UNESCO turns 70: Facts and trivia about the UN organisation

On the 70th anniversary of the forming of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), we present some interesting facts and trivia about the UN organisation...

>> The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) was formed on 16 November 1945.

>> The UNESCO is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN).

A picture taken on March 30, 2010 in Paris, shows the facade of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) headquarters in Paris.   AFP PHOTO LOIC VENANCE
A picture taken on March 30, 2010 in Paris, shows the facade of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) headquarters in Paris. AFP PHOTO LOIC VENANCE

>> The UNESCO's purpose is to contribute to peace and security by promoting international collaboration through education, science, and culture to further universal respect for justice, the rule of law, and human rights along with fundamental freedom proclaimed in the United Nations Charter.

>> 195 countries as member states are part of the UNESCO along with 9 associate members. India became an UNESCO member state on 4th November 1946.

>> The field offices of the UNESCO are known as "cluster" offices, which usually cover 3 or more nations. National and regional offices also exist. The UNESCO cluster office for India is located in the nation's capital New Delhi.

>> The UNESCO headquarters is located at Place de Fontenoy in Paris, France.

UNESCO Director-Generall Irina Bokova. Pic/AFP
UNESCO Director-Generall Irina Bokova. Pic/AFP

>> Bulgarian politician Irina Bokova is current Director-General of UNESCO. She was elected in 2009 and replaced Koïchiro Matsuura of Japan, who was Director-General since 1999. 10 people from 9 nations have acted as UNESCO Director-Generals so far. British evolutionary biologist, eugenicist, and internationalist was the first one elected and was Director-General from UNESCO's inception year 1946 to 1948.

>> UNESCO pursues its objectives through five major programs: education, natural sciences, social/human sciences, culture, and communication/information.

The Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal

Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus

>> UNESCO World Heritage Sites are located in 157 countries around the world. 32 of them are in India. Of these 32 sites, 25 are cultural sites and the other seven are natural sites. A tentative list of further sites/properties submitted by India for recognition includes 51 sites. India’s first two sites inscribed on the list at the Seventh Session of the World Heritage held in 1983 were the Agra Fort and the Ajanta Caves. Taj Mahal, one of the Seven Wonders of the World was also given World Heritage Site status in the same year. Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus airport was nominated on 2nd July 2004. Other notable inclusions in this illustrious list are Delhi's Qutb Minar and its Monuments, the Western Ghats, West Bengal's Sundarbans National Park, Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka in Madhya Pradesh, the Konark Sun Temple in Orissa among many others.

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