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Standard-Setting Instruments

When, cultural differences and traditions notwithstanding, States agree to common rules, they can draw up an international instrument: an agreement or convention, which are legally binding, a recommendation or a declaration.

UNESCO participates in this effort through its standard-setting action, serving as a central forum for coordinating the ethical, normative and intellectual issues of our time, fostering multidisciplinary exchange and mutual understanding, working – where possible and desirable – towards universal agreements on these issues, defining benchmarks and mobilizing international opinion.

This site lists each instrument by type and by UNESCO sector of activity. For each instrument you will find HTML versions of the texts in English and French, and links to PDF files from our official documents in the six official languages of UNESCO.

More information :

Information meeting on the UNESCO Conventions Ceremony 17 Sep 2019 - 17 Sep 2019
An information meeting on the UNESCO Conventions Ceremony will be held for Permanent Delegations on Tuesday 17 September 2019, from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., in Room IV (with interpretation in English and French). More

UNESCO Conventions Ceremony 15 Nov 2019 - 15 Nov 2019
Event on the margins of the 40th session of the General Conference, Friday 15 November 2019, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., UNESCO Headquarters. More

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