United Nations

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

The guiding philosophy of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), founded in 1945 in London, is "Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defence of peace must be constructed." UNESCO is a specialised agency of the United Nations. It is based in Paris and has 193 members.

By promoting international cooperation in the fields of education, science, culture and communication, UNESCO aims to help preserve peace and security. It acts less as a financier than as a coordinator, initiator and adviser.

As a forum of global intellectual cooperation, UNESCO has the widest spectrum of programmes of any UN specialised agency. Its mandate covers education, science, culture and communication. The largest field of activity by far is education.

UNESCO is responsible for the international steering of measures taken to achieve the six goals of the international "Education for All" initiative and thus for Millennium Development Goal 2 (education for all) and for monitoring progress made towards this goal. It is also responsible for the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014) and the UN Literacy Decade (2003-2012).

The member states of UNESCO have set up National Commissions, which advise their own governments on UNESCO-related issues and involve civil society in the work of the organisation. The BMZ is a member of the board of the German National Commission for UNESCO, which is based in Bonn.

UNESCO is financed mainly from the compulsory contributions of its member states. The regular budget for the two-year period 2008-2009 is 631 million
US dollars. It also receives special contributions, trustee funds for certain projects and programmes, funds from other multilateral bodies and voluntary contributions from member states, as well as donations. Germany is still the third biggest donor to UNESCO behind the USA and Japan, contributing a share of 8.578 per cent of the regular budget (2008). In 2008 Germany's assessed contribution (taken from the Federal Foreign Office budget) totalled 27,063,590 US dollars.

Germany also supports UNESCO through voluntary inputs and private donations.

UNESCO's International Centre for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (UNEVOC), which is based in Bonn, receives contributions from BMZ trust funds to support its programme work. Its annual contributions currently amount to 550,000 euros. A total of 4.85 million euros was made available for the period 2000-2008. The BMZ is also involved in financing the annual Education for All Global Monitoring Report. In 2008 a total of 100,000 euros was made available to that end. A total of 1.15 million euros in funding was made available for the period 2003-2008.

More information


United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

7, place de Fontenoy
75352 Paris
Phone: +33 / 1 / 45 68 10 00
Fax: +33 / 1 / 45 67 16 90

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