Joined UNESCO: 30/01/1953
Hosts the World Tourism Organization - Madrid.
Head of State and/or Government
Rey de España: Su Majestad el Rey Don Felipe VI
Presidente del Gobierno: Excmo. Sr. Don Mariano RAJOY BREY
Permanent Delegation to UNESCO
H. E. Mrs Maria Teresa Lizaranzu Perinat
Ambassador, Permanent Delegate (07/09/2015)
Permanent Delegation of the Kingdom of Spain to UNESCO
Maison de l'UNESCO
1, rue Miollis
75732 PARIS Cedex 15
National Commission for UNESCO
Secretary General: Fernando Valenzuela Marzo
Deputy Secretary General: Carmen Pinar
Office Assistant: Victoria de la Serna
Comisión Nacional Española de Cooperación con la UNESCO
Avenida de los Reyes Católicos, 4
National Commission for UNESCO
Representation in the Executive Board
||Member||Mr Juan Estelrich y Artigues||1954-1958||40-50||Member||Mr Joaquín Pérez Villanueva||1958-1960||51-57||Member||Mr Ricardo Díez Hochleitner||1970-1976||86-100||Member||Mr Salvador García de Pruneda||1980-1983||111-117||Member||Mr José Luis Abellan||1983-1985||117-122||Member||Mr Luis Ignacio Ramallo||1987-1991||128-137||Representative||1993-1997||143-152||Vice-Chairperson||Mr Félix Fernández-Shaw||1997||152||Representative||1999-2003||158-167||Representative||2007- 2013||178-192||Representative||2015-2019||198-207
The 1991 amendment modified Article V of the Constitution, regarding the status of members of the Board. From the 27th session of the General Conference (1993), the Executive Board consists of Member States rather than of persons (26 C/Resolution 19.3).
Participation in subsidiary organs
Organs elected by the General Conference
Member (Term expires : 2019)
International Coordinating Council of the Programme on Man and the Biosphere
Member (Term expires : 41st General Conference)
Other intergovernmental organs
Intergovernmental Committee on World Heritage
Vice-Chairperson (Term expires : 42nd session of the Committee (2018))
Member (Term expires : 41st General Conference)
Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission
Addresses delivered in the general policy debate by the Head of Delegation at the General Conference
37 session of the General Conference His Excellency, Mr José Ignacio Wert Ortega, Minister of Education, Culture and Sport of Spain
Speech delivered during the General Policy Debate of the 37th session of the General Conference - revised and corrected version of the verbatim records of plenary meetings
36 session of the General Conference S.E. Mrs Cristina GARMENDIA, Minister of Science and Innovation
Speech delivered during the General Policy Debate of the 36th session of the General Conference and posted as received
35 session of the General Conference S.E. Mme Soraya Rodríguez Ramos, Secrétaire d’Etat à la Coopération Internationale
(Traduction de l’espagnol)
“(…) Je souhaiterais en premier lieu saluer le travail accompli par M. Matsuura à la tête de l’Organisation (…). De même, nous sommes convaincus que (…) Mme Bokova poursuivra l’action remarquable qu’il a menée et je saisis cette occasion pour la féliciter et lui offrir tout l’appui (…).”
“L’éducation, la réflexion, la recherche, la liberté d’expression et la création culturelle sont les fondements d’une société plus démocratique. Le Gouvernement espagnol est fermement convaincu qu’il faut œuvrer à la réalisation de ces objectifs dans le cadre d’un multilatéralisme effectif.”
“La confiance que nous plaçons en cette organisation nous a conduit à être son cinquième plus important donateur de ressources extrabudgétaires, avec une contribution qui est passée de 2 millions d’euros en 2005 à près de 10,5 millions en 2008. Nous voudrions affirmer ici, aujourd’hui, qu’en ces temps difficiles pour tous nos pays, cette organisation, l’UNESCO, peut encore compter sur l’engagement et le soutien de l’Espagne. Nous concentrons nos efforts, de concert avec l’Organisation, sur l’éducation, les politiques scientifiques, la coopération culturelle au service du développement et l’Alliance des civilisations.”
