UNESCO actions for Ukraine

Timeline of UNESCO's commitment to protect Ukraine's education and heritage.
Last update: 29 September 2022

Tuesday 27 September

"Ukraine: UNESCO sends expert mission in support for teachers"

As a UNESCO expert mission to Ukraine begins, UNESCO and members of the UNESCO Global Education Coalition continue to work together to ensure learning continuity in Ukraine. UNESCO experts are in Ukraine from 26 to 29 September to ensure the proper implementation of the emergency measures undertaken by the Organization since the start of the war and to identify the additional needs of the stakeholders on the ground.

Tuesday 30 August - 19:15

The protection of cultural heritage is a priority. UNESCO will deploy new measures to protect cultural heritage in Ukraine, particularly in Odesa and L’viv.

Tuesday 30 August - Press release

"Ukraine: UNESCO supports Odesa's heritage and cultural life"

At a meeting with UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay at the Organization’s Headquarters, Oleksandr Tkachenko, Ukrainian Minister of Culture and Information, announced that his country will request the inscription of Odesa on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. For its part, the Organization will deploy new measures to protect Ukrainian cultural heritage, particularly in Odesa and L’viv.

Tuesday 5 July - 12:51

Since the start of the war, UNESCO advises professionals on the ground in Ukraine to prevent destruction, supports artists, and assesses damage to cultural sites - an emergency action that also contributes to laying the foundations for future reconstruction.

Tuesday 5 July - 12:01

Today in Lugano for URC2022, Firmin Édouard Matoko, UNESCO Assistant Director-General, recalled UNESCO’s commitment to support the people of Ukraine within the framework of its mandate for Education, Culture, & Communication & Information.

Saturday 2 July - 16:29

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization says 152 cultural buildings and sites have been badly damaged or destroyed by the war.

Friday 1 July - Press release

"Culture of Ukrainian borscht cooking inscribed on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding"

Culture of Ukrainian borscht cooking was today inscribed on UNESCO’s List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding by the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, composed of representatives of the States Parties to the UNESCO Convention.

Thursday 30 June 

From France Culture - article in French
"UNESCO sets up programs to support Ukrainian artists"
« L'UNESCO met en place des programmes de soutien aux artistes ukrainiens »


Thursday 23 June - Press release

"Ukraine: over 150 cultural sites partially or totally destroyed"

According to a new count, 152 cultural sites in Ukraine have been partially or totally destroyed since the beginning of the war. UNESCO reiterates its call to respect international law, and continues its actions in support of cultural professionals in the field.

Tuesday 14 June - Press release

"Ukraine: UNESCO launches program to support Ukrainian artists"

UNESCO will provide financial support to Ukrainian artists to support the continuation of artistic creation and access to cultural life, under a pilot programme launched by the Organization in partnership with the Ukrainian NGO Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA).

Thursday 09 June - Press release

"UNESCO supports Ukrainian women artists in exile"

UNESCO is launching a scheme to support Ukrainian women artists who have had to flee their country because of the war, in partnership with the NGO Artists at Risk. It will enable them and their children to be hosted and cared for by a cultural institution in the country where they have found refuge.

Tuesday 31 May - 12:40

The Director-General of UNESCO Audrey Azoulay condemns the killing of French reporter Frédéric Lecler-Imhoff on 30 May while he was covering the evacuation of civilians from the city of Sievierodonetsk, in Ukraine.

Monday 9 May - 17:23

Appalled by the bombing of a school in Bilohorivka, east Ukraine. Dozens of civilians, including children are feared dead. I reiterate my call for the immediate cessation of attacks on schools. Civilians and civilian infrastructure are #NotATarget

Tuesday 3 May - UNESCO's story

UNESCO support to journalists in Ukraine making impact on the ground 

Ever since the war in Ukraine broke out in February, UNESCO has worked closely with its partner organizations and journalists’ unions in Ukraine to assess the needs on the ground and provide support.

Tuesday 3 May - 12:00

I would like to pay tribute to the 9 journalists killed in Ukraine since the beginning of the war. UNESCO stands with journalists working in Ukraine, providing them with personal protection equipment and supporting their national unions.

Friday 29 April - 12:38

INTERVIEW | Unesco will mobilize the world to rebuild Ukraine's heritage, according to Audrey Azoulay.

