B. The United Kingdom National Commission for UNESCO (UKNC)
This strategy aligns the UKNC with this renewed objective. We will draw on the UK’s comparative advantages in order to support this as well as to promote the interests of the UK and its UNESCO designated sites.
The UKNC is the official body coordinating UNESCO activities in the United Kingdom (including the devolved nations and the 14 UK Overseas Territories and 3 Crown Dependencies) and is a constitutional part of the UK’s membership of UNESCO. National Commissions play an essential role in the planning and implementation of UNESCO’s programmes. At the country level, they are expected to act as agents for change to accelerate UNESCO’s response to national, regional and global challenges. They secure UNESCO’s presence and visibility within member states and work with other National Commissions to increase capacity and effectiveness.
Our mission as the UK’s National Commission for UNESCO is to continue to be an active, authoritative and influential leader in engaging the UK with UNESCO, and in promoting the UK’s values and interests in UNESCO. This includes supporting UNESCO’s role in achieving the United Nations 2030 Agenda and 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
We are the link between UNESCO, government and civil society. We work to:
● support the UK’s contribution to UNESCO;
● bring the benefits of UNESCO to the UK; and
● demonstrate the value of UNESCO to the UK
We advise government departments on UNESCO programmes and standard setting instruments, and are at the heart of the UNESCO designated sites in the UK (including Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies). In 2022 these consisted of 33 World Heritage Sites, 7 Geoparks, 7 Biospheres, 13 Creative Cities, 4 Learning Cities and UNESCO Chairs and Networks located in 20 British Universities.
The UKNC plays an important role in promoting UK interests in UNESCO by working closely with the FCDO, the UK Ambassador to UNESCO and the UK Permanent Delegation at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris. We are also an active participant in UNESCO’s unique global network of 199 national cooperating bodies known as National Commissions, working together to support UNESCO Designations and to promote UNESCO values internationally.
The UKNC is a company limited by guarantee. We have a small Secretariat based in Whitehall, London, led by a Secretary-General; we are governed by a Board of Non-Executive Directors, each with a specific portfolio responsibility; and we are supported by a nationwide network of experts across the natural and physical sciences, education, culture, the social and human sciences, and communication and media.
Our mission is to bring the values of UNESCO and the benefits of UNESCO membership to the UK, and to represent the values and interests of the UK to UNESCO.
UNESCO’ describes its mission as to contribute to the building of a culture of peace, the eradication of poverty, sustainable development and intercultural dialogue through education, the sciences, culture, communication and information. This is based on the values of positive peace – that sustainable and prosperous societies are built on foundations of human rights and dignity.