The Organization has 195 Members and 9 Associate Members.
The Sector for External Relations and Public Information (ERI) and the Africa Department (AFR) ensure liaison with Member States. While AFR covers the Member States from the Africa region, ERI is responsible for relations with the Member States from the four other regions and with Associate Members.
Relations with Member States are also ensured by the Directors and Heads of the UNESCO Regional, Cluster and National Offices.
Most Member States have established Permanent Delegations to UNESCO which, headed by Ambassadors, undertake liaison between the Organization and their governments.
All Member States have established a National Commission for UNESCO. The UNESCO National Commissions are national cooperating bodies set up by the Member States for the purpose of associating their governmental and non-governmental bodies with the work of the Organization.
Member States and Associate Members designate one or several Ministries responsible for relations with UNESCO and/or Ministries in UNESCO's fields of competence.
UNESCO emphasizes its efforts to involve nationally (Parliamentarians) and locally elected representatives (Cities and Local Authorities) in its action.
UNESCO’s General Conference voted on 5 November 2013 to admit Anguilla as an Associate Member of UNESCO. Anguilla's entry brought the number of UNESCO’s Associate Members to 9.
After completing procedures for the ratification UNESCO's Constitution on 23 November 2011, Palestine entry as a Member States brought the number of UNESCO’s Member States to 195.
South Sudan has become UNESCO’s 194th Member State after completing procedures for the ratification UNESCO's Constitution on 27 October. The flag of South Sudan, now floats alongside those of UNESCO’s other 193 Member States.