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 15:35:59 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 The information on this web page may be out of date.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
  UNESCO.ORGThe OrganizationEducationNatural SciencesSocial & Human SciencesCultureCommunication & InformationSitemap
UNESCO - Legal Instruments
Home HOME Print Print Send Send

Directives concerning UNESCO’s relations with Foundations and similar institutions

Approved by the General Conference at its 26th session and amended at its 28th and 29th sessions (*)

UNESDOC -(PDF) English - Français - Español - Russian - Arabic - Chinese


In accordance with Article XI, paragraph 4, of the Constitution, the following Directives lay down the principles and methods whereby UNESCO may establish an official relationship with foundations and similar non-governmental institutions wishing to participate in international cooperation in education, science, culture or communication.

These Directives are intended to promote UNESCO’s purposes by securing for it the widest possible assistance on the part of the above-mentioned institutions in the preparation and execution of its programme.

Article I - Conditions for the granting of official-relationship status to foundations and similar institutions

UNESCO may establish an official cooperation relationship with foundations and similar non-governmental institutions having independent financial means that enable them to conduct activities in UNESCO’s fields of competence, and meeting the following criteria:

(a) That they pursue goals that are in conformity with UNESCO’s ideals and with the ethical principles recognized by the international community, including those proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;

(b) That they have the will and the means to contribute to the achievement of UNESCO’s goals and programme;

(c) That they are entirely non-profit-making;

(d) That they effectively carry out activities in several countries, in a spirit of international cooperation and mutual support and of respect for cultural identity;

(e) That they possess suitable information facilities to make their work known;

(f) That they are endowed with legal status under national law.

Article II - Procedure for establishing official relationships

1. Foundations or institutions that meet the criteria listed in Article I of the present Directives may, if so decided by the Director-General, be granted official-relationship status on condition that they have already collaborated significantly on UNESCO programmes for activities or submit, at the time of application, one or more cooperation projects that they undertake to put into effect within the framework of UNESCO’s programme.

2. Before creating such a relationship the Director-General shall consult the competent authorities of the Member State on whose territory the foundation or institution concerned has its headquarters.

3. An official relationship defined in the present Directives shall be established for a period of six years. It may be renewed for a further period of six years.

Article III - Obligations of institutions maintaining official relations with UNESCO

Institutions enjoying official-relationship status with UNESCO as defined in the present Directives shall have the following obligations:

(a) To keep the Director-General informed of their activities relevant to UNESCO’s programme;

(b) To contribute to the implementation of certain activities under UNESCO’s programme;

(c) To invite UNESCO to send a representative to their meetings and to take part in their activities of relevance to the Organization’s programme;

(d) Periodically to submit reports to the Director-General on their activities and on the assistance they have provided to UNESCO in its work.

Article IV - Benefits granted to institutions maintaining official relations with UNESCO

1. Institutions maintaining official relations with UNESCO as defined in the present Directives:

(a) Will receive documentation relating to the Organization’s programme and activities in areas of common interest;

(b) Will be consulted on the preparation of its draft programmes and budgets;

(c) May be invited to attend meetings organized by UNESCO or to take part in the carrying out of certain activities that have a bearing on matters within their fields of competence.

2. These institutions may be invited to be represented at sessions of the General Conference by observers, if so decided by it, and on the recommendation of the Executive Board, in accordance with Rule 7 of the Rules of Procedure of the General Conference.

Article V - Periodic review of the relations defined in the present Directives

1. The Director-General shall inform the Executive Board, in the report he submits to it each year on the classification of international non-governmental organizations, of the foundations and institutions admitted to official-relationship status with UNESCO under the present Directives.

2. Furthermore, a brief account of UNESCO’s cooperation with these institutions shall be included in the report submitted every six years by the Executive Board to the General Conference on the assistance given to UNESCO in its work by international non-governmental organizations.

Article VI - Bodies representing civil society and the private sector

The procedures for establishing official relationships with foundations or institutions, in particular Article II, paragraph 2, as well as other relevant regulations of these Directives shall also be applied when establishing new partnerships with all bodies representing civil society as well as with all bodies representing the private sector.


(*) See 26 C/Resolution 13.23; 28 C/Resolution 13.5; 29 C/Resolution 64.

Print Send  

Office of International Standards and Legal Affairs
  • Mission
  • Who´s who?

    Disclaimer - Privacy Policy - guest (Read) - ID: 48885