“Dans le domaine de l’éducation, nous nous efforçons de renforcer certains des principaux programmes de l’UNESCO et de consolider son rôle de chef de file mondial de l’Éducation pour tous. S’agissant de la culture, l’UNESCO est devenue une référence incontestable et un acteur privilégié de la coopération culturelle au service du développement. Nous avons clairement démontré notre engagement en faveur de la culture et du développement avec les 95,6 millions de dollars de crédits que nous avons ouverts, dans le cadre du Fonds PNUD/Espagne pour la réalisation des OMD, au titre du volet « Culture et développement » géré par l’UNESCO.”
“(…) Face aux défis du XXIe siècle, nous avons l’obligation d’établir des passerelles pour favoriser la compréhension et le dialogue entre les communautés, les pays et les civilisations. Dans cette tâche, l’UNESCO a un objectif essentiel qu’elle partage avec l’Alliance des civilisations. Nous pensons que cette dernière dépasse les divisions nées des différentes cultures et religions, grâce à des actions concrètes axées sur la prévention des conflits et l’édification de la paix. Le dialogue, la promotion de la diversité culturelle et la lutte pour la liberté d’expression et la liberté de la presse sont des éléments fondamentaux à notre époque. L’UNESCO est la seule organisation internationale dont l’une des principales responsabilités est de promouvoir ces deux droits fondamentaux universels que sont la liberté d’expression et la liberté de la presse et, compte tenu des menaces qui pèsent aujourd’hui sur ces deux libertés en différents endroits de la planète, il nous faut renforcer l’action dans ce domaine en collaboration avec l’Organisation.”
“(…) La réforme du système des Nations Unies doit encourager l’UNESCO à aller plus loin dans son processus de réforme interne. (…) Nous croyons que les fonds octroyés par l’Espagne aux Nations Unies pour lancer des exercices conjoints, rassemblant les organismes du système, sur un même territoire, vont porter leurs fruits.”
34 session of the General Conference H.E. Don Juan Pablo de Laiglesia y González de Peredo, Secretary General of the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation
Spain adds its voice to the statement made by Portugal on behalf of the European Union.
“Spain, its people and its Government firmly believe in the need for effective multilateralism. Activities that used to be the exclusive responsibility of States now need a response based on international coordination and cooperation. Managing the provision of international public assets – from which we all benefit, such as health, international justice, environmental protection or access to education and culture – calls for a solid and agile multilateral system that ensures everyone has equal access to those benefits.”
“Another major challenge of the coming decades will no doubt be promoting understanding of others and positive acceptance of diversity. The huge task of establishing dialogues between cultures and civilizations, identified back in the time when UNESCO came into being, as a vital element of its mission, is now, at the beginning of the twenty-first century, taking on special relevance. We welcome the fact that UNESCO is taking part in the group of friends of the Alliance of Civilizations.”
Spain very much appreciates the work done by UNESCO in the achieving of Millennium Development goals. The country also supports programmes such as teachers training in Africa and EDUCAIDS.
Spain would like to mention the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. This Convention has become a reference text for the European Union and for the Ibero-American Community of Nations.
Spain is supporting UNESCO’s communication programmes as well as scientific projects such as environmental preservation, oceanography, bioethics, biosphere reserves, and early-warning systems.
“Spain will host the Third World Congress of Biosphere Reserves in Madrid, in February 2008. Water will be the theme of the Zaragoza Expo, which takes place afterwards.”
The United Nations system needs to overcome fragmentation and overlapping. The harmonization principles of the 2005 Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness need to be applied at the level of multilateralism. The Millennium Development Goals Achievement Fund is very active on Spain and helps financing unique programmes in pilot countries.
“We have increased our extrabudgetary contribution, making us the sixth donor country in 2006, and we wish to participate actively in the governance of the Organization, with a place on the Executive Board and the various committees.”
