The Organization has now 195 Members and 8 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.
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.
The Permanent Delegations to UNESCO ensure liaison between Member States' Governments and the Organization’s Secretariat. The Permanent Delegations are headed by a person having diplomatic status (generally with the rank of ambassador). When a Permanent Delegate is appointed to the Organization, the appointment is the subject of an official communication addressed to the Director-General of the Organization.
Broad consultations are held regularly with the Permanent Delegations on important matters concerning the Organization's functioning and its activities.