News ID: 131019
Published: 0720 GMT November 16, 2015

UNESCO turns 70

UNESCO turns 70

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), a specialized agency of the United Nations, formed on November 16, 1945 has turned 70.

The UNESCO's purpose is to contribute to peace and security by promoting international collaboration through education, science, and culture to further universal respect for justice, the rule of law, and human rights along with fundamental freedom proclaimed in the United Nations Charter.

The organization has 195 countries as member states along with nine associate members. India became an UNESCO member state on November 4, 1946.

The field offices of the UNESCO are known as 'cluster' offices, which usually cover three or more nations. National and regional offices also exist. The UNESCO cluster office for India is located in the nation's capital New Delhi.

The UNESCO headquarters is located at Place de Fontenoy in Paris, France.

Bulgarian politician Irina Bokova is its current director general. She was elected in 2009 and replaced Koïchiro Matsuura of Japan, who was director general since 1999. So far, 10 people from nine nations have acted as UNESCO director generals. British evolutionary biologist, eugenicist, and internationalist was the first director general who served from its inception year 1946 to 1948.

UNESCO pursues its objectives through five major programs: Education, natural sciences, social/human sciences, culture, and communication/information.

UNESCO World Heritage Sites are located in 157 countries around the world. 32 of them are in India. Of these 32 sites, 25 are cultural sites and the other seven are natural sites. A tentative list of further sites/properties submitted by India for recognition includes 51 sites. India's first two sites inscribed on the list at the Seventh Session of the World Heritage held in 1983 were the Agra Fort and the Ajanta Caves. Taj Mahal, one of the Seven Wonders of the World was also given World Heritage Site status in the same year. Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus airport was nominated on July 2, 2004. Other notable inclusions in this illustrious list are Delhi's Qutb Minar and its Monuments, the Western Ghats, West Bengal's Sundarbans National Park, Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka in Madhya Pradesh, the Konark Sun Temple in Orissa among many others.

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