The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland was a member of UNESCO from its creation on November 4, 1946 until December 31, 1985. It rejoined the Organization on 1 July, 1997.
Education for All is the United Kingdom's main priority in its cooperation with UNESCO. Through the work of the UK Department for International Development, the country invests enormous effort in EFA projects led by UNESCO..
The DFID also provides long-term technical and financial support to the World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP), and in particular to projects in Africa.
The University of Dundee, in Scotland, hosts a Centre for Water Law, Policy and Science operating under the auspices of UNESCO.
There are currently nine UNESCO Chairs in the United Kingdom. The most recently established (2007) are the UNESCO Chair in Information and Communication Technology for Development at Royal Holloway, University of London; and the UNESCO Chair in HIV/AIDS, Education and Health Security in Africa, at the University of Wales. The United Kingdom also has two Networks.
The United Kingdom devotes great attention to cultural heritage preservation. In 2007, the country commemorated its Bicentenary of the Abolition of the Slave Trade. A number of activities were planned in cooperation with UNESCO’s Slave Route Project.