Governing bodies

  • The General Conference – the main governing body of UNESCO, meets every two years. The General Conference determines the policy and course of action of the Organization. The General Conference approves the Program and Budget (each member states having one vote), which is prepared on the basis of consultations between member States and the Secretariat. The Conference is also in charge of electing members of the Executive Board, appointing the Director General every 4 years and approving the Medium-Term Strategy of the Organization.
  • The Executive Board – meets twice a year. Its members are elected by the General Conference. The Executive Board is composed of 58 member States elected for 4 year, with one representative for each State. The Board prepares the Budget and work Program, ensures effective and rational fulfillment of the approved Program by the Director General, prepares the General Conference and sees that its decisions are properly carried out.
  • The Secretariat – the executive organ of UNESCO. On behalf of the Director General, the Secretariat implements the Program, which is adopted by member States at the General Conference. There are more than 2000 international civil servants working in UNESCO’s Secretariat, of which 700 are in field offices.
  • Most of member States created National Commissions for UNESCO which are actively involved in defining, implementing, monitoring and assessing the Organization’s work in their countries. There are 199 National Commissions throughout the world.
  • Moreover, 184 member States have established Permanent Delegations in UNESCO’s headquarters, in Paris.
  • The Director General of UNESCO is Ms. Irina Bokova, since 2009. She was re-elected for a second term in 2013 at the 37th session of the General Conference.