#Culture

Discover our Culture
Programme

Home       >       Programmes       >       #Culture Programmes

We implement UNESCO’s Culture programme through four pillars:

⚖️ Legal framework Step n°1
📕 Policy advice Step n°2
🎓 Expert Advice Step n°3
📍 Sites & initiatives Step n°4

We monitor legal instruments the UK has ratified as a member of UNESCO, work with leading experts to advise the UK and devolved governments on UNESCO programmes and support UNESCO designations in the UK.

🔦   #SpotlightProgrammes

Browse some of the most important and relevant UNESCO programmes for the UK

🔎 Spotlight

Browse our #InFocus Programmes

#Quote

‘Culture has a fundamental role to play in rising to the challenges of our century. In the face of global fractures, and the paralysis of some institutional platforms, it is a common language that breaks down barriers’

UNESCO Director-General, Audrey Azoulay, at Culture Ministers Forum, November 2019

Culture

Introduction

UNESCO is the only United Nations agency with a specific mandate for culture and heritage. Culture is unique in its ability to anchor people’s feelings and beliefs to the land in which they live, and to the communities to which they belong. It has the power to transform individuals and societies. UNESCO’s role is to protect heritage and to foster creativity, through advocacy, normative frameworks and promotion of active engagement on the ground. At the highest level, this means promoting the importance of culture in an international context, both culture for its own sake and in relation to sustainable development.

Since 1945, UNESCO has been setting international agreements to guard against the numerous risks and dangers threatening cultural heritage, such as war, political, ethnic and religious conflict, looting, theft, illegal export and import, illicit trafficking of cultural property, deterioration, neglect, destruction of or alteration to heritage, pollution, and disappearance. UNESCO’s frameworks help to conserve and protect the world’s cultural property including books, art and monuments for the benefit of current societies and future generations.

While no global definition of “cultural heritage” exists, UNESCO’s Conventions protect the values that people and communities place on cultural heritage including: cultural property, cultural heritage sites, underwater cultural heritage, documentary and digital heritage, oral traditions, rites and beliefs, music, traditional medicine, historic cities, and traditional sports and games.

Through its Conventions and programmes UNESCO also seeks to strengthen and protect creativity and cultural pluralism. Through its membership of UNESCO, the UK’s culture and heritage join and contribute to humanity’s global story.

Discover our role in culture and browse our culture programmes below

#HeritageProtection #WorldHeritage #IllicitTrafficking #CulturalPropertyProtection #CreativeCities #IndigenousLanguages #CulturalInternationalDays #MemoryoftheWorld

UNESCO establishes an international normative framework through its Conventions, Recommendations and other agreements

⚖️   #LegalFramework step n°1

CULTURAL FRAMEWORK

UNESCO establishes international standards and frameworks through its Conventions, Recommendations and other agreements.

At the heart of UNESCO’s legal framework in the sphere of Culture lies a suite of Cultural Conventions and Recommendations. Together they establish a robust international framework for protecting culture and promoting participation and therefore laying the foundation for sustainable development. This legal framework is complemented by programmatic initiatives including the UNESCO Creative Cities network, in which UK Cities play an active part.

#KeyCulturalFramework

RATIFIED CONVENTIONS

#Convention UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property 1970 14 November 1970 - Paris, France Download the #Convention         Home       >      Framework       >      #Conventions The 1970 convention addresses the need to have a…
Read More

ALL UNESCO FRAMEWORK

Discover the full repertoire of UNESCO frameworks, from our standard setting instruments to our institutes and centres.

   Discover our #Framework        

The UK National Commission for UNESCO informs and advises on international and domestic culture policy to UNESCO and UK Government

📕   #PolicyAdvice step n°2

CULTURE POLICY

The role of culture in addressing sustainable development challenges is now established. Culture is at the heart of supporting inclusive social development, fostering intercultural dialogue for the rapprochment of culture.

Since 1946, the UK National Commission for UNESCO has been ensuring the UK’s leading specialists, intellectuals and academics are contributing to and shaping UNESCO’s culture mandate. We also advise the UK and devolved governments on policy relating to UNESCO’s culture activities. This advice ensures the UK Governments are adhering to the text of these legal instruments by fulfilling their obligations and promoting their aims and intentions within the UK.

KEY POLICY AREAS

brief n°02 The Value to the UK of Ratifying The 1954 Hague Convention on the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict 📮    Download the #Brief      brief n°02 Discover Policy Brief n°02 📮    Download Policy Brief n°02    The Value to the UK of Ratifying The 1954 Hague Convention…
Read More
brief n°18 Technical Evaluation of UNESCO World Heritage Sites 📮    Download the #Brief      brief n°17 Discover Policy Brief n°18 📮    Download Policy Brief n°17    Improving the Technical Evaluation process for UK WHS UNESCO invited well-represented states to reduce their number of nominations voluntarily in order to help rebalance the global spread…
Read More

ALL OUR POLICY WORK

Are you interesting in becoming a UNESCO Chair? Find out more below

   Discover our #Policy        

The UK National Commission has produced and published several long form policy briefs that cover many aspects of the field of Culture. These inform UK Government about the international opportunities in UNESCO’s programmatic sphere, opportunities and guidance on the implementation of more of UNESCO’s suite of Culture conventions, improving on UK obligations under existing legal frameworks and more.

   Discover our #CulturalPolicy        

CULTURAL POLICY BRIEFS

OTHER CULTURAL POLICY DOCUMENTS

The UK National Commission for UNESCO has a wider portfolio of policy work which spans UNESCO’s four programmatic areas. They advise and inform our stakeholders about issues and opportunities both internationally and within the UK.

