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UNESCO: United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization




  • © UNESCO/A. Vorontzoff
  • Borobudur, Buddhist temple, statue of Buda and openwork stupas

Indonesia joined UNESCO on May 27, 1950.
The Jakarta UNESCO Office is a Cluster Office representing UNESCO in Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Timor Leste in all UNESCO fields of competence (Education, Culture, Communication and Information, and Natural Sciences).

As a Regional Bureau for Science, it is covering the Asia and Pacific Region, with programmes in Freshwater, Oceans, Basic and Engineering Sciences, Earth Sciences, and Coastal zones and Small Islands.

The International Campaign for the Safeguarding of Borobudur illustrates successful collaboration between Indonesia and UNESCO. The ambitious 1972-1983 project restored the neglected Borobudur Sanctuary, which dates from the 8th and 9th centuries and contains a vast Mahayana Buddhist monument in the form of a pyramid-shaped mandala. The Borobudur site was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1991; the country has six other properties on the list. In addition, the Wayang Puppet theatre and the Indonesian Kris have been proclaimed Masterpieces of Oral and Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Recent cooperation with UNESCO involved rebuilding radio stations in Aceh and the re-launch of Radio Nikoya, which had been completely destroyed by the 2004 tsunami. In addition, UNESCO helped rebuild Aceh’s library and set up a communication and cultural centre.

As part of the UNESCO Programme for the safeguarding and reestablishment of tangible and intangible cultural heritage in post-tsunami Aceh, six children’s books based on Acehnese folklore were launched there in July 2007.


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