Celebration of anniversaries
||500th anniversary of the first world circumnavigation by ship in history, by Fernando de Magellanes and Juan Sebastián Elcano (Spain, with the support of Andorra, Italy and Portugal)
The exploration of Magellan was largely inspired by the desire to demonstrate that the Earth was round, which in turn contributed to demystify some of the then beliefs and to support a scientific and reality-based approach to knowledge generation. Magellan’s decision to approach Spain to fund its expedition was due to the belief that the intended passage for his circumnavigation (the Malacca Strait) would be under the political and administrative auspices of Spain. The proposed celebration is consistent with the undergoing proposal by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC) of an International Decade on Ocean Science for Sustainable Development for 2021-2030. The related foreseen events constitute a good basis for further similar events to be replicated at multiple scales and in multiple regions of the world on the theme of ocean exploration. (IOC)
||700th anniversary of the creation of the Archive of the Crown of Aragon (ACA) (1318) (Spain, with the support of Andorra and Italy)
The Archive of the Crown of Aragon is one of the oldest living institutional archives in Europe. The Archive, the only one to have been awarded the European Heritage Label by the European Commission, played an indisputable role in building the concept of the Europe of peoples through its instrumental nature in institutional cohesion and political and social transformation, as well as through its role as an irrefutable witness to the harmonious integration of relations between the different cultures and languages of the Mediterranean peoples governed by the sovereigns of the Crown of Aragon. (CI)
400th anniversary of the birth of Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, painter (1617-1682) (with the support of Colombia, El Salvador, France, Honduras, Portugal and Uruguay) (2017)
Bartolomé Esteban Murillo is one of the most important painters of the Spanish Baroque period. He belonged to the Seville school, like Francisco de Zurbarán and Diego de Velázquez, from whom he derived some influence. His work is dedicated mainly to religious themes, but he also painted genre scenes and portraits. During his development, he moved from initial naturalism to tenebrism and chiaroscuro, reaching the Baroque at his peak, anticipating rococo with the flowing brushstrokes of his late works. The two key elements of painting by Murillo are light and colour, highlighting transparencies and backlighting (a painter of the sky, according to Théophile Gautier).
Murillo had a great many disciples and followers and through them had an important influence on later painting, which lasted until the eighteenth century. He was a highly regarded painter outside Spain too and his works were bought in Germany, Italy and England. In France his paintings were admired by artists of the Romantic period.
400th anniversary of the death of Miguel de Cervantes, writer (1547-1616) (with the support of Colombia, El Salvador, France, Honduras, Portugal and Uruguay) (2016)
Miguel de Cervantes is considered almost unanimously to be the most important writer in the history of Spanish literature. He belonged to the Spanish Golden Age, which essentially corresponds with the Spanish Baroque period; he thus stands out among other geniuses such as Francisco de Quevedo and Lope de Vega. Cervantes cultivated all genres: poetry, theatre and fiction, and passed into universal history thanks to his magnum opus: The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha, a founding work of modern literature.
His masterpiece, Don Quixote, was universally transcendent. Published in 1605, it immediately met with great success and has been translated into practically every language. As a result, its influence on later literature and authors of every period has steadily increased, spreading from literature to universal culture, through music, painting, sculpture and film.
400th anniversary of the death of Doménikos Theotokopoulos (known as El Greco – “the Greek”), painter, sculptor and architect (1541-1614) (Greece and Spain) (2014)
El Greco was a painter, sculptor, and architect of the Spanish Renaissance. Born in Crete, which was at that time part of the Republic of Venice, he lived in Italy, where he mastered the style of Mannerism, and then he moved to Spain where he spent the rest of his life. For his elongated figures, dramatic and expressionistic settings he is considered by many as a precursor of twentieth century art (expressionism and cubism). He created an innovative visual language, blending Byzantine heritage with Italian and Spanish styles. His original style, derived from the mixing of diverse cultures, stands as an example of cultural diversity as a path towards enrichment and evolution.
1,000th anniversary of the founding of the city of Granada (1012-1013) (2012)
In 1012-1013 the city of Granada acquired importance; before that time it was occasionally mentioned by Arabian historians, but always as a dependency of Elvira (ancient city of Spain now Granada). With the arrival of the Zirid dynasty in 1013, Granada became an independent emirate Taifa of Granada. During the Reconquista the Nasrids aligned themselves with Ferdinand III of Castille and in 1238 the state officially became the Emirate of Granada. The Kingdom of Granada has been a fundamental factor in the history of Al-Andalus and of Spain as a whole; it has played a critical role as a blend of cultures and religions. The 1492 surrender of the Islamic Emirate of Granada to the Catholic Monarchs is one of the more significant events in Granada’s history and also the completion of the Reconquista of Al-Andalus.
