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Building peace in the minds of men and women

NGOs and Foundations

Since its founding, UNESCO has garnered considerable support from non-profit organizations representing civil society, including NGOs and foundations, which have allowed it to advance its ideals and the implementation of its programme.

Non-governmental Organizations

UNESCO  may make suitable arrangements for consultation and cooperation with NGOs concerned with matters within its  competence, and may invite them to undertake specific tasks.

UNESCO Constitution

Since the adoption of its Constitution, UNESCO has sought to collaborate with civil society partners such as NGOs for the implementation of its activities and programmes. Over the years, UNESCO has built up a valuable network of cooperation with NGOs having an expertise in its fields of competence, i.e. education, natural science, social and human sciences, culture, communication and information. 

Non-governmental organizations with their specialized knowledge and capacity to act swiftly at global, regional and local levels, and to offer platforms for strong civil engagement, remain critically important partners for UNESCO. Today’s global challenges are too great for any organization to tackle alone.In order to foster and recognize such collaborations, the Organization has established Directives concerning UNESCO’s partnership with non-governmental organizations (36 C/Res. 108), which allow formal relationships with NGOs. Currently, UNESCO enjoys official partnerships with 401 NGOs.

In addition to these formal partnership arrangements, the Organization has also been carrying out a diverse range of activities hand in hand with other non-governmental organizations on an ad hoc basis, at international, regional and national levels.



Foundations are also major donors to UNESCO’s programme, both in terms of the range of shared programmatic priorities and the volume of their financial commitments to UNESCO. This commitment is based on their shared value partnerships strategies which are fully aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Together UNESCO and its Foundation partners are scaling up sustained and mutually-beneficial cooperation in the different regions of the world. These partnerships combine expertise, know how, networking and joint advocacy. Through its partnerships with Foundations in pursuit of high impact, sustainable solutions, UNESCO is also able to leverage precious technical expertise and innovation capacity for the benefit of its Member States.

Foundations which are already closely collaborating with UNESCO may enter in official relations with UNESCO under the framework of the Directives concerning UNESCO’s relations with foundations and similar institutions, intended to foster the widest possible assistance in the preparation and execution of UNESCO’s programme. Currently, UNESCO enjoys official relations with 33 foundations.