UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, is a specialised agency of the United Nations that was established in 1945. It has 193 member states – among them Switzerland, that has adhered to the organization in 1949 – and 11 associate members.
UNESCO was created on the conviction that lasting peace cannot be established solely through political and economic agreements, but must be built upon the intellectual and moral solidarity of humanity.
Solidarity must be manifested through international intellectual cooperation in the fields of education, the sciences (exact and natural sciences, human and social sciences), culture and communication.
Switzerland plays an active role in UNESCO and is represented by a Permanent Delegation at the organisation's headquarters in Paris. It also has a seat on various intergovernmental committees.
Like all member states, Switzerland has established a National Commission for UNESCO, which is composed of 20 members appointed by the Federal Council. Its Secretariat is attached to the FDFA. The Swiss Commission independently implements national UNESCO projects in cooperation with Swiss civil society organisations.