By Rafael Cañas

Wednesday 27 April - 2:35

The director of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, Lazare Eloundou Assomo, in an interview with "Le Monde", considers that, in addition to the loss of human life, the damage caused by the Russian-led war is considerable on the listed sites.

Read the article from "Le Monde" (French)

Friday 22 April - 20:22

#WarInUkraine: Today UNESCO experts are in Lviv to assess the situation of Press Freedom, ensure the implementation of emergency measures taken to  Protect Journalists covering the war and identify new needs.

Friday 15 April - 11:52

UNESCO together with partners launched the Translate a Story Ukraine campaign, which has set out to translate more than 100 early-age digital books into Ukrainian. Over 110 people have registered as volunteer translators and proofreaders.

Thursday 14 April - 9:33

One hundred Ukrainian heritage sites damaged by bombing 

Wednesday 13 April - 19:58

UNESCO, ICCROM and Maidan Museum in Kyiv translated the manual "Endangered Heritage: Emergency Evaluation of Heritage Collections" into Ukrainian. In times of war, this guideline can help prevent the destruction and looting of cultural objects.

Tuesday 12 April

Sunday 3 April - 3:30

The war in Ukraine has forced millions of children from their homes & communities.

UNESCO is helping students to continue learning by supporting teachers and providing computers & digital education tools to young refugees.

Tuesday 29 March - 15:06

Friday 25 March - 17:35

UNESCO is deeply grateful to Canada2UNESCO for the major financial contribution just announced by Canada to the UNESCO Heritage Emergency Fund. This amount will further strengthen UNESCO's action to protect heritage and culture in Ukraine. 

Thursday 24 March - 12:15

Thanks to Austria, France and Japan for responding to my call to protect journalists in Ukraine. These three Member States have offered to financially support UNESCO to purchase and distribute protective equipment.

Decisions adopted during the 2nd extraordinary meeting of the Committee for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict
18 March 2022
Declaration on the protection of cultural heritage in Ukraine
18 March 2022
Executive Board 15-16 March, 2022
Decisions adopted by the Executive Board at its 7th special session
30 March 2022

Thursday 17 March - 12:00 

UNESCO: launching new emergency measures to protect journalists in Ukraine

Thursday 17 March - 10:11 

UNESCO implementing new emergency measures to protect journalists

Today UNESCO announced new emergency measures to protect journalists in Ukraine, to help displaced Ukrainian journalist unions to continue their work and to support the free flow of information about the war. The Organization is providing an initial batch of 125 sets of Personal Protective Equipment as well as training on hostile environments.

Wednesday 16 March - 19:19 

Since the beginning of the war, UNESCO has been in constant contact with cultural professionals and authorities in Ukraine to identify their needs, advise them and support them with emergency measures.

Tuesday 15 March - 18:26 

Today, the special session of the Executive Board of UNESCO devoted to the war in Ukraine opened with a minute of silence in tribute to the victims.

Tuesday 15 March - 13:22 

Online meeting with #Ukraine's Education Minister Serhiy Shkarlet. Since the beginning of the war, UNESCO has been mobilized to ensure the #rightoeducation for Ukrainian students, support teachers, strengthen distance & digital learning & provide psychosocial support.

Tuesday 15 March - All day 

Extraordinary session of the Executive Board of UNESCO, at the request of 19 of its members, in order to "examine all the consequences of the current situation in Ukraine, in the different aspects of UNESCO's mandate".

Monday 14 March - 12:19

Ukrainian cultural heritage classified by Unesco, threatened by bombs.

Saturday 12 March - 14:30

"It's a whole cultural life that risks disappearing" - Lazare Eloundou Assomo, Director of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre.

Friday 11 March - 15:10

UNESCO's measures to protect heritage in Ukraine.

Thursday 10 March - 18:14

"In Lviv, in the west of Ukraine, icons and works of art sheltered".

Thursday 10 March -15:52

War in Ukraine: UNESCO moves to protect Ukraine's heritage sites.

Thursday 10 March -14:00

Working meeting between UNESCO and Ukrainian museum directors.

Teams meeting_Ukraine

Thursday 10 March - 10:54

Wednesday 9 March - 15:30

Working meeting between UNESCO and World Heritage site managers in Ukraine.

