Member states of UNESCO

Member states of UNESCO
  UNESCO member states
  UNESCO member state dependent territory with separate NOC
  UNESCO associates
  UNESCO observers

As of November 2011, UNESCO members include 194 member states and 8 associate members[1][2]. Some members have additional National Organizing Committees (NOCs) for some of their dependent territories.[3] The associate members are non-independent states.


Member States

UNESCO has 194 member states and one state with membership pending. This table has the date on which they became members:[1][3]

As of 2011, Liechtenstein is not a member of UNESCO, but they have a NOC.[3]

Associate members

This is the list of the 8 associate members of UNESCO and the date on which they became associate members:[1]


There are 2 Permanent Observers and 10 intergovernmental organizations with Permanent Observer Missions to UNESCO.[5]

Non-member States[6]
Intergovernmental organizations[6]

In addition there is a liaison office of the United Nations University at UNESCO.[6]

Admission of Palestine

The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) has had observer status at UNESCO since 1974. In acknowledgement of the proclamation of the state of Palestine in 1988, a group of 7 states submitted a request for its admission in 1989[7] but UNESCO's Executive Board repeatedly postponed deciding on this request.[8] In September 2011, 24 states drafted a resolution asking for the request to be reconsidered in light of Palestine's bid to acquire full membership at the United Nations. The draft resolution was eventually passed on 5 October 2011, with 40 votes in favor amongst the 58 member states board.[9][11]

On 31 October 2011, the resolution to admit Palestine as a full member state was passed at the 36th General Conference. Amongst the 194 members eligible for voting, 107 were in favour, 14 were against, 52 abstained and 12 were absent.[12][14] The resolution will take effect when the state of Palestine signs the UNESCO charter[15] which will make it UNESCO's 195th member state and the third that is not a member state of the United Nations.[16]

In reaction, Israel announced that it will "consider its further steps on ongoing cooperation with the organization".[17] Furthermore, it approved the building of 2,000 new settlement houses in East Jerusalem[18][19] and blocked the transfer of Palestinian tax revenue collected by Israeli customs.[19] A senior Israeli official described these measures as "punishment",[20][21] but Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu later said: "We build in Jerusalem because it is our right and our obligation; not as punishment but as a basic right of our people,"[20] he added that the new settlements will be "in areas that in any future arrangement will remain in Israeli hands".[18]

The United States said that it will cut off funding ($80 million annually) for UNESCO in accordance with a 1990 law[22] preventing it from providing financing to any UN agency that admits Palestine as a member state.[23] Canada has also announced that it will cut voluntary contributions to UNESCO in light of this decision.[24] Israel also froze its funding to UNESCO; in total 26% of UNESCO's budget has been cut. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that the Palestinian efforts to join other United Nations' agencies were "not beneficial for Palestine and not beneficial for anybody." Ban warned that "millions and millions" of people could be affected if UN agencies see their funding cut as a result of the Palestinian bids. Israel suspended the transfer of taxes it collects on behalf of the PA.[25]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e Some of the dependent territories of China, Denmark, Netherlands, New Zealand, United Kingdom are associate members of UNESCO.
  2. ^ a b The former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY) became a Member State on 31 March 1950. The participation of Yugoslavia in meetings of governing bodies and conferences of UNESCO was suspended following Resolution 47/1 adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 22 September 1992, which stated that the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) could not continue automatically the membership of the former SFRY. Accordingly, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, which became a Member State on 20 December 2000, could not automatically succeed the former SFRY as a member of the Organization. Following the adoption of the Constitutional Charter of Serbia and Montenegro by the Assembly of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia on 4 February 2003, the name of the State of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia has been changed to "Serbia and Montenegro". Further to the Declaration of Independence adopted by the Parliament of Montenegro on 3 June 2006, UNESCO has been informed that the membership of the State Union Serbia and Montenegro in UNESCO is continued by the Republic of Serbia on the basis of Article 60 of the Constitutional Charter of Serbia and Montenegro.
  3. ^ Niue does not have a National Organizing Committee established so far.[3]
  4. ^ a b On 31 October 2011, the UNESCO General Conference in Paris admitted Palestine as a UNESCO member state, with 107 votes in favour of admission and 14 votes against, with 52 abstentions (a two-thirds majority vote in favour by member states is required). The decision will officially take effect once Palestine ratifies UNESCO’s constitution. [1]
  5. ^ Previously a Member State from 11 March 1965 to 31 December 1972.
  6. ^ Previously a Member State from 28 October 1965 to 31 December 1985.[4]
  7. ^ Previously a Member State from 4 November 1946 (founding member) to 31 December 1956.
  8. ^ Previously a Member State from 4 November 1946 (founding member) to 31 December 1985.
  9. ^ Previously a Member State from 4 November 1946 (founding member) to 31 December 1984.
  10. ^ a b The Netherlands Antilles became associate member of UNESCO on 26 October 1983. On Sunday 10 October 2010, a new status of the Netherlands Antilles came into effect, by which the Dutch Caribbean dependency of the Netherlands Antilles has ceased to exist with a change of the five islands' constitutional status. Under the new status, Curacao and St Maarten will enjoy internal self-government within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, joining Aruba, which gained similar status in 1986. Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba have become part of the Netherlands. The Netherlands retains responsibility for defence and foreign policy. These changes constitute a modification of the internal constitutional relations within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The Kingdom will remain the subject of international law with which agreements are concluded.


