoined the organization in 1994 under the leadership of Nelson Mandela.
UNESCO's early work in the field of education included the pilot project on fundamental education in the Marbial Valley, Haiti, started in 1947.
This project was followed by expert missions to other countries, including, for example, a mission to Afghanistan in 1949.
In 1948, UNESCO recommended that Member States should make free primary education compulsory and universal.
In 1990, the World Conference on Education for All, in Jomtien, Thailand, launched a global movement to provide basic education for all children, youths and adults.
Ten years later, the 2000 World Education Forum held in Dakar, Senegal, led member governments to commit to achieving basic education for all by 2015.
UNESCO's early activities in culture included the Nubia Campaign, launched in 1960.
The purpose of the campaign was to move the Great Temple of Abu Simbel to keep it from being swamped by the Nile after the construction of the Aswan Dam. During the 20-year campaign, 22 monuments and architectural complexes were relocated. This was the first and largest in a series of campaigns including Mohenjo-daro, Fes, Kathmandu, Borobudur and the Acropolis.
The organization's work on heritage led to the adoption, in 1972, of the Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage.
The World Heritage Committee was established in 1976 and the first sites inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1978.
Since then important legal instruments on cultural heritage and diversity have been adopted by UNESCO member states in 2003 and 2005.
An intergovernmental meeting of UNESCO in Paris in December 1951 led to the creation of the European Council for Nuclear Research, which was responsible for establishing the European Organization for Nuclear Research later on, in 1954.
Arid Zone programming, 1948–1966, is another example of an early major UNESCO project in the field of natural sciences.
In 1968, UNESCO organized the first intergovernmental conference aimed at reconciling the environment and development, a problem that continues to be addressed in the field of sustainable development. The main outcome of the 1968 conference was the creation of UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere Programme.
In the field of communication, the "free flow of ideas by word and image" has been in UNESCO's constitution from its beginnings, following the experience of the Second World War when control of information was a factor in indoctrinating populations for aggression.
In the years immediately following World War II, efforts were concentrated on reconstruction and on the identification of needs for means of mass communication around the world. UNESCO started organizing training and education for journalists in the 1950s.
In response to calls for a "New World Information and Communication Order" in the late 1970s, UNESCO established the International Commission for the Study of Communication Problems, which produced the 1980 MacBride report.
The same year, UNESCO created the International Programme for the Development of Communication, a multilateral forum designed to promote media development in developing countries. In 1991, UNESCO's General Conference endorsed the Windhoek Declaration on media independence and pluralism, which led the UN General Assembly to declare the date of its adoption, 3 May, as World Press Freedom Day. Since 1997, UNESCO has awarded the UNESCO / Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize every 3 May. In the lead up to the World Summit on the Information Society in 2003 and 2005, UNESCO introduced the Information for All Programme.
UNESCO admitted Palestine as a member in 2011.
Laws passed in the United States after Palestine applied for UNESCO and WHO membership in April 1989 mean that the US cannot contribute financially to any UN organisation that accepts Palestine as a full member. As a result, the US withdrew its funding, which had accounted for about 22% of UNESCO's budget. Israel also reacted to Palestine's admittance to UNESCO by freezing Israeli payments to UNESCO and imposing sanctions on the Palestinian Authority, stating that Palestine's admittance would be detrimental "to potential peace talks". Two years after they stopped paying their dues to UNESCO, the US and Israel lost UNESCO voting rights in 2013 without losing the right to be elected; thus, the US was elected as a member of the Executive Board for the period 2016–19. In 2019, Israel left UNESCO after 69 years of membership, with Israel's ambassador to the UN Danny Danon writing: "UNESCO is the body that continually rewrites history, including by erasing the Jewish connection to Jerusalem... it is corrupted and manipulated by Israel's enemies... we are not going to be a member of an organisation that deliberately acts against us".