Unesco_reunion de travail_gestionnaires des sites du patrimoine mondial en Ukraine

Wednesday 9 March - 13:21

UNESCO mobilized in Ukraine to protect heritage, culture and education.

Wednesday 9 March - 8:48

Ukrainians in race to save cultural heritage.

Tuesday 8 March - 17:52

Unesco has strengthened measures to protect Ukraine's cultural heritage.

Tuesday 8 March - 14:48

"Endangered heritage in Ukraine: UNESCO reinforces protective measures"

"We must safeguard the cultural heritage in Ukraine, as a testimony of the past but also as a catalyst for peace and cohesion for the future, which the international community has a duty to protect and preserve."
Audrey AzoulayUNESCO Director-General

UNESCO is in contact with Ukrainian authorities to mark cultural sites and monuments with the distinctive “Blue Shield” emblem of the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict to avoid deliberate or accidental damages.

UNESCO, with its partner UNITAR, also analyses satellite imagery for priority sites, which are endangered or already impacted, in order to assess damage.

Tuesday 8 March - 12:55

"We must accompany the civil society to save its heritage." - Lazare Eloundou Assomo, Director of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre.

Sunday 6 March - 18:10

At Ukraine's largest art museum, a race to protect heritage.

Sunday 6 March - 8:32

Lviv tries to protect its cultural heritage from a possible Russian attack.

Saturday 5 March - 17:11

"What is this war for?" 

Tweet UNESCO_Ukraine

Friday 4 March - 20:10

Unesco fears the destruction of Ukrainian cultural heritage.

Thursday 3 March - 16:32

Unesco strongly condemns attacks on schools in Ukraine.

Thursday 3 March - 15:50

Unesco calls on Russia to stop attacks on educational establishments in Ukraine.

Thursday 3 March - 15:05

In cooperation with the Ukrainian authorities, UNESCO is working to mark historic sites with the emblem of the 1954 Hague Convention.

Thursday 3 March - 10:36

"UNESCO statement following the adoption of the UN General Assembly resolution"

"We must safeguard this cultural heritage, as a testimony of the past but also as a vector of peace for the future, which the international community has a duty to protect and preserve for future generations. It is also to protect the future that educational institutions must be considered sanctuaries."
Audrey Azoulay, UNESCO Director-General

Tuesday 1 March

UNESCO Creative Cities promote cooperation with and among cities that have identified creativity as a strategic factor for sustainable urban development.

Read about the 3 Creative Cities in Ukraine.

Monday 28 February

The 1954 Hague Convention aims to protect cultural property, such as monuments of architecture, art or history, archaeological sites, works of art, manuscripts, books and other objects of artistic, historical or archaeological interest, as well as scientific collections of any kind regardless of their origin or ownership.

Saturday 26 February

Kyiv: Saint-Sophia Cathedral and Related Monastic Buildings, Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra

Saint-Sophia Cathedral - Kyiv
Designed to rival Hagia Sophia in Constantinople, Kyiv's Saint-Sophia Cathedral symbolizes the 'new Constantinople', capital of the Christian principality of Kyiv, which was created in the 11th century in a region evangelized after the baptism of St Vladimir in 988. The spiritual and intellectual influence of Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra contributed to the spread of Orthodox thought and the Orthodox faith in the Russian world from the 17th to the 19th century.

Thursday 24 February - 15:56

"War in Ukraine: UNESCO calls for respect of international law"

"UNESCO is deeply concerned about the ongoing military operations and the escalation of violence in Ukraine. As stated by the UN Secretary-General, such operations are violations of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine and are inconsistent with the Charter of the United Nations."

UNESCO calls for respect for international humanitarian law, notably the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict and its two (1954 and 1999) Protocols, to ensure the prevention of damage to cultural heritage in all its forms.

This also includes the obligations under the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2222 (2015) on the protection of journalists, media professionals and associated personnel in situations of conflict, to promote free, independent and impartial media as one of the essential foundations of a democratic society, and which can contribute to the protection of civilians.

UNESCO also calls for restraint from attacks on, or harm to, children, teachers, education personnel or schools, and for the right to education to be upheld.

Thursday 24 February - 06:00

Beginning of the invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation