Criteria and procedures for the celebration of anniversaries

Criteria and procedures, adopted by the Executive Board at its 154th (154 EX/Decision 7.7) and 159th sessions (159 EX/Decision 7.5) and amended at its 166th (166 EX/Decision 9.3), 176th (176 EX/Decision 47) and 179th sessions (179 EX/Decision 37), for consideration of the proposals by the Member States concerning the celebration of anniversaries with which UNESCO could be associated


(a) Each proposed anniversary should be indisputably linked to the Organization's ideals and missions in the fields of education, science, culture, social and human sciences and communication and should promote closer relations among peoples, tolerance, and the ideals of peace, cultural dialogue and mutual understanding among peoples. 
(b) Commemorations of the birth, independence or institutional regime of a State, historical empires and dynasties will not be eligible for consideration; similarly the anniversaries of military events will be excluded. 
(c) The anniversary should concern personalities of genuinely universal stature, nominated posthumously only, and works or events of genuinely worldwide or at least regional significance in order to reflect the ideals, the values, the cultural diversity and the universality of the Organization. 
(d) The anniversary should be a fiftieth anniversary, a centenary, or a multiple thereof, some flexibility should nevertheless be used in applying this criterion. 
(e) The anniversary should be the occasion for nationwide events already planned and for the organization of which certain resources have been allocated in the Member State or group of Member States directly concerned. 
(f) Any anniversary proposal involving more than one state should be submitted by all. 
(g) Requests relating to works of the intangible heritage – which comprise oral traditions and expressions, performing arts, social practices and rituals and festive events, knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe, and traditional craftsmanship – will not be taken into consideration since they cannot be dated in time. 


A. Consideration of requests 
(a) The Director General shall address a circular letter to the National Commissions, accompanied by a form seeking detailed and precise information on their request. 
(b) The intersectoral committee which is set up within the Secretariat shall consider all the requests received and draw up a preliminary list of those meeting the criteria adopted, with a view to achieving greater selectivity and deciding on controversial cases. 
(c) The intersectoral committee shall ensure, insofar as possible, a geographical balance when it draws up the list so that anniversaries from every region are included. Thus, to improve the distribution of celebrations among the various regions and the selection of proposals submitted, the proposals for anniversaries shall normally be limited to four per Member State for each biennium. 
d) On the basis of the proposals of the intersectoral committee the Secretariat shall prepare a description of each anniversary selected which shall include relevant historical and biographical information. This document shall be submitted to the governing bodies for a decision. The intersectoral selection committee shall also consider appeals by Member States that are made within the deadline fixed for the final recommendation. 
(e) The Executive Board, at its first session in the second year of the biennium, shall take a decision on the requests of Member States which have been judged by the Director General to meet the criteria adopted. 
(f) The Executive Board, at its session preceding the start of the General Conference, shall take a decision on those requests which have been the subject of an appeal, have been reconsidered by the intersectoral committee, and, after reformulation, would be judged by the Director General to meet the criteria adopted. 
(g) The General Conference shall decide on the list of celebrations with which the Organization could be associated during the following biennium, as adopted by the Executive Board. 
(h) A detailed brochure presenting the list of anniversaries which have been approved by the General Conference and with which UNESCO could be associated during the next biennium shall be prepared by the Secretariat and distributed to the Member States and Associate Members. 
(i) The use of the name or the logo/emblem of UNESCO shall be in conformity with the corresponding regulations approved by the governing bodies. 

B. Dates for the submission of requests 
(a) The circular letter in which the Director General invites the National Commissions to inform him/her of the anniversaries of eminent personalities or historic events with which they would like to associate UNESCO shall be sent no later than 15 September of the first year of the biennium, with a deadline for nominations of 15 January of the following year. 
(b) Consideration shall not be given to requests submitted after the deadline. 
(c) The document containing the list of requests which have been judged by the Director General to meet the criteria adopted above shall be sent to the Member States and to the Members of the Executive Board 30 days before the opening of the session of the Executive Board immediately preceding the General Conference. The requests shall be considered at that session. 
(d) The Member States concerned shall have two months to reformulate, if need be, their requests concerning anniversaries that have been rejected on the grounds that they do not appear to meet the criteria adopted. Such requests shall be considered at the session of the Executive Board immediately preceding the General Conference if they are selected following a re-examination by the intersectoral selection committee. Only requests that have been the subject of an appeal shall be considered at this second session. The list of anniversaries that have been re examined and judged to meet the criteria adopted shall be sent to the Member States 30 days before that session.
(e) Neither the Executive Board nor the General Conference shall consider requests submitted beyond the deadline, so that the governing bodies do not have to take a decision on requests which have not been previously evaluated by the Secretariat according to the established procedure. 

In conformity with 30 C/Resolution 58, any contribution by the Organization to these celebrations shall be financed under the Participation Programme, in accordance with the rules governing that Programme. Nevertheless. in order to maintain a balanced distribution of funds from the Programme, such financial assistance should remain exceptional and be contingent on the submission of a priority request to the Director General, with the required support in the case of a regional request.

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