United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization Meanings

Also known as UNESCO according to AbbreviationFinder, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, founded in 1946, is a specialized agency of the United Nations.

Origins of UNESCO

The main antecedents of UNESCO were:

  • The International Commission for Intellectual Cooperation (ICFI), Geneva, 1922 -1946; its executive agency, the International Institute for Intellectual Cooperation (IIIC), Paris, 1925 -1946.
  • The International Bureau of Education (IBE), Geneva, 1925 -1968; Since 1969, the OIE has been an integral part of the UNESCO Secretariat and has its own statute.


Installed Plaza de Fontenoy, the main building of the UNESCO Headquarters was inaugurated on November 3, 1958. Its Y-shaped plan is the work of three architects of different nationalities led by an international committee.

Called the three-armed star, the entire building rests on 72 concrete pillars. It is famous throughout the world not only because it houses a famous organization, but also for its architectural qualities. The building houses the bookshop, which offers all the Organization’s publications, plus a large philatelic and numismatic collection and a UNESCO gifts section.

Later, three other buildings were added. A second accordion-shaped building contains the great oval room that houses the plenary sessions of the General Conference and a third cubic building. Finally, a fourth construction composed of two levels was added, from the offices to the basement, around a series of small boxed courtyards. UNESCO buildings contain many famous works of art and are open to the public.

Once the site of Fontenoy Square was conceived, UNESCO commissioned great artists to work to beautify the place and, in some cases, symbolize the peace that this institution wishes to establish and preserve in the world. As time passed, more works were acquired and the Member States presented others to the Organization. Picasso, Bazaine, Miró, Tápies, Le Corbusier and many other famous or unknown artists are present in this universal museum, symbol of the diversity of artistic creation in the world.


UNESCO has 194 Member States and seven Associate Members. Its governing bodies are the General Conference and the Executive Council. The Secretariat, led by the Director General, implements the decisions made by both bodies.

  • UNESCO Member Countries See list of member countries

The Constitution

In its preamble, the UNESCO Constitution proclaims:

“Since wars are born in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the bulwarks of peace must be erected”

In order to establish a lasting, sincere and widely accepted peace, the preamble declares that the signatory states of the Constitution are:

“resolved to ensure to all full and equal access to education, the free search for its objective truth and the free exchange of ideas and knowledge”

The objective of the Organization has been defined as:

“To contribute to the preservation of peace and security by strengthening, through education, science and culture, collaboration among nations in order to ensure universal respect for justice, the law, human rights and of the fundamental freedoms for all, without distinction of race, sex, language or religion, which the Charter of the United Nations recognizes for all peoples ”

Way of working

The General Conference establishes the objectives and priorities of the Organization every two years and sets the budget to meet them. The Executive Council meets twice a year to review compliance with the program.


Every four years, the General Conference elects a new Director General; previously, the term was six years. Under its authority, the staff of the UNESCO Secretariat execute the programs approved by the General Conference. The current Director-General of UNESCO and his predecessors:

UNESCO Directors General
Name Period Country
Julian Huxley 1946 – 1948 United Kingdom
Jaime Torres Bodet 1948 – 1952 Mexico
John W. Taylor 1952 – 1953 USA
Luther evans 1953 – 1958 USA
Vittorino Veronese 1958 – 1961 Italy
René Maheu 1962 – 1974 France
Amadou-Mahtar M’Bow 1974 – 1987 Senegal
Federico Mayor 1987 – 1999 Spain
Koichiro Matsuura 1999 – 2009 Japan
Irina Bokova 2009 – 2017 Bulgaria
Audrey azoulay 2017 – In office France

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization