Intergovernmental Committees

The General Conference of UNESCO is required, at each of its sessions, to elect Member States to be members of the Executive Board or of the Commissions and other subsidiary organs of the Conference, in accordance with their rules of procedure or respective statutes.

The Executive Board, elected by the General Conference, is one of the three constitutional organs of UNESCO with the role to examine the programme of work for the Organization and corresponding budget estimates for each biennium, ensuring the effective and rational execution of the programme by the Director-General.

The General Conference also elects intergovernmental Committees and Councils which are associated with UNESCO’s major programmes. These organs allow Member States to actively participate in these programmes, ensure the visibility of the Organization and testify of its vitality.

The elections for these organs are being be held by the 39th session of the General Conference in November 2017:

The composition and role of the Intergovernmental Committees and Councils (updated after the elections held during the 39th session of the General Conference, in November 2017, with the exception of Councils of UNESCO's Institutes and Centres):

Organs elected by the General Conference

Executive Board


Council of the UNESCO International Bureau of Education /IBE/

International Coordinating Council of the Programme on Man and the Biosphere /MAB/

Intergovernmental Council for the International Hydrological Programme /IHP/

Intergovernmental Council of the "Management of Social Transformations" Programme /MOST/

Intergovernmental Committee for Physical Education and Sport /CIGEPS/


Executive Committee of the International Campaign for the Establishment of the Nubia Museum in Aswan and the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization in Cairo


Intergovernmental Committee for Promoting the Return of Cultural Property to its Country of Origin or its Restitution in Case of Illicit Appropriation /ICPRCP/


Intergovernmental Council of the International Programme for the Development of Communication /IPDC/

Headquarters Committee


Legal Committee


Conciliation and Good Offices Commission Responsible for Seeking the Settlement of any Disputes which may arise between States Parties to the Convention against Discrimination in Education


Intergovernmental Bioethics Committee /IGBC/


Governing Board of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics /UIS/

Intergovernmental Council for the Information for All Programme /IFAP/

Other intergovernmental organs

Intergovernmental Committee on World Heritage /WHC/

Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission /IOC/

Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage /ICH/

Intergovernmental Committee for the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions /creativity/


Committee for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict


Subsidiary Committee of the Meeting of States Parties to the Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property (UNESCO, Paris, 1970) /1970conv/

Councils of UNESCO's Institutes and Centres

Governing Board of the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (former UNESCO Institute for Education, UIE) /UIL/


Governing Board of the UNESCO International Institute for Educational Planning /IIEP/

Governing board of the UNESCO International Centre for Technical and Vocational Education and Training /UNEVOC/

Governing Board of the UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education /IITE/

Governing Board of the UNESCO International Institute for Higher Education in Latin America and the Caribbean /IESALC/


Governing Board of the UNESCO International Institute for Capacity-Building in Africa /IICBA/


Steering Committee of the International Centre for Theoretical Physics /ICTP/