   Discover more #CulturalPolicy documents       

CULTURAL POLICY BRIEFS

   Discover all n°#PolicyBriefs        

OTHER CULTURAL POLICY DOCUMENTS

DISCOVER

Cultural Heritage Underwater

#Policy #BriefN°17

   Explore #PolicyBrief n°17        

SPOTLIGHT

Our 💡 Ideas for #MoreCulture

#Culture #Ideas

   Explore our cultural #Ideas        

Each and every accredited expert within our network is tasked with a specific committee or programme within UNESCO’s framework

🎓   #ExpertAdvice step n°3

CULTURAL EXPERTS

We work with a network of experts across the UK who support UNESCO’s global mission to build peace in the minds of men and women.

Our Expert Network is made up of pro-bono specialists who help to advise the UK and Devolved Governments on policy relating to UNESCO’s programmes.

KEY CULTURAL EXPERTS

🧞‍♀️ Helen Maclagan, OBE, is our vice chair and non executive director in charge of the #CulturalPortfolio

   Meet Helen Maclagan        

The relevant UK government department approves Accredited Experts. They have an official role, representing the UK in UNESCO Committees, Commissions and Programmes. They also work with us and the UK Permanent Delegation to UNESCO based with the Department for International Development in London and Paris, to advise the UK and/or devolved governments on UNESCO related matters.

🎓   Explore our #AccreditedExpert network        

KEY CULTURAL ACCREDITED EXPERTS

FROM OUR CULTURAL ACCREDITED EXPERTS

The UNESCO Chair/UNITWIN programme seeks to foster international cooperation and knowledge sharing between higher education institutions. UNESCO Chairs are based within an Institute for Higher Education, and their work identifies with a current UNESCO priority.

🪑   Explore our #Chairs network        

KEY CULTURAL CHAIRS

FROM OUR CULTURAL CHAIRS

Our experts represent the UK on a number of committees which implement and oversee UNESCO’s work on culture.

🏛   Explore UNESCO's #Committees        

KEY CULTURAL COMMITTEES

FROM OUR CULTURAL COMMITTEES

Each and every accredited expert within our network is tasked with a specific committee or programme within UNESCO’s framework

📍   #Sites&Initiatives step n°4

CULTURAL SITES, ACTIONS & INITIATIVES

The UK’s portfolio of UNESCO cultural sites and activities are some of the most visible of UNESCO’s programmes, and work to promote our culture and preserve it for generations to come.

We see tangible links to our living past within each day, through our places of worship, museums and architecture. Documents and images recollect and recreate the experiences of past generations linking the communities of the present to those that have gone before.

People also experience culture constantly through the music that they listen to, the language they speak, the food that they eat, oral traditions that are passed down through generations and the festivities they take part in with their neighbours and their families. This heritage creates continuity and cohesion for those disrupted by change, economic instability and can be carried across great distances.

The four nations of the UK and its Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies have a vibrant network of UNESCO culture projects that are working with like-minded people around the world to foster and create peace.

LATEST CULTURAL NEWS

Discover our sites of #culture, explore our ⛩️  World Heritage Sites, our 🎬  Creative Cities, and the 📜  Memory of the World Archive

   Explore our #Sites        

The UK’s cultural and natural heritage is represented by 33 UNESCO World Heritage Sites which serve as reminders of our past from every era from the Neolithic to the 1950s. They span the breadth of all four constituent nations of the United Kingdom and across its Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies. The UK is also host to 11 UNESCO Creative Cities which show us the power of the UK’s creativity as a force for economic and sustainable development.

🏺   Explore our #Sites of culture        

OUR CULTURAL SITES

NEWS FROM OUR CULTURAL SITES

The UK National Commission collaborates on, and endorses projects that enhance, promote and preserve the culture in the UK, both past and present.

💖   Explore our cultural #Projects network        

LATEST CULTURAL PROJECTS

NEWS FROM OUR CULTURAL PROJECTS

Since it was established, the UK National Commission for UNESCO has worked in partnership with likeminded organisations and colleagues to help promote and enhance visibility of our Culture, as well as working together to tackle challenges.

💸   Meet our #CulturalPartners        

KEY CULTURAL PARTNERS

NEWS FROM OUR PARTNERS

UNESCO Prizes in culture are prestigious awards addressing global issues and themes, which are conferred on individuals or organisations by the Director-General for UNESCO upon recommendation by an independent and international jury. They each carry a high symbolic value, and are awarded with a substantial monetary award.

🏆   Apply to our #CulturalPrizes        

OUR CULTURAL PRIZES

BLOGS FROM OUR CULTURAL PRIZES

Since 1946, the UK National Commission for UNESCO’s role is to ensure the UK’s leading specialists, intellectuals and academics are contributing and shaping UNESCO’s science manadate. We also advise the UK and Devolved Government on policy relating to UNESCO’s scientific activities. This advice ensures the UK Government is adhering to the text of these legal instruments by fulfilling its obligations and promoting their aims and intentions within the UK.

🌞   Find cultural #IntlDays        

LATEST CULTURAL INITIATIVES

NEWS FROM OUR CULTURAL INITIATIVES

Take #Culture Further

‘Culture has a fundamental role to play in rising to the challenges of our century. In the face of global fractures, and the paralysis of some institutional platforms, it is a common language that breaks down barriers’

UNESCO Director-General, Audrey Azoulay, at Culture Ministers Forum, November 2019

DISCOVER

Discover our Science
Programmes

#Science #Programmes

   Explore our #ScienceProgrammes        

DISCOVER

Discover our Education
Programmes

#Education #Programmes

   Explore our #EducationProgramme        

DISCOVER

Discover our Communication & Information Programmes

#Communication #Information

   Explore our #CommunicationProgrammes        

SPOTLIGHT

Discover #All our UNESCO Programmes

#Culture #Ideas

   Explore our #Programmes