The UNESCO History Project was launched by the Director-General in conjunction with the Organization’s 60th anniversary in 2005.
The objective is to encourage research on the history of the Organization, in particular on its ideas and the set of values UNESCO has worked for since its creation in 1945
As a first major activity of the Project an international symposium "60 Years of UNESCO History" took place from 16-18 November 2005. The proceedings of this symposium were published in 2007.
The approach is to multiply different approaches, to encourage critical, multidisciplinary reflections on the Organization’s past. In particular, the project should foster a more “decentralized” way of understanding this history by looking at the Organization’s action through the perception and experience by actors in the “field” or the “periphery” rather than merely seen from the “centre”.
The International Scientific Committee for the UNESCO History Project, composed of scholars from all regions in the world and established by the Director-General in 2006, is preparing three international conferences on UNESCO’s history to take place in 2009 and 2010.