  1. ^ a b c UNESCO official site: List of the 194 Member States (and the 8 Associate Members) of UNESCO and the date on which they became members (or Associate Members) of the Organization, as of 27 October 2011 (retrieved 31 October 2011)
  2. ^ UNESCO official site: General Conference admits Palestine as UNESCO Member State, 31.10.2011
  3. ^ a b c d WADA. "Summary update on Government progress to become a State Party to the UNESCO International Convention against Doping in Sport" (PDF). p. 2. Retrieved 28 July 2009. 
  4. ^ UNESCO. "UNESCO - Singapore - official relations". Retrieved 2011-11-01. 
  5. ^ UNESCO. "UNESCO Permanent delegations". Retrieved 2011-11-01. 
  6. ^ a b c d UNESCO. "Directory of Permanenent Delegations and Permanent Observer Missions to UNESCO". Retrieved 2011-11-01. 
  7. ^ United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (26 May 1989). "Application for the admission of the State of Palestine as a member state proposed by Algeria, Egypt, Indonesia, Mauritania, Nigeria, Senegal and Yemen". Executive Board. 
  8. ^ United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (10 July 2009). "35 C: Request for the admission of Palestine to UNESCO". Executive Board. 
  9. ^ Staff writers (7 October 2011). "Kuwait supports Palestine's UNESCO membership". Arabs Today. Retrieved 13 October 2011. 
  10. ^ AJC Houston (7 October 2011). "AJC expresses its disappointment with UNESCO". American Jewish Committee. Retrieved 1 November 2011. 
  11. ^ In favour (40): Algeria, Argentina, Bangladesh, Belarus, Burkina Faso, Chile, China, Congo, DR Congo, Cuba, Djibouti, Egypt, El Salvador, Ghana, Grenada, Haiti, India, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mongolia, Morocco, Niger, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sri Lanka, Syria, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, Zambia, Zimbabwe. Against (4): Germany, Latvia, Romania, United States. Abstained (14): Barbados, Belgium, Cote d'Ivoire, Denmark, France, Greece, Italy, Japan, Monaco, Poland, Saint Lucia, Slovakia, South Korea, Spain.[10]
  12. ^ Irish, John (31 October 2011). "UNESCO gives Palestinians full membership". Real Clear World. Retrieved 31 October 2011. 
  13. ^ "UNESCO vote to admit Palestine: how the countries voted". UN Watch. 1 November 2011. Retrieved 1 November 2011. 
  14. ^ In favour (107): Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Chad, Chile, China, Congo, DR Congo, Costa Rica, Cuba, Cyprus, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Honduras, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, North Korea, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lebanon, Lesotho, Libya, Luxembourg, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Russia, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Slovenia, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Syria, Tanzania, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Zimbabwe. Against (14): Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Germany, Israel, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Palau, Panama, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Sweden, United States, Vanuatu. Abstained (52): Albania, Andorra, Bahamas, Barbados, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Colombia, Cook Islands, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Fiji, Georgia, Haiti, Hungary, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kiribati, South Korea, Latvia, Liberia, Macedonia, Mexico, Monaco, Montenegro, Nauru, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Poland, Portugal, Moldova, Romania, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Switzerland, Thailand, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Zambia. Absent (12): Dominica, East Timor, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guyana, Madagascar, Maldives, Mongolia, Niue, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan.[13]
  15. ^ United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (31 October 2011). "General Conference admits Palestine as UNESCO Member State". Retrieved 31 October 2011. 
  16. ^ Klapper, Bradley; DiLorenzo, Sarah (31 October 2011). "Palestine becomes member of UNESCO, US cuts funds". Associated Press. Retrieved 31 October 2011. 
  17. ^ Ravid, Barak (31 October 2011). "Israel to reconsider cooperation with UNESCO after approval of Palestine membership". Haaretz. Retrieved 31 October 2011. 
  18. ^ a b Ferziger, Jonathan. "Israel to Build 2,000 Housing Units in West Bank, Jerusalem". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 3 November 2011. 
  19. ^ a b AFP. "". Dawn news. Retrieved 3 November 2011. 
  20. ^ a b AFP. "Settlement expansion 'no punishment'". The Australian. Retrieved 3 November 2011. 
  21. ^ SHERWOOD, HARRIET. "Israel unleashes settlement wave to punish Palestine". Mail & Guardian. Retrieved 3 November 2011. 
  22. ^ Government of the United States, "Foreign relations and intercourse", Title 22 United States Code (2009 ed.), specifically: "Pub.L. 101-246, Title IV, § 414, Feb. 16, 1990, 104 Stat. 70 (101st Congress, 2/16/90)", §287e: Authorization of appropriations; payment of expenses. Government Printing Office. "No funds authorized to be appropriated by this Act or any other Act shall be available for the United Nations or any specialized agency thereof which accords the Palestine Liberation Organization the same standing as member states."
  23. ^ Mozgovaya, Natasha (31 October 2011). "U.S. cuts funding for UNESCO after Palestinian vote". Haaretz. Retrieved 31 October 2011.  See video on YouTube.
  24. ^ CBC News. "Canada won't cover UNESCO budget gaps". Retrieved 2 November 2011. .
  25. ^ Elior Levy,, Moran Azulay and AP. "Palestinian delegation after UNESCO vote Israel suspends PA funds, UNESCO fees". YNet,7340,L-4143613,00.html. Retrieved 3 November 2011. 

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