200th anniversary of the Constitution of 1812 (2012)
The year 2012 will be marked by the 200th anniversary of the Spanish Constitution of 1812 through the organization of congresses, seminars, conferences, exhibitions and cultural activities by the University of Cádiz and the City of Cádiz in Spain.
Even if the first Constitution in Spain was not a revolutionary one, it was one of the most liberal at that time in Europe. For instance, its main features were: male universal voting right, national sovereignty, constitutional monarchy, division of power and freedom of the press, among others. Therefore, the 1812 Constitution represents a political paradigm (shaped in the Cádiz Cortes) with a high significance for the political history of Spain and for the struggles for emancipation and independence of Latin America and the Caribbean. Some historians presume that the Constitution of Apatzingán (Mexico) was declared by the Independentists of New Spain and had similarities with the Cádiz Constitution.
100th anniversary of the creation of the Committee for the Promotion of Studies and Scientific Research (Junta para ampliación de estudios e investigaciones científicas) (1907) (2007)
The Committee for the Promotion of Studies and Scientific Research (JAE) provided hundreds of scholarships to prominent professors, researchers and students and gave them the chance to study in prestigious schools, universities, scientific and cultural centres, as well as to be in the position to create and promote the necessary links between several European and Latin American countries in the fields of education, science and culture.
Hundredth anniversary of the birth of Joaquín Rodrigo (22 November 2001)
Joaquín Rodrigo (1901-1999) was one of the leading Spanish composers of the twentieth century. Although best known for his music for guitar, for example the Concierto de Aranjuez, he also wrote concerti for other instruments, in addition to an opera, choral works, piano pieces and songs. His broadly neoclassical style combines folkloristic colour with piquant orchestration and agreeable melodies.
Four hundredth anniversary of the birth of Pedro Calderón de La Barca (2000)
Pedro Calderón de La Barca (1600-1681) is the greatest playwright and poet of the Spanish Golden Age. His theatrical works often attain a tragic grandeur unequalled since the ancient Greeks. This is an important anniversary with which UNESCO should be associated, particularly in connection with the launching of International Poetry Day.
Hundredth anniversary of the birth of Luis Buñuel (6 February 2000)
Luis Buñuel (1900-1983) received his artistic training in contact with Federico García Lorca, Pablo Neruda and Rafael Alberti, and took part in the drafting of the Manifesto of Surrealism with André Breton. His work reflects exceptional artistic diversity.
Four hundredth anniversary of the birth of the Spanish painter Diego Velázquez (6 June 1999).
Velázquez was a painter of international renown, who had a clear and subtle palette and who was highly skilled at using simple techniques to produce authentic effects of light and space. His works, for the most part secular, bear eloquent witness to popular culture and the world of the court.
The freedom of his technique and his preference for lighter colours made Velázquez one of the most important painters of the seventeenth century. He is considered to be an early precursor of modern art and in particular of impressionism. Four of his paintings hang in the Louvre.
Centenary of the birth of the Spanish writer Rosa Chacel (3 June 1998).
Rosa Chacel was a novelist, well known for her literary works, such as "Estación de ida y vuelta" (1930), a remarkable antecedent of the French nouveau roman, and with the sonnets "A la orilla de un pozo" (1936).
Rosa Chacel is internationally renowned for her La Sinrazón, which formed volume one of her "Obras completas", her collection of short stories, "Sobre el piélago", as well as "Barrio de Maravillas", which earned her the national Spanish literary award. Chacel was also exposed to a variety of cultures, due to her exile as of 1938, which included living shortly in Italy, Greece, Switzerland, and spending her remaining years in Brazil and Argentina.
Centenary of the birth of the Spanish writer Dámaso Alonso (22 October 1998).
A world renowned poet and critic, Damaso Alonso, began his career as a scholarcritic, and is considered one of the eight major poets of the Generation of 1927.
