United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization


Flag of UNESCOIn the first days after the Second World War delegations of forty-four countries met in London to discuss the creation of an organization that would contribute to peace and security by promoting international collaboration through education, science and culture in order to further universal respect for justice, the rule of law and the human rights and fundamental freedoms proclaimed in the UN Charter.


The UNESCO Constitution was signed in London on 16 November 1945. It came into force after twenty countries ratified it on 4 November 1946. The First General Conference of UNESCO was held at the Sorbonne. The Conference began on 20 November and ended on 10 December 1946. (photo: UNESCO/Éclair Mondial, ID: 50054241, CD: 056)


The UNESCO Headquarters is on the Place de Fontenoy in Paris. Its inauguration in 1958 was a reason for many countries to issue special stamps.


At the moment UNESCO has 193 member states (including Cook Islands and Niue) and 6 associate members (Aruba, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Macao, China, Netherlands Antilles and Tokelau). After a conflict on management and spending the United States, the United Kingdom and Singapore left the organization in 1984 and 1985. All three countries have returned after internal reforms of UNESCO.


Opening conference of UNESCO, Paris, November 1946Some of the best known activities and organs are the World Heritage List, the Man and Biosphere Programme, the International Oceanographic Commission, the relocation of the Abu Simbel temple complex. The number of activities, programmes, conferences and publications is endless.


UNESCO awards 35 international prizes for outstanding merit in the fields of education, science and culture.


A number of goodwill ambassadors promote the various fields of interest, such as Claudia Cardinale, Catherine Deneuve, Vigdis Finnbogadottir, Kim Phuc Phan Thi, Wole Soyinka, and Her Royal Highness The Princess of Hanover (Princess Caroline of Monaco).


Since 1961 special stamps are issued by France for use on mail from the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris. These stamps can be found in the stamp catalogue.





The official UNESCO website.

Flag of UNESCO in Flags of the World.

Article on UNESCO in Wikipedia.



Related subjects


UNESCO 20th anniversary

UNESCO 30th anniversary

UNESCO 40th anniversary


Inauguration of UNESCO Headquarters, Paris


International Book Year

International Literacy Year

International Year of Freshwater

International Year of the Ocean

International Year to commemorate the Struggle against Slavery and its Abolition


Intergovernmental Informatics Programme

Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission

International Geological Correlation Programme

International Hydrological Decade

International Hydrological Programme

International Literacy Day

Man and the Biosphere Programme

Regional Cultural Capital

World Book and Copyright Day

World Heritage

World Solar Programme

World Teachers' Day


Save Borobudur

Save Carthage

Save Sana'a

Save the Acropolis

Save the Monuments of Nubia

Save Venice


2nd International Oceanographic Congress, Moscow

IPDC Intergovernmental Council, 4th session

UNESCO Symposium 'Lenin and the development of science, culture and education', Tampere



Related persons


Brunovský, Albín

Cousteau, Jacques-Yves

Einstein, Albert

Gandhi, Indira

Huysmans, Camille

Karajan, Herbert von

Nehru, Jawaharlal

Peterson, Oscar

Picasso, Pablo

Schumacher, Michael

Shostakovich, Dmitri

Teresa, Mother



Stamp catalogue - general issues


Belgium                      27 March 1951

Belgium                      17 April 1958

Niger                          12 November 1977









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last revised: 5 July 2009