UNESCO implements its activities through the five program areas: education, natural sciences, social and human sciences, culture, and communication and information.
UNESCO does not accredit institutions of higher learning.
The has been designed to enable public access to information regarding Organization's activities, such as its aggregate budget for a biennium, as well as links to relevant programmatic and financial documents. These two distinct sets of information are published on the IATI registry, respectively based on the IATI Activity Standard and the IATI Organization Standard.
There have been proposals to establish two new UNESCO lists. The first proposed list will focus on movable cultural heritage such as artifacts, paintings, and biofacts. The list may include cultural objects, such as the Jōmon Venus of Japan, the Mona Lisa of France, the Gebel el-Arak Knife of Egypt, The Ninth Wave of Russia, the Seated Woman of Çatalhöyük of Turkey, the David of Italy, the Mathura Herakles of India, the Manunggul Jar of the Philippines, the Crown of Baekje of South Korea, The Hay Wain of the United Kingdom and the Benin Bronzes of Nigeria. The second proposed list will focus on the world's living species, such as the komodo dragon of Indonesia, the panda of China, the bald eagle of North American countries, the aye-aye of Madagascar, the Asiatic lion of India, the kakapo of New Zealand, and the mountain tapir of Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.


UNESCO and its specialized institutions issue a number of magazines.
The UNESCO Courier magazine states its mission to "promote UNESCO's ideals, maintain a platform for the dialogue between cultures and provide a forum for international debate". Since March 2006 it is available online, with limited printed issues. Its articles express the opinions of the authors which are not necessarily the opinions of UNESCO. There was a hiatus in publishing between 2012 and 2017.
In 1950, UNESCO initiated the quarterly review Impact of Science on Society to discuss the influence of science on society. The journal ceased publication in 1992. UNESCO also published Museum International Quarterly from the year 1948.

Official UNESCO NGOs

UNESCO has official relations with 322 international non-governmental organizations. Most of these are what UNESCO calls "operational"; a select few are "formal".
The highest form of affiliation to UNESCO is "formal associate", and the 22 NGOs with formal associate relations occupying offices at UNESCO are:
IBInternational Baccalaureate
CCIVSCo-ordinating Committee for International Voluntary Service
EIEducation International
IAUInternational Association of Universities
IFTCInternational Council for Film, Television and Audiovisual Communication
ICPHSInternational Council for Philosophy and Humanistic Studies which publishes Diogenes
ICSUInternational Council for Science
ICOMInternational Council of Museums
ICSSPEInternational Council of Sport Science and Physical Education
ICAInternational Council on Archives
ICOMOSInternational Council on Monuments and Sites
IFJInternational Federation of Journalists
IFLAInternational Federation of Library Associations and Institutions
IFPAInternational Federation of Poetry Associations
IMCInternational Music Council
IPAInternational Police Association
INSULAInternational Scientific Council for Island Development
ISSCInternational Social Science Council
ITIInternational Theatre Institute
IUCNInternational Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources
IUTAOInternational Union of Technical Associations and Organizations
UIAUnion of International Associations
WANWorld Association of Newspapers
WFEOWorld Federation of Engineering Organizations
WFUCAWorld Federation of UNESCO Clubs, Centres and Associations

Institutes and centres

The institutes are specialized departments of the organization that support UNESCO's programme, providing specialized support for cluster and national offices.
IBEInternational Bureau of EducationGeneva
UILUNESCO Institute for Lifelong LearningHamburg
IIEPUNESCO International Institute for Educational PlanningParis and Buenos Aires and Dakar
IITEUNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in EducationMoscow
IICBAUNESCO International Institute for Capacity Building in AfricaAddis Ababa
IESALCUNESCO International Institute for Higher Education in Latin America and the CaribbeanCaracas
MGIEPMahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable DevelopmentNew Delhi
UNESCO-UNEVOCUNESCO-UNEVOC International Centre for Technical and Vocational Education and TrainingBonn
UNESCO-IHEUNESCO-IHE Institute for Water EducationDelft
ICTPInternational Centre for Theoretical PhysicsTrieste
UISUNESCO Institute for StatisticsMontreal


