interesting facts about UNESCO

13 Unbelievable Facts About UNESCO

We live in an increasing and fascinating world!  Thanks to the work of groups such as UNESCO, our rich history and heritage remains preserved for generations to come.  But what does UNESCO actually do?  As an introduction, here are some interesting facts about UNESCO:

1. Why was UNESCO founded?

UNESCO’s aim is, ultimately, to promote human rights, education of the masses, and to preserve history and culture. The organisation was set up in 1945.

2. What is UNESCO’s list?

UNESCO seeks out sites of important historical heritage and lists them – so that it may protect them against destruction or development.

There are thousands of UNESCO World Heritage sites all over the world. Over 150 different countries play host to UNESCO sites of heritage!

3. What does UNESCO stand for?

UNESCO stands for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation.

Grand Canal, Venice
Venice, Italy

4. UNESCO meets five times a decade.

Every two years, UNESCO meets to agree on policies and programs. They aim to promote diversity, increase sustainability and support learning programs for all world citizens.

5. UNESCO has a European HQ.

The main headquarters of UNESCO can be found in the French capital of Paris.

6. UNESCO sites can be found all over the globe.

Some famous UNESCO world heritage sites include the Grand Canyon in the USA, the Ilulissat Icefjord in Greenland, Machu Picchu in Peru, and the Tombs of the Kings in Cyprus. UNESCO seeks out important locations which require protection – whether they are historically important, environmentally critical, or scientifically interesting.

This means that some sites are designated as UNESCO sites to protect endangered species. For example, some coral reefs are UNESCO World Heritage sites.

7. Membership of UNESCO has been fluid for some countries.

Both the UK and the USA have joined and left UNESCO on a number of occasions as a result of international politics. The US, in particular, criticized the organisation in the early 1980s, citing their concerns over UNESCO harboring anti-West bias.  They would re-join in 2003.

The US left the organisation once more in 2017, as a result of UNESCO allegedly showing bias against Israel. However, while the US left, Israel remained a member state!

8. UNESCO doesn’t just preserve culture and environment.

UNESCO is also responsible for helping many developing nations with education and poverty concerns. One of the aims of the organisation on the whole is to eradicate illiteracy worldwide.

They have also helped to rebuild educational buildings and libraries destroyed during wars and conflicts.

9. UNESCO changes its leadership roughly once a decade.

UNESCO finds itself a new director general every six years, which means the organisation meets just three times during each general’s term.

Eiffel Tower, Paris
Eiffel Tower, Paris

10. UNESCO supports many individual causes.

UNESCO has also been instrumental in creating and supporting several international days. These include World Teachers’ Day and International Women’s Day.

11. There are hundreds of UNESCO members.

There are almost 200 different member states appointed to UNESCO. Each has a single vote when it comes to deciding on actions.  These take place during the general conferences every two years, as stated.

Machu Picchu, Peru
Machu Picchu, Peru

12. The UNESCO list has been running since the early 1970s.

UNESCO’s famous World Heritage List has added sites to its roster since its inception in 1972.

13. UNESCO is actually scattered across the globe.

UNESCO, while based in France, has cluster offices all over the world. Most of these cover at least three nations at a time.  There is a further HQ catering to cluster offices, which is in New Delhi, India.

The Taj Mahal, India
Taj Mahal, Agra, India


What are the entry requirements to work at UNESCO?

On the whole, you’ll need to have at least a Bachelor’s Degree and must have relevant work experience to work with UNESCO.

Is there an age limit to working at UNESCO?

People of all ages and backgrounds work at UNESCO, however, you will need to be younger than 32 years of age to apply.

Who funds UNESCO?

UNESCO is largely funded by contributions from member states, who are bound to make payments as part of their membership terms.

Do you know any interesting facts about UNESCO? Share them in the comments below!

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This page was last modified on May 24, 2024. Suggest an edit