From our Non-Executive Directors who advise the UK Government, to Advisors who review applications for aspiring UNESCO designations or sit on intergovernmental committees, the Expert Network is essential to our success.
Providing a range of experience and insight, all our experts have a proven academic or professional record in their field and share our passion for bringing UNESCO’s values to the UK and furthering its overarching mission for peace. They are a vital link between UNESCO and civil society, helping to anchor and influence UNESCO’s programmes.
The UK UNESCO Expert Network is composed of high-calibre experts, structured into four pillars: Advisors, Accredited Experts, University Chairs and UNITWIN Network, and our Non-Executive Directors.
Our most extensive group of experts, UK National Commission for UNESCO Advisors, form the bedrock of our work.
Advisors review applications for UNESCO prizes or prospective UNESCO designations (such as UNESCO Chairs and UNITWIN Networks). These experts help to shape the policy advice that the UKNC provides to the UK government and UNESCO. Their work with us will be published digitally on our website and disseminated among target audiences. Through working with the UKNC Directors and Secretariat, these advisors are able to use their expertise to influence policy, strategy and effectiveness in the UK and at UNESCO.
Anyone wishing to become an Advisor must be able to demonstrate expertise and experience in the relevant UNESCO field and what they would be able to contribute to our work. We will consider applications and invite successful candidates to join the Expert Network.
Accredited Experts have an official role, representing the UK in UNESCO Committees, Commissions and Programmes.
The relevant UK Government department approves Accredited Experts. They also work with us and the UK Permanent Delegation to UNESCO based with the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office in London and Paris, to advise the UK and/or devolved governments on UNESCO related matters providing specialist advice and often representing the UK at UNESCO meetings.
Accredited Experts will often have an international reputation in their chosen field, may spearhead UNESCO designations or UNESCO-related programmes in the UK and possibly have been involved with us or UNESCO globally. They will usually serve several years in their role.
Examples of the various UNESCO Commissions, Programmes, and Committees which involve accredited experts include:
- UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC)
- UNESCO’s International Hydrological Programme (IHP)
- UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB)
- UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Bioethics Committee (IGBC)
- UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee (WHC)
- UNESCO’s International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC)
- UNESCO’s International Geoscience Programme Council (IGCP)
UNESCO Chairs and UNITWIN Network
The UNESCO Chairs/UNITWIN programme seeks to foster international cooperation and knowledge sharing between higher education institutions.
Applications for UNESCO Chairs are assessed and reviewed by us and Advisors with relevant experience. Those who pass this initial stage are put forward by UNESCO for final assessment and approval.
UNESCO Chairs must be based within an institute for Higher Education, identify a current UNESCO priority area they could contribute to and outline a detailed work programme spanning four years. We work closely with UNESCO Chairs, calling on them to review applications and provide policy advice.
UK National Commission for UNESCO Non-Executive Directors
Non-Executive Directors oversee the UK’s contribution to UNESCO’s global mission in the UK and officially represent the UK Government in their specialist area.
A maximum of nine Non-Executive Directors are active members of our Board at any one time. They must apply for a vacancy and their appointment is approved by the UK Government. Each Non-Executive Director is responsible for overseeing a particular field of UNESCO’s work in the UK. They attend the UNESCO Executive Board meetings and General Conference, as well as leading on policy advice and briefings.