UNESCO awards 22 prizes in education, science, culture and peace:
International Days observed at UNESCO is provided in the table given below
27 JanuaryInternational Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust
13 FebruaryWorld Radio Day
21 FebruaryInternational Mother Language Day
8 MarchInternational Women's Day
20 MarchInternational Francophonie Day
21 MarchInternational Day of Nowruz
21 MarchWorld Poetry Day
21 MarchInternational Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
22 MarchWorld Day for Water
23 AprilWorld Book and Copyright Day
30 AprilInternational Jazz Day
3 MayWorld Press Freedom Day
21 MayWorld Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development
22 MayInternational Day for Biological Diversity
25 MayAfrica Day / Africa Week
5 JuneWorld Environment Day
8 JuneWorld Oceans Day
17 JuneWorld Day to Combat Desertification and Drought
9 AugustInternational Day of the World's Indigenous People
12 AugustInternational Youth Day
23 AugustInternational Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition
8 SeptemberInternational Literacy Day
15 SeptemberInternational Day of Democracy
21 SeptemberInternational Day of Peace
28 SeptemberInternational Day for the Universal Access to Information
2 OctoberInternational Day of Non-Violence
5 OctoberWorld Teachers' Day
2nd Wednesday in OctoberInternational Day for Disaster Reduction
17 OctoberInternational Day for the Eradication of Poverty
20 OctoberWorld Statistics Day
27 OctoberWorld Day for Audiovisual Heritage
2 NovemberInternational Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists
10 NovemberWorld Science Day for Peace and Development
3rd Thursday in NovemberWorld Philosophy Day
16 NovemberInternational Day for Tolerance
19 NovemberInternational Men's Day
25 NovemberInternational Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women
29 NovemberInternational Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People
1 DecemberWorld AIDS Day
10 DecemberHuman Rights Day
18 DecemberInternational Migrants Day

Member states

As of January 2019, UNESCO has 193 member states and 11 associate members. Some members are not independent states and some members have additional National Organizing Committees from some of their dependent territories. UNESCO state parties are the United Nations member states, as well as Cook Islands, Niue and Palestine. The United States and Israel left UNESCO on 31 December 2018.

Governing bodies


There has been no elected UNESCO Director-General from Southeast Asia, South Asia, Central and North Asia, Middle East, North Africa, East Africa, Central Africa, South Africa, Australia-Oceania, and South America since inception.
The Directors-General of UNESCO came from West Europe, Central America, North America, West Africa, East Asia, and East Europe. Out of the 11 Directors-General since inception, women have held the position only twice. Qatar, the Philippines, and Iran are proposing for a Director-General bid by 2021 or 2025. There have never been a Middle Eastern or Southeast Asian UNESCO Director-General since inception. The ASEAN bloc and some Pacific and Latin American nations support the possible bid of the Philippines, which is culturally Asian, Oceanic, and Latin. Qatar and Iran, on the other hand, have fragmented support in the Middle East. Egypt, Israel, and Madagascar are also vying for the position but have yet to express a direct or indirect proposal. Both Qatar and Egypt lost in the 2017 bid against France.
The list of the Directors-General of UNESCO since its establishment in 1946 is as follows:
Audrey AzoulayFRA2017–present
Irina BokovaBUL2009–2017
Koïchiro MatsuuraJPN1999–2009
Federico Mayor ZaragozaESP1987–99
Amadou-Mahtar M'BowSEN1974–87
René MaheuFRA1961–74; acting 1961
Vittorino VeroneseITA1958–61
Luther Evans1953–58
John Wilkinson Tayloracting 1952–53
Jaime Torres Bodet1948–52
Julian HuxleyUK1946–48