As a poet Alonso began in the post-impressionistic manner with "Poemas puros", where he emphasizes the extreme economy of expression and the elite metaphor of the ‘pure’ poetry of the 1920s. Alonso’s reputation was further recognized in 1944 with the two books - "Oscura noticia" and "Hijos de la ira", where the emphasis lay on the problems of human life in their relation to time, death, and love.
As a literary critic Alonso launched his career by writing on Góngora, whom he was to establish as a great Baroque poet. Alonso’s "Góngora y el ‘Polifemo’", ultimately expanded to three volumes, and is considered a model of great literary criticism.
Centenary of the birth of the Spanish poet Vicente Aleixandre (26 April 1998).
Vicente Aleixandre was a poet who was also a surrealist, a humanist and a passionate romantic, who expressed the anguish of the dilemma of being and nothingness.
He was a member of the Spanish Royal Academy, participated in the Appeal of the Generation of 1927, and was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1977.
Centenary of the birth of the Spanish poet and dramatist Federico García Lorca (5 June 1998).
Federico García Lorca was a poet and dramatist of international renown whose works develop a refusal to accept barriers separating living beings, and the desire to communicate; he saw in that desire the reason for his drive for lyrical expression.
Although this ‘born poet’ came from the Andalusian middle class, he took the part of the downtrodden and was able to reconcile in his work the popular heritage of folklore and the most modern art; he occupies an important place in contemporary Spanish and world literature.
500th anniversary of the publication of the Gramática de la Lengua Castillana by Elio
Antonio de Nebrija (1992)
In the century following its publication, Nebrija’s Grammar
stimulated similar works on the most commonly spoken languages of
Latin America, thus making a decisive contribution to their
preservation. In creating conditions for the expansion of the
Spanish language, Nebrija’s Grammar was an important instrument of
communication and of mutual understanding between nations. There
is therefore an undoubted link between the commemoration of its
publication and the programmes and objectives of UNESCO.
Nebrija’s Grammar assisted the expansion of the Spanish language,
which is the mother tongue of some 20 countries and more than 400
million people. Its publication is therefore of worldwide significance.
Reference document: 136 EX/30
500th anniversary of the encounter between two worlds (1492-1992) (Latin America
countries and the Caribbean group, Cyprus, France, Italy, Russian Federation,
Mauritania, Malaysia, Guinea, Senegal, Spain, with co-sponsors) (1992)
The fifth centenary of the beginning of this historical process of
momentous importance for mankind also falls within the World Decade for
Cultural Development, which will provide a background for the events
commemorating the anniversary.
This historic process began with the meeting between Europeans and
native Americans which occurred on 12 October 1492 when Christopher Columbus
landed on a small island in the Caribbean. Thereafter, encounters and cultural
contacts between the inhabitants of the world's two hemispheres took various
forms. Peoples from Africa, Asia and Oceania were soon involved in this
meeting of cultures along with the Spanish, Portuguese, English, French, Dutch
and native Americans. New links have been established throughout this
historical process, which has enabled all the peoples of the world to learn
from each other and to discover the earth in all its abundance.
Almost 500 years after the first of these encounters, which now embrace
the whole world, the international organizations provide a forum for other
types of meeting between peoples which enable them to exchange views and are
truly universal in scope. Unesco today is the domain for cultural encounters
between all the peoples of the world.
Reference document: 130 EX/28
||50th anniversary of the death of poet Antonio Machado (Spain) (1989)
This Spanish poet was born in Seville and died in Collioure (France)
He embarked on his literary career when modernism, with its fresh
musicality, was in the ascendant, but although he was influenced by it he drew
on his inner resources to find his own voice and inspiration. His verse is
written in clear, simple language and has weighty emotional and moral content.
He must be regarded as the best Spanish poet of the twentieth century.
In 1903, he published Soledades. and in 1907, Soledades, Galerias y
Otros Poemas which contains some of his best work. The majority of the poems
that make up his next book, Campos de Gastilla (1912), hark back to his stay
in Castile where he taught French in Soria. In 1927, he was elected a member
of the Royal Academy of the Spanish Language after which his Complete Works
went through many editions. In 1936 and afterwards, during the Spanish Civil
War, he wrote Juan de Mairena. his best prose work, full of telling criticisms
with philosophical overtones. In January 1939, as the civil war was coming to
an end, he left Spain seriously ill and died the following month in the town
of Collioure (France).
