You are viewing an archived web page, collected at the request of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) using Archive-It. This page was captured on 03:32:13 Dec 25, 2015, and is part of the UNESCO collection. The information on this web page may be out of date. See All versions of this archived page.
Loading media information hide



Government Donors


  • © Hedda Gjerpen
  • View as seen from the Palatine Hill in Rome, Italy

Italy is UNESCO’s most notable donor in terms of voluntary contributions. In 2007, Italy donated over USD 56 million on an extrabudgetary basis to UNESCO

UNESCO has a longstanding and solid cooperation with the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in particular with the Directorate General for Development Cooperation and the Directorate General for Cultural Promotion and Cooperation) and the Ministry of University and Research. More recently UNESCO’s initiatives in the field of environmental and oceans sector have also been supported by the Italian Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea.

Among the members of the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Italy is the one who has the highest percentage of multilateral aid. In addition, bilateral funding sometimes includes activities linked to multilateral organizations. This duality is reflected in the funds-in-trust cooperation between UNESCO and the Italian Ministry for Foreign Affairs, and is concretized through two main different modalities:

  • Annual voluntary contribution
  • Multi-bilateral agreements

  • Therefore, annual voluntary contributions support programmes and projects identified by UNESCO on the basis of its Medium-Term Strategy and the Programme and Budget, as well as Italy’s thematic and geographical priorities. The Multi-bilateral cooperation is generated by request of technical assistance of the beneficiary countries identifying UNESCO as the optimal implementing partner in reason of its added value.

    Institutional support

    The Italian Government’s engagement with UNESCO institutions based in Italy is very strong.

    1. UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe(BRESCE) annually receives some USD 1,6 million from the Directorate General for Cultural Promotion and Cooperation.

    2. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of University and Research, annually contribute to the scientific activities of the International Centres of Trieste (the so-called Trieste System of Science and Technology), with particular reference to:

  • The UNESCO Third World Academy of Science for the Developing World (TWAS) and the Interacademy Panel (IAP), receiving annually altogether some USD 3 million from the Directorate General for Cultural Promotion and Cooperation. TWAS mandate is to promote scientific capacity and excellence for sustainable development within South-South interaction, while IAP is an independent international forum that brings together more than 80 Academies of Science of the world coming from developed and developing Countries.
  • The Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) following a parliamentarian law, receives annually some USD 24 million worth of financial assistance from the Ministry of University and Research. ICTP initiates and supports various schemes of assistance and training to scientists, from young to seniors, from developing countries.

  • Thematic priorities

    Italy’s overall priorities for collaboration with UNESCO under voluntary contributions as well as its approach are listed bellow:

  • Culture: The Government of Italy is strongly committed to promote the safeguarding, rehabilitation and protection of cultural and natural – tangible and intangible – Heritage, in cooperation with UNESCO, through voluntary contributions of the Directorate General for Development Cooperation, as well as through the expertise and experience of highly-qualified experts of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities.
  • Education: through funding of major initiatives in post conflict countries mainly in support of the reconstruction of the national education systems, literacy, civic education and culture of peace, as well as education for rural populations, Italy advances education.
  • Science: through cooperation with the Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Italy encourages scientific development in different fields such as tsunami alert, ocean science, water management issues and sustainable development. In addition, Italy supports a UNESCO project aiming at the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV/AIDS as well as other projects concentrating on environmental issues in South East Europe. Finally, Italy has recently signed and agreement by which the Secretariat of WWAP (World Water Assessment Programme) will move to Perugia. The new location will better support its activities sustaining further specific projects on the subject of water management.

    Geographical priorities

    Italy’s development programs concentrate on Africa, the Middle East, and South East Europe. However, in recent years major emphasis has been given to post-conflict or other particularly vulnerable countries.

    Related Links

    Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
    Italian Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea
    Italian Ministry of University and Research
    Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities

  • ERTV.png
    • 11-01-2010
    UNESCO and Italy join forces to support the Educational Radio and Television (ERTV) capacity in Afghanistan
    • 07-04-2009
    UNESCO and Italy sign agreement on gender equality
    • 21-08-2008
    logoCoop 1.jpg
    • 29-07-2008
    The annual review meeting between UNESCO and Italy was hold at UNESCO HQ on 23 and 24 July 2008
    • 26-11-2007
    The Director-General pays an official visit to Italy
    • 12-04-2007
    An exhibition on the Safeguarding of the Minaret of Jam in Afghanistan
    • 05-02-2007
    UNESCO and Italy sign agreement on transfer of UN World Water Assessment Programme Secretariat to Perugia

    Italy Brochure light_Page_01.jpg
    Brochure "Italy and UNESCO for Development: Projects and initiatives, 2000-2006"

    Biodiversity Conservation in Regions of Armed Conflict: Conserving World Heritage sites in the Democratic Republic of Congo
    Building of Coastal Resilience to ocean-based Extreme Events through improved Coastal Mapping Capacity in the Indian Ocean
    Education for Rural population.JPG
    Education for Rural Populations - Nicaragua, Ecuador, and Paraguay
    Intergovernmental Coordination Group for the Tsunami Early Warning and Mitigation System in the North Eastern Atlantic, the Mediterranean and connected Seas
    Axoum Italy.bmp
    Re-erection of the Ethiopian Obelisk in Aksum, Ethiopa
    EFA -Ethiopia.png
    Supporting the Preparation and Review of National EFA Plans
    Europe and North America Latin America and the Caribbean Africa Arab States Asia Pacific