About us

“Since wars begin in the minds of men and women, it is in the minds of men and women that the defences of peace must be constructed.” Preamble of the UNESCO Constitution

UNESCO is the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. It is one of 15 specialized agencies of the United Nations. UNESCO is the only UN specialized agency with a worldwide network of national commissions, currently 199 worldwide. These are the central interface between the state, civil society and UNESCO.

The Sustainable Development Agenda 2030 is the model for the work of UNESCO and its National Commissions. With their diverse programmes, they contribute to the implementation of the 17 sustainable development goals in all regions of the world.

About the German Commission for UNESCO

The German Commission for UNESCO is an intermediary of foreign cultural and educational policy and is supported by the Federal Foreign Office. It acts as a link between the state and civil society and as a national office in all UNESCO fields of activity. Its work focuses on the promotion of high-quality and equitable education as well as the protection, conservation and sustainable development of cultural and natural heritage. Its activities also include the promotion of knowledge societies, cultural diversity and scientific cooperation. Its work is guided by the Sustainable Development Agenda.

One year before the Federal Republic of Germany joined UNESCO, the German Commission for UNESCO was founded on 12 May 1950. It has up to 114 members, including representative of the Federal Government and the Ministries of Culture and Science of the federal states, as well as representatives of scientific institutions, associations and civil society. The President of the Commission is Prof. Dr. Maria Böhmer. The Secretariat of the German UNESCO Commission is based in Bonn.


193 countries are currently members of UNESCO. Through their cooperation in programmes for education, science, culture and communication they contribute to maintaining peace and security worldwide within the framework of UNESCO. Among all UN agencies, UNESCO has the broadest range of tasks with its four main programmes. With a budget of 1.2 billion dollars for 2018 and 2019, it implements innovative programmes for sustainable development in its thematic areas.

The UNESCO Director-General is Audrey Azoulay. The Permanent Representation of the Federal Republic of Germany represents Germans interests towards the UNESCO Secretariat and the other member states. Ambassador is Dr Peter Reuss.

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