His works, which had been banned from schools after his death because of
his liberal views, were reinstated as soon as democracy was restored in Spain.
Reference document: 131 EX/Decisions.
100th anniversary of the birth of the composer José Padilla (Spain) (1989)
The composer Jose Padilla was born in Almeria (Spain) in 1889, and died
in 1960. He studied in Madrid and lived in several places around the world,
including Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Turin and especially Paris, where most of
his work was composed and first performed. Special mention may be made of some
of his compositions known throughout the world, such as Valencia, La
Violetera. El Relicario, ga c'est Paris, etc.
When composing, he drew on themes of very varied cultural origin: Spanish
(Valencia, El Relicario), Latin American, (La Taita del Arrabal, Vieja Herida,
Vidalita), Portuguese (Symphonic Portugaise), French (Sur la butte, Moineau de
Paris, ^a c'est Paris), or others from further afield such as Cancion rusa,
New York, and Inca. Some of his works soon to be performed in Oslo are of
Nordic origin: El Sol de medianoche. for example.
He worked with the English writer Edgar Wallace in composing Roma, based
on writings by John Wells.
His works have 'been performed in very different parts of the world,
including the Teatro de la Comedia in Buenos Aires, the Theatre des Champs
Elysees and the Gaite Lyrique in Paris, the Teatro Algieri in Turin and the
Teatro de la Zarzuela in Madrid. Some, such as the Symphonic Portugaise at the
Gaite Lyrique in Paris, were performed for more than three consecutive years.
His music has been used for a wide variety of purposes: for the changing
of the Royal Guard at Buckingham Palace, for example (Valencia and Ga c'est
Paris), and even during the American presidential campaign (El Relicario). The
lyrics of his songs have been translated into nearly all the world's languages.
His work has also been used as background music for many films. La
Violetera was chosen by Charles Chaplin for City Lights; Fellini chose Ga
c'est Paris for gVg and El Relicario for Ginger and Fred.
His songs have been performed by the greatest performers in all musical
genres from Raquel Meller, Mistinguette, Maurice Chevalier, Josephine Baker,
Rudolph Valentine, Luis Mariano and Nana Mouskouri to Tita Ruffo, Tito
Schippa, Placido Domingo, Alfredo Kraus, Jose Carreras, Montserrat Caballe,
His commentators include Maurice Ravel, who described La Violetera as 'a
masterpiece', and Picasso who, at Machado's death, said 'No one makes music
like Padilla any more'.
The thematic diversity and variety of his compositions, the fact that his
works were composed and first performed in many different places and
countries, that they were used for the most diverse purposes, performed by the
most varied and famous artistes and, in short, that they have been sung and
hummed by millions of peoples on all continents make his work, and thus its
author, truly international. It can be claimed, without risk of error, that
Padilla's music has become part of the very fabric of universal popular
Padilla is therefore the epitome of the people's artist, in the most
noble sense: everyone knows his work, without necessarily knowing his name.
Reference document: 131 EX/Decisions.
850th anniversary of the birth of Maimonides, philosopher, physician and jurist (Spain) (1985)
Reference document: 120 EX/Decisions + CORR.
1000th anniversary of the birth of Jose Ortega y Gasset (Spain) (1983)
Reference document: 117 EX/Decisions.
400th anniverary of the death of Teresa de Cepeda y Ahumada, known as Saint Teresa of Avila or Saint Teresa of Jesus (Spain) (1982)
Reference document: 115 EX/Decisions + CORR.
100th anniversary of the birth of Pablo Ruiz Picasso (Spain) (1981)
Reference document: 21 C/5)
100th anniversary of the birth of Isaac Albeniz (Spain) (1960)
Reference document: 54 EX/7
100th anniversary of the death of Diego Velazquez (Spain) (1960)
Reference document: 54 EX/7
700th anniversary of the foundation of the University of Salamanques (1953)