General Conference

This is the list of the sessions of the UNESCO General Conference held since 1946:
SessionLocationYearChaired byfrom
39thParis2017Zohour AlaouiMorocco
38thParis2015Stanley Mutumba SimataaNamibia
37thParis2013Hao PingCHN
36thParis2011Katalin BogyayHUN
35thParis2009Davidson HepburnBHS
34thParis2007George N. AnastassopoulosGRC
33rdParis2005Musa Bin Jaafar Bin HassanOMN
32ndParis2003Michael OmolewaNGA
31stParis2001Ahmad JalaliIRN
30thParis1999Jaroslava MoserováCZE
29thParis1997Eduardo PortellaBRA
28thParis1995Torben KroghDNK
27thParis1993Ahmed Saleh SayyadYEM
26thParis1991Bethwell Allan OgotKEN
25thParis1989Anwar IbrahimMYS
24thParis1987Guillermo Putzeys AlvarezGTM
23rdSofia1985Nikolai Todorov
22ndParis1983Saïd TellJOR
4th extraordinaryParis1982
21stBelgrade1980Ivo MarganYUG
20thParis1978Napoléon LeBlancCAN
19thNairobi1976Taaita ToweettKEN
18thParis1974Magda JóborúHUN
3rd extraordinaryParis1973
17thParis1972Toru HaguiwaraJPN
16thParis1970Atilio Dell'Oro MainiARG
15thParis1968William Eteki MboumouaCMR
14thParis1966Bedrettin TuncelTUR
13thParis1964Norair Sisakian
12thParis1962Paulo de Berrêdo CarneiroBRA
11thParis1960Akale-Work Abte-WoldETH
10thParis1958Jean BerthoinFRA
9thNew Delhi1956Abul Kalam AzadIND
8thMontevideo1954Justino Zavala MuñizURY
2nd extraordinaryParis1953
7thParis1952Sarvepalli RadhakrishnanIND
6thParis1951Howland H. SargeantUSA
5thFlorence1950Stefano JaciniITA
4thParis1949Edward Ronald WalkerAUS
1st extraordinaryParis1948
3rdBeirut1948Hamid Bey FrangieLBN
2ndMexico City1947Manuel Gual VidalMEX
1stParis1946Léon BlumFRA

The 40th General Conference On 12th To 27 November 2019.

Executive Board

TermGroup I
Group II
Group III
Group IV
Group V
Group V
2019-2023France Germany

Dominican Republic







United Kingdom


Russian Federation












Republic of Korea

Sri Lanka



Cote d'Ivoire





South Africa












Dominican Republic

El Salvador

Saint Kitts and Nevis

Trinidad and Tobago





















United Kingdom

United States of America

Czech Republic


North Macedonia
Russian Federation








Papua New Guinea

Republic of Korea












United Arab Emirates

Offices and headquarters

UNESCO headquarters are located at Place de Fontenoy in Paris, France.
UNESCO's field offices across the globe are categorized into four primary office types based upon their function and geographic coverage: cluster offices, national offices, regional bureaus and liaison offices.

Field offices by region

The following list of all UNESCO Field Offices is organized geographically by UNESCO Region and identifies the members states and associate members of UNESCO which are served by each office.


New World Information and Communication Order

UNESCO has been the centre of controversy in the past, particularly in its relationships with the United States, the United Kingdom, Singapore and the former Soviet Union. During the 1970s and 1980s, UNESCO's support for a "New World Information and Communication Order" and its MacBride report calling for democratization of the media and more egalitarian access to information was condemned in these countries as attempts to curb freedom of the press. UNESCO was perceived as a platform for communists and Third World dictators to attack the West, in contrast to accusations made by the USSR in the late 1940s and early 1950s. In 1984, the United States withheld its contributions and withdrew from the organization in protest, followed by the United Kingdom in 1985. Singapore withdrew also at the end of 1985, citing rising membership fees. Following a change of government in 1997, the UK rejoined. The United States rejoined in 2003, followed by Singapore on 8 October 2007.


