Member States

The Priority Africa and External Relations Sector (PAX) ensure liaison with Member States and with Associate Members.

Relations with Member States are also ensured by the Directors and Heads of the UNESCO Regional, Cluster and National Offices.

There are two definitions of regions at UNESCO:

  • Definition of regions with a view to the execution by the Organization of regional activities
    (see UNESCO Basic texts )
  • Groupings of Member States for the purpose of elections to the Executive Board
    (see UNESCO Basic texts )

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.

The Organization has 193 Members and 12 Associate Members

UNESCO Headquarters - Flags and Globe
UNESCO's Member States. The withdrawal of Israel

and of the United States of America will bring the number of UNESCO’s Member States to 193


UNESCO’s General Conference voted on 31st October 2011 to admit Palestine as a Member State of the Organization. After completing procedures for the ratification on 23 November 2011, Palestine entry 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