was admitted to UNESCO in 1949, one year after its creation. Israel has maintained its membership since 1949.
In 2010, Israel designated the Cave of the Patriarchs, Hebron and Rachel's Tomb, Bethlehem as National Heritage Sites and announced restoration work, prompting criticism from the Obama administration and protests from Palestinians. In October 2010, UNESCO's Executive Board voted to declare the sites as "al-Haram al-Ibrahimi/Tomb of the Patriarchs" and "Bilal bin Rabah Mosque/Rachel's Tomb" and stated that they were "an integral part of the occupied Palestinian Territories" and any unilateral Israeli action was a violation of international law.
UNESCO described the sites as significant to "people of the Muslim, Christian and Jewish traditions", and accused Israel of highlighting only the Jewish character of the sites.
Israel in turn accused UNESCO of "detach the Nation of Israel from its heritage", and accused it of being politically motivated.
The Rabbi of the Western Wall said that Rachel's tomb had not previously been declared a holy Muslim site. Israel partially suspended ties with UNESCO. Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon declared that the resolution was a "part of Palestinian escalation".
Zevulun Orlev, chairman of the Knesset Education and Culture Committee, referred to the resolutions as an attempt to undermine the mission of UNESCO as a scientific and cultural organization that promotes cooperation throughout the world.
On 28 June 2011, UNESCO's World Heritage Committee, at Jordan's insistence, censured Israel's decision to demolish and rebuild the Mughrabi Gate Bridge in Jerusalem for safety reasons. Israel stated that Jordan had signed an agreement with Israel stipulating that the existing bridge must be dismantled for safety reasons; Jordan disputed the agreement, saying that it was only signed under U.S. pressure. Israel was also unable to address the UNESCO committee over objections from Egypt.
In January 2014, days before it was scheduled to open, UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova, "indefinitely postponed" and effectively cancelled an exhibit created by the Simon Wiesenthal Center entitled "The People, The Book, The Land: The 3,500-year relationship between the Jewish people and the Land of Israel". The event was scheduled to run from 21 January through 30 January in Paris. Bokova cancelled the event after representatives of Arab states at UNESCO argued that its display would "harm the peace process". The author of the exhibition, Professor Robert Wistrich of the Hebrew University's Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Anti-Semitism, called the cancellation an "appalling act", and characterized Bokova's decision as "an arbitrary act of total cynicism and, really, contempt for the Jewish people and its history". UNESCO amended the decision to cancel the exhibit within the year, and it quickly achieved popularity and was viewed as a great success.
On January 1, 2019, Israel formally left UNESCO in pursuance of the US withdrawal over the perceived continuous anti-Israel bias.

Occupied Palestine Resolution

On 13 October 2016, UNESCO passed a resolution on East Jerusalem that condemned Israel for "aggressions" by Israeli police and soldiers and "illegal measures" against the freedom of worship and Muslims' access to their holy sites, while also recognizing Israel as the occupying power. Palestinian leaders welcomed the decision. While the text acknowledged the "importance of the Old City of Jerusalem and its walls for the three monotheistic religions", it referred to the sacred hilltop compound in Jerusalem's Old City only by its Muslim name "Al-Haram al-Sharif", Arabic for Noble Sanctuary. In response, Israel denounced the UNESCO resolution for its omission of the words "Temple Mount" or "Har HaBayit", stating that it denies Jewish ties to the key holy site. After receiving criticism from numerous Israeli politicians and diplomats, including Benjamin Netanyahu and Ayelet Shaked, Israel froze all ties with the organization. The resolution was condemned by Ban Ki-moon and the Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, who said that Judaism, Islam and Christianity have clear historical connections to Jerusalem and "to deny, conceal or erase any of the Jewish, Christian or Muslim traditions undermines the integrity of the site. "Al-Aqsa Mosque Al-Haram al-Sharif" is also Temple Mount, whose Western Wall is the holiest place in Judaism.". It was also rejected by the Czech Parliament which said the resolution reflects a "hateful anti-Israel sentiment", and hundreds of Italian Jews demonstrated in Rome over Italy's abstention. On 26 October, UNESCO approved a reviewed version of the resolution, which also criticized Israel for its continuous "refusal to let the body's experts access Jerusalem's holy sites to determine their conservation status". Despite containing some softening of language following Israeli protests over a previous version, Israel continued to denounce the text. The resolution refers to the site Jews and Christians refer to as the Temple Mount, or Har HaBayit in Hebrew, only by its Arab name — a significant semantic decision also adopted by UNESCO's executive board, triggering condemnation from Israel and its allies. U.S. Ambassador Crystal Nix Hines stated: "This item should have been defeated. These politicized and one-sided resolutions are damaging the credibility of UNESCO."
In October 2017, the United States and Israel announced they would withdraw from the organization, citing in-part anti-Israel bias.


Palestinian youth magazine controversy

In February 2011, an article was published in a Palestinian youth magazine in which a teenage girl described one of her four role-models as Adolf Hitler. In December 2011, UNESCO, which partly funded the magazine, condemned the material and subsequently withdrew support.

Islamic University of Gaza controversy

In 2012, UNESCO decided to establish a chair at the Islamic University of Gaza in the field of astronomy, astrophysics, and space sciences, fueling controversy and criticism. Israel bombed the school in 2008 stating that they develop and store weapons there, which Israel restated in criticizing UNESCO's move.
The head, Kamalain Shaath, defended UNESCO, stating that "the Islamic University is a purely academic university that is interested only in education and its development". Israeli ambassador to UNESCO Nimrod Barkan planned to submit a letter of protest with information about the university's ties to Hamas, especially angry that this was the first Palestinian university that UNESCO chose to cooperate with. The Jewish organization B'nai B'rith criticized the move as well.

Che Guevara

In 2013, UNESCO announced that the collection "The Life and Works of Ernesto Che Guevara" became part of the Memory of the World Register. US Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen condemned this decision, saying that the organization acts against its own ideals:
UN Watch also condemned this selection by UNESCO.

Listing Nanjing Massacre documents

In 2015, Japan threatened to halt funding for UNESCO over the organization's decision to include documents relating to the 1937 Nanjing massacre in the latest listing for its "Memory of the World" program.
In October 2016, Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida confirmed that Japan's 2016 annual funding of ¥4.4 billion had been suspended although denied any direct link with the Nanjing document controversy.

US withdrawals

The United States withdrew from UNESCO in 1984, citing the "highly politicized" nature of the organisation, its ostensible "hostility toward the basic institutions of a free society, especially a free market and a free press", as well as its "unrestrained budgetary expansion", and poor management under then Director General Amadou-Mahter M'Bow of Senegal.
On 19 September 1989, former U.S. Congressman Jim Leach stated before a Congressional subcommittee:
Leach concluded that the record showed Israel bashing, a call for a new world information order, money management, and arms control policy to be the impetus behind the withdrawal; he asserted that before departing from UNESCO, a withdrawal from the IAEA had been pushed on him. On 1 October 2003, the U.S. rejoined UNESCO.
On 12 October 2017, the United States notified UNESCO that it will again withdraw from the organization on 31 December 2018 and will seek to establish a permanent observer mission beginning in 2019. The Department of State cited "mounting arrears at UNESCO, the need for fundamental reform in the organization, and continuing anti-Israel bias at UNESCO". Israel praised the withdrawal decision as "brave" and "moral".
The United States has not paid over $600 million in dues since it stopped paying its $80 million annual UNESCO dues when Palestine became a full member in 2011. Israel and the US were among the 14 votes against the membership out of 194 member countries.

Turkish–Kurdish conflict

On May 25, 2016, the noted Turkish poet and human rights activist Zülfü Livaneli resigned as Turkey's only UNESCO goodwill ambassador. He highlighted human rights situation in Turkey and destruction of historical Sur district of Diyarbakir, the largest city in Kurdish-majority southeast Turkey, during fighting between the Turkish army and Kurdish militants as the main reasons for his resignation. Livaneli said: "To pontificate on peace while remaining silent against such violations is a contradiction of the fundamental ideals of UNESCO."


In 1981, UNESCO and the UN celebrated the Atatürk Centennial.

Products and services

UNESCO develops, maintains and disseminates, free of charge, two interrelated software packages for database management and data mining/statistical analysis.